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Seeking Peter

Someone from a finance company in Sydney kept ringing for a Peter somebody, leaving messages on my answering machine. Despite me ringing back and leaving messages on theirs saying there was no Peter here, every few weeks there’d be another call. The last about a week ago sounded… well, a little ominous.

Excerpt from answering machine message (MP3, 96Kb)

I made the extra effort to ring back during business hours and I think the guy believed me when I told him I wasn’t Peter, Peter didn’t live at my phone number, I’d had the number since October, and the phone company had told me the number had been last used five years before that.

Later that same day, a lady from Mornington Peninsula Shire rang up for Peter as well. (Or was it someone else from the finance company, double-checking?) I rang the lady back and told the story again, and nobody’s rung since.

Peter, wherever you are, watch out.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

7 replies on “Seeking Peter”

Isn’t that annoying to get multiple calls (or letters!) for an unknown person? When we first moved in here, we got multiple gas company bills for an unknown. Grrrrr. Took about 1 year to get them stopped!

A sort-of-related thing to phones is this suggestion from Ottawa paramedics: ICE your cell phone. (I)n (C)ase of (E)mergency phone numbers that is. Having 3 different ones is the best idea, apparently. Saves valuable minutes for the paramedics, and hospital staff. See story
So, something good (?) came from the London Tube bombings.

Toria, the ICE idea is a nice one, but apparently it’s no panacea. Every phone I touch has a different interface and finding the address book in a random phone is something paramedics just aren’t trained for; phones can be locked, meaning they can’t access the number; and finding the phone in the first place, which might be anywhere, can be problematic – especially if there’s been a crash or explosion.

Looking up “Mum” or “Dad” has much the same effect.

I have returned yet another letter to Optus (my favorite corporate company of all time!) with a message yet again scrawled on it that the person it is addressed to does not live at this address. Will it stop them sending further letters? I doubt it. This has now been going on since October last year. I’ve even written to the person and spoken to them in person and asked them to let Optus know their new address. Optus could easily find his address if they bothered to look up the white pages just like I did but they are too moronic to do such a simple thing. They also ring my employer from time to time asking to take over our corporate accounts – this will happen when hell freezes over seeing as we gave them an opportunity to quote but their rep didn’t keep his appointments and never bothered to phone and cancel. I think that phone call is positively spooky and even sounds a bit mafia like with its ominous tone.

Where we previously lived, we were continually getting answering machine messages from the Children’s Hospital for some kid to contact them about his results (possibly even more scary) – he mustn’t have been too well because the calls went on for some time even after ringing the hospital and explaining that there were no sick children living at our address. I hope they managed to get in touch with the poor kid.

We used to get calls for a local deli, their number was identical to ours except for the last digit in the prefix. The calls stopped when they closed down. Then a few years ago we went through a run of phone calls for a guy named Nigel, “Sorry there’s no Nigel here, you must have a wrong number”. Probably the wierdest call I’ve ever answered was when sombody who didn’t lock their keypad on their mobile accidentally dialed our number, I listened in for a good two or three minutes before they sat down or something and hit the end call button. We don’t have caller ID on our home phone, so I have no idea who it could have been.

Here we have a lot of those phone calls… after the third one we just say.. .”He’s passed away”… they never call again…
I couldn’t understand a word from the recording… I feel so scared about the aussie accent…:(

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