Friday, September 4, 2009

can i microwave an apple and a cat?

I’m one of those people. I was talking about language today at work with some friends, and, as usual, it reminded me of a story. Everything reminds me of a story. That is why I have to have a blog. Preventative medication. So that I don’t interrupt every conversation in life with “oh that reminds me of the time—”
But the point is not that. The story.
When I was a debt collector, I called Americans, and as we all [should] know, sometimes, Americans speak Spanish. Which is nice but as we all [should] know, I’m painfully monolingual. As in, my French is limited to asking if I can go to the bathroom and microwave an apple and a cat (really). (Oh and I can also say, “my name is” and “I love” and “what is it?”). So when I got my first Spanish inbound call, and realized I didn’t know what to do, I turned to the guy beside me [Nick, I think it was] and mouthed, “SPANISH! WHAT DO I DO???” He reached over and scratched these words onto my notepad:
señor, usted tiene rodillas agradables
I stumbled through them and then he pushed a button on my phone that transferred the call. I looked at Nick for affirmation that I’d pronounced the words correctly, and asked what they meant. He explained that I had said, “Sir, I will transfer you to someone who speaks Spanish.” Ok.
I kept my notepad beside me all summer, often using my new Spanish phrase and beginning to feel very good about how Spanish and suave I sounded. Until.
Until one of my Spanish calls got monitored by the gals over at QA (Quality Assurance, for those of you who don’t know the debt collection lingo), and I was informed by my big angry boss, Ricardo, that I’d been telling all my Spanish callers, “Sir, you have nice knees.”


rachiedragon said...

heehee teeheehee heeheeheeheeheeheheehe.... heehee

Crystal said...

Bawhahaha!!! heeheehee...ahahaha!!! I'm sure you made some old, spanish-speaking man's day! "hey honey! The debt collection lady thinks I have nice knees! now how about that!"

Mrs. Wilson said...

that. is. awesome.

eef said...

omg that is amazing.

Holly Knitlightly said...


I was a debt collector too!! Haha. Progressive Insurance... ha!