No, I’m sorry, this isn’t Customer Service—they are being on sabbatical this year again–but I can help you maybe…. My name is Evgeniya. I am the assistant and do some other services as well if you might understand what I am saying …. Yes, just the assistant is the official position. Your name?… That’s—I’m sorry—what did you saying? OK—m-o-ne-k-k-e-r. Let me see… tsih-tsih-tsih-tsih…. What have you said?…. Oh, very sorry—m-e-n-k-k-er. Tsih-tsih-tsih ….I’m sorry—what did you says? Oh, my apology—m-e-n-a-k-e-r. Is this right? Good. OK. You have the nice voice….Tsih-tsih-tsih. You’re welcome…. There is sound? I am not hearing a sound. .. Tsih-tsih-tsih. Oh, THAT is sound. Is just thinking-sound. So what is it that you have wanted? By the ways, I am free on most weekends…. OK, what can I help you with this…. You have wanted measurement for blinds in bedroom…. Yes…. We can make the appointment at this time…. I’m sorry—you have maken the appointment already? Then why?…. Oh—you are wanting to change the appointment. OK…. I am sorry about the dentist you have to be seeing quickly tomorrow at the appointment time for the blinds…. I may buy you a drink afterward, if you like that…. Let us look at the next day is what you would like to do?…. OK—I can help you with this appointment…. This other appointment, I should have says…. Can you give me phone number? 212, and what? 333, OK. And what comes after again? 542—what was this? 3. OK. Let me look by this number. This way I can change … Let’s see…. Tsih-tsih-tsih-tsih …. This system is so slow today!. OK…. May I put you on hold for minutes?…. OK—will be right back. Just have to change the computer I am looking on…. But first, last four digits of Social? …. 646 and which other one? 1. … Why? The system is not allowing to go on without this information. And your height is what?…. Oooh, this is nice. How much is weight? What? Weight. …Is good weight! You are welcome…. OK, now I can change computer so I can look up the appointment…. OK, I will put you on hold for some time, with appropriate custom music…. [“Blinded by the Light” is piped in] …. I am sorry about this waiting time…. Hello?… Hello?…. That is OK, you do not actually need to tell me what you needed to do…. Now I am on right computer and I have entered your information…. Tsih-tsih-tsih-tsih…. Why is everything being loaded so slow? I am sorry…. OK, now here we are…. I think that … Oh, this is wrong screen. This is someone else’s blinds. You don’t want! Ha-ha—wrong screen. How do I get out of this one?… tsih-tsih …. Let me see this for a minute now…. OK, now I have found the correct screen. It is loading very slowly…. OK, now, if I can just be able to find the right categories…. Removal …. Installation…. Complaints…. Ah, yes—here we are—Appointments…. It was when? Tomorrow? And you have wanted the next day?… Yes, I can understand you. I am sorry your teeth are sore and hurting…. Maybe a Thomas Collins afterward?…. The next day at which time would be good?…. OK—any time after 2 PM in the afternoon? Tsih-tsih-tsih-tsih! Here is a time. But I am sorry it is only a good time at 3 tomorrow afternoon…. Oh, of course. I should know that… That is being perfect…. Now just let me enter this new information…. The system is not allowing me…. May I just be off for some time? [“You Really Got a Hold on Me” plays] OK, Howard was being here and he showed me how to enter new time for appointment…. Final thing: date of birth?…. Really? You are not sounding … let me see—72! So let us just be sticking to the blinds. Let me just see if we have the right address…. Tsih-tsih—Oh, I am sorry—now you have requested me to stop saying tsih-tsih…. Well, sir, I will try…. You are welcome. Let us see…. Mim-mim-mim…
About the Writer
Daniel Menaker is the Editor of Grin & Tonic and the author, most recently, of My Mistake: A Memoir.