10:08pm. Friday 15 January. The office phone is ringing. The office has been closed for an hour and eight minutes but I am still here and the phone is ringing. Ugh….
Me: Hello, It’s Kirsty Gray at Family Wise Limited.
Caller: Hello. It’s Mrs X from Y ZZZZ Road. Can I cancel my taxi please?
Me: Erm, yes. Quite possibly. But I cannot help you with that.
Caller: But I called half an hour ago? I have a reference….
Me: You have called a business in Wiltshire and we do not provide taxi services.
Caller: You aren’t VIP Taxis?
Me: No. I think you may have mis-dialled. You need 01429 821999 and you have dialled 01249 821999
Caller: Oh my goodness [with continued strong Geordie accent], I am so sorry, pet!
Me: No problem. You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last! Have a lovely weekend!
Caller: Thanks – and you, pet!
It’s not the first, or second, or even tenth time we have had calls asking for taxis. Over Christmas and New Year is usually particularly bad. The Saturday prior to Christmas 2015, we had a call at 4am from a public house asking for a taxi for one of their ‘punters’. 4am!!!! And Christmas Day, was the same…. though 4pm! [I know, the moral of the story is not to divert the office phones, ever…. that is the downside of being such a dedicated MD….]. Not only do we have a very similar telephone number to VIP Taxis in Durham but it is not dissimilar to a local taxi firm in Calne (with different mistyping required there!).
Note to self (and all readers): Carefully note telephone numbers and make sure you dial the number you want to dial!!!