Up until 5:30 this afternoon, if you called 411 and asked for my phone number, you wouldn’t get my highly publicized BUSINESS phone number; the number I spend thousands of dollars to advertise; the number I urge people to ‘store in their phones’; and the same number plastered on every smooth surface I can find. No. Instead, if you called 411 to get my number, the fine folks at Verizon were giving …out MY PRIVATE, UNLISTED HOME PHONE NUMBER.
When I called Verizon to find out how they could be making a mistake of such magnitude (which is “code” for “when I called to rip them a new one”), I learned something very eye-opening in an “are you KIDDING ME?” kind of way.
Having an “unlisted” phone number only means that your number will not be listed in the PHONE BOOK. For those of you under the age of 30, the “phone book” is a large, paper compilation of people’s phone numbers listed by region in alphabetical order. The last known sighting of an actual phone book was made in or around the year 2001, shortly before a little something now known as the “Internet” gained global popularity. The only people who actually USE a phone book in 2013, are the same people who are watching Willard Scott from their plastic covered couches as he super-imposes their 100-year-old faces on cartoon Smuckers jars and wishes them a Happy Birthday.
According to the customer service rep with whom I was having a telephonic, Alec Baldwin moment, if I meant for my private home phone number to actually BE PRIVATE, I needed to request that it be both “unpublished” AND unlisted.
“Really, ‘Mrs. Wilson’? Because when I ordered my private home phone number and asked for it to be UNLISTED, nobody bothered to explain that what I really needed was “unlisted-plus” to satisfy my privacy concern. What about the prefix “UN” don’t you people understand? UN means UN!!! And besides, what good does it do me to have my number widely available to anybody who can dial 411, just as long as its NOT LISTED IN A BOOK THAT NOBODY OWNS?!?!?! Perhaps you are unaware that the only PHONE BOOKS in existence are keeping company next to the ENCYCLOPEDIAS throughout landfills across this great country! Seriously, Mrs. Wilson, I ask you, wtf?!?”
Good news is, I was able to purchase my privacy forthe low, low price of $3.40 a month. I guess I showed them!!! Cuz I was definitely willing to go as high as, like, $5 bucks…