It can be tricky picking out a new phone number!
Because we had so many complaints from friends not being able to get ahold of us because our phone was busy (we were on the Internet), we decided to add a second telephone line.
The original phone number assigned to us when we finally got a private line so many years ago was similar to that of a business in Cannon Falls. And therefore we got their phone calls too!
So when we added a second line I decided to pick out the number myself. And why not one that spells out a word?
So I asked people: Hey, can you think of a four letter word that reminds you of me? Itís for our new phone number. They just kind of stared at me and I decided to research it myself.
Numbers like 263-PASO (we raise these horses), 263-PAUL (the husband) were taken or something. So then I checked out the letters for the first three digits too.
The letters for a 263 line can spell a variety of things - like cod. Now that would be great for a fish market. COD FISH (263-3474)
Or, CODEINE! (263-3463) I decided not to use it!
Then I found: AM FUNNY (263-8669).
While talking to the telephone representative, I had to rule out these options. So I came to my last choice: AMERICA. (263-7422).
Wow! It was available!
But thatís just the beginning of the story.
Because, it seems that when folks across the United States are trying to call international phone numbers they are forgetting to dial 011 and just dialing 1. And by doing that, they are connected to Cannon Falls, Minnesota!
And the phone calls I am getting are for "El Banco de National de Panama!" The national bank of Panama?
Well, I had some questions for the phone company.
I spent about an hour of explaining that I was writing a column for our local paper about my new phone number and wanted to know how long the 507 area code was being used for both Panama and us?
I had a nice chat with Yolanda in Dallas, Texas, and after some consulting with her supervisor she referred me to another number where Sandra tried to help with more numbers. But no one answered on the next call so I finally looked up another number myself and ended up chatting with Cary, would you believe, back in Dallas!
Cary and I had a great time creating different scenarios for my phone number... ranging from suggesting that people deposit their money at my address instead of Panama or the idea my neighbor had questioning whether I had a "money laundering" business on the side?
And while Cary from Dallas explained that he could give me information on who shot JFK, he didnít have access to information about the phone number I was asking for! But we had fun!
I tried looking up the banks in Panama on the Internet but didnít find this particular one.
You might wonder why I am putting my phone number in the newspaper? Because itís our second line... itís used mostly for our Internet access and fax.
So itís probably hard to get through!
But then I had another thought!
If people mistake the correct access code when calling the National Bank of Panama and Iím on the Internet, theyíll get a busy signal! This could have a serious effect on the whole world banking system!
This power is awesome!