Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm Probably Blowing This Out of Proportion

As I've already covered in this blog, I work in an in-bound call centre.  Generally speaking the callers are the agents who sell our investment products or their assistants, but occasionally we get clients calling in as well.  Many of our clients are elderly and are often confused by our automated attendant and they either push the wrong button or don't push any button at all and end up speaking to me because apparently I'm the switchboard.

I had to transfer one of these clients to another product queue just today since she couldn't count to 3 and pushed 2 instead.  I conferenced over to the correct area and got my colleague, Wojtek (pronounced VOY-tek).  Wojtek was born in Poland but raised in Canada and speaks flawless and completely unaccented English.  Arguably, he speaks English better than I do.  When I conferenced in the client and introduced Wojtek, the client asked, "Does he speak English?"  My answer:  "Yes, he speaks English," but I was stuck by the sheer stupidity of this question.  I'm pretty sure the ability to speak English is a prerequisite for our job since it involves talking on the phone all day to people who expect you to speak to them in English, regardless of how you pronounce your name.  So here (in descending order of snark) are the answers I really wanted to give this client:

1)  Yes, he speaks English, but he has trouble understanding "bigot" so make sure you speak sloooooowly.

2)  No, he doesn't speak English so he'll be using a translator. But don't worry, you won't even notice the 4 second delay.

3)  Yes, he speaks English but if you ask nicely he'll teach you how to say "fuck you" in Polish.

Sorry for the rant, but this really pissed me off.


Katie said...

although i COMPLETELY agree with you about the douchiness of this comment, i know it is also a generational thing...i can hear my dad asking the same thing (not that that makes it okay).

also, i think a lot of people are used to big corporations like bell and dell that out source to other countries for the cheap labour (like india), making it sometimes difficult to understand the person on the other end (i'm sure it is even more frustrating for the person who is paid shit and has to talk to annoying, racist, spoiled north americans all day long).

again, not that this in any way justifies this woman's stupidity.

Logical Libby said...

So, how do you say "fuck you" in Polish?

Anonymous said...

hehe. I think you should say one of those comments one day.. just for shits and giggles. You know.. when you're prepared to quit and move to Cali.

Mindy said...

I'm anonymous... I just don't follow directions very well.

kendall said...

There's nothing anonymous about you Mindy :)