Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Guardian's Crazy Phone Calls Fielded By Mental Health Professional

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 10:50 AM

click to enlarge Trees on fire? Naked pedestrians?
  • Trees on fire? Naked pedestrians?

Jimmy Sosa, a mental health counselor for San Mateo County, has unwittingly found himself thrust into a second career for which he is all too qualified -- fielding the oft-unhinged calls to the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Sosa's cell phone number is only one digit different than the paper's main line. As a result, he often receives three or more errant calls a day. Over the past decade, he estimates he's easily received thousands of calls every year that were meant for the Guardian.

"These are some really crazy stories," he confirms. "People walking around naked, trees on fire, bedbugs -- lots of bedbugs -- 'a dog bit my neighbor.' Anything you can think of. It's gotten to the point where, if I don't recognize the number, I don't answer it. But they leave voice messages. And they're angry!"

click to enlarge Jimmy Sosa, unwitting Guardian receptionist, on the far right. From left, Jimmy's elder son, Andre, his  younger son, Moses, and Andre's son, Orlando, up front.
  • Jimmy Sosa, unwitting Guardian receptionist, on the far right. From left, Jimmy's elder son, Andre, his younger son, Moses, and Andre's son, Orlando, up front.

Far and away the most common call is from "people who want to give me tickets to see their band. They say 'I know the last show was really bad. We know. But come see us this week!'"

Sosa has contemplated chatting with AT&T to lower his bill due to the uninvited barrage of incoming calls. But, on the whole, he's a happy man. The calls keep him entertained and lead to discussions with people he never would have otherwise met.

"I love it," he says. "Keep 'em coming."

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"