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Finding common interest with overseas phone operator

on Wednesday, 21 October 2015. Posted in Columns, Opinions

Last week I was speaking to someone by phone about my satellite radio account. Like many telephone representatives working for big companies these days, this customer service rep had a thick accent. Jonathan was speaking to me from the Philippines.

When I told him my name, he commented that it sounded like the name of one of The Beatles, referring to George Harrison. He admitted he was a Beatles fan.

From the sound of his voice, I determined he was a young man. So I was intrigued that he liked The Beatles and asked him about that.

It turns out his father, a drummer, admired The Beatles and Jonathan grew up listening to their songs. Today, he and his dad are in a band together. Jonathan plays guitar and keyboard.

Their band has competed in a Beatles competition where contestants play their own version of Beatle songs. His band competed with “If I Fell,” which Jonathan says is his favorite Beatles song. Jonathan also mentioned that when he was in kindergarten he and his classmates learned to sing “Yellow Submarine,” but at the time he did not know it was a Beatles’ song.

He also mentioned the famous photo of the Beatles crossing Abby Lane, explaining that he grew up with a poster of this photo in his home.

He seemed excited when I told him that I remember the first time the Beatles came to America and performed on the Ed Sullivan Show. I was 13 at the time and there was great anticipation about their appearance on television. Like all the young girls in 1964, I was immediately smitten and became a lifelong fan.

He asked if I ever saw the Beatles in concert. I had not, but I did see Elvis Presley perform in Charlotte, N.C. on two occasions, I answered. He laughed, saying his grandparents were big Elvis fans. He remembered that when his grandfather and grandmother were quarreling, his grandfather would start singing, “I Can’t Help Falling In Love,” and his grandmother would melt.

We had a good chuckle over that and then got back to business.

Why mention this? Well, I often get aggravated when trying to take care of business over the phone with a foreigner because they are hard to understand. After such a pleasant conversation, I realize that I need to be more patient next time.

On a different note, I was so fortunate to win a sterling oyster tin cup necklace at the School Foundation Gala last week. I love it so much, I have worn it every day since.

The necklace and other original jewelry is by Lex Matthews of Florence, under the name Mark Lexton Collection. He specializes in oyster and equestrian jewelry. You can see his beautiful work online at

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