Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Those Crazy Techs

How often have you had to call a tech to help you with your computer, your phone, or some other electronic device? You remember how frustrating it was attempting to (1 )understand his English or (2) making him understand your problem. Needless to say, you spend numerous hours with him/her getting  nowhere with your broken device. Recall the commercial about a person calling for help and getting someone in Siberia? Sometimes it seems we've called the wrong number. The foreign voice answering to Sally, Frank, or Betty doesn't fool us for a moment. I'd rather they use their regular names, even if unpronounceable.

I heard the funniest the other day during exercise class. Yes, we sometimes chat, as the class is composed of older ladies doing what seems to appear "easy" exercises. The true story goes like this:

The exerciser remarked that her husband while working in the yard accidentally cut in two the cable to their television. She immediately called the cable company's tech:

"Hello, this is Buddy, how can I help you?"
"Uh, Buddy, my husband cut the cable and our TV won't work."
"Oh, I see, just a moment, please." A second or two passes and he returns to the phone.
"Let me review your problem; you have no TV working?"
"Yes, that's correct."
"Let me walk you through the process of restoring your TV."
"But, uh, Buddy, the cable is cut, I don't think . . ."
"Yes, I understand, but I will walk you through the process."
"Buddy, listen. The. Cable. Is. Cut. Someone needs to repair the cable."
I understand, but if you will just let me walk you through the process . . ."

There seems to be no way we can avoid talking to techs who don't understand our problems. Yes, I admit some are successful in helping you.  My biggest obstacle is my southern accent. One tech hung up on me because I couldn't understand his speech nor he mine. I can't speak into the phone giving any information like telephone number, address, or similar facts, since the automated system will constantly say, "I don't understand the answer." Even speaking slowly seems to muddle the airwaves.

Automation, foreign speakers, directions written in English by non-English speakers are just a few difficulties we  face in our daily lives since American companies hired overseas personnel. Do you wonder the laughs and the stories those techs in Pakistan, the Phillippines, India, and other countries tell to their friends  about their encounters with Americans?