I’m not a big talk-on-the-phone person; and this afternoon was a fun little illustration of why.
Today is my grandfather’s birthday (Happy Birthday Sarge!), so I wanted to call him up and wish him well. I called my aunt and uncle’s home (my grandfather is living on their property), but no one picked up – and the answering machine didn’t kick in, either. Strange…. Oh well, no problem; I’ll just call my uncle’s cell phone, and ask him to track down my grandfather for me. I dial the cell number… wait through five rings… and then get an automated voice tell me that “The user has not created a mailbox for this number. You will be disconnected in three seconds. Good bye.” Oh, come on…Seriously?
Okay, slight detour: I call my dad on his cell phone, to try and confirm the phone numbers I have for my aunt and uncle; but my dad didn’t pick up. So I call the land line for my mom and dad’s house; and my mom does answer. Good deal. After some pleasant conversation, my mom confirms the numbers I have – and it turns out I had the incorrect cell-phone number for my uncle. Alrighty, I’ll try again.
I dial the new cell phone number for my uncle; and this time I get an automatic voice telling me to “Please. Leave. A. Message.” So I do – but I’m not certain this is really my uncle’s number, because there is no personalization whatsoever to the message. I could be connecting with any random person… So I hang up, and try my aunt and uncle’s house number once again. This time their answering machine *does* kick in; but still, it’s a machine. So I leave a happy message for my grandfather, and hope he 1) gets it, and 2) is able to understand it. (He doesn’t hear so well.)
An hour passes. I’m in the middle of taking a picture with my phone when the actual phone-part of the device rings – thereby interrupting the camera functionality. The caller is my mom; she has a question about a topic we discussed in our earlier conversation. Cool; she and I talk, she gets the info she needs, and we part ways. I’m then back on the camera, trying to take the image from a few minutes ago; and the phone rings again. (Thereby ending the camera functionality once again.) It’s my mom, again; she had another question come to mind.
By this time, I’m smiling and chuckling. The ridiculousness of this afternoon’s phone [mayhem] is not lost on me. Ah, technology. Seriously. Good times.
I give my mom the info she needs (again); she and I part ways (again); I take the picture (again). Cool. I walk upstairs to my office; and – yup, you guessed it – my phone rings. But the caller is “Unknown”. Hmm.
“Hello?” I inquire.
“Hi, this is Matt Berkham. You called my cell phone earlier today. Do I know you?”
Apparently, the number I called when I thought I was calling my uncle (but really wasn’t) was this fellow. Oh, poor Matt. If only you knew…
At this point, I laughed out loud; then told poor Matt that no, I wasn’t anyone he needed to be worried about; we never met. With a relieved, “Okay”, Matt hangs up the phone. Quickly.
And I set my phone down, too. Though I do wonder if it will ring again tonight…