Tech Support: Can I help you?
I’m sorry sir, I can’t understand you
I’m afraid… ah…
Don’t be afraid, sir. Why would you be afraid?
The computer I mean, it isn’t doing what I need it to do, its stuck, frozen.
Did you turn it off?
No, I’m afraid to turn it off, I might lose the data.
What kind of data are you trying to save?
A … form… for… insurance and….
I will try to give as much assurance as possible.
No, you didn’t hear me correctly, IN surance. Gees, don’t they teach you English
Ah, sorry, the connection is poor, you know that at our call enter we don’t always have the clearest signal. English is my first language.
Where are you?
In the Philippines, sir.
Uh…I hear life is tough there, tsunami, hurricanes, and stuff.
Ah, yes, it is tough here, as you say, dengue fever, malaria, no electricity. I’m very sorry sir. (His voice trails off) I guess I’m afraid too.
You’re afraid, you’re a kid. I can hear it from your voice, you can’t be that old.
Sir, about your computer?
No, you have nothing to be afraid of. My life… my life is…
At least you’re a free country – we freed your country, we gave you liberty, and you’re young.
Uhm, I’m sorry sir, but that isn’t true. I really want to help you with your computer that is stuck.
What isn’t true?
Sir, please, read a bit of history, our country, the Philippines was occupied by the US and hundreds of thousands died.
Nonsense, we’re a democratic country, we have jobs and booming economy…kind of Booming economy, and as soon as I get this damn computer unfrozen I have another job application that will surely get me work.
Sir, so you need help with the computer so you can finish your job application?
Damn straight, then we can get the god damn creditors off of our back!
You think you have it tough. I make $2.00 an hour at the call center, support seven people on that. I have a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering in a country that can’t even provide decent electricity! This damn call center job is 12 hours a day and the toilet doesn’t even work! Last week a monsoon shut down the city for three days! That is tough!
I’m sorry, my friend, you sound like a talented young man who is having a hard time.
Sir, I’m sorry, I lost my temper.
I’m sorry, I’m about to lose my home that I’ve lived in for the past 22 years, my company was downsized and the entire factory moved to China, I’m about to lose everything, the home, all we have left is a used car, and mobile home in the back
How big is your mobile home?
About 600 square feet, a bathroom, small kitchen, and…
Sir, it is twice as big as my apartment in Manila, except I have my in-laws, my mother, and my two kids…I’m not complaining, but you own the mobile home.
Why, yes, free and clear, and I guess… but I don’t want to lose this home, this is everything, I’m afraid. I had worked so hard
Sir, at least you have the mobile home, you have unemployment, but here we are always walking on a glass floor, beneath us is an abyss, I’m lucky I can make $2. an hour, but many can’t even make that. We’re totally….screwed… your country.. the USA has devoured so much of the world… and you and I are victims.
Yes, we’re victims, you can’t run your computer and your jobs have moved to China. Though I can build a computer from the ground up I can’t…there’s not enough electricity to run the building. We’re all walking on a glass floor. Three million homeless in your country, 15% or more unemployment, and the Philippines is a natural disaster zone. But the problem today is your computer, and I’m afraid if my boss heard me talking with you for so long I would be fired
So, you can help me?
I don’t know, but don’t be afraid.
I wish I could, I’m not sure.