Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lost in Translation

I have a little sniffle today, so I left work early, took some medicine, and climbed into bed.  Upon waking, I was craving soup.  And so, I ordered Chinese food -- mostly won-ton soup -- from a relatively new place near my neighborhood.  The food is decent and relatively cheap, plus they take credit card, which is important to someone like me, who always seems to have a ton of cash or none at all.

The problem, however, is that their English is bad.  Really bad.  Cliché bad.  So, not only do I live in fear that they're going to send me something bizarre, but no matter how hard I try, they do not understand my address.

In theory, I should be pretty easy to understand:  I speak loudly and clearly and I don't really have a regional accent.  (I worked really hard to get rid of my New Jersey accent when we moved to Florida when I was 12, and I've been largely successful.) Plus, I spell.

I've ordered from this place twice now, and both times, the same thing happened.  The girl on the phone takes my order, repeats it and my address back to me.  She seems to have it perfect.  Still, 20 minutes later, I get a phone call from the delivery driver -- with even worse English -- who is at a different building, on a different street, about half a mile away.  He insists that I gave the wrong address, or that the street he is at is the street that my condo is on.  I barely understand a word he is saying.  He keeps saying something about a hotel.  No, it's not a hotel, it's a condo.  After about 10 minutes of me trying to figure out what he is saying and spelling my street address for him, finally, he seems to understand. Eventually, the food gets here.  The delivery driver keeps showing me the printed receipt, which shows a different address from the one I gave on the phone.

And so, next time, I'm ordering from somewhere else.

1 comment:

Miss Scarlet said...

That's frustrating. Especially since she repeated your address!

By the the new theme!