The other day both my wife and I received a cold call from an unreachable source (no way they can be called back. I told my better half that I’ll handle the problem and off she went to play bridge. Now I know that there is no way you can call a large company and speak to a human being in the first ten or twenty prompts. So I pull up a comfortable chair, brace my back with a cushion and call the Verizon business office. But instead of dialing 611, which number is universal for the business office from here to Outer Mongolia, I dialed 6, not 611 and therein lies the rub. Each time I dialed 6, I got a prompt from Verizon that they can’t connect me.
Not to be out done by the bureaucracy I set aside my cell phone and reached for my land line so Verizon would know I meant business. Here I must admit that I thought I hung up – or whatever the term is – to shut down my cell phone. (I found out later that whatever button I pressed did not shut the contraption off.) So after a score or more prompts from the Verizon 800 number each of which had me press one or two more numbers, I lost patience slammed the phone back into its cradle as I pressed the “talk” button again, which I assumed would shut the phone down, but in truth I did hear something about a “flag” number, if need be, as the line went dead.
Now comfortably ensconced in my easy chair I decided it was time for my afternoon nap. Just as I shut my eyes I heard someone call out, “Hello Mr. Meister; Mr. Meister, hello!” Startled – I thought someone was at the door – I jumped up shouting, “I’m coming, I’m coming!” And low and behold a voice which now had, at least to my mind, an ethereal quality to it proclaimed: “I’ll wait, no problem Mr. Meister, I’ll wait.”
Okay, I got it. My cell phone – which I thought I shut off – but in any event, had lain fallow for ten or fifteen minutes, had now come back to life. “Who is this, did I call you?” I shouted in the general direction of my cell phone lying on the table (I was a bit leery about picking it up).
“Sheila Burns of Verizon, Mr. Meister,” the voice answered,” and well, in a way you did; you asked us to call you back, so here we are. How may I help you?” she asked.
To make a long story short, she explained everything to me, somehow she knew I thought I dialed 611, but did not, and then when I crashed the phone back in its cradle I must have triggered that return call (simple, when you really think about it). “Okay, I need to get a number blocked – a cold caller – can you handle it?”
“Sure, she responded, “no problem.” I thanked her profusely, apologized for any problems I might have caused and said goodbye as I grabbed cell phone off the table to disarm, shut off, hang up (or what ever the word is}. But as she said goodbye to me, a picture of the New York Post suddenly appeared on my screen. “My God,” I screamed, “somehow the Post crept into my phone.”
“No, Mr. Meister!” Sheila Burns shouted “You never shut the phone off; you must have taken a picture. Your phone is still on; hit the small button on the right side, that’s the off switch. Got it?”
Apparently I did; haven’t heard from Verizon for two days now. I’ll keep you posted.