Call me, call me anytime

Engsiong Tan
3 min readNov 2, 2022


Conversation with a scammer

I had a call last night from an unknown number. My service provider helpfully flagged the call as potential fraud. Moreover, almost nobody calls using my phone number. I do get robocalls but that is another thing. Even most scammers use messaging apps to contact me.

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

Don’t be a stranger

The caller started by saying he lost his phone. As a result, he had to use a new number. Then he asked me to identify who he was. Big mistake. My friends do not play telephone games with me. Even my customers learn that if they call my number and do not identify themselves, they get told off. (It is not that I do not play guessing games. I have guessed women’s name incorrectly and the calls promptly soured.)

But my handphone number has been the same for more than two decades so it is possible I may have given it out to someone who has forgotten the rule. I politely informed the caller that I did not know who he was.

Excuses, Excuses

He then exclaimed, “I know you, but you cannot remember me?” This is when I was confused. I was not calling someone up. I am having a caller using an unknown number call me and ask me to guess his identity. My life was pretty good right until it was interrupted by a time-wasting call.

Photo by Alex Munsell on Unsplash

A meal similar to the picture above was waiting for me with my name. Even though I could not see it, I could hear the steak calling for me. Blood is thicker than cold callers.

Some people would question my reason for staying on the line. While I do not suffer fools or work with questionable people, the issue that my handphone number has been the same for two decades. This means that I could have a “friend” who may have made questionable life choices. Or he could have suffered a stroke and called me to play stupid games. I do not have friends that butt dial and then talk out of their @$$.

So, I repeated that I have no clue who the caller was.

Temper, temper

Photo by Dmitry Vechorko on Unsplash

The caller started swearing. In a dialect. Bad mistake. The number of people that I have communicated in dialect can be counted in one hand. (There is a reason why I am typing the story in English) I have excluded the people who share DNA with me. If my relatives want to inform me about anything, they will call my mother.

So I hanged up. Should have tried using a female voice. At least, I try not to hang up on ladies.

Successful fishing trip

To the idiot that called me last night, most people do not call. This expects the recipient to be both awake and available. Even my mother messages me. In English. Secondly, do not bother to play the game of probability. My mother also clued me in on all the modern-day phone scams because she is bored.

Finally, if the unknown caller was a legitimate friend, I really have to question his life choices of calling me to play stupid games. The swearing I can forgive, the time wasted before a steak dinner can never be forgiven.