Monday, July 04, 2005

I'm as innocent as they come

Or at least innocent of such crimes as murder and manslaughter. How about that...

What is she rambling about this time, you wonder. Well, I received a copy of my criminal record in the mail today and now I'm just happy that the society knows I'm not a criminal. That's good. I could've told them that before, but I suppose an official stamp is needed to be sure. :)

But seriously, all of this is because I'm going to begin teaching kids under the age of 18 as a regular staff member in the junior high and high schools in Nousiainen. The law states that any person working with children (minors) has to provide this kind of document to the employer. And so I ordered one to send to the bureaucrats of my future workplace.

Of which I dream of daily now, since I'm getting really bored with talking to people who don't know how to speak up on the phone. Two guesses, everyone. Which kind of person answering the phone is the most difficult to understand?

The sleepy, the drunk and people from the Eastern parts of Finland are good guesses, but the winner in this category is teenage boys around the age of 16, approximately.

So here's a typical discussion that lasts for about 17 seconds (to make things easier for you, I've put the teenwords that have a meaning in italics):

The teen
(as my computer program nicely has gotten him to come and answer the phone): "Mmmhellomummblemumble."
Me (cheery as a proper direct sales person should be): "Hello, this is My Name from The Company in Turku calling. I'd like to talk to Such And Such Person, is she available?"
The teen: "Mumbleynghmmmehno. Mommumblegruntworkungh."
Me (desperately racking my brain for the teenguy-Finnish-teenguy dictionary): "Umm, so she isn't at home at the moment? Ok, I'll call back later then. Thank you, bye."
The teen: Mruhmumble. *click*

Ferchrissakes. Teach your kids how to a-r-t-i-c-u-l-a-t-e! Or at least please do try to tell them that Finnish actually is a spoken language, not a grunted language... I think I should take my communications course students on a field trip next fall, to listen to the direct sales people and their customers. I'm sure I could get my point of good communication skills through, don't you think?


Tero said...

I'd say (from experience) that - seeing that we're stereotyping and all - some of the elderly aren't much better.

An evil flashback from the days of innocent telemarketing (now there's an oxymoron for you) youth...

When some of them answered, and you could actually make something coherent out of the answer, some of them would get offended by the fact someone had the audacity to disturb their peace. Some would be happy someone called, apparently just to want to hear their life stories (and - being too polite to hang up - try and invent new ways to move on with the call), and some would just go on, rambling with their train of thought that had left the tracks a few stations back.

Somehow, after that, I've not had the heart to play jokes on telemarketers any more. At least until they refuse to take "no" for an answer for the second time...

Anonymous said...

Johanna, rakkaani! Mä löysin meille laivan. Sen nimi on Joanna Saturne (hmm...meniköhän toi loppuosa noin?). Mut kuiteskii, seilataanhan yhdessä maailman ääriin.

Johanna said...

Sure, Tero, you're right about the elderly people. But as for my experiences, so far there have been more teens than elderly folk I don't understand. However, I'm thinking I could write a series of short stories based on some of the answers I get from customers. Could be an interesting lot, that.

Satu armaani, koska nostetaan purjeet? Tai niin, oliko se moottori- vai purjelaiva? :) Otetaan mukaan komea kippari ja puosupoika, niin johan me voidaan purjehtia vaikka minne!