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Death by a thousand spells

Talking on the phone in Japan is quite an adventure in and of itself, but God help you if, instead of the person you are calling, an English-speaking secretary picks up the phone. What she will do is, making one mistake after another and asking you again and again, torture your name out of you. That seems to be the only skill they have, but they use it with deadly efficiency.

"May I have your name, please?" -- "Vladimir." -- "Can you repeat that, please?" -- "Vladimir." -- "Can you spell that, please?" -- "V-L-A-D-I-M-I-R." -- ""V" as in "vodka"?" -- "Yes." -- ""B" as in "behemoth"?" -- "Wait, there's no "B"!" -- "No "B"? What was it, then? "N" as in "neanderthal"?"

Half an hour later you already know you have all known speech impediments, as well as some hearing problems. But you've finally finished spelling your name, which is good!

"OK, sir, let me repeat it one more time. It starts with "Z" as in "zeppelin"?

At least my name isn't Michael Bolton...

Author: vladimir (original version)
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