Friday, December 10, 2004


Two conversations, one theme—Who’s on first?

Call one, to the help desk at an unnamed company. A gentleman at a call center in India (Bangalore, to be specific) answers. He says, “Hi, my name is Alan, may I have your first and last name?” I answer, Allen. He says, “How do you spell that?” I say, A-L-L-E-N. He says, “No, Alan.” I say, “A-L-L-E-N.” He says, “No, A-L-A-N.” This goes on for a while. I am near sending the black-hooded death squad to execute him in his pod. He finally realizes. “Oh. You are telling me how you spell your name. I was telling you how I spell mine.” Let’s send more CSA jobs offshore; that way, we can all lose our minds when we call for technohelp.

Conversation two, 80 minutes ago. We’re in Burger King (know ‘round here as Rey de Hamburguesa) to buy some value meals to allow us to buy those Spongebob Watches (buck ninety nine with purchase). The orderguy takes our order. My wife asks if the chicken value meal is fried. In less-than-halting English/Spanglish, he says, “Yes, it comes with fries.” With rapidly shrinking patience, my wife repeats the question. He again says it comes with fries. This would have gone on for a hour had someone with marginally better English not walked by.

Give us your tired, your poor and (as Seinfeld says) any poor forsaken slob who can muster up the airfare to come to our sacred shores.