No, the Hawkins do not live here

Anyone who gets a new phone number takes the risk of instead “getting someone else’s old phone number”. It’s a bit of a pain for the few weeks it takes for folks who are used to calling the number’s previous owner to get used to calling the new number.

But what do you do when the former owners had the number for 50 years. And are evidently still handing it out, two years after they got rid of it? Well, it seems there’s not too much you CAN do about it. We still get their calls, two years after we got their (out of service) number. We still get calls from creditors – ok, nobody really tells creditors you’re trying to avoid when you change your number. We still get calls from random people – this too is reasonable, maybe they’ve fallen out of touch over years and just don’t realize the number is outdated.

What’s totally strange is when we still get calls from close family and friends of the former owners. That said, it’s only slightly less strange when these same family and friends insist they have the right number and call back once, twice, three times or more over a few days.

Our answering machine message clearly states who we are (and more importantly, who we are NOT) but it only stops some of the callers. Recently it’s let up a bit, but for many months it was not unusual to get messages where the callers — immediately after they’ve clearly ignored the outgoing message from voices they would not have recognized, insisting that there no sense in leaving any message for the former owners — leaving a message asking the former owners to give them a call (by name, no number).

Perhaps the funniest one was the astonished message we received from our dentist office — calling, in fact, for the former owners… evidently longtime patients and still an active account. We had a good laugh about how strange it must have been to get us when looking for them, almost like a misdial if not for the clear connection expressed in the outgoing message.

Oh well. Sooner or later it’ll fall off now that it’s our number. Hopefully 2 years in we’re closer to “sooner” than “later”.

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