Friday, May 27, 2005

the return call...

I have a land line in addition to my cell phone, which I like to refer to as my "phone phone". It has my answering machine hooked up to it, and the ringer on the phone is shut off. I rarely use it. Mostly for my freelance, and the message on the answering machine clearly states: "Hello, thanks for calling 8th House Design, please leave a message and I will call you back quickly. Thanks." I know it says that, I recorded it myself.

Everyday, while scurring around the house I will hear my voice from the tiny speaker on the Casio Phone Mate, "Hello, thanks for calling 8th House..." again, the message CLEARLY states THANKS FOR CALLING 8TH HOUSE DESIGN...
Sure, I get freelance calls, but the majority of calls incoming are:
A pleasent voiced lady says: "Hello, you have a collect call from (in a grumbly tone) "Brudmfmble" at the Ohio Pine Groves Juvenile Correctional Facility if you wish to accept charges, please press 1 after the tone. If you would like a menu of collect rates, please press 2..."
then it hangs up.
The other one is a real turkey.
An even more pleasently voiced woman that sounds like she's basking in the sun in Cabo says, " HELLO! This is Stephanie, I would like a CAll BaCK from you! My number is 1888whatever, you can reach me monday from (and she goes into the days of the week and times available in ALL TIME ZONES.)"

let me explain... see, at first, I just figured that it was some solicior and not answering the phone was a nicer way to hang up or say "no" a thousand times. I figured Stephanie would realize after getting an answering machine seventy times, she'd erase my name off the calling list. But NO. Stephaie is out for revenge. Stephanie is engaging me into a fiber optic version of road rage, "Phone Rage". Stephanie must be a great employee and an award winning customer service agent, because she's tenatious, and she's determined, and dammit, she gets her job DONE. How do I know?

This moring, I woke up to see the blinking red dot that indicates I have messages.

After 15 months and four to five calls a day I called Stephanie back.
It was a man (gasp) and I said, "what happened to Stephanie? I need to talk to Stephanie. She's been calling me for a year now and even sometimes four times a day, she really needs to talk to me! Oh MY GOD WHAT DID YOU PEOPLE DO TO STEPHANIE?"
he said: "ma'am do you know Urthra (SERIOUSLY)?"
I said: "WHAAAaa? Damnit, where is Stephanie?"
Then I realized that when the man answered the phone, there was no greeting, no "hello". Infact, the phone didn't even ring. he just picked up and waited for me to was like he called me.
the man continued: " ma'am, you don't know a Urthra?!"
I said: "look, man, whatever your selling, whoever you're kidnapping, I don't want any part of it. TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST."
then he hung up on me!
not even a "click"

so I called back. Another MAN answered and this time I took another route.
"Hello, I have been getting messages on my machine from you since last year, four times a day. I am very annoyed with this and I need you TO TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST. I do not wish to receive another call from your or you're company. Please, TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST. I get calls for a juvenile correctional facility and you everyday. Please TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST."
the new guy said: " I am sorry ma'am, you do not know who Urthra is?"
I said: "nope. never heard of him."
He said: "I'm sorry ma'am your isssue is with the phone company, they gave you a number that belonged to an individual that is in alot of trouble."
I said: "so there's NO Stephanie???"

I kinda figured that.
When we were getting the house ready, there was an old school rotary phone on the wall in the kitchen. There was no phone service and there hadn't been, the guy died like, months ago. The phone would ring. yeah! it would just ring. So, when we would pick it up we were able to listen in on an accepted collect call from sombody male in PRISON to a sombody female "awwh, jus sitten hre smokin a blunt watchin the babehs fiddin to ge get mah hair duuhne."

I'm not sure if they ever heard US on the other end. I would pick it up one out of every 4 calls. Eventually I stopped picking it up. Their conversations were boring, don't people have phone sex when they're in prison?

This continued until I was ready to move in and established phone service and high speed internet in my name. I got a NEW number (I checked the old one) and ripped out the possessed phone.

so yes, the phone number Stephanie contacted me at is a different number and service name... and still collect calls from prison.

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