Rejection Phone Number
May 22, 2004 9:14 AM   Subscribe

The Rejection Hotline is a number you can give out to somebody who asks for your phone number if you just don't want to give out your real number. Located in over 30 cities nationwide, and with people having cell phone numbers from all over the place, you never have to deal with telling someone no again. Get your number before you head out tonight.
posted by thebwit (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
One wonders how poor thebwit found out about this number...
posted by jozxyqk at 9:25 AM on May 22, 2004

Is this "telling someone no" something you need charisma to understand?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:27 AM on May 22, 2004

I'd be pissed if someone gave me a rejection number. If I'd just been told "no, I'm not interested in knowing you", I'd be somewhat disheartened and move on my way. This seems like a tool for the rude and the cowardly.
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:32 AM on May 22, 2004

this is several years old, is what this is.
posted by jonson at 9:49 AM on May 22, 2004

This seems like a tool for the rude and the cowardly.

I'd say it's more a tool for those times when polite rejection seems to egg them on even more and it's just totally not worth wrecking my pedicure by breaking my foot off in their ass.

/tongue planted slightly in cheek.
posted by romakimmy at 10:28 AM on May 22, 2004

One wonders how poor thebwit found out about this number...

Heh actually it was given to one of the local radio DJ's last month while he was out an about. He laughed so hard at this that he shared it with the listening audience and I just had to pass it on.
posted by thebwit at 10:56 AM on May 22, 2004


"Hi. You've reached the rejection number, a tool for the rude and cowardly who for some reason can't just tell you politely they're not interested. We realize it's probably a bit of a blow, but... on the plus side, this revelation about the person in question might make you feel a whole lot better about the fact that you're spared the trouble of having to have a relationship with them. I mean, hell.... haven't you dated enough people who can't actually tell the truth about what they feel/think? Seriously, who has time? And to think *I* was going to go out with the person who rejected you this weekend. No way, you've done me a favor... I think I'm seeing things a lot more clearly now. And I hope you are too. Have a good day."

posted by namespan at 11:07 AM on May 22, 2004

A blatant and unrepentant ripoff (see registration dates) of Chelsea and Jonah Peretti's original , first discussed here by yours truly (self-link).
posted by Sinner at 11:24 AM on May 22, 2004

I'm with Dark Messiah: cowardly, selfish. Then again, I'm a man, and as such I'm less apt to feel intimidated by someone coming on to me aggressively. If this number helps a woman get out of a tight situation with a drunken lothario, then more power her.

Let's face it: the cards of the dating violence deck are stacked against women. In a perfect world, all women would be able to be strong and frank about their feelings, and all men would respect those feelings. In such a world, we wouldn't need tasers, either.

That said, getting lied to sucks.
posted by squirrel at 11:28 AM on May 22, 2004

I had this conversation a few weeks ago with a set of female acquaintances over dinner. One of the two, a very attractive woman, really had trouble with it. The other, of only average appearances but smart as a whip and very nice, simply replied to unwelcome advances with "I'm not interested."

Later I wondered if there was some correlation between appearance and reluctance -- that if there's social forces at work that make rejection more tense the more visually appealing you are.

That said, I have my doubts that fear of violence or an angry outburst is the chief cause of passive-agressive rejection methods that seem to be so widespread. I think it's generally a desire to avoid responsibility for ones own impact on other people's feelings.
posted by weston at 11:47 AM on May 22, 2004

What ever happened to giving them the number of a local church?

Unoriginality abounds, it seems.

On the other hand, lying to a drunk jerk who won't go away isn't exactly a dark cloud over someone's character.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:18 PM on May 22, 2004

You could, of course, just make up a number. Not like they'll know...
posted by punishinglemur at 3:50 PM on May 22, 2004

I think it's generally a desire to avoid responsibility for ones own impact on other people's feelings.

posted by rushmc at 6:46 PM on May 22, 2004

not worth wrecking my pedicure by breaking my foot off in their ass

Is it me or are a lot of MeFites hobbling around these days?
posted by i_cola at 9:57 PM on May 22, 2004

Seeing as its within the intellectual compass of just about anyone to make up a random list of numbers, perhaps the service is for people who actually want to piss off the person they pass on to the rejection service?
posted by biffa at 9:51 AM on May 23, 2004

Then again, a random list of numbers might be someone's actual telephone number, so you're sparing that person the annoyance of a call from a lovesick stranger. You're also saving the rejected person the agony of wondering "Did I write the number down wrong?" -- and perhaps pestering the same woman if he runs into her again. This seems a relatively humane solution, assuming the woman finds it impossible to simply say "Sorry, not interested."
posted by languagehat at 1:04 PM on May 23, 2004

"sorry, not interested" doesn't always work and is almost invariably awkward for both parties. At the same time, it's just something you have to get used to. In a way I think I'd find it just as hard to give someone a fake number as to tell them no thanks. And it's pretty easy to say, "you can give me your number, and I'll think about it, but at the moment I don't see it happening," or something like that.

Anyway, these days I think everything's easier since giving out email doesn't seem nearly so personal, and the really annoying ones probably won't even bother writing to you by email (it's not really a quick fix) and if they do, it's easy to reject people by email, and pretty easy to take by email too.
posted by mdn at 8:18 PM on May 23, 2004

I've had a few friends who would give out 867-5309 when they didn't want to give out their real number. Half the fun was seeing if the recipient would recognize it…
posted by djwudi at 8:54 PM on May 23, 2004

"sorry, not interested" doesn't always work and is almost invariably awkward for both parties.

awkwardness is underrated -- or, rather, the fear of it is overrated -- and there are many cases where awkward moments are often required to get to good places. This is included. The only exception I can think of is if someone won't take no for an answer and/or you feel there's a genuine probability of a violent response. But as consequences go, awkwardness itself doesn't justify lying, and this observation rings true.
posted by namespan at 7:50 AM on May 24, 2004

The downsides of giving out a number such as this to get someone to leave you alone include: the person coming back to the place where he or she found you the first time, finding you again, and expressing his or her displeasure at being given the rejection line in any number of unpleasant ways and, if you haven't noticed, if you give some one a phone number, he or she will rarely say, "HEY THANKS!" and go away to fantisize about your new life together. This person will then bug you for the rest of the night, if possible.

I might give this number to someone if I thought he was being a real smarmy jerk and needed to be taken down a peg or two, but mostly I favor the brutally blunt approach.
posted by jennyb at 8:41 AM on May 24, 2004

Whenever I had a person absoultly insist on a phone number; whether it is Radioshack or some rude person; I give them the number of the local police. Usually really easy to remember - for the longest time I used 828-5000, and your sure the person at the other end won't feal harrassed.

Personally I think this rejection number is kind a cruel, but probably pretty effective. Though I imagine if your the kind of person who would get this number you'd learn it pretty quick.
posted by Mitheral at 10:22 AM on May 25, 2004

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