Friday, 21 May 2010


My new whiz bang mobile (cell) phone decided not to work…or should I say it works but the screen doesn’t light up. In the absence of x-ray vision I rang up the phone people and went through the warranty thing to get it fixed and I was ‘ma’am’d’ to death. The lady was very nice but clearly from a call centre in outer Uzbekistan or somewhere. She talked with an American accent. Do you think they have to learn to speak Yankee to get the job? Anyway she had a bloody hard time understanding me. It seems Australian in not a dialect learnt in schools across the world. How odd. So I spoke slowly and spelled out everything – ‘e’ for egg, ‘m’ for madness, ‘g’ for goat and ‘r’ for…er…I went for Reginald…hey - I was put on the spot and Reginald is a good solid name. Once we got past the spelling thing I had to read off numbers on the inside of the phone. I put my specs on – I only use ‘em for reading – and I squinted at the teeny weeny numbers. Well crap…I needed a teeny weeny person to decipher them. I rattled off several versions of what I thought they might have been and each time it was ‘no, that’s not it ma’am.’ Bugger. Eventually I worked it out. Then there was more ma’aming as I confirmed everything she said back to me. The call ended with another 27 ‘ma’ams’ – maybe an exaggeration – maybe only 25 and I hung up thinking why is there no alcohol in this house? Technology – it’ll kill you in a polite ‘ma’am’ way.

Amarinda Jones
Penn Halligan
Be an Amarinda book