The other night I drove to a person’s house to try and contact them about a traffic collision they were involved in the week before. The driver wasn’t home, but I got their phone number from someone who lived there.
I drove around the corner and pulled over so I could call her. The phone rang once and she said, “Hello?”
I told her my name and what police department I was from. I then asked, “Were you in a car accident last week?”
I explained to her that I was the officer investigating the crash and asked, “Can you tell me what happened?”
“I’m driving. I can’t talk right now.”
“But you answered the phone,” I said shaking my head. “Can you pull over and tell me what happened then?”
“I’m driving. I can’t talk.” She then hung up.
I looked at my phone with a confused look as I wondered what just happened. What the heck was this lady talking about? It sure didn’t bother her to answer the phone when she was driving. Now she can’t talk when the cops call?
I hit redial.
Ring, ring, ring, ring, voicemail.
“Hi, this is the officer you just hung up on. Can you call me back so I can ask you what happened about the accident? I work until 3AM.” I left the department phone number and hung up as I said, “Thank you” in an overly cheerful voice.
Five minutes later I hit redial again, but it went back to voicemail. I never heard back from her the rest of the night. Did she think this was a random police calling sting where we try to catch you on the phone?
I guess I scared her into not using her phone for a while. I bet she had to fight the urge to touch it for the next hour, expecting it to be the cops to see if she answered again.
Part of me wanted to call at 3AM just so I could hang up on her too.
“Hi, this is Officer………” Click.
We could call it even then.