Friday, September 30, 2005

Telling It Like It Is...

I had to call our Swiss bank today regarding a question concerning our account. When you call the bank here, a recording tells you that "...your call WILL be recorded for security purposes!" I like that. They're tellin' it like it is. In the U.S., the recording says (unless it's changed recently) that "...your call MAY be recorded." Is it, or isn't it? I'd kind of like to know up front. I think it would also help for U.S. over-the-phone customer service. In the past, I've had to say to an especially cocky or rude customer service person in the U.S.: "I hope to God that this call is being recorded 'for security purposes' and that your boss decides to have a listen." MAY??? - They're thinking: "I'll take my chances." WILL??? - "(gulp!)"
Anyway, I called the bank today and selected #4 " speak with a customer service representative in English." The man came on the phone and began speaking in German. I began speaking in English, and he told me that he didn't really speak English and that he would find an English-speaking person for me. I told him not to bother and that I would try to ask my questions in German. First, he had to ask me a bunch of security questions in German, and I guess I passed because he then asked me how he could help me. I muddled my way through the questions, I think I understood the answers, we said goodbye, ...und jetz habe ich viel Stolz. I conducted banking business in German, people!!! But don't tell Mrs. TBF. If she finds out about this it might get her to thinking that I could pass the German certification test...and (God forbid)...she'd tell me to get a job...(gulp)!
I would, however, kind of like to have a copy of this history-making phone conversation. I know that the conversation WAS recorded. I wonder if they'd burn me a copy onto a CD so that I could listen to it when Mrs. TBF isn't around.


The DP said...

you forgot the second most important thing about conducting your conversation in german: if a swiss person found your conversation in german to be acceptable, then a normal german would probably think you were goethe or schiller or something.

Go you.

Job? What is this job thing you speak of ::blinking:: ?

(I heart Swiss banks, BTW, I just paid all my bills online)

Gretchen said...

What's up with this German certification test anyway? Our German teacher recently suggested to us (my German classmate and me) that we work toward the goal of taking the test next year. We both promptly responded with a "nein". Why would I want to take a test? I've been out of school for years and have no desire to take anymore tests. Conducting bank business in German-- that's quite an accomplishment and better than any test you could take! I'm even happy if I can make a haircut appointment in German.