I hear ringing and there’s no one there..is there?

When you retire and move away from the town you worked in for 30 years you begin to lose regular contact with good friends. The landline rings and it’s typically a robo-call from Linda at Card Services or the CBE group offering me, by name, a fantastic business opportunity if I’d only press “1” on my phone.

I’ve yet to press “1” but maybe I should because maybe I’d get a real person to talk to and maybe even a real good business opportunity.

We’ve already signed up for “Nomorobo” which stores lists of known robo-call numbers so that one ring on your phone and most of those calls disappear without you needing to pick up. Nice. When the phone rings more than once, you assume it’s a real person really calling you for real. And you pick up. Oftentimes it’s just another robo-call but from a number that “Nomorbo” has yet to store so not a known unknown number, thus not a one-ringer and you have to pick up to see who it is, or isn’t.

Today, at 10:22 a.m. the phone rang one, twice, three times. My wife answered on the upstairs extension and I picked up downstairs, there was no one there, so the two of us had a nice conversation and hung up figuring it was a robo-number not yet in the Nomorobo storage bank, so no biggie.

At 10:27, the phone rang again. Once, twice, three times. Again, we both picked up, had a lovely conversation, kidding each other that we were Linda from Card Services, and hung up. This time, though, I sat by the desk where the phone rested so that I wouldn’t have to make the marathon walk of 10 feet from my reading chair to the desk if it rang again.

I didn’t have to wait long. At 10:29, one, two, three rings. This time only I picked up, heard what sounded like rustling of paper on the other end of the phone, said, “Hello? I hear you! Speak or I’m hanging up.” Nothing. I hung up.

Now I was frustrated and wanted to figure out what was going on. So, I looked up on my handy-dandy FIOS app to see from whence these calls were coming. The number that appeared, three times, at 10:22, 10:27 and 10:29 was….my wife’s cell phone number.

I assumed someone was cloning her number and we better figure out how to fix that. First, though, I went upstairs and asked my wife to check her cell phone. Sure enough, the calls came from HER cell phone. Obviously, pocket-dialed by my wife.

We had a good laugh. I said, damn, we’re so old the only calls we get are robo-calls … from ourselves, and returned to read my newspaper.

So far, the phone hasn’t rung again. Sigh.

Written by

Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog: bjaycooper.com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store