Thursday, September 15, 2011

Caller ID

So this is weird: I keep getting hang-ups on my cell phone from a restricted number. My home line already has anonymous call rejection to keep the telemarketers at bay, but this seems different. Whoever's calling me, they're making a point of hearing me say hello, then sighing and hanging up. Like yesterday, they called when I was at the gym but I didn't answer, so they called back later in the afternoon, apparently hell bent on hanging up on me.

Not sure if I should be flattered or creeped out. Whichever the case, I checked online, and it looks like Verizon charges a fee for anonymous call rejection. Thriftmonger that I am, I'm like, Nuh uh. Not another fee. Adding my kids' cell phone lines to the bill has been painful enough (especially when they don't charge their cell phones or allow them to go missing) without yet another random fee.

Anyway, for now, I'll field the calls. But what kind of obsessive writer would I be if I didn't have multiple theories at the ready regarding who said caller might be?

1. An ex-boyfriend. Ha! Yeah, right. If you've been reading along here, you'll know that no guy in his right mind would want a piece of this action. My life's way too much of a circus, more headache than excitement. Plus this theory assumes I haven't burned all bridges with my exes in a fit rationalized along the lines of going big or going home. Guess which one I've traditionally chosen? So it's kind of narcissistic to even consider this possibility.

2. Someone I've called the cops on. But how would they get my number? Guess it'd be easy enough with all the internet searches available, but still--how would they even know my name? Plus, if whatever they were doing was out of line enough that I felt compelled to call the cops on them, they've inherently got way more drama in their lives than needs to be added to by crank-calling one of their tattlers, so this just doesn't make sense. Chalk this theory up to paranoia.

3. A friend's kid or husband. Ew. Just ew. Although the calls have come during school hours, and I don't know anyone who lets their kid block their cell phone number. But still. Ew.

4. Someone I gave a card to at a writer's conference. To this one, all I have to say is, Why not say hi? I'm friendly enough. If I gave you a card, I'm not going to say, No way! I'm not answering, should you ask me a question. Sure, I might say no if you ask me to read your 500-page manuscript, but that's no reason to preemptively hang up on me.

Maybe I should put just my email address on my cards. I don't know. I have to print new ones for New York in January, so maybe this is the time to review what's on there. Or maybe giving out "business" cards is useless, since I already have an agent and any editor who wants me to contact them is going to give me their email address, not the other way around. So what do you think? Do you put your phone number(s) on your cards?


Catherine/Suburban Vampire said...

I keep getting weird, anonymous calls on my cell phone, too! Mine are coming from various numbers and area codes, and they're always hangups. I don't even have my cell number written on any cards or bills besides the cell phone bill!

My guess is that it's the cell phone companies trying to bug us into buying the anonymous call blockers.

Ara Burklund said...

Good theory! You're probably right. If so, can you imagine having that job? Wonder what the job title would be. Marketing Associate?

Suzanne Casamento said...

That's creepy. How about calling Verizon and telling them that you keep getting creepy calls from a blocked number and that you want to know if they can find out who it is? Is that totally naive of me to think they'd help?

Ara Burklund said...

I had a little problem with a friend's (older) son calling before, so I asked Verizon who the number belonged to, but they couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me, just saying it was a T-Mobile number based in Linda Vista or something. It was only later that I found out--by chance--whose number it was. Because this number's blocked, I'm not sure they'd give me anything, but I'll definitely ask.