Accents, or lack of, on the phone

I had to call AT&T because my cell phone gave up. After talking with the tech support guy for a while, we decided the only way to make sure it was a phone problem was to take it for a ride and see if it would work somewhere else. So, I took it to WalMart. The phone still showed “No Service”. I did pick up a few things to help hold the pets over while I’m out of town for Thanksgiving. But it didn’t do the phone any good.

So, I called back and told the lady in customer service that I have taken the phone for a ride and it was no happier than it was before. She found me a good deal on a new phone since mine was out of warranty, which is a bummer since I only use it about once a month. But she wasn’t sure she could get the phone to me before I left. But I could go to an AT&T phone store and pick it up.

I didn’t know where one was since I don’t shop at phone stores as a general rule, but she was going to look it up for me. Now this conversation was all in a very businesslike voice.

Then I said “Find a store in Grapevine”

I’m not good at spelling the way things sound, but she said something like “Wail lay-ets sa-ee, Grapevine, Takes-is.”

I said, “Are you making fun of me?”

She said, “Naw, Honey, Ahm from around Takes-is.”

I said, “You fell into normal mode, huh?”

She said, “Yeah, that’s normal.”

Afterwards she kinda went back and forth between an accent and not.

Have y’all noticed that in most business type phone conversations, the person doesn’t have an accent at all? This lady had a very nice southern accent, but mostly you’d have never known.


I find that telemarketers display the most “hung-out” accents, and I have a ball trying to guess their whereabouts. I usually think about this so much I miss what they say, and ask them to repeat it. Rather than being rude to them, I find them rather entertaining, and if I’m not doing anything better, I try to waste their time.

I don’t know about telemarketers, but I’ve called a lot of insurance and investment companies for business reasons, and the people on the other end frequently have pronounced* accents. New York, Oklahoma, and Texas all stick out n my mind.

*pun intended

Before I moved back to Michigan, I visited for about a week to try to find a place to live. I stayed with my parents, looked around a bit, then went back to Colorado. A few days after getting back, I called my bank to do something or other, I forget. Within two minutes of being on the phone, the customer service rep I was talking with asked me “Are you from Canada?”

Considering I’d only been home for a week and I picked up enough of an accent that complete strangers thought I was Canadian, I shudder to think of what I must sound like now, after five months of living here in da UP. After 11 years in Colorado, I’d thought I’d lost the accent. It’s amazing how fast it comes back, though.

The last couple of weeks I’ve talked to a lot of people from all over the country on the phone and I’ve been stunned at how few of them have strong accents. Tons of people from North Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Minnesota, and I’d never have guessed just from hearing them speak that they weren’t from right around the corner from me.

:: triumphant ::

Finally, a Michigander who will admit there is such a thing as a Michigan accent, and that it is noticeably similar to a Canadian accent! I. RULE. And my coworkers who all claim that Michiganders “talk like news anchors” DROOL. HA!

Okay, sorry. I’m going away now.

Yeah, my mom and I on separate occasions (during business transactions) have been asked if we’re from Minnesota or Michigan, and we’re from Syracuse (NY)…I did get asked once if I was Canadian, too, while buying a cymbal a year ago, of all situations.