my somewhat short tale needs some background.
(tl;dr at the bottom)
i work for a company in a department that deals with communities that provide basic cable services to their residents. it’s not JUST nursing homes and retirement communities, but that IS a majority of our customer base.
because of this, i have developed a good understanding on how to adjust my voice if someone can’t hear me. especially since i sound like a 12 year old and not a grownup in their thirties (oh how i envy my coworkers with deep booming voices) and my voice seems to get to a frequency seniors can’t hear the more bubbly i get.
i’m also super white and a super natural born american citizen (i was birthed on an air force base in delaware). i’ve never lived anywhere that’s known for distinct accents long enough to actually develop one. purely north east yankee. tho my parents are from an urban area that’s known for weird quirks so whatever weirdness in my north east accent, i assume is from that.
now, i mention all this because i had the strangest encounter. even weirder than the time that i got told i could be a phone sex operator. it was so weird, i was glad someone who had come back from an loa was shadowing me to witness it.
me: thank you for calling [company]. my name is chrisscross87. how can i help you?
old lady: I CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOU
m: speaks louder, lower, and slower oh, i’m sorry! is this better?
ol: …. I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE SAYING
m: ducks head under desk how about now?
ol: theres so many pauses…. I CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOUR ACCENT
as i can see her account as being in a state that isn’t mine, i assume maybe my parents’ influence is slipping in and try pronunciating better.
m: i’m sorry. can you understand me now?
ol: …. I CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOU WITH THAT ACCENT
m: tries to go even louder, lower, and slower but i’m almost screaming at this point HOW. ABOUT. NOW?
ol: …. LISTEN, I CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOUR FOREIGN ACCENT
i can’t help myself at this point because it’s going on 4 minutes in and i haven’t even verified her account or even heard her issue. i’m a team lead and i pride myself on my polite professionalism so i shocked myself.
m: that’s funny because i was born in delaware.
ol: …. I’M GOING TO HANG UP NOW AND I’M GOING TO KEEP CALLING UNTIL I GET SOMEONE WHO SPEAKS ENGLISH AND IS IN AMERICA!
i spent the whole free time between that and my next call being absolutely baffled and laughing with my shadow about it.
tl;dr: hard of hearing old lady calls in and thinks my white american ass with no distinct accent is in a foreign call center simply because she can’t hear me.
edit: why is mobile formatting garbage