Jan 23, 2019: Digits

Our home phone number is very similar to that of a local guesthouse.

In the past few weeks, in fact, it seems to have become increasingly similar to the extent that I’m not sure they get any phone calls that haven’t rung us first.

The guesthouse, and I know this because I Googled it this afternoon, has a four-star rating on Google reviews. It presumably loses a star for having a residential house in another part of Huddersfield acting as their reception. We have no idea when anyone is checking in, leaving, whether they’ve arrived or left or, indeed, if there are rooms free.

Even more alarming, if you look at things this way, is that the Police phone for the guesthouse on a large number of occasions. So either everyone that stays there is a wanted criminal or they are all, somehow, victims of crime.

Today a woman phoned for the guesthouse THREE times.

The thing I find with a wrong number is that redialling that same number repeatedly doesn’t make it any more right. It’s the same when it’s the computer’s fault that your password isn’t right because you’re typing it correctly every time. You’re bloody well not.

So, call one, I answer the phone and – as with many of the calls for the guesthouse – the caller doesn’t establish they have the correct number, or even wonder why the phone isn’t answered with, say, the name of the guesthouse. I am given the name of someone who is coming to stay – this seems to be a theme as well. People who are staying there are always in high demand from other people who don’t know when they’re arriving. I’m just saying, this is bad trip planning.

Anyway, I cut her off and tell her she has the wrong number. She then says that this is the number she has, and it should be the guesthouse – because if nothing else, guesthouses are renowned for their japes and pretending to be a middle-aged man at home on a Wednesday afternoon.

She hangs up. I return to what I was doing.

The phone goes again.

It’s her again. She’s looking for the guesthouse. I know she is. Because she was the last time. She then tells me she’s looked the number up on the internet and that she has definitely dialled the number. She may have looked it up, but she’s definitely not dialled it. She then asks if I have it. As though people have, to hand, a list of numbers that callers may have meant to dial.

(As a side note, we now do have the number because it’s so pissing frustrating.)

I explain I do not have the number. She hangs up.

She calls back again.

By this point I’m a bit annoyed. To repeatedly dial the same number – especially on today’s phones which have a display of the number you’re calling – is just taking the bloody piss.

In between her second call and this one, though, I have looked up the number.

So I give it her, in no uncertain terms, with the tone of voice that says if she calls us again I will reach down the phone and slap her round the back of the head. You know, friendly and that. What makes it worse is that I can hear someone in the background telling her the number to dial – the correct number – but she’s clearly just mashed it into the keypad however she fancies.

She didn’t call back again.

I assume she managed to actually use a phone properly.

Can’t wait to see who phones tomorrow.