Saturday, January 15, 2005

When International Communication Goes Bad

Today's Topic of my blog entry, because I just find it funny.

What do you do if you have a problem and the company you want to reach is outside of your 4 walls? Right, you do a call to abroad.
So, that's the moment when Joerg drinks something, goes into the bathroom, makes "ahem", and sets up his best English he has.

First story: Email account: (that sure was years ago!).
I could no longer login for days! So, looking up the White Pages of USA and ring them up!
So you know how all this is, you as a costumer say who you are and what your problem is, and normally the other party says "Okay then....!"

But if it was a normal call, I wouldn't write it in my blog, so it was more like, that I was explaining and every 5 seconds I got interrupted by a "Hello Sir!", I mean is that friendly costumer support? The lady told me later: "We have no costumer support!".

Dumb! Is that a reason to be unfriendly to me?!


Second story: Wanted to speak a worker working in Norway.
I found out the number, rang the company up, it was like:

He: "Who is speaking?"

"Joerg"

He: "From which company?"

"No company, an individual person."

and in this very moment, you recognized how he begings to sound very bored, because I am not company! How could I dare to speak to him!


The third story is the most weird one ever. Again USA:

She: "Who is this?"

"Joerg"

She: "Joerg!!!!!!!!!!! How beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I really thought "Oh my father, am I that VIP to freak that much out because of my name?"
And then I had the feeling like she thinks she speaks to her little cousin or something.


Also nice and interesting, and sometimes really amazing are calls to friends living abroad or just people who do not reply to emails.

Absolutely amazing was the following story (hint: I have no ISDN):

I want to ring up somebody in Norway.
Nobody answers the phone. So I give up on it.
10 minutes later my phone rings. I pick up the receiver and a woman asks me:

"who are you?"

where I reply to with: "Pardon? You are calling me? Tell me first who you are :)"

"I dialed this number"

"Maybe you have got the wrong number then?"

"No no, I saw this on my display."

"Ah, now I see, are you from Norway?"

"Yes."

"Ah ok, I wanted to speak to your son."

"Ok, no problem, one minute, please."

Later I got told, they thought I was a relative from Japan calling :)


Also, what I am always sorry for, is, when I ring up people and their family members didn't know I would call.
So I end up in asking for sister/son/daughter, blah.

So, for example a call to a shared flat in Romania. (Everybody who ever did a phone call to Romania, knows; the tones of the Romanian phone system makes your ears hurt if you aren't too careful!
So it made "click" and I begin with the usual: "Hello, I am... and would like to speak to..."
and in return, no responce. Just silence. I waited some seconds... still nothing.
Then I took the initiative and asked:

"Did I dial the wrong number?"

and suddenly a voice says:

"No the number is correct, but she is not here."

A sign! Somebody said something. I am really sorry, it wasn't my plan to shock some nice boy from Romania because he had to speak English with me.
(happened also to me with siblings from 2 people in Poland).


Last story is a phone call to Ghana where an automatic speech told me:

"We are regreted for paying the telephone bill."




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