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Caught In A Loop

, , , | Working | April 16, 2022

I speak English, but I currently live in a country where English isn’t the primary language. While I can speak and understand some of the local language, communicating in English is much easier, especially over the phone.

I rent a car during the summer for a road trip. Because of a [health crisis illness] flare-up in the city where I rented the car, I need to return it to a different location. Fortunately, the company I rented the car from has a phone number for English speakers. I call the number.

Agent: “Hello, how can I help you?”

Me: “I need to return my car to a different city.” *Gives identifying information*

Agent: “This is the hotel line, not the car rental line. I can help you translate to the car rental people because they don’t speak English. But, in the future, you can call [number I called] and it’ll take you directly to the car people and they will speak English.”

I write the number down, only realizing later that it is the number I called. I get the options for returning the car and say that I will call them back once I make a decision.

A day later, I’m ready to make the reservation to drop off the car (which is a thing with less busy rental companies here). I call the number the guy gave me, which is also the original number I called. The same guy answers.

Agent: “Hello, how can I help you?”

Me: “Hi, we spoke yesterday.” *Gives identifying information* “I’m ready to make the reservation to return the car.”

Agent: “I can translate for you because the people on the line don’t speak English. In the future, you can call [same number I already called] to speak with the car people. They have an English speaker who can translate.”

I did not bother to tell him that A, he had given me the same number I called, and B, he was likely the English speaker to whom he was referring. 

Fortunately, my language skills are okay enough and the process of returning a car is simple enough that I was able to conduct the return without any problems.

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