Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I hate dealing with mumblers, especially on the phone. It gives the impression you're head's not all in the game or that you're not all that interested in the person you're talking to.

It reminds me of Marlon Brando. Apparently, Frank Sinatra refered to Brando as "Mumbles" at least once. They worked on the MGM film version of Guys and Dolls together... Sinatra as Nathan "Detroit" and Mumbles as "Sky" Masterson. (Enjoyable film, yet it should have starred Dino and Frank... I'm sure Frank would have wanted to be Sky with Dean as Nathan, too.)

According to the Sinatra biography "All or Nothing at All":
...Sinatra couldn't stand Brando's working habits. The method actor had to think about it all day and then do it ten times; Sinatra said to writer-director Joe Mankiewicz, "Don't put me in the game, Coach, until Mumbles is through rehearsing."

I just went through two phone-jockeys to deal with a parking ticket. Neither of them could speak, at least not into a phone. Mumbles Ray sounded put out after I said (for the third time) that I couldn't understand a word he was saying. Gee Ray, I'm sorry for wasting your time... I'm even more sorry for wasting mine. Mumbles Lady was worse... at least due to the fact that she disconnected me after I asked her to transfer me to the auto-payment menu. (She first said I should call back... apparently, transfering a caller is too much work for a slug like Mumbles Lady.)

Maybe I get annoyed by mumblers because I've done some voice work. I've blown a number of vocal lines, but I at least notice it and try to improve.

Of course, there's also the customer service element to their job. However, I've worked in retail and also dealt with folks over the phone for work... a thankless job, but I would be ashamed of myself if I acted or sounded like either of the Mumbles Twins.

Screw you, Hennepin County parking violations phone operators. I hope your asses itch all day.


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