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Know Who You Are Paging

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 12 years and 198 days ago. Viewed 2,373 times. #3
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(5 October 2011)

So a long time ago, the company I worked for at the time decided that the head office (which was in California) needed to have 24x7 access to a technical contact here in Ottawa. To gain this access they obtained a North-American-wide pager with its own 1-800 number, and sent it to Ottawa. Once here, those of us on the technical staff took turns wearing it for a week at a time.

For the most part, carrying the pager was easy money as it almost never went off. While not constant, there were… not infrequent pages to this pager from California area codes. Since these numbers cost a lot for us to call, we were not exactly delighted to return them, since expensing a single phone call was a lot of work. We were even less delighted in returning them because we knew from experience that nobody at those numbers would ever cop to making a page in the first place.

One night in particular I got three pages from the same number, and three times I called them back, and three times I got told "no one paged you."

The third time I call back, it's 4AM and the wife is, to be generous, pissed at me. So I says to the guy, "Look dude, I've got three pages here from this number tonight. Someone wants something. Stop jerking me around. Who are you paging?"

And he says, "well I'm trying to find Jose, man."

And I say, "Jose? He's in JAIL, man!"

The pages stopped.

Much later on we learned that head office had practically immediately lost the phone number to the pager and therefore couldn't have called us out even if they had wanted to. As far as I know, the only even remotely "business" calls that came into that pager during the two years I was involved was my immediate supervisor periodically "testing" us by calling it at 2AM, a practice I got stopped by explaining to him that the next time it happened my wife would be doing the callback.

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