YOU CAN CALL ME AL
Harland Rieger recently contacted the phone company to change his billing address from his previous Kansas address to Albuquerque. After a 35-minute hold, a customer service representative noted his new location.
Rieger writes, “When the next service bill came in the mail, the address read, ‘Albert Kirky, NM.’ The fact that the bill got to me at all is a miracle.”
THIS CHAT WILL BE RECORDED
While placing an online order through the Lands’ End website, Jerome Kaufman of Albuquerque realized that he’d accidentally paid by credit card instead of using an electronic gift certificate. He clicked on the website’s “Live Help” to chat with a customer service representative. She pulled up his order, then wrote: “I apologize. Because this is a Borderfree order, we can make no changes to it. I can cancel the order and you may place a new one with the e-certificates.” Kaufman replied, “What do you mean by Borderfree?” She answered, “All Lands’ End international orders are handled by Borderfree. Shall I cancel the order?” Kaufman wrote, “I am amazed that you think Albuquerque, New Mexico, is not in the United States. New Mexico is located between Texas and Arizona. I do not live outside the U.S.A.!”
Last August, Phyllis and Richard Frederiksen of Albuquerque visited the White Earth Nation reservation, in Minnesota. As they checked into the Shooting Star Casino’s hotel, the clerk asked Phyllis if she had needed a passport to come to Minnesota. Phyllis asked, “Excuse me?” and the clerk repeated herself. “Now I’m really chuckling to myself,” Phyllis writes, “and want to play with her (not Minnesota Nice, I know). Finally, I told her that New Mexico is a state south of Colorado.” She looked at Phyllis blankly and said, “I’ve never been there.”
When Michele Jenkins Nagorski applied for a teaching position at the Anne Arundel County Public School District, in Maryland, an official told her, “The University of New Mexico is not accredited by the U.S. Department of Education, since it is in Mexico. Therefore, we cannot hire you.”
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Evonnee Sanchez Archuleta is used to fielding questions like “Why do you speak such good English?” “Why is Mexico sometimes called ‘New’?” and “Do you need a passport to visit the United States?” She adds, “But once I get them to understand that New Mexico is a state, I have to explain that I am from Las Vegas—no, not the one in Nevada.”
BLURTING TO FLY
“I lived in New Mexico for a few years, ten years ago,” Lynn Niizawa recalls. To her annoyance, every time she called an American airline to buy domestic plane tickets, she was transferred to an international flight operator. She adapted, learning to say quickly, when asked to name her departure city, “Albuquerque-New-Mexico-it’s-a-state- in-the-U.S.-it’s-not-international.”
OUTSOURCED TO ABQ
Jude Lopez works for an Albuquerque call center. He and his team were recently instructed by their employer to answer, “Albuquerque,” with no state identified, instead of “New Mexico,” when asked their location by customers. “There were too many complaints that the company was outsourcing to Mexico,” Lopez writes.
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Send your “Missing” anecdotes to fifty@ nmmagazine.com or Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Include your name, hometown, and state. Thanks!