The other day I found myself the recipient of the annoying screen of apathy. Yes, the screen of apathy. Despite having lived in this apartment for four years, I still don’t have a solid structure/plan of when I pay my bills, and as such, I don’t always pay my internet bill exactly when they’d like me to. The screen of apathy is the screen that pops up when you should be looking at one of a host of items, including work, the other work, the other other work, the blog, etc. And it’s the rerouting of your internet to the screen of Telefonica’s you-didn’t-pay-your-bill-you-idiot.
Except I had. I got online to my spiffy bank late on Sunday night, transferred funds, typed in those ridiculous codes on the back of a card so one steals my identity and accidentally pays my bills for me, and all was good with the world. And then I went to the gym and came back, and poof! I no longer had internet. And there was great sadness.
I could have gone elsewhere, but I’d just done something strange and burny to my ankle, and it seemed a better idea to lay low here at the batcave than to wander limpingly through the streets bleating pitifiully, “wifi? wifi?” So instead I called Telefónica. Which was fun, where fun is the word that stands in for a barrel of what’s the opposite of monkeys?
First of all, the number I was told to call on the screen of apathy was disconnected. Yay! Then, through genius machinations on my part, I discovered a working number, which I called and was told through the careless use of an endless supply of words (why do they talk so much? are we long-lost relatives?) that it was not the right number, but then I got the right one and all was good.
One disconnected phone call and seven non-connecting phone calls later, I got connected to the nicest Peruvian woman working in the most gigantic call center I have ever heard. There was so much chaos, so many people talking that I kept on answering questions that had not even been directed to me.
I was very happy for the help, and the woman did get my internet going again, but mainly she said “correcto.” It was like talking to a person who has “you know what I mean” or “right” as their verbal tics, but hers was “correcto.” I said something, “correcto.” She said, something, “correcto.” We were all very correct, and after she fixed my internet problem, or at least promised it would be fixed within an hour (and it was), I asked her if she was in Peru. I mean, I could tell she was Peruvian from her accent, but there are not a small number of Peruvians living in Chile (Spanish speakers, check out this article that talks about Lima Chica, from one of my favorite Chilean websites, Plataforma Urbana), so I asked her if she was in Peru.
And you know what her answer was already, don’t you? Correcto.
This was my first experience with a Chilean company subcontracting out their call centers to somewhere else, and while the Peruvian accent (or some variation thereof) is lovely to listen to, I can’t help but wonder how much money they save by exporting jobs if people a) can’t hear anything the people are saying andt then b)keep the people on the phone for a long time, just to keep on hearing them say, “correcto.”
You know what I mean?