The curse of Donna Nemsingh

Last Monday at 9:oo A.M., the phone rang and the caller asked for Donna some thing or other. “Wrong number,” I answered with cheer. An innocent thing, a mis-dial. Happens all the time.

Then the phone rang thirty minutes later. Then an hour later, and then at regular intervals at the tops and middles of hours all day. Each caller asked for Donna something — “What’s the name?”  I asked. Nems, Nemi, Nemesis – they struggled, each time I asked. “Spell it,” I demanded of one of the callers on Wednesday or Thursday. Donna N-E-M-S-I-N-G-H. Nemsingh.

Appears Donna Nemsingh has put my number down as hers and all week I had telemarketers, creditors, other countries calling and asking for this woman. “Let me speak to your manager,” I demanded of one caller. The manager came on and I told them that Donna Nemsingh does not reside at the number dialed and that whoever she is, she’s given my number in error. “You’ll need to remove this number from your calling list immediately.”

The calls didn’t let up all week. I spoke to weary and scared telemarketers and their foreign and impatient managers. One of them asked if there was anything else they could help me with. How about find this woman Donna Nemsingh and tell her to quit leaving wrong phone numbers.

I imagined Donna, at an expo of some sort, filling out interest cards and e-mail lists, and each time her pen encountered the phone number, she thought, “I’m going to be so clever and change one digit or the prefix or the area code so all these businesses don’t call me.” People do this all the time. A very good friend of mine confessed that he’s done it on more than one occassion.

By Thursday, I was going batty as Donna Nemsingh’s answering service so I called my number and changed the very last digit. I got a few voice mails, a few disconnected numbers and Joe’s Garage. I put her name in Google, the White Pages and still no Donna. I haven’t tried the area codes yet. If they calls come in Monday morning, I’m going to tell them to remove my number and give them another one. The number will be another poor shmuck who will have to deal with the curse of Donna Nemsingh.

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