"It's not the end of the world if you have to do it," one citizen told the San Francisco Chronicle's Steve Rubenstein. "If this is the biggest inconvenience in your life, you’re lucky. You could have some terminal disease instead.”
"Don't get rational with me, miss," let's hope Rubenstein replied.
The conversation concerned the new requirement that phone users in San Francisco and parts of Marin and San Mateo counties must dial the 415 area code even when dialing another 415er.
That's because a new, interloping area code, 628, is inexorably headed our way, courtesy of the North American Numbering Plan Administration, an organization that I believe is referenced in the Book of Revelation. Starting March 21, phone numbers coming online will be assigned the new, crummier area code, which will serve the same purpose as the majestic 415 but will not have nearly the same cachet.
"(T)he once-mighty 415 area code, which six decades ago stretched from the middle of California to the Oregon border, has suffered the final blow," is the way Rubenstein put it in his story.
Somebody's playing with fire. Occupy the North American Numbering Plan Administration? When this happened in New York City years ago, the natives didn't take kindly to it, as you can see in this hidden-camera footage of one woman's dismay at the news she would no longer enjoy a privileged 212 prefix:
Some locals here are just as unhappy:
Anyway, I don't know about you, but I'm beginning to seriously dislike the woman who delivers the bad news when you forget to dial 415.
"We're sorry, but seven-digit dialing is not permitted," she says, with all the warmth of the automated voice that will one day tell us to please report to the relocation center for "processing." It's been almost a week now, and how many times have I forgotten to dial the area code first? All of them.
The first time it happened, I was like, "Oh, right."
The fifth time, I was all, "Silly me."
Come the 10th time, I was wishing I were dead.
After that, I decided it was all the telecoms' fault, and someone needs to go to jail over this.
There has to be a better way. Like, instead of a new area code, maybe we should all take turns?