For English, Press TWO

I just hung up the phone on the most annoying, frustrating phone call I’ve ever had.  Literally hung up on the lady.  Literally the most frustrating conversation I’ve EVER had.  And I converse with an almost 2 year old on a daily basis: Those conversations usually sound like this:

Him: What dat?

Me: That’s an airplane.

Him: Why?

Me: Ummm…

Him: Where it go?

Me: It went behind the clouds.

Him: Where it go?

Another airplane goes by.

Him: What dat?

And on and on….

The phone call went like this:

I called the 1-800 number to activate my credit card.  It is a MasterCard that I only use for my photography business and was set to expire in December.

Thank you for calling MasterCard.  For English press one, Para Espanol oprima dos“.

I pressed “one”.  Then they started speaking to me in Spanish.  Oh for the love…..

I hung up and called again.  This time I made sure I pressed one.  Okay, English now, that’s better.  Hmmmm… guess I didn’t push “one” the first time around.

Please enter the last four digits of your credit card”.

I do.

“Please hold while we process your request”.

I wait for 12 1/2 minutes and listen to some horrible Celtic-inspired recorder solo.

Finally some lady comes on the phone.  She sounds about my age, maybe a little older, and conspicuously lacking an accent which I thought was a prerequisite for a job as a telemarketer.  We begin what starts as a very pleasant conversation.

“Thank you for calling to activate your credit card”.

You are very welcome.  Thank you for helping me activate my credit card.

“Can you please verify your name”

You betcha.

“Thank you.  Now if you could, please let us know why you have chosen this particular credit card”.

Ummmmm…. now she’s caught me because I’m actually working on editing photos and not exactly paying attention to this phone call.  Truth be told, I thought I would enter a few numbers and my card would be activated.  I wasn’t exactly expecting to speak to a real live human being.

So I say something about how I use it for my side business or something.

Then she goes on to try and talk me into using it for all my daily needs; gas, groceries, movies, parties, galas, and aren’t I going to be going out to dinner during the holidays?  Wow, this lady thinks I lead quite the social life.  Silly lady.

Then she tries to talk to me about the points that I’m adding up on this card and did I know that if I reach 25,000 points I can get $250.00???  She seemed a little miffed when I told her that I don’t use this card for the points and she asked with disdain if I use a Discover Card for the points.  I didn’t really think that was any of her business and so I didn’t answer, but instead asked, “so, what else do you need because I really just wanted to activate my card?”

She wouldn’t let the points thing go.  Then she asked if she could send me information about the points.  If it means that I can stop hearing you say the word ‘points’ and that I can just activate my stupid card and hang up, then YES, send me the information.

Then she says, like it’s the best idea she’s ever had in her whole life, “OR, I could E-MAIL it to you!!!”

Great.  Fine.  Whatever.

“Oh, but we don’t have your email address on file.  What is your email address?”

And right about here is where this phone call suddenly turns into a SNL skit, or a hidden camera prank.  I really think I just got Punk’d.

I tell her my email address: j as in jennifer, m as in merry, v as in victor, r as in rabbit, c as in cucumber, the number 2, @

I have no idea what the correct words are for letters, what is that even from, the air force?  But I’ve always made up my own and NEVER had any trouble.

She says “Okay, I’m just going to repeat that back because I’m not sure I got it.  J as in Jennifer, M as in your middle initial”, so far so good, “P as in pancake.”

No, no… VEEEEEEE as in VICTOR.

“Oh, okay, J as in Jennifer, M as in your middle initial, V as in Victor, S as in Sam..

No, no S.. R as in rabbit!

“Okay, J as in Jennifer, M as in your middle initial, V as in Victor, R as in rabbit, S as in Sam”

NO.  NO S!!

We go through it all again.  MULTIPLE times.  We had to have a redo for each letter.  Some more than once.  She really wanted to add an S in my email and I almost just changed my email address because it would have been easier and less time consuming.

We finally get all the letters down.  All five of them.  And then I tell her that the number 2 is next.

“The number 3?”

No, the number 2.

“So, jmvrc… 3?”

NO.  jmvrc TWO.

“Like the number 3?”

NO!  No number 3, the number 2!

“I’m just not catching what you’re saying.  Are you saying ‘three’ as in ‘one, two, three’?”

No.  I’m saying TWO as in one, two.

Three Blind Mice?”

NO!  TWO!!!! (I’m screaming now)

“I just cannot seem to understand what you are saying.  Are you saying the number 3, T-H-R-E-E?”

{Sigh} No.  Two.  T-W-O.



“I’m sorry I just can’t get….”

I mutter under my breath “are you freaking kidding me?”

She says “You don’t need to swear ma’am, I just am having a hard time understanding what you’re saying”. 

What?!?!  You can hear me mumbling to myself but you can’t hear me screaming the number two???  And I don’t think ‘freaking’ is swearing, at least not according to the students I work with who use it liberally.

We go around like this for what feels like 3 hours.  Finally, I get so frustrated that I’m almost in tears and I say “screw it” and hang up on her and throw the phone on the couch.  Then I go online, push one or two buttons, and activate my card in 0.8 seconds.

I’m pretty sure there was a hidden camera somewhere during that exchange and that I’m going to be seeing or hearing myself on TV.  Lord, I hope it was just an audio recording or all of America may soon be seeing me in my pajamas with a towel on my head and santa socks on my feet.


2 thoughts on “For English, Press TWO

  1. I’m laughing out loud. I yelled at a lady on the phone the other day. She probably didn’t deserve it, but it was in regards to our health insurance policy and I was very perturbed. I ended up apologizing profusely. I like your story more. 🙂

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