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My Good Friend Anthony

Until recently, I was very fond of British Airways. They have awesome full-flat beds in business class, as well as nice lounges where you can wine and dine yourself to your heart’s content. Sure, their staff could be friendlier – I once had an airline attendant “quiz” me on the location of the nearest security exit after the “security presentation”. I should have asked her if she would like me to blow in the vest as well ;) But overall, it was good value.

Until recently. The last time I was flying, British Airways lost my luggage. Needless to say the love-hate slider between myself and BA made a little more progress towards the hate end that day. Brilliantly, I had also put my cell phone in the suitcase, which was also lost now. The first thing I did out of SFO was to buy a new temporary cell phone. I gave BA the number so they could keep me up to date on the “property irregularity report”.

The next day in the middle of an important meeting, my temp phone rang. I excused myself, saying I just had to take this call – really didn’t want to miss it if it was the airline. So the voice at the other end spoke:

“Anthony?”

“Um…excuse me, who?”

“Is Anthony there?”

I wished so badly for them to be calling from BA. I “figured” maybe she has the wrong name or something:

“Where are you calling from?”

“??? San Francisco!”

Turns out it was the wrong number, plain and simple.

Sadly, I did not get a call from BA for the remainder of that day (even though I had been promised one). However, I did get a call from Anthony himself :)

“Hey dude…have you been getting calls for Anthony?”

“Yes.”

“That’s me.”

“OK…”

“Look dude, I change phone numbers a lot, and I move around a lot. If somebody calls me, tell them you don’t know me, you don’t know who I am, you don’t know where I am, and you don’t know my new phone number. Just tell them you don’t know anything about me and hang up.”

WOW! Now this was entertaining :D

“Man, how would I know who you are or where you are anyways?”

“OK thanks dude, I gotta run!”

As Anthony had predicted, a lot of people did try to get in touch with him. There were lots of calls that started like this:

“This is not a sales soliciation. This call contains important information about your account…”

There were also some strange text messages:

“Im home gogo ?!gangsta go da rnb thug!”

(Don’t ask me what that means – although I imagine Anthony might know)

Overall, during the course of the next weeks, I held on to the phone just to see what else I might find out about Anthony. I found out his last name through a friend who called, as well as the numbers of some of his friends. But Anthony himself remained elusive, even though I kept getting lots of his traffic :)

And BA? They were in the process of actively losing my luggage when I made a trip to SFO two days later. My bag was sitting right there at the terminal and for some reason, they had not scanned it upon arrival. The unhelpful staff were now apologetic. I guess that’s it for flying BA and their business beds ;)

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