One of my goals for this year was to commit the phonetic alphabet to memory. You know, when you’re spelling out a word and you say stuff like “C as in Charlie”. Yeah, that’s the phonetic alphabet. However, I found myself increasingly having difficulty coming up with names, and awkward pauses would ensue while my brain was churning to come up with a word.
Alas, I have learned the true NATO version of the phonetic alphabet. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I would say if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right! Not only is this an incredibly effective way to rattle off serial numbers to some unknown tech support person, but it really seems to command authority, as if you were authenticating a nuclear missile launch. I find that this technique will often get you past the first level support asking if you’ve tried rebooting the device. They know you’re not messing around when you’re calling in a level three strike on that failed hard drive.
Within a matter of a couple days reciting I had it down pat. Thanks to my wife for putting up with me that first night while she verified my accuracy. I quizzed her as well to see if she was retaining any of this high-quality intel.
Here’s a quiz for you. I once had a colleague refer to a malfunctioning router as “Tango Uniform”. Now the phrase is a common part of my equipment diagnosis vocabulary. I’ll let you think that one over. Until next time, this is Whiskey Golf, over and out.