Wednesday, 6 September 2006

Fix mah washin machine, fool!

When I was about fifteen our phone number was one that had previously belonged to Western Herd Improvement, Warrnambool's premier purveyor of bull semen for artificial insemination purposes. The farmers who don't pay attention to the steady stream of letters from the firm politely informing of the change of contact details are of course the same ones who, when the phone is answered, just launch without preamble into what it is they expect you to do for them. So it was I would often pick up the phone to be asked "Got any sperm?" "My cows are ready, can you do them tomorrow?" Etc.

These days our phone number is one that used to belong to a washing machine maintenance place. Not quite as much entertainment, and we've lived here for six years so the calls have slowed to the merest trickle, but the same principle applies: the ones who don't bother to check the number are also the ones who are most bossy and urgent and demand somebody come fix their washing machine RIGHT NOW! Because it just ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH!

This message was on our answering machine yesterday. She didn't leave a number.

15 comments:

fluffy said...

Presumably the washing machine people would be devastated to know they'd missed that particular call. I love the coaching going on in the background.

Suse said...

Our last phone number was the previous Australian Diabetes Association number. I've lost count of the number of times I picked up the phone to be immediately assaulted by demands for new parts for blood testing machines or a shipment of syringes.

Ben.H said...

I once had a phone number which was a pattern of repeated digits (899 8899 or something) and got a few song requests, and lots of pizza orders. I always took their order and address down, and reminded them that if it didn't arrive in 20 minutes it was free. Strangely, no-one ever called back.

David said...

I love that 'we can't see it and can't feel it'.

Zoe said...

Just. Not. Good. Enough.

(btw, your comments are behaving lovely and your favicon is tops. Not to mention the HWF banner, which I lurve.)

Another Outspoken Female said...

What a little love she is but her coach needs to go back to coaching college.

I have carried my number around various abodes for at least a dozen years. To this day I still get calls for emergency accomodation for youths in need. No matter how many times I have contacted the actual organisation to update their contacts. It's quite distressing the messages I get sometimes. I am also 1 digit different to a Lygon St restaurant and a doctors surgery. No matter what I put on my answering machine people still leave requests for tables and appointments. Even ABBA doesn't put them off.

I just wish the midnight calls for a pizza would stop.

lucy tartan said...

Exactly, it's not like our answering machine message says 'hello this is the washing machine fixers place.' I think there is even Elvis in the background.

Very happy you like the banner Zoe. Those kittens are being indoctrinated into the Lying Rodent search and destroy squad.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I thought those kittens were looking apprehensive.

You do realise that the poor washing machine woman will wait and wait, and when nothing happens it will simply confirm her clearly already low opinion of the company.

When I was a teenager we had a phone number one digit different from the nearby squash courts. We used Ben H's method: if we didn't like the sound of them when they rang up, we pretended to be the squash courts and efficiently booked them in for a game at their time of choice.

Galaxy said...

I used to work at directory assistance and we always used to get calls for pizzas and orders for taxis. After you gave up explaining to the usually drunk person ordering, you just took their order. Such moments of job satisfaction were so few and far between.

Meanwhile, I just thought you were being very quiet on the SASB blog front--what with all that reading, marking, teaching etc--but I've just realised bloglines deleted my subscription to you! Now I've got a whole week to catch up on.

cristy said...

That was great!

The only time that I have ever known for sure that my phone number used to belong to someone else was in Laos. Unfortunately my language capabilities were fairly poor and so the conversations were not very productive. They usually involved me repeating in very bad Lao:
"number bad, not here, I am a farang, I don't speak lao language, I don't understand you, number bad, sorry" and then hanging up on someone who was generally still talking non-stop in Lao on the other end.

I always felt bad, but there was really not a lot that I could do.

lucy tartan said...

Thanks for that Cristy, I was beginning to get The Cultural Cringe about Australians' seeming inability to come up with enough phone numbers to go around our measly little population, but if it happens in Laos too, all's well.

worldpeace_and_aspeedboat said...

love it, love it, love it.

Kate said...

Never happened to me. Ever. Should I be jealous or glad?

jo(e) said...

Oh, that's too funny. I just love her voice.

kate(2) said...

We used to get a lot of calls from impenetrable people like that when I lived at home. Sadly, they were calling the right number, they were looking for my Dad (he worked from home) and didn't even pay enough attention to make sure they had the right person on the other end of the phone before they launced into their request for a delivery/quote/directions. It was worse for my brother, but there were plenty who could tell the difference between a teenage girl and a middle-aged bloke.