Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often:

If you work in most large offices, you usually have to dial 9 to get an outside line.

And of course, if you have call an outside area code, or often even the same area code you're in, you have to dial 1 first.

And many large area codes have a 1 as the middle digit (e.g., LA: 310 or 213, NY: 212 or 718, SF Bay: 415 or 510, Chicago: 312, Boston: 617, etc.).

So if you're in the habit of dialing 9 to start a call, even if you're not at work, and then quickly hit 1, and the area code, but in your haste, leave off the first digit of the area code... well, the remaining numbers are superfluous, whether or not you realized it. You just dialed 911.

At that point, you may want to take a moment to explain to the emergency operator your mistake. Don't hang up.

'Cause they may interpret that as an attempt to call for help that got thwarted, say by the bad guys, and police will come to your door, and not entirely believe you that nothing's wrong. Hopefully, you won't have anything illegal or embarrassing at home when you open the door and show them around just to reassure them. Still, you'll have to explain your dialing mistake.

But don't feel bad. I'm sure this happens all the time, even if the cops shake their head and say it's just you.


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