Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Go ahead and... sound professional

Ever call customer service and have them tell you "I'll go ahead and note that on your account" or "I'll go ahead and give you a credit" or "I'll go ahead and enter your payment"?? There's even an On-Star commercial where the operator says "I'll go ahead and wait on the phone with you until emergency services arrive." What exactly is the effort and hard work involved in pressing a few keys on a keyboard or waiting on the phone? How does that involve "Going ahead"?

Last night I was talking to a a gentleman who works for AOL in India, named "Donald". He told me "I'm going to go ahead and take you off of our telemarketing list." With his accent, this American phrase sounded very odd. So I asked him "When you say 'Go ahead and...' is this a phrase you picked up when you learned English or were you told to say it?" He admitted that AOL told them to say it "to sound professional".

There you have it - trying to sound like you're going out of your way to help the customer when you're really doing very little is Professional.

I'm going to go ahead and, oh... this is hard work... click on "Publish Post"...


  1. We all have to "get ahead" somehow...:)

  2. LOL, I never thought of it this way... In fact, I never even paid attention to his phrase... But now I will GO AHEAD and keep it in mind next time I'm talking to someone on the phone! : )

  3. I have great sympathy for phone representatives, as I have to do it on occasion at my job when the call volumes get really high (like the beginning of the year... I jut came off the phones, in fact). As someone who is not trained to do it (I'm a software developer), I just try to be as friendly as possible and put them on a hold a lot as I ask experienced people around me how to help the person out.

    It's a tough job, and people are sometimes very upset about something, whether they've been fired or haven't received a paycheck or whatever. I've had someone scream at me before, call me all sorts of names that aren't fit for print.

    That said, I despise telemarketers. As much as I too need to hear a warm voice helping me work through a complex financial transaction, I can't stand unsolicited calls.

    I'm going to go ahead and say that the federal "do-not-call list" is one of the greatest inventions ever.

  4. I love talking to "Julie" in Bombay, "Mitch" from Calcutta or "Randy" from Manilla.

    I get a kick out of asking them there real names too. Usually they won't tell me, but occasionally they do.

    I think I'm going to go ahead and "Login and Publish" - no need to "Preview" first.

  5. My favorites are "Christopher" and "Mary", though "Bob" is pretty close behind...

  6. Loved this post! No politics, no sports, commentary on our great language - right up my alley.

  7. Ayelet - That's because I didn't write it, your good friend SIL did! :)

  8. I'm going to go ahead and say that's a great anecdote.