Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Angry Callers

Even after almost a year and a half, I still cannot master answering the phone correctly. No matter what, picking up a phone almost always seems to result in thirty seconds of confusion.

For example, yesterday I could see on my caller ID that someone from my office was calling so I just answered the very American way with, “Hello.”

Then the person said, “Madeleine.”

And I said “No, this is Chantal.”

And she said, “Chantal, this is Madeleine.”

And I thought. Oh, duh. Me and my crazy American brain again.

In the German language, typically you are greeted on the phone with someone barking their name at you. Often there is no “hello,” just a crude, “Herr Helmut”. Their tone usually sounds angry and/or serious so to a happy American used to a friendly “Hello?” it is very strange and I always do a second take and try to focus my brain to say my name and realize that others will also say theirs in a somewhat strident tone and expect me to say mine before they say anything else.

One time, a male called me and said “Ann-Charlott”. So I took the German approach and said my name. As it turns out it was the secretary, Charlie, telling me that he had Ann-Charlott on the line for me. After I made a fool out of myself for thinking a male could be an Ann-Charlott (hey, stranger things have happened around here), he transferred me.

In the US, if someone was going to transfer me, they might say, “I’ve got Ann-Charlott on the line. Can I transfer you?” Here, there is no such thing. Just a barked name said with a heavy accent and I never know who I’m talking to or how to react.

However, I am good at saying good-bye. Everyone here uses the Italian good-bye. Or in English, “chow.”


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sunflower said...

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trung tâm kế toán tại hải dương
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trung tâm kế toán tại vĩnh phúc
Người ta KIẾM TIỀN ầm ầm từ bán hàng online tại sao bạn lại lướt Fb đốt thời gian một cách VÔ NGHĨA???
Họ thu nhập NGHÌN ĐÔ họ cũng là những con người bình thường như bao người khác tại sao bạn KHÔNG DÁM LÀM???

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