• Day 22/90 – The British Accent Works

    Day 22 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? Taking my fake British accent to the Verizon store!

    Sometimes you want to sit on Evo when you check your phone. (Photo by Sheila Dee)
    Sometimes you want to sit on Evo when you check your phone. (Photo by Sheila Dee)

    My phones been on the fritz lately, so I stopped by the Verizon store on my way home from work. Whenever you check in at the store, one of the first things they ask you is your first name. Call me old-fashioned, but I think it’s presumptuous when a company assumes that they can call you by your first name. This is one of the few things I dislike about Verizon.

    And, since I’m me, I’ve been rocking my British accent off-and-on all day – including when I walked into the Verizon store. When the clerk asked for my name, I’ve responded with, “I prefer ‘Mrs. Carter,’ if you don’t mind.” (I was inspired by Emma Thompson’s portrayal of P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks.) Historically, when I’ve objected to the clerk entering my first name, they’ve looked at me strangely; however, with a British accent, the guy didn’t bat an eye and said, “No problem, Mrs. Carter.”

    The clerk who assisted me was equally accommodating and polite. The Verizon clerks are usually wonderful when they are assisting me, so that wasn’t unusual. I did think it was very sweet that the clerk who assisted me walked me to the door and held it open for me as I left.

    I don’t know why speaking with a fake British accent makes people more polite and accommodating, but as long as it’s working and it makes me happy, I’m going to keep doing it. (It works even when I don’t ask for stuff. Remind me to tell you the story about how I got a discount on sunglasses just because I was speaking with my accent.)

    It turns out my phone’s processor is fried and thankfully I’m due for a free upgrade. I’ll be back at Verizon in a few days to transfer my contacts to my new phone.

    In case you missed it: Day 21 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Resetting my Priorities with Help from Saving Mr. Banks!

  • Day 15/90 – Rockin’ my Fake British Accent

    Day 15 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? Speaking with my fake British accent!

    Union Flag by Jay-Jerry from Flickr (Creative Commons License)
    Union Flag by Jay-Jerry from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

    I’ve known I’ve had a decent British accent since I was about 20. I’ve been told I speak in the “high English” dialect. Most of what I know has come from watching British actors on TV and movies. When I was in London for the Ungagged SEO Conference last month, I used my fake accent quite a bit and used terms like “that’s lovely” and “cheerio.” The conference staff said my accent was believable but they had to correct my pronunciation of a few words when I put the emphasis on the wrong syllable.

    Since I’ve been back, I continue to amuse myself with my fake accent – usually with baristas, servers, and clerks. People seem to like it. One person who know how I actually speak suggested I make the change permanent.

    This morning I went to Urban Beans for networking meetings. I ordered an Arnold Palmer in my British accent and one of the clerks asked me what part of Britain I’m from. Without skipping a beat, I responded with, “Oh I’m not. I’m English by blood, but American by birth.”

    Which is absolutely true! I have a strong English heritage. The weird thing is, so far, everyone I’ve said this to appears to believe me.

    Oh, I’m way too easily amused. It’s the simple pleasures that brighten my day.

    In case you missed it: Day 14 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Visiting Reverend Patrick!