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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Random San Francisco IT Guy Doesn't Want Your Phone Calls for U.S. Customs Department

Posted By on Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 1:05 PM

click to enlarge Boy have you got the wrong number...
  • Boy have you got the wrong number...

A random Sunset District IT guy named Mark has been forced to adopt an odd custom: shooing away calls for Customs.

In much the same manner that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman (nor, arguably, an empire), San Francisco Airport is, in actuality, located elsewhere. As such, calls to bureaus located at SFO require the 650 area code, not the intuitive 415.

So, often several times a day, those expecting to reach the Customs office instead have their calls answered with an informal "Uh, hel-LO!"

See Also: Guardian's Crazy Phone Calls Fielded by Mental Health Professional

That's awkward, and more awkwardness ensues.

"It's a weird moment," says Mark. "People say 'This isn't the airport, is it?' I'll say, 'no, you've reached a personal number.' The interesting thing is, people then call back that number multiple times."

He called the airport to see what could be done (he knew the number). But when you possess an identical phone number to a rather large government outfit, save for the area code, there's not all that much to do. "Their advice was to change my number," says the IT guy.

He's loath to do this. "It's not that huge a pain in the ass."

But, for future reference, when dialing SFO, go 650.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

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.


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