Bon Mots and Cheap Shots

The girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Miss me?

I don’t know who the jackass was who decided that WordPress couldn’t run on MySQL 4.0 any more was.  Or who the jackass was at my host provider who thought that their halfassed instructions and barely English speaking tech line were a good business decision.  I can’t complain that tech is not in this country because my host provider is British.  Well, you know where that puts the tech department, in the former colony.

It took six calls to tech to get everything worked out.  On the fifth call the guy called me sir the entire time in spite of me saying “It’s Ma’am” every time he did it.  In spite of him having to say my name back to me when I first called.  Men don’t get that name.  Except in Russia.  And I don’t have a Russian accent asshole.  The sixth guy’s English was a little harder to understand but he heard me when I said “It’s Ma’am.”  Then he called me Miss Winedog the rest of the conversation.  I give him credit, he stuck with me for an hour and a half escalated the problem and ultimately solved it.  I could hear the right guy in the background answering the questions properly.  Did you know that there are over 130 languages in India?  That’s not counting English and French and that sort of thing.  It’s a really big place.  I think sometimes we think India is like Los Angeles or something.  (which might as well be another country)  Another thing I found in real estate is that a lot of accents are really hard to understand over the phone but in person there is no issue at all.  I have a friend who’s husband is from a Slavic country.  I never really noticed his accent in person, although he has one.  (And really it just adds to his charm)  Then I spoke to him on the phone and I couldn’t understand a damned thing he was saying.  And I know this guy.  So knowing that, tech support in a country where English is the second or third or fourth language doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

I have alot of clients where English is not their first language.  I’ve learned that as much as I like to play with language, I lose some of them if I do.  Literally.  They’ll go find an agent who doesn’t make them feel stupid, even though I’m not trying to do that.  The Brother is very good at language and understands the root of language.  He took Latin at Berkeley a few years ago just to help himself understand the root of language.  He understands three languages I know of and perepherally can figure out what’s going on in any of the romance languages.  He’s a nightmare during Spanish language depositions.  He was taught the Queen’s Spanish.  But there’s a lot of different kinds of Spanish.  Spain is way different than Mexico which is also different from Central America and so on.  He’ll stop an interpretor and say “He said XYZ but you translated that to ABC.  Ask him to clarify if he means ABC or XYZ.”  He’s flustered many a translator.

Me, I can barely speak English.  I had a terrible time in Germany.  I had to translate every sentence as I went and play the responses back in my head to figure out what they said to me.  If it went past “Jah” or “Nein” or “bitte” I was in trouble.  And I never got good at it.  I wish I could speak Spanish, it would help immensely in my business, but I can barely figure out what they’re saying.  So I have a certain respect for anyone who can speak more than one language.  My brain just isn’t wired that way and it’s frustrating.  I’d like to speak Spanish, French and Mandarin.  Maybe Cantonese too.  That would jack people up.  But it would be like trying to teach a pig to sing.  One of my favorite clients is Indian.  He speaks five languages fluently and flawlessly.  His father was a diplomat.  You should see the looks he gets when he starts speaking Spanish.  It’s hilarious.  We were looking at property one day down in the barrio and he wanted to know about the neighborhood.  There was a woman unloading groceries, he walked up to her and started in Spanish.  It was hiliarious to watch her face as she tried to put it all together.  He was raised in South America.  Or if some clown says something to him or about him in Spanish and he calls them on it.  Because he’s a scrappy mofo.  And John Chambers himself called this guy and asked him to come to work for them.  Seriously.  Cool dude.

Jackassery?  Coming right up!

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I’m off to feed the birds.


  • dolphyngyrl

    One time, when I was working at The Call Center, I ma’amed a guy through most of a phone call. He was Middle Eastern, I had no clues from the name on the account and the pitch of his voice was a little high. He didn’t correct me once, but he did finally implore me to “think of me as your brother”. Yeah, oops. (he wanted a refund and he was talking to the WRONG CSR)

    I took German for three and a half years. I could probably do better than you, but I doubt by much. Just remember the phrase “auf englisch, bitte” – one of the first things we were taught in class. MonkeySee is in year three of Japanese and has started talking about learning Gaelic. Because that would be helpful. I’d love to be better at German and to learn Spanish, French, Gaelic (runs in the family?) and ASL.

  • OldTitleGuy

    Now, now, Gratuitas calumnias contra californianos del sur son realmente innecesarios. Un otro Pais indeed…

    What I really like is the guy in Tech Support in Bangalore introduces himself as “Kevin”.

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