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  1. #41
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    I notice that pizza joints in particular are REALLY BAD about having a lot of background noise. People talking/shouting in the kitchen, radio on, TVs on, customers talking in the restaurant, etc.

    I can't hear a freakin' thing on the phone when there's a lot of background noise. Especially when the person is calling from a cell phone from their car so I also have THEIR background noise to contend with.


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  2. #42
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    Mar. 24, 2004
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    I was at my local chinese food place for take out. They also do delivery. The girl on the phone was having a tough time with the customer's address. She asked if I would talk to him and handed me the phone. I wrote down the address and handed back the phone. The connection wasn't great and I had a tough time too but we got it done.
    I thought it was a great idea and I didn't mind.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


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  3. #43
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Particularly the ones that use older, less common words. Like "D as in delta". What's a Delta?
    Nobody needs to know what "Delta" means to know that the word starts with a D.


    I agree its frustrating, but I am guessing the person who takes orders at a fast food pizza place probably isn't getting paid top dollar.
    What exactly is your point?
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


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  4. #44
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    Nov. 2, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonnysMom View Post
    I was at my local chinese food place for take out. They also do delivery. The girl on the phone was having a tough time with the customer's address. She asked if I would talk to him and handed me the phone. I wrote down the address and handed back the phone. The connection wasn't great and I had a tough time too but we got it done.
    I thought it was a great idea and I didn't mind.
    Both of the Chinese places in the town next to me are apparently owned by hard working immigrants. Both places employ local folks (English as their first language) to deal with the phone.


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  5. #45
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    May. 7, 2013
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    Southern Ontario
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    I had an experience a few years ago trying to book a hotel room in Miami for my boss for a conference. The person on the other end of the phone spoke....errr.... totally rap/ghetto hip. (I'm Canadian I am not being rude but don't know how else to define it). She kept "axin" me wha I wanted. Only spoken really fast in a rhythm with so many "cool" words I was lost.

    That was the only bit I understood at all. The rest could have been out of a rap video. I did not understand one word. I finally asked to be transferred and got a lovely person with a heavy Latino accent who listened and helped me just fine.

    I felt SO STUPID and embarrassed I couldn't understand what the first one was "axin" me at all. But you have to wonder why they were on the phone at all? should have been bustin a move somewhere else!!!! I only saw the funny side later on, it was super embarrassing at the time.


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  6. #46
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    Nov. 13, 2006
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    deep in the CT wilds near...the 200yr flood zone
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    I too was trained to use the phoenetic alphabet for clarity and sometimes it works great. I was on the phone with Amazon because I was having trouble logging into my account with my email address. The CS rep was an older Scottish gentleman with a heavy accent. Both of us were having trouble understanding each other. Soon as I started with the phoenetic alphabet to spell it out, bam! we're talking the same language. Problem found and fixed with swift efficiency and he told me it was a pleasure dealing with someone that knew how to communicate.

    Next day I'm on the phone with an auto parts company in Long Island, NY. I'd placed an order, but wasn't getting any emails. The guy sounded like he was in his early twenties. After several attempts to say the letters with them being misheard I spelled out my email using the phoenetic alphabet for him. Then I asked him to send the email while I waited on the phone with him to make sure it went, which made him uncomfortable, and even more so when it didn't arrive. He insisted he put it in right and the problem must be on my end. I had to soothe him, then have him tell me what he had on his screen for the addy. He's spelling it out and gets to what should be an S and has a C instead. There's the problem, I say, that should be an S. Now he's all tweaked. You said Sierra, right?? That's a C! Deep inhale to stay calm. No, Sierra is spelled with an S. Charlie is for C. Long pause where I can tell the guy is embarrassed and wants to hang up in my ear. Sierra sounds like C, he mutters. It does, I agree. They should've used slither or something. Snake? Super? But I didn't get a choice about what words were selected for the list, I just have to remember what they are. Then he laughed and admitted his spelling wasn't so great. Not a problem. He corrected the addy mistakes, repeated it back to me and sent it off and it arrived in my inbox immediately. Woo hoo! Then he asked if I could repeat the phoenetic alphabet for him, so he could hang it on the wall by the computer. Seemed like an handy thing to have. I was happy to comply and he was more relaxed to hear this is a universal form of communication the military uses. Helping him spell out the words was a little painful though. After he finished he had an epiphany, Oh! There's only one word for each letter. Riiight, so if Charlie's a C... Sierra can't be a C. Got it!

    And then there was the time I tried to order a pizza delivered to a friend's house and the guy wanted to know what quadrant of the city that was in...
    This it be all wot we want in life, wenn peoples dey loff us. ~ Willem


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  7. #47
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    Jun. 22, 2012
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    My BF works in a restaurant. It's adorable that many of you seem to think that the restaurant employees different people to make the pizza, take phone orders, etc.

    More likely, it's one person taking orders, making pizza, receiving shipments, cleaning the store, pouring water, bringing out drinks, busing tables, dealing with sassy in-house customers who want free food for some perceived sleight and snag him as he's slinking back to the back with a tub of dirty dishes, etc. etc. etc. And he's probably been there for nine hours. Oh, and he probably gets paid about two dollars an hour.

    The food industry is broken. We get what we pay for.


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  8. #48
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    Oct. 8, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by fourmares View Post
    If you called from a cell phone you might have had a bad connection, add language, and background noise and tada! you have a problem understanding the customer on the phone. If you really wanted pizza you needed to ask for someone else to take your order.

    This. I've called in orders to places where I couldn't understand half of what the person on the phone said (my favorite the chinese place where the lady always answered the phone with a "whayuwan?"), but they still got my order and address right. If someone can't even understand you spelling out an address, there's a good chance it's a problem of background noise/poor connection.
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.


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  9. #49
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    Nov. 12, 2011
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    I'm an insurance agent and so have to give and receive VIN numbers on the phone all the time. Just the other day I had a guy say to me -- twice -- "X as in Zebra."

    I had to stop him the second time: "Sir, Zebra starts with Z. So is it 'X as in X-ray' or 'Z as in Zebra?'" Turned out he meant X.
    "A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character." - Tesio


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  10. #50
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    Dec. 12, 2004
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    Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by OnThinIce View Post
    He's spelling it out and gets to what should be an S and has a C instead. There's the problem, I say, that should be an S. Now he's all tweaked. You said Sierra, right?? That's a C! Deep inhale to stay calm. No, Sierra is spelled with an S. Charlie is for C. Long pause where I can tell the guy is embarrassed and wants to hang up in my ear. Sierra sounds like C, he mutters. It does, I agree. They should've used slither or something. Snake? Super? But I didn't get a choice about what words were selected for the list, I just have to remember what they are.
    In his defense, if he's part of my generation, there is a pretty popular (as in, Top 40) music artist named "Ciara". So if you don't know the phonetic alphabet, and someone on the phone is saying "Sierra", someone within a certain age range is likely going to think "Oh, Ciara!" instead of "Oh, mountains!"



  11. #51
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    Jan. 15, 2014
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    You can ask for a US english speaking connection. I do it all the time.



  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSacky View Post
    Semi tangent, but I have a super strange last name and I hate when people try to stop me spelling it out.

    'Oh just say your last name, I'm sure I'll figure it out, I have a weird one too'

    No, shush, its not even remotely phonetic nor is it any common ethnicity. I've lived with it for 21 years, I KNOW you can't spell it, just trust me!!

    ^^THIS^^^

    My name is only 7 letters long, but they don't look like they should go together at all... and invariably they mispronounce it. Especially here in Texas, where Spanish names are a given, Eastern European names are a "whut?"

    One time I entered a radio contest for some Steeler tickets and put down the phonetic spelling, too- and they actually called my name! And laughed because I HAD used the phonetic spelling and they needed it!



  13. #53
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    Mar. 30, 2007
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    If it makes anybody feel better, I had a wonderful experience at IHOP not too long ago when i went to redeem my free pancakes offer. They dropped my food in the middle of the restaurant - that's what I get for sitting in the corner I suppose - and I had to wait around 30 minutes to get it again because it was during rush lunch due to the school holiday but the manager was all nice to me and even a bit flirty too.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  14. #54
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    Mar. 24, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshfield View Post
    Both of the Chinese places in the town next to me are apparently owned by hard working immigrants. Both places employ local folks (English as their first language) to deal with the phone.
    This place seems to be entirely family owned and run. Their kids are normally there eating dinner and doing homework. The older boy who is about 10 will sometime run take-out food from the kitchen.
    Normally they do not have a problem with understanding or being understood. Her English is pretty decent. I think the big issue was the phone connection. The caller was on a cell phone and was pretty faint and krackly.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #55
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    Apr. 19, 2011
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    As a teenager and college student I acquired quite the pizza resume - Cici's, Papa John's, Johnny's NY Style Pizza, and a small place called Luigi's and have taken hundreds of pizza orders over the phone... I can't remember pissing too many people off, but I'm sure I did

    What really pisses me off are those automated telephone answering things that want you to tell it what you need. Northerners tend to think I have a Southern accent, but Southerners think I'm from the Midwest or something. Whatever my accent is, the robot answering machine can never understand me. I usually just say "Operator" or press 0 repeatedly until I get a person that hopefully speaks English.
    Southern Cross Guest Ranch
    An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia


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  16. #56
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    Nov. 13, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    In his defense, if he's part of my generation, there is a pretty popular (as in, Top 40) music artist named "Ciara". So if you don't know the phonetic alphabet, and someone on the phone is saying "Sierra", someone within a certain age range is likely going to think "Oh, Ciara!" instead of "Oh, mountains!"
    Charlie was used in the addy already. Why would there be two words in the phonetic alphabet to represent C?? Because a current pop 40 artist's name starts with it?? *head desk*
    This it be all wot we want in life, wenn peoples dey loff us. ~ Willem


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  17. #57
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Where does it make sense to spell a word starting with "C" as "C as in cat"?



  18. #58
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    Oct. 26, 2007
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    My point is - THAT PERSON THAT CAN'T SPEAK ENGLISH GETS PAID LESS THAN SOMEONE THAT DOES SPEAK ENGLISH.

    Yes, it is an additional skill. Just like an illiterate person would be paid less than someone that can read.

    The problem is the management hiring unskilled labor, and putting someone under qualified in that position.

    The problem is that we constantly want "more for less" - sure, this could happen at a "higher end" place - but really, in my experience, the family owned, family operated joints do not have the same problems with hiring the cheapest of the cheap labor, who isn't even minimally qualified for the job.

    Quote Originally Posted by rcloisonne View Post
    If they're not competent enough to take a simple order over the phone they're not worth minimum wage.
    And if they are illegal, there is a very good possibility that they aren't getting minimum wage. Why patronize a business that uses unqualified workers?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcloisonne View Post
    Why make excuses for these nincompoops? Unfortunately, they're found everywhere no matter how much they're paid. And not just with the English as a second people either
    Its not excuses, its reasons. You do realize that there are some people that are quite bright, but are still learning English right? How many languages do you speak fluently? And as for nincompoops - You do realize that intelligence has a bell curve distribution right? For every citizen with a 135 IQ, there is also a nincompoop.

    Patronize the places that pay more - and you will be more likely to avoid them. - really, illiterate, non English speakers, and those that are not too bright are not getting the top paying jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by rcloisonne View Post
    What ever happened to the "if the job's worth doing, it's worth doing to the best of your ability" mentality? I was raised that way and it has never steered me wrong.
    I agree - and some people were not raised that way, and are a waste. Why patronize places with such poor management and low pay you would have to deal with such people?

    And I know this might be amazing to you, but some people that do not speak English well, aren't lazy, stupid, good for nothing idiots.

    I lived in Switzerland for a stint when I was young. I am glad no one treated me like I must have the IQ of a rock because I did not speak perfect Swiss Deutsch.

    Honestly, the only place I have been frustrated by a order taker that can't speak English is at fast food joints - and there, you are getting what you pay for!

    I agree its frustrating, but I am guessing the person who takes orders at a fast food pizza place probably isn't getting paid top dollar.
    Quote Originally Posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
    What exactly is your point?
    You get what you pay for.


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  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshfield View Post
    Both of the Chinese places in the town next to me are apparently owned by hard working immigrants. Both places employ local folks (English as their first language) to deal with the phone.
    This is a good idea! Better for the customers, better for business. Do you think that those English as first language local folks get paid more or less than the immigrant, can't speak English employees?



  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoZ View Post
    This is not a criticism because I know it's frustrating. But nobody under the age of 30 seems to have any knowledge of the "A as in apple" stuff. Particularly the ones that use older, less common words. Like "D as in delta". What's a Delta?
    NATO alphabet. Just tell them that and watch their heads spin. Because if they don't know what a delta is, they sure as hell won't know what NATO is.

    OP, next time just tell you want the a-hole special.
    __________________________
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