Have you ever called a number for customer service and were directed to a person in a land far, far, away? If English is not that person's first language it can be a little tough getting a answer you understand. When recently I had to call for help with my new broadband, a delightful young man answered, who was eager to help. However I couldn't understand every other word he said.
The conversation went something like this...
“Hello!(Unintelligible)?” His enthusiasm is promising
“Hi, I just got this new broadband device from your company and it doesn't seem to be working. I wonder if you might help me.”
“(Unintelligible) help, Ma'am, (unintelligible) computer? You got Toshiba?”
“Oh. No, not Toshiba, Asus.”
“Asus. A-S-U-S.” I calmly spell it for him.
“The name of my computer.”
“Oh.” I thought I heard snickering. “You hold?”
“Yes.” I sighed, as all my questions begin competing for attention against the onslaught of ten whole minutes of computerized music on a repeat cycle, interrupted by friendly voices—also on repeat—that assure me how important my call is.
“Okay, (unintelligible) number?” He's back, breaking into my daze.
“Number?” I can feel my blood pressure rising and my pulse quickening.
“Phone number, Ma'am.” I can tell he is losing patience.
“(Unintelligible)?” I think he has asked another question--it's hard to tell.
“Pardon?” I'm starting to sweat.
“(Unintelligible) password!” His tone is starting to lose that warm, friendly touch.
“(Unintelligible) Windows 7?”
“No, I have Windows 8.” I guessed at this one!
“Ahhh. That (unintelligible).”
“I'm sorry, what?”
“Windows 8, Ma'am, (unintelligible) not work.”
“What won't work?”
“Windows 8 (unintelligible)!” In a now-testy tone.
“My Windows 8 works fine. My broadband doesn't.”
“No! (unintelligible) will not work!” He almost shouts in my ear.
“I'm sorry, can I speak to someone else please? I can't understand what you are saying.” Now, I am joining him in getting testy.
“Okay, you hold!” It's hard to tell if he's angrier at me or at himself.
Fifteen minutes later I get to talk to a new young man who speaks much better English. He tells me my broadband device is somewhat incompatible with Windows 8 and takes me through the steps to remedy the situation. I thank him and ask him to tell the other young man I hope there are no hard feelings.
“Oh, no Ma'am, he's used to it.”
I was thoroughly exhausted by the time I got off of the phone, but my broadband now worked, so it was all worth the effort. Thinking about the young man whose accent I couldn't understand, I couldn't help but wonder how many other times he had been asked for someone else to talk to. Maybe I should have used a little more patience with him, for was doing his job the best he could.
I got to thinking about what Christ does for us. He understands each and every one of us because He knows we as Christians usually do the best we can. He is very patient as we struggle to do the right thing each and every day. Maybe I could have shown a little more understanding and patience with my delightful young foreign customer service provider.
Maybe next time I will.
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