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Jul 1, 2007

did she think I was young or do I sound like a girl?

I had to call my credit card company to clarify something. Avoid doing that at all costs. It is almost as bad as going to a doctor.

I had to go through the torture of acually getting a person to speak to.

The first thing the computer aks me to do is to type in my identity number and four digits of my credit card into the phone.

You then go through machines with selections that offer none of the things you need as choices. I need to check up a certain charge. All they offer is "For travellers insurance, press one, for information on the start system, press 2, for information for business, press 3, etc." And every time you press a number it takes you to another sub-menu with selections that are meaningless.

I keep selecting "For other, press 5".

After then being put on hold and waiting to some annoying tunes of muzak, a clerk finally comes on the line.

The first thing she does is ask me for my identity card number and the last four digits of my credit card. I say, "I put those into the phone, why do you need to ask me again?"

She says, "Just give the numbers sir so I can help you."

Fine, I give her the numbers. She then asks me, "What is your name?"

I tell her my name.

She hesitates and says, "Are you sure it is yours? I think the card belongs to a man."


I say , "I am a man."

She hesitates and says, "ummm OK, so how can I help you?.." Not even an apology!!!

So, did she just think I was young (the bus drivers would offer me a youth pass until I was 27) or did she think I sounded like a girl? If the latter, then I know I should not start a singing career.. (not that I have the voice for it anyway..)..


  1. Well my non Jewish name, if you drop one letter, is a guy's name. Some people misspelled it in my documents and I was called for army service when I turned 18 cause they thought I was a boy. How about that? lol.

  2. LOL! That was a really funny post. Re: my red photo - the theme day today is red so I took a reg photo of tel aviv and put in a red tint from picassa photo tools. And presto, Tel Aviv in red. Cool hey. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  3. just a guess as to why in general a lot of companies ask you twice for the info (having worked with some of them) - when you type it in to the phone, it has an impact on the phone system, such that within the system, so long as you do not interact with a person, you can check out billings, order things, find out your last payment, etc.

    Once it transfers to a human, a good system will pass that information along to them, perhaps putting it in on the screen as part of the telephone script, perhaps even passing along all that information. A not-so-good system will simply exit you out of the system and transfer you to a human in the appropriate department, such that the person answering the phone has no idea who you are.

  4. Try pressing "0." It usually connects you to a live person--most of the time at least. :-)

  5. rebel - that's like a daniella/daniel, rafaela/rafael, stephany/stephan situation.. could get confusing...

    josh - yes. I just figured thaqt i fthey already put the system in place, and because it is a major credit card company I would assume they put in a decent one, all my info should have already been transferred to the clerk who picked up...

    aviva - I will try avoiding the menus next time competely by just pressing 0. we'll see if it works. It definitely was not one of the options in the menu...

  6. Rafi, try this:
    Hopefully your cc company is in there somewhere.

    As for secular names, there's also the Eric(a) which bothered me throughout grade school.

  7. interesting list. unfortunately it is only for companies in the US...
    I hear you on the eric/a

  8. She says, "Just give the numbers sir so I can help you."

    i assume you added that 'sir' part and not she. had she already referred to you as sir and then forgot that you're a man, would be even more unlikely.

  9. you inspired me:


  10. I guess I added the "sir". Then again, the conversation wasn in Hebrew, and I was just paraphrasing the whole thing, not quoting verbatim....

  11. That was pretty funny. Kind of why I like dealing with any kind of beauracracy face-to-face.

  12. I guess so, though I do not even know if it is possible to go down to the cc offices to take care of such requests face to face...
    and thinking back, she probably had to ask, for security reasons, if she had any reason to suspect I was a female trying to access info on a guy's card....

  13. Hey Rafi,
    Welcome to the club! I get this with every company and regular people too.
    I get sent labels in the mail with Mrs. on it while my wife has the opposite problem she gets mail addressed to Mr. because of her name.

    Anyway,we all arrived safely with 2 pieces.
    have a nice summer.
    Solly G.


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