Monday, April 6, 2009

What the...?

Well, this post is just because I'm in a bit of a goofy mood. Think back on your most interesting phone calls - received or made and reminisce with me for a moment. I think my favorite was received a couple years ago shortly after I moved to Tri-Cities, WA. My cell phone rang (still a Kansas phone number) and when I answered, this is what I heard (names have been changed to protect the inept:

"Hi, my name is 'Cathy' with 'Flower-Power Corp,' is 'Teresa' there?"
"I think you have the wrong number."
"I think I don't." (sing-song voice)
- Stunned silence - Pause - "What number do you think you have?"
-Pause - "Thank you, have a nice day!"

Not even kidding. I'm not sure how she expected me to react to her "I think I don't" - maybe "You're right, she's right here, I'm sorry I tried to deceive you." Or maybe she just likes getting reactions out of people and she has to go through the motions. Either way, that was one of the most memorable telemarketer exchanges I've ever had. The others pale in comparison.

One of the most frustrating we've received was about a year ago. It went something like this - once again, we're affording all the privacy to the innocent and inept that we can:

"Hello, this is 'Mark' with 'Heavenly Bobble Head Signs' is 'John Smith' there?"
"I'm sorry, you have the wrong number." (Still polite, but not overly polite - this was Erik, not me)
"Well this is the number we have on file for 'Robert'."
"This is a new number, we're the only people to have had it."
"Do you have a way to reach him?"
"We don't know him, like I said, you have the wrong number."
"Ok, we'll try back when he's around."
"No, you're not hearing me. This isn't his number. He doesn't live here. You need to update your records and remove my phone number." (Trying very hard to be civil)
"I'm sorry sir, only the account holder can change the contact information on an account."
"And I'm telling you that he doesn't live here. You will never reach him here. Change the contact information."
"I'm sorry sir, I'll be unable to change the contact information due to the fact that you are not an authorized signor on the account."

Yes - we were told that we'd be unable to remove an incorrect number because we're not the fictional person. Erik was able to speak with the supervisor who proved to be more reliable and not nearly as ridiculous as his employee and we've received no more calls from "Heavenly Bobble Head Signs."

In light of the fun experiences that we've all had, I propose the new phonetic alphabet for spelling over the phone. It should certainly make for confused, dismayed, enraged or entertained conversations. Please use at your own risk.

A as in "Aisle"
B as in "Bee"
C as in "Cue"
D as in "Drip"
E as in "Ewe"
F as in "Frommage"
G as in "Gnat"
H as in "Heir"
I as in "Ingratiate"
J as in "Jalapeno"
K as in "Knot"
L as in "Lynx"
M as in "Mnemonic"
N as in "Non-Entity"
O as in "Oedipus"
P as in "Pharmacy"
Q as in "Queue" (Hah, this is one of my favorites!)
R as in "Rankle"
S as in "Sea"
T as in "Tsunami"
U as in "Utrecht"
V as in "Vacate"
W as in "Wren"
X as in "Xerophyte"
Y as in "Yttrium"
Z as in "Zweiback"
I guarantee that if you use this alphabet in your verbal spellings, people will notice. Some of them use the less common sound though they must all start with the letter in question. My favorites are those that sound exactly like themselves or another letter and so completely don't help at all (ex: B as in "Bee" or E as in "Ewe" - haha! I kill myself!). If you didn't know already that I take a great deal of pleasure in random and simple things, now you know. Welcome, I'm glad we could meet.

:) Please feel free to share your favorite/most annoying phone conversations. These don't have to be limited to telemarketing. I think they're the easiest to come by though. Ooh, that reminds me. I'll have to tell you about my very short term job I had in college. I was one of the dreaded survey takers over the phone. Yes one of those souless individuals that call right during dinner and then call back in 15 minutes because the system is that fabulous. :) Wow. The flashbacks. The staircase. The chest hair. Stay tuned for another installment of "Do you speak crazy?" aka "I need to speak to your supervisor. Immediately."

Love to all
Cara (Yes, poor Erik had nothing to do with this - he's still completely sane)


Alisa and Jared said...

You are FUNNY.

Try this story from last summer:

A customer called me with a THICK accent, and she talked very slow (obviously age-ed). She said:

"Hi, I was at your store in Alaska and got some Goat's Milk Cream. It says 'Far Above Rubies' on it. What does that mean?"

"That's the name of the cream makers, mam."

"Oh, I see. But what does it MEAN?"

"Well, it's a biblical reference."

"A what?"

"A Biblical Reference."

"A WHAT?!"

"It's from the Bible, 'Mam."

"From the Old Testament, or New Testament?"

"Umm...I'm not quite sure...Oh, I guess the Old Testament"

yada yada yada...the conversation goes on...and she hears a baby crying in the background.

"Oh, how many kids do you have?"

"I have 2, so far."

"Oh, well that's enough. Don't have 5. Sarah Palin has 5, and she has no control over them." I mention I'm from a family of 5? Nah.


Hope it made you smile...!

Alyson, Cara and Erik said...

Totally fabulous. I love the "a WHAT?" part. Oh and the 5 kids part. Oh, heck it was all fabulous. Don't you love playing telephone on the telephone?