If you’re going to call someone at 11:40pm, get the !*#@? phone number right!

By | July 31, 2009

At 11:00pm last night, my cell phone rang, and “Unknown number” (i.e., no caller ID) showed on the screen.  I answered it, and whoever was on the other end hung up without saying anything.  A minute later, the same call came in, and again, when I answered it the other party hung up.  I figured that was the end of it, and my wife and I went to sleep.

Forty minutes later, just when we’d both drifted off to sleep, it rang again and jolted us both awake.  This time, the party at the other end of the line was “kind” enough to actually speak:

Him: “Is Matt there?”

Me: (groggily) “Um, there’s no Matt here.  What number are you trying to call?”

Him: [Reads off a number different from mine by one digit.]

Me: “That’s not the number you called.  I don’t know if you’re the same person who called me twice forty minutes ago, but if so, then this is the third time you’ve called the wrong number, and it’s the middle of the night, so please get a clue and stop it.” [click]

It’s hard enough for my wife and I to get a decent amount of sleep with five kids and me gallivanting off on silly windmill-tilting exercises on a regular basis.  We really could do without rude idiots waking us up in the middle of the night. *sigh*

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5 thoughts on “If you’re going to call someone at 11:40pm, get the !*#@? phone number right!

  1. michelle

    A VERY belated comment, but as I’ve had wrong number calls at 12:35am, 1:40am and 2:05am in the past two nights, I went searching for stories like this! My new house number (got it a week ago) happens to be the local McDonald’s old number…and that number is STILL published on Superpages.com and Yahoo and whatnot under “McDonald’s”.

    1. jik Post author

      Wow. You definitely ought to get the phone company to give you a different number without charging you a fee to change it, because the problem surely isn’t going to go away!

  2. Frisky070802

    A belated reply to this: I feel your pain. 20 years ago I lived in CA and was getting calls at all hours of the day, including 6am plus or minus, with people trying to order greeting cards. Eventually I learned that “Black Enterprise” magazine had published my phone number by mistake in an article. Fortunately the enthusiasm died down and I was out of CA by the time the holiday season rolled around.

    I think there are some sophisticated phone systems that can be programmed to let calls from some numbers go through while putting everything else in voicemail, or at least intercepting them and asking the caller whether it’s important enough to page. Someday these will be commonplace …

  3. jik Post author

    So, just out of curiosity, should we turn off our home phone at night too, just in case somebody does the same thing to that number?

    Not to mention the fact that we really would prefer for friends and family to be able to reach us in the middle of the night in case of emergencies, something which has been necessary on several occasions in the past and will presumably be necessary in the future as well.

    In any case, my company pays for my cell phone so that I can be reached in an emergency at any time of the day or night. I am responsible for ensuring the continuous, 24×7 operation of a centralized infrastructure which provides services to thousands of users all over the world. It’s all part of the job.

    Fortunately, there aren’t too many (probably drunk) idiots who call the same wrong number three times in a row late at night and refuse to say anything the first two times when the call is answered. That doesn’t make it any less frustrating when it does happen.

    But hey, if it makes you feel better to call my dumb and say that it’s my fault, knock yourself out, it’s really no skin off my back.

  4. ed

    It’s amazing hows many “tech” guys are so dumb. What call were you expecting?? If you and your wife and five kids are all home and asleep, all you have to do to avoid the problem is TURN OFF THE CELLPHONE.


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