He called me at the bank asking me to help him with something I had no access to. I gave him the appropriate department's phone number and told him that in case he struggled with his English, he could always ask for an "Arabic Translator", to which he laughed and said right away "My English is good man, I'll handle the issue".
Two hours later, I received a second phone call from him, telling me that he had no problem language-wise however, he failed the authentication test. I opened his profile on my computer right away when he told me that his date of birth didn't match. He said he was born on 06/16 and to my surprise I had it as 09/19. He got annoyed and wondered where I got that from. I apologized and asked him to call back customer service after I fixed the date.
An hour later he called back and asked me to go over his date of birth again. He sounded a bit frustrated. I was embarrassed and I apologized again for his inconvenience and assured him that we take customers information very seriously and that this mistake had never happened before. He said that he wanted to go over the year this time. I thought to myself, how irresponsible of me to enter the year incorrectly too, was I drunk or was I holding the keyboard upside down!!!!
I didn't have the courage to tell him the year so instead I asked. He answered and of course it didn't match. I said to him "I beg your pardon!" He gave me the year one more time. I said that I was sorry because his voice was getting cut off and I couldn't hear it correctly (It really wasn't, but I was shocked at that point). He impatiently told me the year for the third time. I said "Sir, you could not possibly be alive today if you were born then, you would have been dead for a good 578 years now".
I had the date of birth right all along as I was copying it from his passport when I opened his account. The 28 year-old man was giving a customer service representative working for an American corporation, during his visit to the United States, his date of birth in the Hijri Calendar (AKA Islamic calendar).
Heard the song "I'm an Alien, I'm a legal Alien, I'm an Arabic man in LA"?
This blog is not to be taken as making fun of any Arabic person because I would be making fun of myself first. It is the irony in this incident that I wrote about, nothing more, nothing less. Laugh on ...