Yesterday was a true reminder that I am a foreigner living in France and that it is easier to be French living in France, or, at least have a decent French accent when you speak the language!
I borrowed Hubby to help me with some work as I needed to cold call a number of large organisations to set up some appointments. I’m not into cold calling but this type of activity never used to daunt me in the least when I was doing it in the UK. But, in France, I absolutely HATE speaking on the telephone.
The reason I hate speaking on the phone so much is often people make out they can’t understand me at all, but funnily enough if I shout at them they miraculously understand, although shouting down the phone isn’t very professional for an important business call! In fact, some people are so rude (I’m thinking of certain professions who are renowned for being obnoxious) that they don’t even consider that even though they don’t understand me I may just understand them and say things like “oh my god, I’ve got a bl***y foreigner on the phone, can’t understand a word she’s saying”. Of course, the latter is said in French and of course I understand!
So, I convinced Hubby to help me and was amazed when he managed to set up two major appointments for me in the space of two days. I’d had a go with exactly the same places in September and couldn’t get passed the secretary for her saying “err, can’t understand you, what do you want?”.
I’ve asked some of my French business contacts with whom I speak regularly on the phone if my French is that bad and they cannot understand what the problem is. Fortunately it is not everyone I call who re-acts in this way but it is a lot and it is very frustrating. Maybe I should work on my accent some more or maybe I should just buy myself this gorgeous phone I found on the internet so I’ve got something pretty to look at whilst I try and call such ugly minded people?