Ok onto the rant...
I have noticed that the VI's ability to understand my British accent is inversely proportional to the degree of southern accent they themselves have. (So the greater the accent the more I have to repeat, the more misunderstandings there are).
Conversation about the weather;
Me: oh its foggy
VI: its ... uh what, excuse me ma'aaaaam did you say fawwgy?
Me: foggy, yes I said foggy.
Me: yes foggy F_O_G_G_Y, foggy.
Me: hello *** (my friend's name)
VI: (signs) hello Dad
My friend/via VI: (shocked, signs) huh? Who is that, who am I speaking with?
Me: its me ******
My friend, via VI: Why you are calling me dad?
Me: I did not,
My friend via VI: yes you said Dad
Me: Nope I said *** , (spelling it out for the benefit of the VI *-* *).
(I need to add that my friend's name (3 letters long) contains no letter D or A.)
While this is all fine and dandy for trivialish conversations, we recently ran into problems while trying to sort out our vacation plans for this year. We started out with a FANTASTIC terp, great tone of voice expression from her for my friend's facial grammar etc, she was really A++, but then after half an hour, she warned us she had to take her scheduled break.
Ok no problem, hold, wait to be reconnected...
VI: (heavy southern accent)[my heart sinking] hullo please continue
My friend via VI: Ok so I axed about it
Me: huh? Axed?
VI: excuse me ma'aaam?
Me: Axed? what does that mean?
VI: signing to my friend (ask what-mean?)
My friend: thinking, what the hell is wrong with her today that she doesn't understand the word 'ask'??!!)re-signs 'ASK'
My friend via VI: I axed about the date at work for the vacation...
Me: (penny dropping) OOOOH you mean ASKED.
VI: signs ^
My friend via VI: yes axed, ****** are you feeling ok?
Me: yes, fine, thanks for asking (am sorely tempted to say thanks for AXING, but don't).
My friend via VI: Ok I have to go.
(phone rings immediately)
Hello this is ******** video relay service I'm interpreter # ****
Me: Ok hi, are you ok ***?
VI: yeah my cat is ....(silence as she signs back and forth)
Me: huh, what?
VI: my cat is pawing me
Me: oh ok
VI:(increasingly annoyed tone) yes (signing) pawing pawing, yes I said that sir
(My friend is speech reading her thinks she has not said it correctly.)
VI: (getting increasingly annoyed) yes I SAID that (random cussing),
Me: Ok which cat? Is it *****? He must miss you.
My friend/VI: can you go on the computer now.
(sudden hang up).
My friend tells me that both terps were TERRIBLE. He had got fed up repeating signs to the point where his hands were ready to fall off.
We recap our conversation and find huge exerpts of what we said are missing.
I know its a tough job, some of you are super great fantastic, other are just, well bad.