Ten-digit dialing is here. As someone pushing sixty, I have to admit that it’s difficult at times to keep all the numbers straight. But I’m adapting and I’m sure I’ll eventually catch on.
I’m even getting used to the phone company’s recorded message that plays when you forget to include the area code. You know, the one that goes something like this:
"The local number you have dialed must be preceded by its area code. Your call will now proceed."
But I think Bell Canada may have gone a bit too far when it added the following supplementary recorded messages:
"The local number you have dialed must be preceded by its area code. That’s A-R-E-A C-O-D-E. If you don’t know what it is, ask someone or please get off the line."
"This is a local call. Do not dial "1" or "0" before the number you are dialing. If we wanted you to do eleven-digit dialing, we would have asked."
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Nice try but you still have to dial the area code."
"631? 631? Are you dyslexic or just pulling my chain? This is Ottawa. Everybody knows the area code is 613."
"You’re trying to call someone in Hull, right? Here’s a little hint. Their area code is 819 not 613. Think you can remember that? And by the way, in case you didn’t know, it’s now Gatineau, not Hull."
"You just have to add the same three numbers to each call. How hard is that? You’re probably the type of person who can’t balance his chequebook or gets someone else to do his income taxes. Maybe it’s time you coughed up the extra bucks for a phone with speed dial assuming you can get someone to program it for you."
"Look, we’ve warned you at least a dozen times. You have to use the area code now. Next time we’re going to route your call to Bangladesh and put a long distance charge on your monthly bill. Yeah, we can do that. We’re the phone company."
"If you forgot to press the area code, hang up and try again. We’ve even trained monkeys to do it so we’re sure you’ll eventually catch on. If not, you can always try e-mail. Oh yeah, you’d have to be computer literate to do that."
"Ha-ha. Very funny. 123-456-7890. You think you’re the first joker to try that one? How funny do you think it’ll be when your service is disconnected?"
"We have to admit; that’s pretty amusing. You’re remembering to include the area code but once you get to the last three digits, you’re completely lost. Have you tried writing the number on your hand or maybe getting a nine-year old to do it for you? Come on; it’s not rocket science."
"I believe you dialed 911. Even if this is an emergency, that’s no excuse for not taking the time to include the area code. 613-911. Even an idiot can remember that. Just kidding; we’ll put your call through now. But it better be a real emergency. If you’re just calling to ask for the area code, remember, we know where you live."