I get a lot of misdirected calls at work simply because our office number was published in a phone book with the word "Information" next to it a few years ago. Since I'm fairly knowledgeable about the area and the places you need to call for various services, I'm happy to give callers the right number. Today I had a "wrong number" call of the odd variety.
A woman called and stated that she and her husband live in New Jersey. Since I work for an economic development program, I did a quick mental prep to answer whatever question she had about moving or expanding a business in our city. But then her next question threw me off balance a little,
"Um.. we need to find someone who can do a roofing estimate for us."
I think I responded with an, "Oh! Um. Wait, what???" Before recovering and answering, "Oh dear, well unfortunately you've reached a government office. Um.. wait, you said you're in New Jersey???"
The nice lady on the phone replied, "Yes, but the estimate is for a place in Rockaway."
I was flabbergasted. "Rockaway?? My god. You've reached an office in Jamestown, NY. Rockaway is clear on the other side of the state! Ahh.. can I ask how you managed to get this number?"
"We did a search for Rockaway municipality and this number came up," she said.
I felt bad for the lady and spun through my mental files of what I could offer her so her call wasn't fruitless until I remembered a new tool I came across.
"Well, I'm not sure if this would help, but Google has a free 4-1-1 tool where you can call and get business listings. I used it last weekend to try to make reservations at a restaurant in another city and they connected me directly to the place. So that might work for you too."
I gave the woman the 1-800 number and she seemed pleased to at least have something useful to try out. All in a day's work.
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