Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stalker's delight

The other day I was listening to the messages on my home phone and apart from being offered a low,low interest rate if I acted RIGHT NOW there was a message for "Dr. Smith"* The caller was a worker from a long-term care facility who was trying to get a patient seen by Dr. Smith so that she could then be transferred to a nursing home. The message was quite detailed and at the end the caller left a number. The only confusion was that the caller only left a 7-digit number [we have 10 digit dialing where you need to include the area code].

I tried every combination of Toronto-region area codes with no luck. Then I tried long distance codes that were still somewhat near. No luck. Normally I don't go to much effort with wrong numbers, but as this was a medical appointment, I felt more obliged.

I went over to my computer and searched for the doctor's name on the Ontario directory of doctors. No one by that name came up except for one man practising out west, who happened to be a microbiologist in a public health lab. I knew that couldn't be the doctor mentioned in the message. At that point, I gave up.

When I got home from work the next day I thought that I would make one last attempt to return the call. I figured that by then the original caller would have redialed the number, but I still felt bad in case he hadn't. This time I searched for the name of the long-term care facility he had mentioned in the message. Success! It was located in the U.S., and the number of the facility matched the number he had left in them message. Armed with the proper area code, I phoned the facility.

A woman answered and I started with, "Hi my name is Susan and I'm calling from Canada..."

I think she thought I was nuts. But when I explained why I was calling, she cracked up completely. She said, "Oh this it too good" and then added, "By any chance was the guy's name Bob who left the message?"

I affirmed that yes, it had been Bob and she laughed even more and said, "I assure you that Bob will not harass you any more". She was laughing the whole time though so I don't think Bob was in any trouble at work. I imagine that he had mentioned today that the doctor had never returned his call, and she now couldn't wait to tell him what had happened. I did assure the woman that Bob had left a very professional message.

ah, I hope I didn't cause problems for him. Maybe I shouldn't have returned the message but I felt such a sense of obligation. That, and I'm completely OCD. When I want to solve a puzzle, I am so obsessed. It makes me a good librarian, but weird in other areas of life such as this one.

*Not me, and names changed to protect the innocent. Again, not me.


Roxrocks said...

I am as OCD as you are and would have done the SAME thing!!

White Bread said...

You're so nice. If you lived nearby and I got thrown in jail and was only allowed one phone call, I would trust it to be you so you would take care of what I needed. Does that make sense, or does that make me sound lazy?

Dantallion said...

That's above and beyond the call. Doesn't surprise me one bit.

Tickersoid said...

I'd have made a token effort then given up.

We don't have to right to a phone call over here but they will contact someone for you.

Snooze said...

Rox: Good to know I'm not alone

WB: I hope if you lived near that we would have so much fun that I'd be in that jail cell beside you.

Dan: :) [really you just know what an obsessive nut job I can be]

Tickers: I wonder if it's the same in Canada.

eroswings said...

That was very nice of you! I would've thought it was a scam and totally not return the call! But, I'm skeptical like that...

You should open up a detective agency and start solving crimes...

tornwordo said...

That was really nice of you. I would have given up after checking the local numbers. Bob really was a moron.

Snooze said...

Eroswings: I will start "Stalker School"

Tornwordo: I laughed at the message because I couldn't believe that Bob hadn't caught on that it was a personal number. My message says my name and all.