phoneOur home phone number, we are aware, is almost identical to that of a guest house in the Huddersfield area.

We often find messages, or receive calls, from people who are wanting to book a room. Or speak to someone who is staying at the guest house. Quite a lot of the time, worryingly, it’s the Police who are calling to respond to something at the lodgings. Which, sadly, we cannot help them with.

On Friday we came home to voice mail message from a man who was in desperate need of a double room for Saturday night. He wanted to be called back as soon as possible to arrange the room. We did not call him back. Because we are not the guest house he is looking for.

But, it turns out, he has been weighing on our minds over the course of the weekend.

We wonder, you see, if he managed to get his room. Or whether, without a call back, he took his bat and ball home and went somewhere else. Presumably somewhere which doesn’t have a phone number scarily similar to ours.

What we’d like to think has happened is that he’s called the guest house again, and got cross with them for not returning his call, before being told that any message he may have left on Friday has not been received. Mainly because he called the wrong place. It’s hard to imagine, when you think about it, that any business would retain the generic greeting that comes with the voicemail rather than personalise it to let their customers know that they had reached the right place.

Although we have now discussed recording our own message for the answer machine, stating clearly that we are not, nor have we ever been, the guest house in question and that any potential customers of theirs should be more careful in entering the number into the phone the next time they call. But, you know, something a bit zingier and with less heavily-laden sarcasm.

But hey, maybe I am thinking about this too much.

We hoped – if hoped is the right word – that we would discover a message yesterday from the man demanding a call back as time was now short and/or he was standing outside the premises right now and wanted a room. But sadly we very rarely get follow-up wrong numbers. We have so many unanswered questions. What do the scores of police want each time they ring? What was the double room availability the other night? How many people do the guest house speak to that are actually looking for us? Is it comparable?

We get so many calls for the guest house that I’m even starting to wonder if all the cold calls about having our oven professionally cleaned or loft insulated are even for us. Or if we’re just accidentally getting them because of some fat fingers in the call centre. What if it’s not us who have had an accident recently for which we are entitled compensation. Or it’s the guest house that have a lot of lending with PPI schemes attached and are entitled to thousands in compensation.

And maybe it’s them who are struggling with a computer that is running terribly slow but, luckily, these highly trained operatives in an entirely legitimate Microsoft call centre had detected it on the network.

Wow, way to make a guy feel less special, stupid guest house.