June 08, 2006

Wrong Number

I have this little problem. And no, before the spammers descend upon me in a supposed moment of weakness, it's not that kind of little problem. We're all okay there, I promise. Anyway, as I was saying, I have this little problem. I'm being stalked by a chiropractor's receptionist.

It all started last week, as Beth, Mia and I were strolling through the zoo. Over the sounds of screeching monkeys and thousands of kids on field trips, I heard the majestic tones of AC/DC, signaling an incoming call on my cell. Since I was wearing a pair of shorts with approximately 42 pockets, I missed the call. But I did get a voicemail message.

"Hello, Mrs. Thatcher? This is Louisa in the chiropractor's office. I'm calling because you have a 3:30 appointment. It's, well, 3:45 and you're not here. Please call me when you get this message."

Now, I'm no rocket surgeon but I did eventually deduce that this call was not intended for me. Press 7 to delete? Sure thing. Done. Bye-bye, Louisa. Yet, five minutes later, another call from the same number. I chose to ignore it. Surely dear Louisa would hear my outgoing message and realize she'd made the same mistake again, right? Wrong.

"Mrs. Thatcher? Mrs. Thatcher?"

It didn't seem like this was going to end so I called back.

...ringy ding ding...
Louisa: Hello, chiropractic office. How may I help you?
Me: I'm sorry, you have the wrong number.
Louisa: What? You called me.
Me: Exactly. But only because you've called me for the last three hours straight. You have the wrong number. There's no Mrs. Thatcher here.
Louisa: Oh, I'm very sorry! My mistake.
Me: Hey, no problem. Just wanted to let you know.
Louisa: Thank you. Have a nice day.
Me: You too.

Satisfied, I hung up figuring that such a bold proactive step would surely resolve the matter once and for all. This, however, would be the lamest post ever were that the case. Louisa, it seems, is on a little crusade to find Mrs. Thatcher, one that involved trying to reach her all weekend. Call after call, all of which I ignored. And voicemail. On Monday, whilst on several conference calls with my cell phone belting out AC/DC tunes in the background all because Louisa just couldn't give up, I'd had it (and I swear, I'm not a rude guy). I answered.

Me: Hello?
Louisa: Hello. May I please speak to Maggie Thatcher?
Me: Are you shitting me?
Louisa: Excuse me? I'm trying to reach Maggie Thatcher.
Me: We spoke last week. I informed you that you had the wrong number? Remember that?
Louisa: Yes, but I'm still trying to reach Mrs. Thatcher.
Me: What, exactly, do you expect me to do about that. I'm not Maggie Thatcher. Nor am I Tony Blair or John Major. Sure, sometimes, I like to fire up a stogie and pretend to be Churchill and there's the off-moment when I like to carry around one of my wife's purses and pretend I'm the queen, but I'm not Maggie Thatcher! You are not my chiropractor. I don't even have a chiropractor. If I did, it would not be you or who ever unleashed your wicked form of phone torture upon the masses. Clearly you, Louisa, are the one in need of an adjustment, not Maggie Thatcher.
Louisa: Are you done?
Me: Are you?
Louisa: What?
Me: Will you be calling Maggie or me again?
Louisa: Um, no. I don't think so.
Me: Wonderful. I thank you, and, most importantly, Satan and his minions thank you.
Louisa: *click*

Posted by Chris at June 8, 2006 07:04 AM

hahahahahahahahahahaha :)

Posted by: Dana at June 8, 2006 07:12 AM

Did that work? Has she called again?

I believe we saw a "Louisa" here in our practice yesterday with post traumatic phone syndrome. I told her she deserved it. Got your back Rude!

Posted by: Wicked H at June 8, 2006 07:42 AM

That's quite funny. Whoever had our telephone number before we did owes a postage meter company a lot of money. Every week they call and say they have an outstanding balance on my account. Every week, I tell them that I'm not who they are looking for; the number is wrong. Every week they call back.

Posted by: Emily at June 8, 2006 07:53 AM

We had a lady use our phone number on bad checks and paper work. I bet we had collection calls looking for her for over three years. They would never believe I wasn't her. Drove us nuts.

Posted by: Jenn at June 8, 2006 08:11 AM

HAHAHA!! So where is the You-as-queen photo collection???

Posted by: Deepblue at June 8, 2006 08:15 AM

All that over a missed chiropratic appointment? That's just weird. I'm proud of you for being as nice as you were about it, because I would have reported her for harrassment.

Posted by: Contrary at June 8, 2006 08:26 AM

I really hope she hasn't called back, for both of your sakes. That is too funny. We're having a little phone problem in our house currently too, but we haven't addressed quite so authoritatively. I may have to follow your lead if it continues.

Posted by: Jessie at June 8, 2006 08:30 AM

I have a similar problem on the house phone. I keep getting very irate voicemails from people looking for a T. Rose. Judging by the tone, I'm thinking Ms. Rose owes people a little bit of money. I finally resorted to changing my outgoing message to something like, "Sorry I missed your call blah blah blah. If you're calling for T. Rose - I have no idea who this person is. She does NOT reside at this number. Stop leaving messages for her in my voicemail." So far, so good. Only time will tell if that's solved the problem.

Posted by: pea at June 8, 2006 08:33 AM

I didn't get a wrong number, but what miffed me was my credit card company calling MY WORK to tell me that I was late on a payment. I just find that a weeeeeee-bit unprofessional.

Posted by: Michelle at June 8, 2006 08:42 AM

There was a company that ran an ad in the local yellow pages a couple of years ago, and their phone number was misprinted making it my home number instead. I still take phone calls about it and people refuse to believe me; "no, this is a residence. I can not sell you concrete. Yes, I know it was in the phone book, it was a mistake. I know. I know, but it was a mistake. No, really; I'm telling the truth." And they always have to call back two or three times just to make sure. They figure, if they saw it in print, it must be right.

I'm considering taking my son's route. He just hands the phone to his 4 yr old sister.

Posted by: fauve at June 8, 2006 08:46 AM

Fauve may be on to something; I'm sure Mia would LOVE to talk to Louisa!

Posted by: Betti at June 8, 2006 08:49 AM

think it was a prank call? someone that really "loves you"...:*)

Posted by: wn at June 8, 2006 08:59 AM

That was rude, and pretty damn funny. By thew way I will be stealing the phrase rocket surgery. I love it.

Posted by: Bill at June 8, 2006 09:01 AM

Mrs. Thatcher? I've been leaving you comments, and you haven't replied to ANY of them. Mrs. Thatcher, please get back to me. It's VERY important.

Posted by: Fraulein N at June 8, 2006 09:14 AM

It sucks but I've found that sometimes you just can't get through to people by means of rational, calm conversation. No, you have to beat them over the head with it until they understand. Hopefully Louisa won't be bothering you again.

Posted by: Beth in StL at June 8, 2006 09:16 AM

what kind of chiropractic office receptionist has the time to call customers on the weekend?

you might have been rude, but sometimes, people totally deserve it. and it sounds like she, she really, really did.

Posted by: suze at June 8, 2006 09:21 AM

what kind of chiropractic office receptionist has the time to call customers on the weekend?

you might have been rude, but sometimes, people totally deserve it. and it sounds like she, she really, really did.

Posted by: suze at June 8, 2006 09:21 AM

I had a couple of calls like that when I first got my new cellphone number. Someone kept calling for this guy because he ordered those giant watercooler water jugs, something for horses, or maybe both. I think the dude got the hint when the guy never called back.

Posted by: Denise at June 8, 2006 09:38 AM

Ha! That was awesome. I bet Louisa is having a great time telling her version of this funny story to her friends... if the bitch has any.

Posted by: Carrisa at June 8, 2006 09:45 AM

I am laughing so hard right now. Now all I can think of is you dressed as the queen, waving that bored wave that she is famous for. That is too classic.

Posted by: Snickrsnack Katie at June 8, 2006 09:58 AM


My cousin's old phone number was one digit off from an escort agency. They used to get some, um, we'll say interesting phone calls. Sometimes people just would NOT believe they had the wrong number.

Posted by: Sue at June 8, 2006 10:10 AM

Ok, I won't share my story of how when we moved, we got some woman named Iris's previous phone number... Her daughter called me on evey holiday, and her birthday, leaving messages... On the machine that said who we are... Didn't she think it was weird that suddenly her mom got a new family... finally I called her back. Sheesh... but I won't tell my story... this is your blog not mine. :)

You should have asked to cancel all Mrs. Thatcher's appts since she couldn't keep seeing a Chiro with such an annoying receptionist.

Posted by: Karen at June 8, 2006 10:11 AM

Nicely done. Now - must book appointment at the chiropractor as Ladybird Johnson, and give them your cell number...

Posted by: Greg at June 8, 2006 10:23 AM

Too funny!

Definitely the appropriate response to "customer care" that verges over into stalking.

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at June 8, 2006 10:30 AM

That's wonderful!

I'm plagued by calls from 8 digit phone numbers. And they usually end up being Spanish speaking people who keep calling over and over. And then go away for a few days/weeks and then start again.

Posted by: Lisa at June 8, 2006 11:07 AM

that's one not-so-bright C.A. who's evidently very persistent. If I was a deviant patient, I'd probably never go back to that practice due to the annoying Louisa. Sheesh!

Posted by: Dolly at June 8, 2006 11:07 AM

I had a similar "problem" when we lived in Boston. We were given a number that, some years prior, had belonged to the Parents Advocacy Leage (PAL) of Boston, a social services agency for families in crisis. Our phone number was also 1 digit off from the fax machine at the 24 hour CVS pharmacy on Charles St in Beacon Hill (and since it was mere feet from Mass Genral Hospital, we got mis-keyed fax calls day and night. THAT was annoying, however the PAL calls were scary and heartbreaking. Like with your pal, Louisa, these callers were undeterred by our cheerful "Hi! you've reached, Kara, Hubby, and Kiddo" message.

In lieu of hijacking your comments more than I already have, I'll write about this on my blog at some point soon.

And if Louisa calls again, hell her I said hi!

Posted by: Kara at June 8, 2006 11:11 AM

"Are you done?"
"Are you?"

Fucking priceless. Especially "Satan and his minions thank you". Nice one!

Posted by: Pammer at June 8, 2006 11:24 AM

I've had the same home phone number for 3 and a half years. Evidently, the phone company gave it to me two weeks after someone else got rid of it... Not just SOMEONE else though, the leading lawn service in town. My answering machine says

"Hi this is Hoop and Tink, leave a message. If you're calling about John's lawn service you've dialed the wrong number. I never have been and never will be a lawn service. I'm not even that handy with a mower. So STOP CALLING ME."

And they still leave messages.

Posted by: Tink at June 8, 2006 11:27 AM

Wow - we got through this several times a week with our home number. Someone - including the police and a lawyer - have been calling asking for someone named Nicole. They almost always call when we're gone, so they get the machine. And they continually leave urgent messages for Nicole. Our outgoing message clearly says you've reached Jen and Roth - not Nicole. And yet, they still leave messages.

Finally, after weeks of this, Roth called one of the numbers back and got their machine. He left a detailed message about how they've been calling the wrong number, there's no Nicole, yada yada. And yet we still get calls. I just don't get it. And since they always call when we're at work, I never have the opportunity to lambast them as you did. Man, how I want to yell at those idiots who keep calling, and calling, and calling.

Posted by: Jen at June 8, 2006 11:32 AM

HAHAHA! I'm going to have to keep that closing line in mind next time this happens to me...

Posted by: mingaling at June 8, 2006 11:34 AM

Totally deserved that. Love it.

Posted by: Brad at June 8, 2006 11:47 AM

OMG! Please tell me you REALLY said all that?!?! It would just break my heart if you're making this one up! So many times I've wanted to go off on people who call me like that!! My old house number was 1 digit off of the local country club & we'd get a few calls a week from people who'd ask "are you sure this is the wrong number?" In trying to be polite I'd just say "yes, I'm sure" when I really wanted to scream that "Don't YOU THINK that if I LIVED at a COUNTRY CLUB I would know it?? Just Maybe??" And, the 2, 3, 4, 5 o'clock in the morning calls for "John" or "Melissa" or "T.K." --"Oh, YES thank YOU for interrupting my SLEEP and NO I do not KNOW these people and WHY are you calling ANYONE at this UNGODLY hour?" And of course, there's NEVER an "Oh, I'm sorry!"

Posted by: Celina at June 8, 2006 12:18 PM

*cracks up*

Great. NOW I've got to try and explain how updating CRM database files can be quite so amusing...

Really cool post though.

"Louisa: Are you done?
Me: Are you?
Louisa: What?
Me: Will you be calling Maggie or me again?
Louisa: Um, no. I don't think so.
Me: Wonderful. I thank you, and, most importantly, Satan and his minions thank you.
Louisa: *click*"

*cracks up again*


Posted by: Alice at June 8, 2006 12:27 PM

This is my favorite:

Me: We spoke last week. I informed you that you had the wrong number? Remember that?
Louisa: Yes, but I'm still trying to reach Mrs. Thatcher.

What a moron.

I actually have two weird things going on with my cell phone. First, someone keeps texting me with 7001. I don't know what that means, and I don't know how to tell who the message is from.

And then, some guy keeps leaving me messages in Arabic. Dude, my message is in English and clearly says my name which is very American (or at least Irish) sounding. Stop leaving me messages. I don't know what you are saying! And for some reason he always calls when my phone is off, so it doesn't log his number and I can't call him back.

Posted by: bad penguin at June 8, 2006 12:47 PM

If it makes you feel better someone, at the same number, called me multiple times yesterday from some number and yelled at me in Spanish. I don't speak much Spanish but I know enough of the swear words to yell back.

Then I googled the number and there are multiple blog entries about the number that call me.

However, the person you dealt with? Complete moron.

Posted by: ash at June 8, 2006 01:03 PM

Maybe it's just me, but when I call a number expecting Betty Smith and the outgoing message announces the name and number of Bob Jones...I pretty much know I'm barking up the wrong tree. What's wrong with these people?

Posted by: wordgirl at June 8, 2006 01:05 PM

hm. yeah. sounds perfectly reasonable to me...

Posted by: steph at June 8, 2006 01:09 PM

Did it work? Has she stopped calling?

Posted by: Marie at June 8, 2006 01:47 PM

You should've told her, "I'm so sorry to have to be the one to inform you that Maggie recently passed away, so would you please be so kind as to remove her from your patient list?" Buh-bye.

Posted by: shelley at June 8, 2006 01:50 PM

LOL! We keep getting calls for a Dawn and Richard. It's mostly credit card companies. Before that people were ringing us for a motel room. It seems our number is one digit shy of the motel's. Once I got a message on my machine from a lonely sounding guy who was "looking for his girl". He called three times! I kick myself for not answering that last time and screwing with him.

Posted by: Mary at June 8, 2006 01:58 PM

And she still doesn't get it!

Guess "receptionist" was is high as the Peter Principle will allow her to attain in life.

Posted by: Latte Man at June 8, 2006 02:07 PM

huh Maggie, did you say something?

Posted by: Johnny Smoke at June 8, 2006 02:09 PM

her loggic seems flawless to me. surely you could just hand your phone to mrs. thatcher.

Posted by: jodi at June 8, 2006 02:36 PM

Thank you for giving me the best laugh of the day!

Posted by: Kelley at June 8, 2006 02:58 PM

Yep - I'm another one getting calls for some douchebag who owes people money. So irritating that they just won't get rid. of. my. number.

I LOVED your conversation with Louisa. Awesome.

Posted by: Lily at June 8, 2006 03:16 PM

Ugh, how annoying! We have a problem like that, only it's with a Bar Mitzvah company that can't seem to understand that WE DONT HAVE KIDS. Idiots.

Posted by: Kestrel at June 8, 2006 04:09 PM

We used to have a phone number that was one digit off from the closest 7-11. That was fun. "Do you carry Pokemon cards?" That was definitely my favorite.
I know that whoever has my old cel phone number has received innumerable calls for me, and I kind of want to call and apologize!

Posted by: Heather at June 8, 2006 04:21 PM

"Satan and his Minions", HAHAHAHAHA. Shit Chris, why can't I learn to not drink anything when I read your site?

You should start calling her and asking for a Mrs. Thacher. See what she says.

Posted by: Melissa at June 8, 2006 05:29 PM

Fucking hilarious. My jaw actually dropped reading that.

I love you.

ps. no not like that. sheesh.

Posted by: Autumn at June 8, 2006 06:07 PM

Did you actually say all that stuff about Churchill and Beth's purses? If so, Hero Status is bestowed upon you.

Posted by: Gavin at June 8, 2006 08:06 PM

"and there's the off-moment when I like to carry around one of my wife's purses and pretend I'm the queen" may be the best thing said to anyone ever. It sure be emblazed on a flag and flown high for all to see with the accompaning picture of such event. Absolutely brilliant. And who said people making minimum wage are intelligent.

Posted by: Chris at June 8, 2006 09:40 PM

We kept getting calls for William to come in for his appointment. SEVEN phone calls later, they finally figured out they had mistyped the phone number in the computer.

Poor William!

Posted by: alektra at June 8, 2006 09:54 PM

nice job Chris!

Posted by: stinkerbell at June 9, 2006 04:51 AM

Jesus, that is ridiculous! What a moron that woman was to keep calling you like that. WOW. Maybe she had a lobotomy recently so the portion of her brain that handle short-term memory was removed. And she's retarded. She's like a goldfish. Maybe your wife knows her from the aquarium?? (Well, if she did, I'm sure she would've swum by and told her to STOP F*CKING CALLING!)

Posted by: Liberal Banana at June 9, 2006 04:08 PM

Lovin' it.

Posted by: Shannon. at June 10, 2006 05:21 PM