FOR 'ENGLISH,' PRESS ONE
by Darren Weeks
July 13, 2009
Tired of talking to fellow Americans? Want a break from the usual routine? Wonder what the weather is like in other parts of the world? Just call “tech support.”
Whether it’s a cell phone, your Internet Service Provider, or that handy little “doo dad” you got for Christmas, a foreigner is only a phone call away to take your call, offer you advice, and ask for your private information. Be prepared to give up your social security number, your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, your first pet’s name, your phone number (area code first, of course) and the rest of your life’s history to “validate” and “authenticate” your account.
You may have forgotten a password. Maybe you don’t know how to work a feature. Or perhaps your little marvel of technology has decided to zig when it’s supposed to zag.
Never fear, my friend. There’s a voice, waiting to speak with you that will sound as close as the phone is to your face. Keep in mind, you must listen carefully. Your new acquaintance is still learning to speak your language. Feel free to ask them to repeat what they say. This may be necessary to do, seven or eight times. Remember to reciprocate, and talk very slowly. Don’t become agitated or angry. Remember what Mom used to say. “Patience is a virtue.”
Don’t forget, you had to navigate your way through an hour of classical hold music, and a formidable maze of automated options to achieve the honor of interacting with your customer care representative. A sudden disconnect can send you back into the abyss of the touch-tone hell from which you’ve just emerged. Now, we wouldn’t want that, would we?
A call to tech support is — in the words of Forest Gump — “like a box of chocolates.” You never know what country you may get. But you can rest pretty darn sure that it won’t be America! So while you have your foreign “techie” on the line, be sure to ask them where they are and how they like the weather. After all, you might consider relocating there. If food and shelter are staples you’re not willing to give up, you might not have a choice.
The “global economy” offers us many wonderful opportunities. Chief among them, is the ability to phone a total stranger in a foreign land, have them page through a book, looking for the answer you need. If they can’t find it, relax. They’ll be sure to transfer you to a few other of their comrades who you’ll struggle even harder to understand. By the time you hang up your receiver, you’re blood pressure will be so high from the excitement of talking to your foreign conversationalists, you’ll have forgotten the reason you called. Problem solved!
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If, by chance, you happen to remember your problem, feel free to call again. In fact, call any time you find yourself in need. They’re there to serve you. Your call is important to them. Stay on the line; enjoy the music; pour yourself a refreshing beverage. Your call will be answered in the order it was received.
Isn’t having a high-tech “global economy” wonderful? Thank you, World Trade Organization!
� 2009 - Darren Weeks - All Rights Reserved