Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Phone Tales

One of the issues you encounter when living in Israel and visiting America is that you don't necessarily have or want a permanent US cell phone, but you need one for the duration of your visit.  I mean, are we barbarians?  Living without a cell phone in 2012 is utterly unthinkable.  It's like...living without a horse in 1812.  [I have a sinking feeling that that was a horrible analogy.]

So, many olim coming for visits will perform various feats of magic to obtain a temporary cell phone - borrow one from a neighbor, pay an exorbitant fee to rent one from their own cell phone company, etc. etc.

I figured I'd out-smart them all (any sentence that starts like that is sure to have a sad ending), and decided I'd just pop into an AT&T store when I got to Baltimore and buy a cheapo phone that only makes phone calls (no email, no web, no camera) and a prepaid card and I'd be all set.

It went well for a few days.  Then two things happened. 

First, I went on a cruise to Alaska with a phone that could not take pictures.  I pointed my little dinky phone at the glacier but it just sat there and stared at it.  It sort of looked at me with a condascending glare, "OK, Mrs.Penny Pincher, remember how you told the man at the AT&T store that you wanted the cheapest phone?  Well, you got ME so live with it and stop pointing me at glaciers."

The next thing that happened was that I received a text message.

The message was,  "What is the date of the wedding?"

Hmmmm.  I sat down for this one.  I know I'm getting older, and sometimes I get confused, but is there a wedding coming up that I've somehow forgotten about and yet that I know so much about that people are asking ME for the date?  I don't think so, but I gave it a few extra minutes of think time just to be sure.

Nope, nope, I'm 99% sure there is no wedding coming up.  I texted back, "Who is this?"  No response.

Two days later, another text.  "You need to tell me the date of the wedding."

Wow, this person is serious.  I did toy with making up a date, but couldn't do it.  So I texted back again, "Who is this?"

Two days later I get a response, "This is Terrell, your DJ."

Aha!  So, Terrell, my DJ, certainly deserves to know the date of the wedding so that he can hone is DJ'ing skills and DJ away on the night of the wedding.  If only there was a wedding.

I wrote back, "You have the wrong number."  Never heard back from him.

A couple of days later I started receiving phone calls, several times a day, from the same number, one  that I didn't recognize.  I finally picked up. 

This is what the recording said, "This is ___________ company with an important message for ....Cynthia Hayes.  If this is NOT Cynthia Hayes, please press 1."

Well, I am pretty sure I am not Cynthia Hayes (I checked my license just to be 100% positive).  So I pressed 1.  Then the recording said, "Please stay on the line for an important message for Cynthia Hayes."  Wellllll, if I just said I am NOT Cynthia, then why do I need to listen to a message for her?  Should I listen and then try to find her and pass the message on?  How would I even start looking for her?  And really I am so busy right now, I can't take on any more projects.

So I hung up.  After receiving the same call about 5 times the next day, I called the number back.  A person answered!  I told my story.  He said he'd take care of it.  But he must have been so busy making other incorrect phone calls that he did not take care of it.

Then, a few days ago, I started getting calls for Samantha something or other.  I told them twice that I am not Samantha.  They keep calling me.

So....let's sum up here.  SMART me that I got the cheapo phone and saved money. Not so smart phone company that can't recycle phone numbers very well.

I have a little comment, for AT&T.  Listen - there are over 6 bazillion possibilities of phone numbes in the US (I looked that up) - couldn't you possibly find a brand new number for me?

Oh, and Terrell, if you're out there, I hope you got the date of the gig.


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