“Customer service, this is Bryson speaking, may I have your account number, please,” Bryson spoke with a tone that, to him, sounded as if he was bored out of his skull. Of course, he couldn't help it after what felt like thousands of calls with the exact same greeting over and over and over again. Now he just prayed for an over and done call, after all, his break was merely three minutes away.
“Eh, speak-a Spanish?” came the voice ringing through the headset covering Bryson's ears.
Dear God no, Bryson thought. This call was going to take forever. “No, but I'd be more than happy to bring a translator on the line,” he lied in the happiest and least sarcastic tone he could muster. He was really thinking something more along the lines of: No, but if you go back to Mexico I'm sure you will find more than enough people who would be more than happy to further assist you in your native language, because I'm definitely not willing or happy to.
“Thank you,” the client replied. Reluctantly, Bryson pushed the conference line and dialed the extension for an interpreter. There's no way his break was going to start on time now. With an interpreter call he'd be lucky to be off the call in time to end his shift.
As he waited for an interpreter to come on the line, he wondered what he was doing. Here he was in this ridiculous office, sitting at his ridiculous cubicle, with his ridiculous headset, talking to this ridiculous client, waiting for this ridiculous interpreter. When the interpreter finally came on the line, he told them his name and the code number for his job site and as he did he was really just hoping the Hispanic gentleman on the line would drop dead before he could patch the interpreter into the call so he could simply take the break that was owed to him by his company thanks to state law.
Channeling his agitation into a rainbow colored mini slinky, Bryson told the interpreter he has an ass of a client on the line who can't learn English and probably is an illegal immigrant, but he must service the prick like they're best friends. Naturally, most of the previous sentence doesn't escape his lips, but can easily be read through his tightly gritted teeth. He told the interpreter to ask for the client's policy number. The interpreter said she'd be more than happy to further assist.
Bryson patched the client back into the line. “Hello, sir, thank you for holding, I have an interpreter on the line.” The interpreter translated Bryson's previous request as he looked around his drab cubicle for anything that could possibly lift his spirits.
It has occurred to Bryson that this building, this place where he spends 40 to 60 hours of his week life, is like an asylum for the mentally ill, and this cubicle is his padded cell. If it wasn't an asylum then why does he come here every day of the week expecting a different result only to get the same crap handed to him day after day? Still, each day he worked his eight hours with the hope of getting off at the same time every day with good behavior, or as close to it as possible. It really was a meaningless experience wrapped in mediocrity. He looked around his cube, and even with the personal flourishes he felt the need to bestow on his work area, this place still appeared to lack any kind of warmth.
After meaningless words spoken in what sounded to Bryson as childish gibberish are exchanged between the halfwit client and the interpreter, the interpreter relayed what could possibly be, but may not be, the exact words spoken by the client in a dialect Bryson can actually understand. “I'm sorry I do not have the account number, can you look me up a different way.”
With a release of air that could be nothing less than a sign of exasperation, and with the feeling that much more was exchanged between the client and the interpreter than what was just relayed, Bryson says, “I can look it up by your phone number.” More mumbo jumbo is passed between the two Spanish speaking freaks before the interpreter finally returns to speaking something comprehensible in the form of a nine digit phone number. Bryson enters it into the computer and nothing is returned in his fruitless search to find this asshole in the system. “I apologize, I could not find you in the system using your phone number, if you could possibly spell your last name for me, I may be able to find you with your name.”
After a moment of the client saying something irrelevant to the interpreter, the interpreter said in English, “R-O-D-R-I-G-U-E-Z.” As Bryson typed the letters, he thought, Wow they don't even spell like regular people. Bryson asked for the first name, and after a moment of that funky spelling the interpreter returned with, “P-A-U-L-O.” Paulo, Bryson thought, what kind of a ridiculous name is that? How about you drop the O and become an American, while you’re at it maybe you can learn English. Or maybe you'd rather change it to an A and get a sex change.