Friday, February 1, 2013

Caller I D

"How ya doin'?"
"Y'all goin' to be home later tonight?"
"Thought we'd drop by."
" See y'all around 8:00."

We don't have Caller ID on our landline home phone. If someone called us with the message above, we would not really be sure who was calling. Several of our family members, both male and female, sound alike. Some even sound like our neighbors and acquaintances. So 8:00 could be like a surprise party! We wouldn't know if we should have coffee, beer, iced tea, lemonade, or hard liquor ready, since we would not be sure who was coming for a visit.

I can remember back in the early 1970's when a nice sounding male voice phoned me and invited me to go for a swim to the bar pits with a group of friends. As he said my first name and did not identify himself (and I thought I knew who was calling), I got my swim gear together and waited to be picked up to join the fun. And I waited. And waited. :( No one showed up. And I do not think it was a prank. I believe that some guy just mistakenly called a girl (me) with the same name as his girlfriend. If he had identified himself (or I hadn't had such a common first name), I wouldn't have felt so foolish. I wonder to this day if he ever told his girlfriend about the phone call. Bet he wondered why she wasn't ready for a fun time on a hot summer day.

The 27 years I lived in The Netherlands I never had that kind of phone problem. It is a custom there to answer the phone by at least saying your first name. The person making the call always states his or her name. My biggest problem with that was that I rarely understood the Dutch name, unless it was a family member or acquaintance.

Now that we live here in the US, my Dutch hub has the problems. Almost all male callers sound alike. Unless they identify themselves, he does not know if he is talking to my nephew, my brother, the air conditioner man, or our neighbor. He has the same situation with female callers.

One kind request: If you are planning on phoning us, please identify yourself. Then we won't say or do something foolish.

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