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The Trickle - Wrong number

October 13, 2009 - Brian Ferry

Not what I bargained for

I'm no stranger to dialing the wrong number. I dial lots of numbers and, from time to time, I get a digit or two wrong. Worse is when I publish a wrong number. That's never good and I've done it more than once. At best, no one cares about what I wrote and/or no one reads it. At worst, well, it's not pretty. On Tuesday, I didn't publish the problem number. I dialed it. A Pennsylvania Cleanways release indicated that I needed to RSVP for an upcoming meeting. I planned to attend, so I called the number to leave a message. It was after normal business hours, but I still expected to get some kind of automated-message-taking system. I wasn't really expecting advertising. Let alone personal advertising. I dialed the number (it was toll-free). The first time I dialed I got a busy signal. How many people can be calling Pennsylvania Cleanways at 5:15 p.m. on a Tuesday? Whatever. I called back. This time I heard a voice tell me to "Talk to ladies who want to meet you." Whoa! Obviously I dialed the wrong number. I tried again. Same voice, same offer. After the message, the line disconnected. I wasn't so sure extension 111 would get me to a voice mailbox anyway. There was another phone number (not toll-free) on the release (but it wasn't the one next to... "Please RSVP for the meeting by October 14th to... PA Cleanways, 1-877...). I tried it. A different voice said if I knew the extension of the person I was trying to reach I could dial it at any time. I did and I did. I got the proper voice mail, left my message and left a little note at the end about the other message. After I hung up, I had this horrible feeling that I'd just left a message with a complaint/rebuke about something inappropriate and that message was unfounded. I had a co-worker dial the number (I could have misdialed the same way twice). She got the same message (thanks, Lydia). I wonder if my Cleanways contact will bring it up at the meeting.


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