Local Woman’s Phone Number Mistaken for U.S. Census Number 450 Times

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Although coroanvirus has delayed many parts of this year’s census an area woman is getting a first hand look at how many people the big count affects.


One Altoona woman’s phone has been ringing off the hook. No, it’s not that she’s that popular…her phone number is very similar to the U.S. census. But instead of looking at it negatively – she’s making the most of it, one ring at a time. We’ve all been there – you go to make a phone call only to hear that you’ve reached the wrong number. But what happens when your phone number is one number off from the us census? That became a reality for Janet McCarter Durbin, “calls just kept escalating and escalating until we were getting on the average of about 60 a day.”

Janet has received about 450 calls over the course of a month – from every state.
but she’s making the most of it, “so we just laugh about it when we uh when we talk to the people and they’ll laugh back and everything and many of them apologize for interfering but you know we’re enjoying this.”

Janet says while some might feel a little embarrassed at first – often times they’ll stick around to share their story, ‘she wanted to know what it was like here in Pennsylvania so I described to her the budding trees the flowers and the mountains and she said, ‘I would give anything to be there with you because my perspective on the world right now is just looking at some buildings outside.” That was a call from a woman in Queens New York, she told Janet that dialing the wrong number might have been just what she needed.

“I think I was guided by god to call you because this is what i needed right now, to talk to somebody.”

While it might seem like an annoyance, Janet and her husband are making the most of the mix up, and meeting a lot of new people along the way.
and Janet says that the calls have slowed down recently as the census deadline was pushed back.

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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