Saturday, September 3, 2011
From Now On, I Am Known As Nona
Maybe I should explain.
I was getting through the usual pleasantries before a family dinner tonight - taking a shower, shaving, cutting my nails, the works - when the phone rings. Persistently. (I usually give it 3 rings before I say that a caller is persistent.) Jolted by the thought that the ringing won't stop until I go out the front door, I decide that the less painful option would be to answer it and get rid of the call quickly.
"Hi, Sir." A pleasant female voice, at least.
"Sir, may I know if this is Mr. Ramirez?"
(My mind raced: If I prolong the conversation, I would be hopelessly late for the family dinner - a big no-no. When you're late, everyone never lets you forget through dinner that you held them up. If I was curt, I would come off as rude, and I didn't want that for her, she sounded like a nice person just doing her job. So I did the cop-out: I made a fib.)
"Wala sya dito. Sino to?" ("He's not here, who is this?")
"This is ___________ (name of agent), from PLDT, sir. Sir, are you related to Mr. Ramirez?"
"Urr...no. No relation."
"Sir, I just wanted to let you know of a promotion we have. Does Mr. Ramirez have an SM Advantage Card?"
"I don't know. Teka. (Wait up.) I thought you said this is PLDT?"
"Yes, sir. May tie-up kasi ang PLDT with SM Advantage Card, you can earn points..."
"Miss, I'm sorry, I have to cut this short, I'm late as it is, can you call back when Mr. Ramirez is here?"
"Oh. (She sounds dejected.) May I know who this is please and what relation you are to Mr. Ramirez?"
"No relation. I really have to go..."
"Sir, can I just have your name?"
She pauses briefly, in which time I assume she was writing down any pertinent information from the call she was making.
"OK, sir...Mr. Nona. Did I get that correct?"
I was stunned for a second, until it hit me, what just happened.
"No, no, no...I mean, No. (I pause briefly.) Na."
"Ok, sir No-na. (She imitates my deliberate spacing between the two syllables.) So your first name is No and your last name is Na, right, sir?"
"WHAT?!? What kind of person would name their children No? I meant no, huwag nalang."
"I understand, sir, but I just need to confirm which is your first and last name."
I hung up.
I figured, I should have just let the darned phone ring. It would have been a less painful experience.
Why does the universe persist in giving me these types of phone calls?