Sunday, May 10, 2009

Why Don't You Listen?

When I used to live in East Hartford, I would get phone calls for a particular Chinese restaurant located in the next town over. This happened on the average about 5-7 times a week, which was due to the fact that our phone numbers were very similar (same seven digits, different order).

It always used to amaze me whenever I got these calls, because for the most part, people were so intent on putting their order in that they wouldn't pay attention to the way that the phone was being answered.

I mean, if you were ACTUALLY LISTENING, you would instantly realize that you had a WRONG NUMBER when the phone was answered with a simply "Hello?" as opposed to the name of the business.

Even after I'd moved out of East Hartford and back into Newington, I would still get these calls, although with much less frequency.

"But G, if you've moved away, how were you still getting those calls?"

Easy. When I moved back to Newington, I liked my old phone number so much, that I had it converted to a cell number.

Fast forward to this past Tuesday (5/5). I turned on my cell phone that morning as I normally do, and within one minute of turning it on, my voice mail's ring tone kicked on. The first thing that came to me was that my wife had left me a voice mail, but she said no.

So I listened to it and lo and behold, the rest of this post is directed to the jerk that left me that one minute voice mail.
When you got to the restaurant to pick up your food, when did it dawn on you that maybe, just maybe, you dialed the wrong number?

Was it when you were arguing with the counter person? Was it when you were sitting there waiting for your order to be cooked? Or was it when you were on your way home, driving like a thug because it finally dawned on you THAT YOU F'd UP?

Do you actually engage your brain before opening your mouth? Or do you just ignore what someone says on the phone in order to get the first word in?

I mean, really, how hard was it to take ten seconds on your miserable little existence and actually listen to what someone says?

The number that you called wasn't answered with, "Chinese restaurant, how may I help you today?" It was answered with, "Hi! You have reached the voice mail of G. Please leave your name, number, and a brief message at the tone, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can."

Big difference in greeting little boy.

I think I've wasted enough of my valuable time trying to make you understand why a square peg does not even remotely fit into a round hole. So I'm gonna have a casual conversation with someone who has an I.Q. greater than yours.

My ten month old nephew.


  1. I once got a wrong number call at like three in the morning from a guy who was apparently looking for his girlfriend or wife and was pissed off that a guy answered the phone. I've always wondered what happened to the woman he really wanted to call after taht.

  2. But seriously, I'll have no 45 with blackbean sauce...

  3. Travis: Laugh to your heart's content.

    I used to go through this aggravation when I was my son's age. There was a local department story in town that had the exact same seven digits as my home phone.

    Used to get a lot of phone calls for them as well, especially when they were having their going out of business sale.

    Charles: I should add that in the trailer park complex that I resided in, I would frequently get irate phone calls from people who would swear that I just called them and hung up. Seems that the telephone lines in my park were quite old and the wires would get crossed (thus the phantom phone calls). Also, for some unknown reason, some yahoo used to give out my phone number as a contact number too, so I would get irate phone calls looking for that yahoo as well.

    Miles: Are you sure you want the No. 45 with the blackbean sauce? I would recommend the Kung Pao chicken myself.

    I should add that not only would I get phone calls from people looking to put orders in, but I would get phone calls from a similar restaurant located in Newington and someone from the Bronx, looking for this restaurant as well.

  4. Somehow, none of this surprises me. I see all too often people not paying any attention to what they're doing. Oy, good luck with this one!

  5. I'm telling you, it really does boggle my mind that people have selective hearing.

    It's just as bad at work. I'm out of the office at least two days a month, and when I take phone calls while I'm out, I will tell people to send me an e-mail as a tickler, that way I can take care of the problem when I get back.

    Of course, they'll forget to send it to me, then they'll yell at me later on for not doing what they wanted.

  6. I know exactly how you feel! My number is one off from a credit company and I get called every day and then of course many of them call right back again. The phone has rung so much I have to unplug it sometimes. Just today I got a fireman calling to demand a pledge I never even made. He had the wrong name and address and I'm shouting "whoa! whoa! you got the wrong person!" and he just keeps going on and on...I hate phones!

    I love that picture on the top of your blog. The slant makes it really interesting like the dog perspective!

  7. J-Marie: Since you're familiar with the area in question, you probably know the restaurant I'm talking about. It's located about two or three hundred yards just past the public library on the right.

    Anyways, I got some decent food reviews about it from some of the wrong numbers I've received over the years.

    As for the picture, thanks. I took that a couple of Sundays ago, while I was out on my morning walk (will be featured in a few upcoming posts). The angle was easy enough to get, simply because I stand on a slant to begin with.

  8. My brother used to answer the phone "Dicks Hotdogs, if you like Hotdogs, You'll love Dicks" He stopped when a member of the clergy happened to call our house.

  9. Apparently, it's easy to fool someone with pre-existing expectations-

    I usually put guitar music on my voice mail- wonder if they'd ignore that too...

    One time I got someone asking vm, "Is this the Maintanence Barn?"

  10. bearman: cute.

    Most of the time, the conversation usually went something like this:

    "Hi, I would to put in an order of..."
    "Sorry, this ain't the Chinese restaurant. Their number is @#$-&&^%."
    "What number did I dial?"
    "Sorry. Thanks."
    "You're welcome."

    That's assuming if I was in a good mood. Otherwise, they got treated like dirt.

    Snaggletooth: guitar music? that certainly is a different twist to voice mail.

    The most interestingly stupid call I got, was a sales call to get my chimney cleaned.

    I lived in a mobile home at the time, ergo, no chimney.

  11. I was getting calls from a Hispanic man in the middle of the night for a while. He did not speak enough english to understand that he was calling the wrong number. And then I think he just liked calling and waking me up 2 or 3 times per night. I ended up having to get one of those features that blocks certain telephone numbers.

  12. Nice....not that you gotten woken up in the middle of the night, but nice that you found a way (although you had spend a little extra money) to cure the problem.

  13. You should have called back and ordered pizza. :-)

  14. I should of called him back to confirm his order.


  15. You rant well G. I've been doing it a lot myself lately on the phone to some incompetant *********. It's a sign of middle age I think. I never used to be like this - but now I can no longer tolerate incompetance/fools maybe cos time is tick tick ticking away and I have better things to do.

  16. Jane: First off, feel free to use whatever selected adjective you wish to use here. I've heard it all, read it all and said it all. It's virtually impossible to offend me.

    Thanks for the compliment. Ranting is my one true forte in my life, be it on the blog or at work.

    I do have a small piece of philosophy that I first developed while wroking in retail, that I would like to pass on. It works quite well for me.

    "I don't deal with stupid".

    If you keep this as your mantra, it really does help in dealing with incompetant fools.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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