Part of my job is to be backup for my company’s receptionist when she is out of the office or away from her desk. The following conversation was made possible by Google’s audio translate feature, and the receptionist’s afternoon off. Also the letters O, M, F, and G.
Me: Good afternoon, [Business Name], how may I direct your call?
Me: [Business name], how may I direct your call?
Me: No, this is [Business Name], I’m the receptionist. How may I direct your call?
Caller: Speak Spanish?
Me: No habla Español.*
Caller: No Español?!
Me: No, I’m sorry. No Español.
Caller: …*quietly* Alejandra?
Me: There is no one here called Alejandra. I’m sorry.
Caller: I need speak Spanish.
Me: I’m sorry, no habla Español. No one here speaks Spanish.
Caller: You… only one?
Me: No, but no one else speaks Spanish either.
Caller: No, WHYYYYYYYYYY?!? I NEED speak Spanish!**
Me: I think you have a wrong number.
Caller: *slowly* Num-ber? My number… four… three… one…
Me: No, no. Uno momento. *press hold button* *put face in palms* *breathe*
Then I remembered Google Translator. So I pulled up the website and typed “I think you have a wrong number.” I attempted to pronounce the words it gave me (probably really badly).
Me: Um… Yo cray-o? kay hay? oon noomeroh ee-quiv-o-KAH-doh?
And this is when I saw the little speaker icon in the corner and realized that would probably make Google say it out loud. So I clicked it. And it spoke. In Spanish!
Me: *putting phone up to speaker and pressing magic button then putting phone back to ear*
Google Translator lady: Yo creo que hay un número equivocado.
Caller: No. No equivocado. Speak Spanish? Alejandra?
Google Translator lady: No hay Alejandra aquí. Aquí nadie habla español.
Caller: *hangs up*
Me: *to myself* We did it! We did it! Yaaaaayyyy Lo hicimos! We did it! Doodeedoodeedoodeedoo…***
*This is not strictly true. My daughter watched an obscene amount of Nick Jr when she was little, so despite the fact that she is now 13, I still consider myself proficient in what I like to call “Dora the Explorer Spanish.” For example, if you need to ask someone to find the blue train, I’m your girl. If you need to warn s/he’s about to paddle a boat over a waterfall, I am all over that. Some of the other important phrases I can translate thanks to Dora include: “Look out!”, “Help me!”, “Mmmm delicious” and “We did it!” I can also count to 15 and know the Spanish words for a few of the more common colors and fruits. Unfortunately, surprisingly few of these things are helpful in everyday life, and almost none of them have any practical applications in the business world.
**Even now writing this, I can’t help wondering what she expected this would accomplish. Did she expect me to say “Oh WELL, that’s different! If I had only known before that you NEEDED to speak Spanish. In that case, let me get the emergency Spanish-speaking representative out of the storage room.” Or maybe “One moment while I drink a can of Instant Spanish.” Honestly I probably should have just hung up on her because she obviously was not going to give up, but I just can’t stand the thought of hanging up on anyone.
***If you have never seen Dora the Explorer you might be confused by this. For the probably quattro people fitting this description: