I have a policy some days about not answering telephones numbers that I don't know. I have done this too many times in the past and ended up in an awkward conversation with a student wanting to practice their English by reading their textbook aloud to me over the phone.
I was distracted the other day and answered the phone without checking the number. I was really glad I did when I realized it was someone from a government office inquiring about how our business was developing. I proudly announced that all of our paperwork was finished and that we were ready to get down to work. I quickly jumped into my long sob story about going home for just a few weeks to attend my brother's wedding, but having to stay sooooo much longer after I got sick and needed surgery. He seemed to feel sufficiently bad for me to not be to concerned as to why we still hadn't done much business. The conversation turned to lighter matters and he told me I needed a boyfriend to help when I am sick. I tried to laugh off the comment as I began to feel ill at ease about the direction the conversation was going. His follow up question was of course "do you have a boyfriend?" I once again chuckled and mentioned that my business partner would be back soon so we could take care of each other and continue to develop our company.
After successfully ending his chitchat, I sat in the living room recounting the odd discussion with my friends. Before I had even reached the tail end of our bizarre conversation my phone rang a second time.
"Hi" said the voice on the other end. "My name is ____________, I work for the same department of the government as the gentlemen who just gave you a call."
"Hello," I said as I quickly reviewed relevant business words in my head, expecting him to have more specific questions about the speed at which we were developing.
"My co-worker just mentioned to me that you don't have a boyfriend. What about me?"
The total lack of professionalism and inappropriateness of the conversation struck an angry cord in me. "No, I don't have one, and I don't need one either," I said curtly. "I have guests over right now and must go. Bye". I hung up the phone with force and quickly marked his number in my phonebook as 'Do not answer'.