Monday, October 15, 2007

If you think @ should be spelled out "A-T", you shoudl not be allowed to operate a computer!!!

I got a call the other day from someone. He called to ask me what his own email address was. You think you read that wrong? Well I thought I heard him wrong. I chalked it up to the fact that I get a lot of....umm.....odd phone calls. I started to tell him his email and he said I should talk slower and louder. I started again - "M as in Mary, A as in Apple...." He then stopped me in the middle to put his "girl" on the phone. She is not American. This is gonna be a challenge. I started again...."M as in Mary, A as in Apple...." The last letter before the @ is an E. Of course I blanked on an E word and every word that came to me sounded like something else that could be confusing. I wanted a word that could not be mistaken for any other word. Elephant! So I said "E as in Elephant" Well that didn't work because apparently there are no elephants where this woman is from and she didn't know what I'm talking about. I thought OK she didn't hear me - b/c who doesn't know what an elephant is?! So I said again, slower and clearer "EEE as in EEELLLEEEPHAAANNNTTT" The response? She said "Manuel?" huh?! I said again, " noooo.....EEE as in EEELLLEEEPHAAANNNTTT" She said "Manuel?" I finally got it. She doesn't know what an elephant is. She was trying to say "E as in Emanuel". I said "yes yes Emanuel."

oh it gets sooo much better.....

I finished spelling out the first half of the email address and I got to the @ symbol. After I was done with the E, I said "@" - pronounced a-t but spelled @. She says to me "A-T?" I was like "What?? Nooooo "AT" ". She says "A-T?" I said "no no no. "AT" - it's the symbol that looks like an A with a circle around it....AT" She said OK but I don't think she really got it. I finally got passed the @, I spelled out the next part - "A like apple, O like Oliver, L like Lemon" far so good. Then, I get to the dot - as in dot com. After what happened with the @, I didn't know what to say to explain the dot. I said
"A like apple, O like Oliver, L like - like the period - don't spell dot - it's just a period" and then I spelled out "C like Cookie, O like Oliver, M like Mary".

You would think this would be the end. But no. There's more.

I finally finished smacking my head against the wall spelling the email address to this non-American woman, when she put the guy back on the phone and he wanted me to spell everything out for him. Here we go again...."M like Mary, A like Apple.....E like Elephant.....AT - it's a symbol that looks like an A with a circle around it....
A like apple, O like Oliver, L like - like the period - don't spell dot - it's just a period..." Then the guy asked me "do you have to spell out "Com"?" I almost fell off my chair. No, don't spell it out. Good luck with that! On the other hand, the @ symbol was new to him. Maybe he thought there was a symbol for "com" I calmly said "Yes, you must spell out "com" - C like Cookie, O like Oliver, M like Mary". He said thank you and good bye and I hung up - and shot myself in the foot. I was right. The shot in the foot was not as painful as this phone call.

I testify to the fact that this story is all true and I did not make up any part of it. How sad is that?


At 3/06/2008 4:12 PM, Blogger Yosef said...

In customer service parlance, this is referred to as an ID-10-T caller (spell it out without the dashes if you don't get it right away). Also check out this story:



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