I recently updated my iPhone and it wiped out all my contacts, so I only have phone numbers for a handful of people. Yesterday at work, I got a text from a random number that looked fairly familiar:
"Did you see whose position is posted? Hoop"
Of course, I'm instantly intrigued. If it were someone at my current job, they would walk over and tell me. I figured it was someone at my old job. I instantly start looking at the job postings, but don't see anything of interest. I wasn't sure what Hoop meant, but I imagined it was like making a free-throw shot. I used to work with a lot of guys and they always peppered their conversations with odd sports references.
I text back
"No - who?"
A little bit later, I get this text:
"Annabelle*" (Name has been changed.)
Now I'm officially intrigued. Annabelle is the name of my former boss's boss. She's had the same job for more than 30 years.
I text back
"All my contacts got wiped out - who is this?"
They text back:
"So what do you think? Who will take it? Hoop"
I text back:
"She's been there a long time -- that's going to be a hard position to fill!"The person texts back:
"Are you going to go for it? Haha"
Now I'm annoyed. Why won't this person tell me their name? Enough with the basketball references!
I email some friends to see if they can find the job posting. They can't. I email the phone number to one of my old co-workers to see if he recognizes it. He doesn't. I scour my phone to see if the phone number is listed anywhere in my old text messages. I don't find it. I plot pressing *67 and dialing the number to see if the name is listed on the voicemail. The mystery is driving me bonkers.
I even find time to email a person who is trying to find a communications job to alert her to the opening.
In the meantime, I text back:
"I can't even imagine trying to fill those shoes -- it's going to be a nightmare!"The person texts back:
"Oh come on! Requires a reading or social studies cert."A reading or social studies cert? Is this person making fun of Annabelle's mad editing skills? What's going on?
In the meantime, the wheels start falling off the bus:
- A former colleague emails me with an organizational announcement sent out just last week stating that Annabelle will continue in her current role. (Weird)
- The job seeker I sent the info to e-mailed me to say that she had contacted a recruiter asking about the opening and the recruiter had no idea what she was talking about. (Weirder)
- A former co-worker asks me if it's possible that someone is texting the wrong number and is coincidentally talking about someone with the same name as my former boss' boss. (No way...could it be?)
I make one last ditch effort to solve the mystery. I text:
"Who is this? I need to update my contacts! :) "No response.
Then, it dawns on me. Hoop was the person's name! That's why they kept typing it. They were talking about teacher Annabelle who has been in her job a long time and I was talking about communications executive Annabelle who has been in her job a long time. And thanks to my need to solve the mystery, I had spread this rumor all over my old company and beyond. Nancy Drew never had such a fail.
I seriously exchanged all these texts with a complete stranger over a three hour period. It cracks me up - the person was probably like "What's wrong with this person? I keep telling her my name!"
I could have said more specific things - about fashion sense or work style - and then I REALLY would have looked crazy.