Sorry … Wrong Number

November 17, 2018
Mary Jane Copps

My business phone rang one Saturday afternoon while I was at my desk. I quickly checked the number and, while it was local, it wasn’t one I recognized. I made the choice most of us do these days – I didn’t answer. When I eventually listened to the voicemail message left by the caller, I was startled, delighted and overcome.

What message did the unknown caller leave? Why is it a perfect reminder of the power of phone conversations?

The voice was that of an elderly woman, raspy from a long relationship with cigarettes. “Sorry,” she said in her message, “I dialled the wrong number, dear.” Then there was a pause … and she added, “Call me if you like. Bye.

In the few seconds, it took me to listen to this message, I smiled, then cried, then shook my head in wonder at the power of the telephone, the gift it delivers of our tone of voice, of human connection, of intimacy.

Many of you will undoubtedly have guessed that I did call her back. And I reached her voicemail. I thanked her for taking the time to leave me a message, that it was lovely to connect, and welcoming her to call again … if she’d like.

As we draw closer to the holidays, consider setting aside time to phone family, friends and colleagues. Speaking in real time allows us to share the spirit of the season – love, hope, connection – and, in this busy world we live in, it’s a gift that will truly be cherished.

Who will you call this holiday season?



Where’s The Phone Lady?

November 19 – Coffee at the Intersection of Sales and Marketing, Lunch and Learn with Daley Progress

November 21 – Essential Phone Communication Skills to Reach and Meet More Clients, Toronto, ON

November 22 – Phone Skills for Entrepreneurs, CBDC Bluewater, Porters Lake, NS

November 23 – Building the Future: How Mentorship Supports Prosperity in Atlantic Canada, Futurpreneur Atlantic, Halifax, NS

November 26 – Essential Phone Skills to Engage Prospects and Clients, FMG Publishing, Halifax, NS

November 27 – Phone Skills for Fundraisers, Covenant House, Toronto, ON (Tele-training)

November 29 – Phone Skills that Build Long-Term Relationships, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, LLC, Chicago, IL (Webinar)

December 4 – Talking to Your Customers, CEED, Halifax, NS

December 6 – Phone Skills for Job Search, OWL, Halifax, NS

December 10 – Owning Your Sales Process, CEED, Halifax, NS

December 10 – Phone Skills for Fundraisers, Covenant House, Toronto, ON (Tele-training)

December 11 – Today’s Essential Phone Skills, Construction Association of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS

December 21 – Phone Skills for Job Search, YWCA, Halifax, NS


  1. Oleg says:

    So lovely. Thanks for sharing, MJ!

  2. Cathy says:

    Thanks for sharing this MJ! I too would have called her back just because of her message.

  3. Maureen says:

    So sweet. The most desperate illness is loneliness.

  4. Ian Lewer says:


    Very simple heartwarming story. Love it !!

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