My work phone doesn’t often ring…but when it does, I pounce like one of our cats on a cockroach.
This is going to seem weird to people who know me. People who know me know that if it were my mobile ringing, I’d stare at it in abject terror and think up reasons not to answer it, because 1.) PEOPLE — 21st century — social life and customs and 2.) it’s nerve-wracking to converse with someone whose face I can’t see.
And why wouldn’t I be nervous? It’s the entire premise of the Saw franchise, after all. In fact, it’s the principle on which MOST horror movies are founded. Think about it.
However, since the calls I receive at work are always wrong numbers dialed by sublimely weird individuals, I regard them primarily as entertainment.
For example, there was the gentleman calling in search of “Erin or Ellie, about a job” who, when I informed him that he had the wrong number, asked “Well, what about you? You sound great. Do YOU need a job?” I politely declined, explaining that I was happy in my current position. He expressed disappointment, then acknowledged that it was a long shot and that he had to ask, because “you know how it is.” Indeed.
Or the Time Lord, some British guy who demanded to know what time it was and, when I told him, laughed in delight and informed me, “I’m ringing you from the future!”
Anyway, today’s caller hailed from Yeshiva University and was looking for someone (she thought, but wasn’t 100% certain) named either Putz or Podge — or maybe Pudge? Unfortunately, she didn’t know because her computer “wouldn’t tell her.” I told her that I was not any of these individuals (who, in any event, don’t even sound real), and that she had the wrong number.
She persisted, reading off a string of numbers that may or may not have been the phone number she was trying to call — once again her computer was cooperating only enough to give her some, but not all, of the digits.
“What do you mean?” I asked, but she ignored me and read out her partial numerical sequence again.
I asked her to slow down and start over, and, if she could, please explain once more exactly which person or organization she was trying to reach…to which she responded in frustration, “Look, is there a real person I can talk to?”
“But…I am one,” I said, confused.
“Nevermind!” she snapped. And with that, she hung up.
I don’t even know what to make of this.
At first, I thought she had to be the most inept phone scammer ever, with absolutely no aptitude whatsoever for the kind of social engineering that gets you account passwords and credit card numbers. But now that I’ve had some time to think it over, I’ve concluded that this person might just be insane. Which is not terribly unusual when it comes to the folks who call my work number.