The scene: I am sitting at my desk working as an administrative officer whose duties include reception. The phone rings and I answer.
Me: Happy Hills Sanatorium, this is Mike. How can I help you?(This happens frustratingly often. I wait a moment, wanting to bang my head against the desk. "Oh for heaven's sake," I think, "why can't people introduce themselves". Silence at the other end.)
Caller: Somebody tried to call me from this number.
Me: Could I ask who's calling?(I wait a moment, and am greeted by more silence.)
Me: And your last name?(The name doesn't ring a bell, so I can't guess who may have been calling her.)
Me: Do you have any idea who may have been calling you?(I wait a moment, assuming the boyfriend's name will be forthcoming. I'm wrong. I think to myself "Hello desk, my forehead would like to meet you repeatedly.")
Caller: No, but they may have been calling for my boyfriend.
Me: Okay, what's your boyfriend's name?(I wait a moment, leaving a nice pregnant pause for her to give me a last name. I wait in vain.)
Me: And your boyfriend's last name is?(I now have a good idea who it was who called, and know I have had similar conversations with the caller before. I check our computer to confirm my suspicion as to who would have been calling.)
Me: That was probably Linda. I'll put you through.(I try to transfer the call to Linda, who says we need to speak to the boyfriend as we don't have permission to speak to the caller)
Me: Hello Jane. Could you ask John to call us when you see him?(I again find myself wanting to bang my head on the desk.)
Caller: Oh, we broke up, so I won't be seeing him.
Me: Okay. I'll let Linda know and we'll remove your number from our record.(Call ends, and I have the opportunity to vocally vent my frustration)
Caller: Thank you. Bye.
I have now resolved to be snarkier with people who say "Someone tried to call me from this number. The level of snark will increase with each caller who does it. I may get into trouble very quickly.
Why do people automatically call back a number they see on caller ID? Why don't they check their messages to see who called? Why don't they introduce themselves when they call back?
Here's a hint for those calling a number back: "Hi Mike, my name is John Jones and I missed a call from your number. Now I know where you are, I think it may have been Linda. Can you put me through please." It's not that difficult.