Sunday, November 25, 2007

To continue in English Press 1

We've all heard those annoying little computerized voices that give us menu options over the phone,


For Service, press 1

For Sales, press 2

For someone who really cares , hang up and look in a mirror!

Well you don't get that one too often...On a couple occasions I've made it to the last choice and I am waiting for someone top pick up and then I get disconnected..

No buttons on these phones.. photo by Cursief Huigjeese

I learned a way of coping with those long waits in telephone hell. I use the speakerphone and go on doing something else and when I hear someone actually answer, I pick the phone back up.

But something else has come to my attention, something I just don't get. I called COMCAST Information on my phone the other day and was greeted in English by a perky feminine computer generated voice:

"Welcome to Comcast Directory Assistance , For English press 1 - or stay on the line."

Then a more sultry feminine computer generated voice tells you to press 2 for Spanish

What if I was from Tanzania and I only spoke Swahili ??? Why don't I get a choice??

Why didn't we get the Sultry voice in English and give the Spanish the Perky voice??

Since I am from the United States and was brought up speaking ENGLISH...How come I have to hear this, to continue in English message??

OF Course I want to continue in English that's what we speak in this country !!!

You speeeka de enlgeeesh??? Well you don't want to go to your local unemployment office or seek out any government assistance because you will spend most of the day trying to find the forms that are written in ENGLISH.

What is it with this country that we cannot say, look we speak English here and we welcome anyone from anywhere but in order to fit in to our society it would be easier if you learn ENGLISH.

Instead we print every public document in 6 languages and guess who pays for that translation service???

There is actually a movement in this country to teach Spanish kids in Spanish rather than teaching them English.....

When I was in Mexico, no one tried to make it easy for me to communicate...everything was in Spanish...and that's good, cause they speak Spanish in Mexico and I knew that when I went there.

Guess what, French is spoken fairly regularly in Quebec, Canada.

Personally I think it should be mandatory to only "speak" in "Sign Language" least it would be a little quieter!!


Carol said...

You are so right in this. I lived in Arizona for 7 years and good Lord I swear that everyone working in contact with the public only spoke broken English...Why do we have to deal with that when as you say...when in Rome?
Really annoying!

Dizzy Dee said...

Hey Tom!

You've been tagged :)

More info on my blog ;)

Smith Nation said...

I strongly agree with you post.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, I guess freedom of speech doesn't fit into your world.

Oh well.

TOM said...

Carol,great to hear from you.

Dizzy...I can't believe you tagged me, and congrats on the "Big News"

Smith Nation...that's my Girl!!!

Anon, thanks for coming by, "Freedom Of Speech" has nothing to do with my post. It's about speaking in English, teaching in English with a little dig on govt spending. You can speak whatever language you want to but there should be an official language spoken in the USA...I happen to think it should be English

Unit #1 said...

I think "anonymous" misses the point.
The US is an English-speaking country. Therefore, it doesn't seem to make sense that people who decide to live here don't think it is necessary to learn the language. Many of us have ancestors that came through Ellis Island as immigrants and they learned to speak English. Many learned it from their children who learned it in school!

AintNeverScared said...

I left you another comment, so I'm sorry if this one is a repeat...

I agree with your point. But I speak Spanish as well as English, so it doesn't bother me personally as much as theoretically. I think that we need to have an Official Language in the U.S. (didn't we used to? where did it go?).

BTW...I'm going to grill you about the post you left on my blog. For starters, what does it mean to be a Mystic?

AintNeverScared said...

Hi Cutie,

What's been keeping you so busy that you haven't posted in awhile? Is it the same thing that's been keeping me busy when I'm online? ;)

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I used to be just like you once upon a time. And then I moved to Sweden. Now, I'm on the receiving end of nasty comments "you're in Sweden now, learn Swedish" and being hung up on.

So if businesses in the great US of A want to have options for service in Urdu and Azarbaijani, I will never again complain about it.