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September 8, 2011 / joelmalm

Press 2 for English…


I successfully navigated the phone menu, pressing 1,2,3 and even 4 multiple times.  After I was reminded 300 times that my call was important here’s the conversation that ensued:

Agent:(In heavily accented, choppy English) Thank you for calling United Airlines.  This is Tom.  How may I help you?
Me:
Hello Tom, I need to change a flight.
Agent:
Thank you for calling sir, I am please to help you.  With what may I help you?
Me:
Yes, I am leaving for _______ on ________but I need to change the flight.
Agent:
Yes sir, thank you for calling United Airlines, I will be please to help you with meeting the needs you have to your travel plans.  How may I help you?
Me:
(Awkward pause.)  Um…well…again… I need to change my flight.
Agent:
Very good sir. I would be happy to help you in this matter.  So I am understanding you need to change a flight?
Me:
Yes, I need to change my flight.
Agent:
I am very please to help you sir. How may I change your flight?
Me:
Um… I’m not sure how to answer that.
Agent:
Sir, I am Tom and am very pleased to help you with any needs you will have in changing your flight for United Airlines.  What may I help you with?

The remainder of the conversation has been deleted to avoid making me look bad.

That man on the other side of the ocean was very kind to me even after I got snippy, especially since it was probably 3:00am for him.  I feel guilty.  I’m sorry Tom.

After hanging up and thinking through all the confusing cultural stuff I was probably aloof to in that conversation, I thought about something.

It really is astounding that the truth of Jesus has made it around the world.  In spite of cultural and linguistic miscommunication, somehow the gospel has circled the globe and the church is alive and well in every country of the world.  Based on my phone call with Tom at United –that’s supernatural.  There’s lots of work to still be done, but the mission will succeed.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations… (Matt. 24:14)

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One Comment

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  1. Joy Felix / Sep 8 2011 8:30 am

    Great insight Joel! It is amazing isn’t it? I think of the linguistic and cultural issues that go on everyday in my ESL classes, and all the misunderstandings due to interpretation. It’s staggering to think that the gospel translates across all of that!

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