Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Sorry, wrong number

I don't get a whole lot of phone calls up here at Five O'Clock Somewhere, and most of the ones I get are wrong numbers.

There was a vacant lot for sale or lease in a business/industrial area in Albuquerque, and there was a customer who was interested in it, but either the sign on the lot had the wrong number on it, or the guy who really wanted to buy it copied the number down wrong. He made numerous calls about the lot, all when nobody was home, so nobody was available to pick up the phone. We just didn't consider it worth the expense of a long-distance telephone call (calls outside NM are federally regulated and therefore less epensive, but calls within NM are exorbitant) to set the guy straight.

Then our phone number is apparently similar to an unpublished phone number for the county courthouse in Tierra Amarilla, and also to an unpublished phone number for a lawyer. The lawyer, as best as I can tell, gives this number to clients who might need to phone him in an emergency, and he seems to use it as an urgent-business number that people can call 24/7. In a small place such as the far northwest corner of Rio Arriba County, lawyers don't specialize, but this particular lawyer seems to handle a lot of divorce cases -- a lot of the messages run along the lines of, "My client will agree to xxx, so if your client will also agree to yyy, we don't need to go to court tomorrow morning. Please call me right away." If I've been away for a week and find that sort of message on the machine, I feel a bit bad that the message didn't get through, because if it had, maybe a whole lot of trouble could have been avoided.

Then there was one that went something like this (names changed to protect the "innocent" until proven guilty): "They've put Eddie in jail, and I need you to come help bail him out. It was all an accident; he didn't mean to break my nose. It was my fault for talking back to him. You have to come and get him out. I love him so much, I can't live without him; I'm calling off the divorce."

That was one message I did NOT feel guilty about not forwarding.


Anonymous jesse said...

I once had a number very similar to the hospital's. One day a weak voiced, lost sounding, old lady called. She wanted to speak with doctor so-n-so. I explained she had the wrong number, and she needed to dial again. She couldn't understand why I didn't go get Dr. SnS, and she was near tears. Please, she pleaded. I explained again, I even looked up the number. After that heart-breaking incident, I memorized the number for the hospital to give it out.

Thu Aug 04, 09:35:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous jesse said...

Yikes, the above is a pretty poor example of grammar. It just goes to show the difference between spoken english and written english. My tone and inflection would have made clear that I meant "I memorized the hospital's number so that I could then give it out to errant callers."

Thu Aug 04, 09:39:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Pat and I had a friend at Rice whose phone number was similar to the Sears department store credit department. Mostly, he would set customers straight, but on occasion, he would pretend to be the credit department, and he would go on and on with the complaining customers, assuring them he would get everything taken care of, and all sorts of other stuff.

When we lived in Los Alamos, Domino's Pizza opened there, and our phone number was just barely different. The grand opening ads in the newspaper had a typographical error, so our number was on the ad. We got into the habit of answering the phone, "Hello, this is NOT Domino's Pizza."

Thu Aug 04, 11:35:00 PM MDT  

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