It’s 30 deg C and our apartment is heating up like a pre-heated oven. Just our luck, the bedroom air conditioner decides to give up on us.
I cannot call a repairman directly because the landlord claims this old geezer is still under warranty. Thus, I have to call the landlady, who’s actually the landlord’s DITZY cousin.
I have been waiting for 3 days for a repairman to come and according to Ditzy, they are so busy, her request is in the queue. Yeah, right!
The first day, I called her, she said she left the number at home and will call when she returns home that evening. Fair enough.
The next day, I wait until late afternoon but since no handyman calls up, I call her again. Guess what she said?
“马上!” (mǎ shàng!) If you live in China long enough, you’ll understand what that means. Read this article.
The third day, I waited till 10 am before I called her again. She did not pick up the phone. Har-har-har. I’m not surprised. I called her again at noon. Same response.
Today, I did the same thing. She finally returned my call at 3 pm and a few minutes later, I get a call from the call center, which was a frustrating conversation with a Chinese lady who REFUSED to believe or to understand that I DO NO SPEAK CHINESE.
She kept asking me to do something something something. I repeated that the darn thing just wouldn’t turn on, ok? When she gave me the fourth instruction, I told her, “我不会讲中文”(wo bu hui jiang zhong wen).
She actually asked me WHY. I patiently told her I’d never learned it.
Then, she said that I could actually speak to her and I said that’s just conversational Chinese. She thought I was putting on an act!
Finally, when my sentences started sounding like gibberish, she caught on that she was talking to a blinking banana and RELUCTANTLY gave up. She said something something and I repeated if the repairman was coming at the time mentioned. She said yes and I said thank you and hung up.
It’s really frustrating talking to the mainland Chinese at times, especially the pig-headed ones, that I truly, truly, truly salute people who are either in the sales industry e.g. trying to explain to them about something as useful as term insurance quotes, the front desk or in the customer service industry. They need the persistence of the Pope and the patience of a saint.