Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"This is Fr. Taylor, how can I help you?"


I have a new land line number attached to my cell phone. This means that I can receive calls when I am in my neighborhood-- at home, at work... or while shopping at KaDeWe;-) Instead of being an expensive cell phone call, it only costs what a land line call does. Do we have this option in the States? Crafty Germans! Anyway, the new line is good news.

The bad news is that the number is nearly identical to the number for the Steglitz/Zehlendorf Buergeramt (town hall/citizen services for a district in Berlin.) By switching the last two digits of the main line with the last two digits of the next number in the phone book, you've got my new telephone number! I didn't think anything of the first call this morning; I assumed the second was just dumb luck; by the third I was getting suspicous; by the fourth I thought it was funny and by the fifth it was REALLY funny! It was actually after the fifth call that I looked in the phone book and realized exactly what was going on. Caller five was actually the funniest and the sadest call of the day. She wanted to get a divorce from her husband. When I told her this was a private number, she was confused. I said, "no worries, you are my fifth wrong number today." But she didn't hang up. So after a moment I asked her if she wanted me to look the number up on the computer. She said yes, so that is what I did!

It reminds me of the Seinfeld where Kramer's number became the Mr. Movie Phone information line. Maybe I will start answering, "Thanks for calling the Buergeramt. We're working hard to serve you better. If you are a cute single boy, please hold on the line for the next available operator. If not, please dial 63 21 0. Have a nice day.";-)

8 Comments:

At 6:59 PM, Blogger eightyone81 said...

hahaha, thats pretty funny! Do you know the "YES MAN"? They created a website very similar to the WHO one's and started claiming to be employees of the WHO. Check them out on the internet, very interesting. Maybe you could start something similiar...
Cell phones: I know of this setup you got there, but still think the U.S. system is better. Here every cell gets treated like a land line, no insane charges! On the downside is the fact that one has to pay for receiving calls but with the right plan and minutes that is no problem. Like the minute system better, too!

 
At 2:06 PM, Blogger Erin said...

I had not heard of YES MAN before, but the website is pretty amusing. I can only imagine how upset the WTO employees were when they figured out they had been fooled! As for me, I think my phone situation is slightly less funny than when I posted this blog entry. I got 8 wrong calls yesterday and 3 today.

I agree with you that the US has the better system for phones (cell and land line I think.) Finding the best cell phone plan and the best "vorwahl" numbers for regular calls seems to be an Olympic sport here! Truth be told, I am lazy... one friend researched the best land line option for me, I'm using a friend's German cell phone plan while he is in the States, and another friend suggested my TMobile at Home line. As a side note, the tv commerical for TMobile at Home is a riot! Check it out on their website.

 
At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Tina said...

Very nice story.

I once read the story of a guy who actually got Dieter Bohlen's old cellphone number and then received weird calls from drunk stars etc.

 
At 7:08 AM, Blogger Erin said...

I would probably keep that cell phone number just for the entertainment value! The longer I am in Germany, the more Dieter Bohlen stories I hear. Sounds like quite a character. Maybe I should find his songs online.
My number is now starting to annoy me, so I am in the process of getting it changed. I've already been a German government employee, I think I will let the Zehlendorf Buergeramt go back to answering the questions meant for it:-)

 
At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Tina said...

Erin, please don't try to find the songs. They are so trashy. Thought the videos are very entertaining. The 2 guys from Modern Talking (Bohlen's former band) are so stylish *lol*.

 
At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erin, you *have* to give me that number if I ever move to Berlin. Promise? -Mango

 
At 2:54 PM, Blogger Red Letter Lady said...

That happens to my family ALL THE TIME! We have a similar number as the local police in PA.

When you get back I want to talk to you more about your fish story!

 
At 3:00 PM, Blogger Erin said...

My fish story? I do have quite an interesting fish story, but how do you know about my fish story?

 

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