As often happens, I was talking to a customer over a poor cellular connection today. We have to exchange a lot of data to complete an order. He’s spelling the name of his street.
“Wait; that’s A, T, T as in alpha tango tango?” I say to confirm.
“No, it’s hotel echo papa”
“Wow!” I said “I really got that wrong” and I’m thinking to myself, “Bam! We’re home free– this guy knows standard phonetics.” Without it, we’d have had a hell of a frustrating time.
So, Young Grasshopper; learn your Standard Phonetics.
I’m still amazed and disgusted that most cop shops have their own systems, which makes it more difficult because for one, they don’t always use words that all sound completely different from one another, and too, if you know Standard Phonetics, their retarded cop phonetics don’t sound familiar and it therefore takes longer to comunicate. Moron phonetics.
Learning the standard system is easy. There are only twenty six of them, and as it happens, each one starts with a different letter of the alphabet (fancy that) so it’s really easy. It’s an international system, and most pilots, military and ham operators already know it hands down. Whaterya waitin’ for?
Practice. For example, if I look to my left on my desk, I can read off in my mind, “Hotel Papa…Delta echo sierra kilo julliette echo tango.” Stuff like that. Road signs, what have you. This should be taught in school, except for the fact that kids should know it before they get to school.
On a similar note; use text on your phone when the signal is too poor to use the more bandwidth-hogging voice communication. If you have only one bar on the s-meter it still works like a charm whereas vioce communication is two steps below impossible. I explained that to my daughter a while back, and was surprized that she hadn’t thought of it. I’d though it would have been obvious even to a teen-aged school girl– a few dew drops of bits verses a tsunami/torrent of bits, you know.