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Tuesday, October 04, 2005 

Don't Call Me. I Might Call You.

Here is an account of some of the phone calls of some of the most annoying people I've had the displeasure to experience over the phone. Remember, these are not just isolated examples. I get variations (where either the caller or the name of the person they're calling changes) on each of these calls several times a day!

Call #1
Line 1 rings. No message left. Line 2 rings. No message left. Line 1 rings again. No message left.
My cell phone rings twice. Same caller who probably phoned me two seconds ago. Since he didn't bother to leave a message then, I punish him and refuse to answer the calls to my cell phone. No doubt I will pay for this random act of vengeance tomorrow when he finds out that I just chose to ignore him. One way or another, I will drill proper phone etiquette into people's heads.

Caller asks for Babis. I tell her there's no one living here by that name. She calls back 5 seconds later and asks again for Babis. She's obviously an older woman so I explain to her again that she has the wrong number and that Babis does not live here. She becomes a bit upset as she tells me she's worried about him since he never came home and she can't find Dina. She apologizes for the trouble. On her third call, I offer to call Dina for her since she can't understand that she transposed the last two digits of that woman's phone number to get mine. She's very happy. I phone the number she gave me but as she said, Dina is not home. I phone her back to let her know and she does not know who I am, how I got her number or who Dina is. I give up.

Caller asks for Dr. Corbas. I tell him there's no one here by that name. He asks me if I know where he is. I explain I don't know this person nor his new number. He asks me if I know of another doctor he can phone. I tell him he did not phone OTE directory assistance either so maybe it's high time he found their number and stop calling me. (And if Dr. Corbas had actually informed his patients of his new number, then he might not be sitting at work twiddling his thumbs in his new office wondering where they all went.)

Call #4
Caller asks "who's this?" as soon as I pick up the phone. I am now quite irritated and tell her since she phoned ME maybe she should already know. She becomes angry and demands that I give her my name and then I switch to English to tell her off and then back into Greek to ask her if she REALLY wants to ask me again who I am and then I hang up on her.

Call #5
Caller demands to speak to my husband. It's 10pm and I tell her he's not available but she can leave me her name, number and what company's she works for and I'll see that he gets the message. She then asks me WHERE he is and I tell her that's it's enough for her to know that he's not here and to leave a message. She again ignores me and starts listing off all the possible places she thinks he might be and for me to identify the correct one when I hear it. I've had enough. I get angry and tell her that he's having a shower and would she also like to know what brand of soap he's using on which body part? She backs down and tells me what I already know....that she's calling from the insurance company to let him know our car insurance payment is due in a week. I berate her for having the nerve to call me at 10 pm, not identify herself and to never ever call me again after 5pm unless she has her life insurance premiums up to date since she will most definitely need it when I'm done with her.

And people wonder why I never want to pick up the phone. All I can say is that Alexander Graham Bell is lucky he's dead, otherwise he'd have a Panasonic Hybrid System phone hurtling towards his head right now.

Very good post. Wish I had written it.

As for number 1, a friend of mine used to have an announcement on his answering machine that said, "This is Sigmund Freud. Please don't add to my hang-ups."

hi seawitch, do you have an email one can write to? i've searched your site and can't find one. not to spam you, just to ask you if you'd like to join a european team blog or syndicate some of your content. you can email me at shortcut.europe@gmail.com

thanks. Rubria

That was pretty enjoyable.

Well I for one can't stand voicemail and never leave messages on them. Also on my line, I don't have voicemail, if I pick up then great. If not, I'll see your number on the call id and call you back later. It sounds like caller one is similar to me and therefore it was mean to punish him/her.

Caller two, yup, old people and phones don't mix. OTE should go and remove the lines from the homes of people over the age of let's say 70.

As for caller five, it doesn't worry you that strange illusive women are calling up late at night for your husband. :-)

This is soooo familiar! Good post! Five years ago I switched to another mobile phone company; the "new" number was obviously the "old" number of a "Mrs. Laura." For the next 3 years, I would get calls for "Mrs. Laura" at the most unlikely hours... Since the callers were (almost always) men, I suspect "Mrs. Laura's" profession... I am still getting the sporadic straggler's call... At least, they all say "sorry."

I'm enjoying reading my comments as much as my own blogs! LOL \

Thomas...Give me your friend's phone number. I HAVE to hear that message! LOL

Ellas...I don't get why what I did was mean. Just because people can dial 7 digits on a phone doesn't automatically mean that I need to pick up the phone when they do it. If it's an emergency, I guarantee you they'd leave a message. If not, they just want to drive me battier than I already am. LOL I really did feel sorry for the old woman--Kyria Niki, though. I know she was confused and a bit frightened. I hope she hasn't been waiting since 1945 for Babis to come home.

Ted--You should have diverted your number to a 1-900 number so you could have at least gotten paid for picking up the phone and judging from what you're telling me...the callers probably would have thought Mrs. Laura was just modernizing her 'business" and would have had no problem paying 5€ per minute. LOL

Loxias--Welcome to my blog! I'm off to check out yours.

Well talking of recieving calls in error, I remeember my mom was recieving a lot of calls a few months ago that weren't for her on her mobile and she couldn't understand why. She'd had the number for a couple of years and these calls just started coming out of the blue.

It was only one day her phone was sat on the table in front of me and I noticed the screen flashed "diverted call" before it started ringing and it was then I realized what was going on. Somebody had set their cellphone to automatically forward their calls to my moms phone without even ringing. So it was only when I asked a caller "what number did you dial?" did we realize that wasn't my mom's number. I called up Vodafone who said "why dont you call that number and tell them" to which I replied "cos if I call it, it forwards to my mom's cellphone". After 27000 calls to Vodafone, they eventually cancelled the 'call forwarding' from the other womans phone to my moms.

But talk about annoying. My mom commented she'd never been so popular.

Unfortunately, he changed it over a year ago.

I just remembered another one. Stephen Wright said he was going to get an answering machine for his car phone. It would say, "Hi. I'm home right now. Please leave a message and I'll call when I'm out."

Luckily, I don't have that problem. I answer the phone in English, so anyone who knows us knows how to proceed.

Anyone who doesn't, hangs up. =p

I'm imagining you doing all of this in Greek and I am througroughly amused....

Hi, I added a link to here from my blog. Always to keen to forge links with fellow bad-tempered expats. :-)

My wife gets mad if I don't answer the phone before it stops ringing. She seems to think that it's rude if we don't answer.

If she's not around, I unplug the damn thing.

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