Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Voice of a Telemarketer

I like to think that my writing sounds as close as possible to how I sound in real life. Not that I'm ever as clever or well spoken as I think I am, or as my writing can be when it's edited, which it always is at least briefly.  I could probably use an editor in real life as well. This editing process would have to include significant control over my facial expressions and tone of voice too.  I have a reputation for not being able to mask my emotions and opinions when sitting face to face or over the phone. For this I would make a lousy lawyer or poker player. I can pull off tactful communication, but I have to really think about it before I speak. I just put my foot in my mouth on Sunday while hanging out with with some family in fact. It happens often.  I spoke, with a strong and rather judgmental opinion, in response to an embarrassing story that a relative shared. I just flopped my opinion out there in the room like a sweat sock filled with kitty litter. It was abrupt, potent and unwelcome. Like telling someone their baby is ugly. Yes, everyone in the room knows the baby is ugly, everyone has silently agreed to this fact, but everyone else says "Oh, look at those little ears!" or "What a cute little outfit!" or "He/She looks just like you two!" Not me, I basically said, "Damn, I'm sorry, but that baby is ugly." I meant it in a helpful way. I meant it out of love. Thankfully this family member tends toward the verbal blunt side, so I think she understood where I was coming from, but I felt bad about it.  And her babies really are dazzling.

Back to my point. I hope my writing sounds like me. The tactful, graceful version of myself that I like to portray. Minus slandering the aesthetic appeal of babies. Who knows if it actually does, how does one gauge that from the inside? Impossible. But since I'm getting a little tired of my own writing, everyday is just a lot for all of us I think, I thought I would mix it up over here and do a little video. For my three or so readers who've never met me in real life, I thought you might want to hear what my real voice sounds like. I always have a perception in my head of what bloggers or online friends sound like in person. Sometimes it's totally off, sometimes dead on. When I met my lovely internet friend Catie for the first time last week, she sounded exactly how I thought she would. Though she was taller than I expected and cursed like a drunken sailor, a trait I deeply enjoyed. Anyway, back in January my friend, Bethany participated in this very cool little accent video blog.  She read a list of words and answered some questions that help showcase the different dialects and regional slang/terminology of English speakers everywhere. Fun, right?

Much like Bethany said, I love language, written, spoken, charaded, whatever. I find accents fascinating and charming, particularly because mine is so dull.  I have the mild friendly accent of the Midwest. Born and raised in Missouri and Kansas, I have a prime telemarketer's voice. I've been told that my voice is mid-range, pleasant and accent free. Testimony to this fact is that I've been asked to record the voice mail master greeting and extension lists for the phone systems at my last three jobs. I am possessed of a mild mannered lady robot voice. You can call my office and hear me anytime. Weird. So I read the list of words and answered the questions, and actually brushed my hair first, so here we go!

See, total telemarketing gold. I never thought I had an accent actually until I was working in Philadelphia and two of my teenage clients rolled on the floor laughing when I said caramel, Barbara and water. They tried to make me say them over and over again. I acquiesced for about three minutes and then when they ran off to grab their friends to make me perform for them, I ended that little game. I'm no one's monkey. Ok, I'm happy to be the dancing monkey, but not for a large audience of tough Philly teenagers. I'm sensitive. And they were merciless.

So here are the words and questions. Give it a try yourself, but please leave a comment with a link if you post your video online. I'd love to hear your voice too.

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And here are the questions:
  • What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house? TP'ing
  • What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball? Potato Bug or Rolly Polly
  • What is the bubbly carbonated drink called? Soda
  • What do you call gym shoes? Tennis Shoes
  • What do you say to address a group of people? Hi, guys
  • What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs? Daddy Long Legs
  • What do you call your grandparents? Grandma and PaDad, Nanny and Pawpaw
  • What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket? Cart
  • What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining? Sun shower
  • What is the thing you change the TV channel with? Remote


Snowfairy said...

What a great voice. I was watching this with Tilda and her comment was "that girl said toilet, hee hee", oh to be 4 and be amused by words.
I love the bit with the shopping cart, I would say trolley instead.

Emily said...

Kassie, I don't think I've ever heard your voice, so this was particularly fun for me! :)

bethany actually said...

Of course I already know what you sound like, but listening to this I was struck by how our accents really are noticeably different on certain words, even though we grew up only a couple hundred miles away from each other! For example, I usually say PJ's too, but I pronounce "pajamas" differently from you, with the second "a" being a short "a" like in "apple" rather than an "ah" sound. Do you find that's true with Joe (since he grew up the same place I did), that there are words/pronunciations you use that he doesn't and vice versa? Or has he lived in Lawrence/KC long enough that you don't notice it? Also, I was reminded of how precise you are in your speech, which I think is mostly about your personality and not so much where you're from. :-)