Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's the 5th, Again

I've had my current office number since 2000.

I have no idea who had it before. But apparently she was quite active in doing monthly breast exams. So much so that she subscribed to a phone service (run by a local celebrity) to remind her.

So, for the last 9 years, on the 5th day of each month, at 8:00 p.m. sharp (who picked that time?) when the office line is rolled over to my cell phone, I always get this recorded message: "Hi! This is Pamela Perky! Calling to remind you that it's time to do your monthly breast check! And call a buddy, and remind her to do it, too!"

I once called the service. They refused to take me off the list, since I didn't know the name of the original subscriber.

22 comments:

Lilorfnannie said...

Come on Doc. Men have breasts too- they get breast cancer, even if it's extremely rare- maybe somebody's trying to tell you something. Go check your breasts, Doc.

;-)

Anonymous said...

So...they will keep calling that number until the world ends? Do they think you have the subscriber tied up, and are trying to steal the number?
Crazy.
"I don't care if you have the number now- we will keep calling it until you give up ze name!"

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Lilorfnannie- Good point. But I don't think the original owner of the number meant to leave this to me. But who knows.

The Yedidand Man said...

Could be worse. Some years ago, I moved into a new apartment and got phone service, only to discover that the number the phone company assigned me had previously belonged to a deadbeat who owed money on a bunch of credit cards. For the next two years I was plagued by collection agencies who refused to believe that I wasn't the guy they were looking for. Now I've started getting messages for someone who's not me on my cell phone (which I've had for years) from one of those sleazy companies that digs up ancient debts and tries to collect them. It's like that old kids' prank call: "Hi, this is [name that you've just called and asked for 10 times]. Are there any messages for me?"

Doris said...

Have you thought of having your phones roll over at 8:05 to avoid these calls? Would that work?

When I moved into my new home 6 years ago, I also got the 'looking for deadbeat' calls, which was a pain but I could deal.

The clincher, though, was that the old owner of the number apparently ran a business and I got fax attempts on that line at 2:00 in the moring, plus retries when the first call didn't go through.

I thought I was going to lose my mind. The numbers were all blocked so there was no way to, say, fax them back and take myself off the list.

Finally had to turn the ringer off on the phone in the bedroom.

Maroons.

Ed Adams said...

I've been providing FREE neighborhood breast exams for several years now.

Have yet to receive any clients besides the wife.

Maybe I should look into sending out reminder calls.

WarmSocks said...

The telephone company can help you with this problem. Or a letter to the company placing the reminder calls.

xtine said...

Regarding debt-related calls: if you all google the fair debt collection practices act, you'll find the steps for you to take to force debt collection companies to stop contacting you for other people's debt.

grumpy,
a very simple step to take w.r.t. the breast exam reminders is to tell them that you own this number, never subscribed, and if they won't unsubscribe you on their own, you'll have to enlist the help of your state or phone company to help you figure out what your recourse is.

At that point, they should stop caring quite so much that you're not the original subscriber and realize there is a problem to be fixed.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I know, at some point it just became not worth the effort to do.

GradStudent said...

Have one of the women in your office call them up and tell them that they're menopausal. no more calls needed. thank you very much.

The Good Cook said...

Um, tell GradStudent that even menopausal women need to do self exams AND get mammograms. Just saying...

RSDS said...

Our residential phone number used to belong to a business (over 7 years ago), the H***** County Farm Supply. Among other things, they sold tractors that they had put their phone number on.

Now, when these tractors break-down or otherwise malfunction, we get phone calls from farmers wanting their tractors fixed. We keep an index card by each phone with a phone number we can give the farmers refering them to R*****'s Equipment, instead.

verification - tingnet

Anonymous said...

Depending on what kind of cell phone you have, there might be an unwanted- number-blocking utility (like CallsBlocker for Blackberry). Of course this won't work if the caller ID passes your office number rather than the original caller's number.

Anonymous said...

Oh we are on to you...you do under-the-counter breast exams $100.00 a pop don't you Dr. Grumpy! Its always good to have a side job for added income! We wont judge you!

oddharmonic said...

@Ed Adams: Perhaps you need to advertise better. I'm totally a sucker for free stuff, although one of the pharmacists at a local grocery store kindly let me know I might want to talk to my doctor about my low blood pressure after I used their free blood pressure testing setup one day. Didn't know they were paying attention to that, d'oh!

Anonymous said...

At our home, we can always tell when semester begins at the local university, or when the weather starts getting cold...we start getting the calls misdialed for the local pizza delivery joint (callers frequently misdial the two middle numbers). We thought about keeping some frozen ones on hand and heating them up for pronto delivery as a side source of income. When callers mixed up the first three numbers we were Job Corp, and occasionally the local Vet's Home. Needless to say, over the years, we've kept up with what's happening in town. For a few summers when we were on different time zone than Eastern, we'd get a call at relatives of a local motel owner at 11 PM , insisting we needed to go get their cousins and bring them to the phone right away.

Another wrong phone number issue occurred at a hospital where the direct ER phone number published in the phone book was that of our dept. It was a time when people were adulterating pop cans early 1990's, or at least that was the rumor. Besides direct calls from patients wanting to know how much drugs would do the job (we quickly posted the Suicide Helpline near the phones), we got calls from people insisting they found pieces of rubber tires in their Coke cans, among unusual calls. (This is one reason why I have such admiration for Dr. G. I couldn't quite get through these calls without a side-ache from trying to keep the guffaws inside.) It was mind-opening as to what kind of calls people made to ERs. Fortunately, the phone book company came out with another edition within a few months.

Anonymous said...

My office manager and I signed my partner up to receive monthly medication reminders from Sally Field on his cell phone..... He wasn't overly amused but we were cracking up.... Fortunately he didn't have to be dead to quit getting the reminders...we were able to remove him from the list.

Nancy said...

Tell them your name is now Manly Grumpy and you changed genders and all your feminine parts have been removed.

For added squickiness, ask her if they do prostate exams because you aren't quite used to male doctors down there yet.

Anonymous said...

Forward your calls to the service between 8:00 and 8:05 on the fifth of each month.

Mike H said...

LOL.. so many companies operate like that.
I created an email address/alias with my service provider that apparently was in use at one point in the past, and was allowed to lapse and be re-used. I was receiving alumni newsletters from York University at the address (I never went to York), so I emailed them stating I wasn't the person they had listed in their records, and to remove my address from their contact database since it was now out of date.
They replied to my note with "Please provide us with the years you attended York so we can verify your information".
I had the same argument with Ford Canada when they were sending me service and marketing info to my address in my mother-in-law's name - when I called them to stop the deliveries (since they obviously had the wrong address for her), they said they couldn't do that because it would violate the privacy of her records. HUH?? You're violating MY privacy at MY address!

Anon said...

Try having the last two digits swapped = the number for "Super Pet" and all that it entailed.

Luckily my job kept me from the brunt of it, but the straw that broke the 'mooses back was the 3am calls by a fax machine. A bit of screaming into the phone took care of that.

It was entertaining after a while of answering the phone and "Hello, is this Super Pet?".

"Lady, I've been called many things in my life, but that ain't one of them."

Or, just barking into the phone.

Anonymous said...

instead of calling and saying you're menopausal, say you had a double mastectomy already! lol

 
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