February 23, 2010


My apologies if you are receiving advertisements (di’ayeh) on your cell phone from companies you have never ever shopped at. It’s probably me.

You see, when I just got my cell phone, and this is some years ago, I did not quite understand this link between asking for your phone number and name, and companies sending you advertisements. So it happened that I once bought baby shoes at Pablosky. While at the cash register, waiting to pay, the lady asks me for my phone number and name. Stupid me, I thought it was for the bill. Something they put on the bill. Yes, what an idiot, you may think, why would they put the bill in your name, but hey, they come up with some odd things in this place.

But I figured out pretty soon why they wanted my name and number. Because I have been receiving advertisements on my cell phone from Pablosky ever since. This is some 7 years now. And they have a sale every 25 days, judging from their advertisements. Never mind that I no longer have kids that will consider wearing Pablosky shoes. I still get their advertisements on my phone. Which can be very annoying, because sometimes a day passes by that you do not receive one single call or message. Not one! And then when finally you hear your inbox go “plink", it’s the frigging Pablosky store again. 70% off on baby shoes. Please, I am a size 40!
And so the next time they asked me for my name and number, I told them I had no cell phone number. Very odd, when that phone starts ringing in your bag right at that moment. Or they give you this look of “Ah, poor foreigner, no cell phone. Probably working for an NGO.”

And so for a while I resorted to giving out phone numbers from people I disliked. Now they would get these annoying advertisements from god knows what stores. Even amusement parks where my daughter was invited for birthday parties would ask for my number at the entrance. Did you get an advertisement from Youppie Park? That was probably me. Rio Lente? Yep. Waterworld? Yes, that one too.

But remembering the phone numbers from people you do not like is way too complicated, and so these days I resort to giving numbers out that are very close to my number, but not exactly. So if the cash lady asks you, “could you repeat your number?”, I come up with a number that at least sounds the same to the one I had just given her. I get a perverse pleasure in it. When a shop lady asks for my number, I insist on giving at least 3 numbers. “One for my sister in-law, she really likes shopping here.” (Not.) When they forget to ask me, I remind them. “Could you keep me informed on your sales please? Here are my numbers.”

And so, if you get 7 of these stupid advertisements a day, from stores you have never ever shopped at, nor probably will ever shop at; sorry. It was I who most likely gave them your number.


Teri said...

Funny! I have a few people I'd love to do that to. But seriously, when they ask why not just say "It's private"? That's what I do.

Darine said...

what a fantastic idea, your post got me cracking it up in the morning. But oh the poor people who are receiving these ads...

Anonymous said...

now i hate you

poshlemon said...

You gave me an idea now ;)

Sara in Beirut in Lebanon said...

Really Sietske!
Was that kind?
Was that True?
Was that necessary?

Sietske said...

Dear Sara,
no, not at all, but it was outside the convenant! :)