Tuesday, January 16, 2007

1 Comments:

Blogger g said...

Phil,
So I've been following the whole adventure via your blog and this is the post that moves me to comment, hilarious. I 100% share in your phone phobia, as Amanda can vouch, and I rely on her to make most of the calls. I can only imagine being in your situation. Keep the updates coming.
Garret

1/16/2007 11:16:00 PM  

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on the phone

in the states, i have this aversion to making phone calls. it's not a phobia - ok, maybe it is. i like calling people i know, but making calls to get information or to arrange things isn't my cup of tea. anyway. here it's even worse because the first minute (i am not exaggerating. 60 seconds) of the call is spent figuring out who is on the other end of the line and establishing some sort of foundation for the conversation to actually start. so i don't make calls here. literally. paige makes all the calls. luc and majo asked paige the other day how i could be reached while she was gone because they thought i didn't have a phone.

here is a recent transcript. hiring a night guard for our place. paige dials the number:
tight security: hello.
paige a bowen: hello?
ts: hello?
pab: hello?
ts: this is tony at tight security. (paige hears unintelligible ugandan english)
pab: hello, is this tight security?
ts: this is tony at tight security.
pab: i am interested in hiring a night guard.
ts: what?
pab: i am interested in hiring a night guard from your company.
ts: which company?
pab: tight security. is this tight security?
ts: yes, this is tony at tight security.
and so it goes. i don't think any actual comprehension occurred until the second call. that was the day that paige left for the states. i was supposed to call them back to continue the process. yeah, that's gonna wait until paige gets back.

a while back at the shoprite grocery store, the incoming phone calls had accidentally been transferred over the store intercom. i was in hysterics listening to conversations broadcast across the store. 30 seconds of each party trying to establish whether there was in fact someone on the other end, whether they were fine, and why they were calling.

which brings me to my new favorite, the call ins on the local pop radio station that i listen to. all the above rules apply here, too. so far all the call ins that i've heard have been for contests. today you could win 100K shillings for correctly identifying the noise. it still takes 30 seconds to establish a connection, identify the caller, and finally get to the part where they make their guess. that is if they were calling about the contest. i'd say 30% are wrong numbers or were calling about something else or are answering an earlier contest.

it will be good when paige gets back, we'll finally get something done around here.

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