Radiogurl a la Carte

Tuesday, Jul. 26, 2005
Spanish Fly In The Ointment

Weirdness happens, apparently.

I got in to work this morning a little before 6am (my air shift starts at 7) and got a call on my personal cell phone. I picked it up, thinking it was one of the local forestry folks about wildfires, as I've given them all my number and they know it's fine to call me ANY time that there's a fire-related issue.

But whoever this was, he spoke only Spanish and was calling from area code 334 (somewhere in Alabama.) However, he asked for me by name, at least by my first name. I do speak limited Spanish, by the way - but when I get a call from a strange man on my unlisted cell phone number, at that hour of the morning, I'm not about to get into a conversation. I just said more or less, "Look, I gotta work, see ya." I also implied I spoke almost no Spanish at all, beyond asking (in Spanish) for him to repeat who he was looking for. The man for sure had my first name.

I can't imagine that it was a telemarketer if he spoke Spanish, and while I do have a couple of acquaintances in Georgia, both speak English (with a nice thick Southern accent, I might add.) I wouldn't have been fazed if the call had just been a wrong number. But somebody I don't know, calling this (new) number, at that hour, and using my name? Yeah, I have a problem with that, particularly since my cell shows my actual last name for someone with caller ID. I may ask the cell company to change that and to change the actual number, if I get any more strange and unidentified callers.

I wish I could find a viable reverse lookup online for cell phones, and in reality I don't know if the caller was phoning from a cell or an unlisted number or just a number too new to show up on search engines. Oh well, if it should become an issue, I'll pursue the matter from other directions. There are a few options out there other than paying $79 to trace a single cell phone number. I have a friend who's a private investigator, among other things. (Long and weird story there, someday maybe I'll tell you about it. In the era of the television show Remington Steele, I worked with a private investigator where the person who owned the company was a female, the name on the agency was male.)

By the way, if your phone number is listed in the phone book, you can not only do a reverse lookup online to show who you are, but you can pull up a satellite image of your house. Don't believe me? Put your phone number, sans dashes or spaces, into Google and do a search. I belong to an online professional actors' resource site and we were recently talking about the safety issues that raises. Thank goodness, my number has always been unlisted and didn't come up when I did a search.

But I think, if I remember right, at least one member wtih an unlisted number found that her information was still available - and she freaked, as she's the mother of a very young performer. The discussion centered around balancing privacy issues with availability issues for those who are in the business.

Scary stuff and something sadly all too familiar.

Our former sales person is still trying to inveigle a spot in the radio station again. All together now: "Over my dead body!" Aside from the fact that he's got an issue with women in business, he was hurting the studios in general even before I came into the picture. I haven't ever gotten into a shouting match with him. I'm always polite, but that doesn't mean I won't draw a line and reinforce it with whatever it takes.

Ack... back to the grindstone!

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )