The Bum Call, otherwise known as the Butt Call by our North American friends, is that call you didn’t mean to make, when your phone shoved in your back jeans pocket feels pressure on one of its key keys – see what I did there? – and accidentally calls someone. It’s a mild annoyance.

Sometimes your bum call is the last person you spoke to. Sometimes it’s a completely random person, and you wonder what fidgeting and contortion combination you made as you sat that would cause your phone to navigate through a phone book, select a person and call them. Amazing.

True story: when I worked in Dublin as head of marketing of a software company I would occasionally answer the switchboard number if it was ringing out. On this occasion, I answered a bum call from a guy I had just been in a somewhat strained meeting with and he was bitching – about me! – on the phone to his mate in the car, for about 10 minutes. How cool is that! It’s the kind of frank, unguarded feedback we almost never get.

Then again, if you’re a pay-as-you-go customer and you’re only as good as your phone credit, the bum call costs you money as well as being annoying. As my son said to me the other day: ‘I accidentally bum-called Adam and it cost me a euro.’ That’s a big deal when you top up at 10 euro a time.

The bum call is a bit like the bum note in music. Surprising, unexpected, unwanted, annoying.

 

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