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Some Things Really Shouldn’t Be Rushed

, , , , , , | Working | March 17, 2023

An office colleague used to sit facing me, about a metre away, so I’d often hear both sides of her phone conversations.

One day, she answered a call from a French man whose English was weak. He wanted one of the managers. However, the managers wanted us to introduce callers before putting them through.

(Names have been changed.)

Caller: “I want talk John Smith.”

Colleague: “Canahskhooscawingpleas?”

My colleague spoke Estuary English — rapidly. In plain English, she was really saying, “Can I ask who’s calling, please?”

Caller: *Pausing* “John Smith.”

Colleague: *Very rapidly* “Nouhmeanineedyawnamefawcanputyathrough.”

Translation: “No, I mean I need your name before I can put you through.”

Caller: “I want talk John Smith.”

My colleague paused again, and I could sense she was frustrated and baffled as to why this caller couldn’t understand. She got partway through her next Estuary sentence when I’d had enough and waved her down.

Me: *To my colleague* “WHAT. IS. YOUR. NAME.”

My colleague fortunately immediately twigged what the problem was and how to get the caller to understand.

She spoke to the caller again, this time enunciating clearly and slowly.

Colleague: “WHAT. IS. YOUR. NAME.”

Caller: “Jean Dupond.”

My colleague gave me a quick thumbs-up and a wry smile before putting Jean Dupond on hold. Then, she connected to John Smith, the manager.

Colleague: “Shaw Doopaw coming through for you.”

Manager: *Pausing* “Oh, yes, put him through, thanks.”

In fairness to my colleague, she was no idiot. She’d work very fast and get a whole lot done. It was just that sometimes she couldn’t seem to slow down. It was a pity when she left.

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