Caller ID

August 02, 2005

This afternoon and evening I received three calls to my cell phone that all came from "private number." Each time the caller choose not to leave a message on my voice mail. Since they are blocking their caller id from appearing on my phone I have no way to know for certain that it was the same party calling each time, but I'm willing to bet that it was.

Three calls, all resulting in the same voice mail, probably means this isn't a wrong number. Once or even twice I could understand. But if you were trying to get ahold of someone wouldn't you leave a message eventually?

With the increasing proliferation of my home and cell numbers in various databases I am noticing an increasing number of calls I don't wish to receive. As a personal choice I don't answer calls from "unknown" or "private" numbers. My number is private, I pay for it to be unlisted and unpublished, so I understand the desire for privacy. But when you call me, repeatedly, without leaving a message, using a line that has it's caller id blocked, then you are going to be frustrated.

You see, while the call maybe urgent and important to the person making the call, it isn't necessarily those things for me receiving it. The call is an interruption in my routine. I have to stop what I'm presently doing and answer the phone. Once I accept your offer of a telephone call by answering it I'm trapped. So I really appreciate the insight caller id provides; if the call is from a number I know, I can evaluate the ramifications of accepting the call.

But, if you block your inbound number to me, my answering the phone is a roll of the dice. Maybe it'll be a good experience, maybe it'll be some slime mold selling me something I don't want.

For me, no caller id equals no answer.

Author's profile picture

Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.