The ENTIRE City Called You

, , , , | Right | September 15, 2020

I answer the general information line for the county two days a week: Thursdays and Fridays. There is a “cover” number that shows up on your caller ID whenever anyone — and I do mean anyone — calls you from either the county or the city. There are over 6,000 employees between the city and the county, plus calls made from the jail, detox, the courthouse, the mental health department, probation, child support, etc.

Realistically, a call with that ID could be anyone. If you call that number, you get a recorded message telling you this.

Me: “City and County Information.”

Caller: “Yes, I just received a call from you. What do you want?”

Me: “Did you receive a call from [general number]?”

Caller: “Yes, like I said, you called me. What do you want?”

Me: “Actually, ma’am, you just called me. That number represents over 6,000 employees in the city or county. It is a cover number that shows up whenever anyone from county offices makes a call. If they didn’t leave a message or you didn’t talk to anyone, I have no way to find out who it was that called you.”

Caller: “It was you! You called me! What do you want?!

Me: “Ma’am, I didn’t call you. Did you talk to anyone? Did they leave a message?”

Caller:Why did you call me?!

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I didn’t call you and I have no way to know who did call you. Are you expecting a call from anyone with the city or county? Do you have regular contact with anyone from the city or county? I’d like to help direct you to the right person, but without more information, I can’t do that.”

Caller: “You shouldn’t call people if you don’t know why you are calling them. That’s just rude.”

Me: “Yes, you’re right. That is rude to call someone and not even know why you are calling them.”

Caller: “Yes. Well, thanks, anyway.”

Me: “You’re welcome.”

Caller: “For nothing.”

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