Thursday, June 19, 2008

One of Our Fifty Is Missing

That's the title of the back page feature in New Mexico magazine, and it refers to the fact that even in today's 21st century, many people around the country and the globe still seem to think the Land of Enchantment is, in actuality, part of Mexico and not the United States.

I've been getting this as long as I can remember. As a kid, my NYC born 'n' bred cousins used to ask me if we had indoor plumbing and running water. Oh, and if the local Indians lived in tee-pees. Never mind that New Mexico farmers have been moving water across vast distances of land in a sophisticated series of interstate acequias long before the Pilgrims even touched their tacky-ass buckled shoes on the shores of the New World and that only Plains Indians did the tee-pee thing. To the contrary, New Mexico's native peoples have been living in highly organized townships called Pueblos for over 1,000 years and, before that, in highly organized cliff dwelling communities for gah only knows how long.

In fact, one of those pueblos, Acoma's Sky City below, is the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States, believed to have been established sometime in the 9th century AD. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Jamestown.

Makes you wonder what in the heck fire we're teaching kids in our schools, huh? Because people are still confuzzled about New Mexico's official status. Witness this over-the-phone exchange, reported in New Mexico magazine, and relayed by a secretary of a Los Alamos, New Mexico (you know, where the nuclear bomb was invented?) firm, trying to order something from a company located somewhere on the civilized Eastern Seaboard:

Customer Service Rep: And where would you like this order shipped?

Secretary: 123 Main St., Los Alamos, New Mexico.

CSR : We don't ship out of the country.

Secretary: That's fine, but this address is in the country.

CSR: No, you said to ship it to New Mexico.

Secretary: Yes, New Mexico is a state in the US.

CSR: Sorry, but we can't ship out of the US.

Secretary: Do you have a supervisor I can talk to, please?

[Long pause.]

CSR Supervisor: This is Tim. Can I help you?

Secretary: I hope so, Tim. Your employee doesn't seem to understand that New Mexico is a state in the United States, and so refuses to ship me your product.

Supervisor: Well, that's true. We can't ship out of the country. I'm sorry ma'am.

Secretary, raising her voice a little: Have you never even heard of the state of New Mexico? It's one of the big, square ones? It's right between Texas and Arizona? It's one of the 50 United States?

Supervisor: I'm sorry, it's just our policy not to ship out of the US.

Secretary: Tim, let me get this straight. Your company is going to lose a $14,000 order because the people in your customer service department are too moronic to know or comprehend that the state of New Mexico is a part of the United States?

Supervisor: Yes, ma'am. That's our policy.

Secretary, completely exasperated: Well, I guess there's nothing more to be said, is there?

Supervisor: No, ma'am. Have a nice day.


Doris Rose said...

Lawsey mercy, I jus love that section of the Magazine. Maybe being missing is one of the reasons I moved to this wonderful state.Thanks for the reminder.

Wicked Thistle said...

Whaa--?! You mean we're living in 'MURICA?! Holy Toledo, I guess I can put away my passport and English translation dictionary now. Geesh, how come nobody ever tells me this stuff?

Anonymous Boxer said...

This is what happens when phone centers move to India.

BTW, this is funny:

"before the Pilgrims even touched their tacky-ass buckled shoes on the shores of the New World."


iamnot said...

Well, at least the ailiens know where it is.

moi said...

Doris Rose: Yes, the eternal conundrum: be pissed off or be thankful instead?

Wicked: You got first hand access to our edumacashun system. What's your theory?

AB: Hmmm . . . never thought of that. Well, let's hope all this is because of fern ignorance. That would be understandable. But from the local troops? Hello, educate much?

Iamnot: Yes. They do. And so do their followers. You haven't lived until you've seen five bazillion freaky-ass alien worshipers converge on a dusty bit of cattle ranch scrub to spend seven days and seven nights praying to the aliens. AND pay $5.00 a bottle for tap water. Suckas.

Anonymous Boxer said...

I wanna go to Roswell you with and She!!

We'll bring our own water, however.

Anonymous said...

Like, I thought, like New Mexico was like, you know, like OLD and boring and stuff, you know? You should like, you know, like change the name or join the 21st Centurionship!

Jessica Alba

moi said...

AB: And tequila. And we won't even need passports!

Jessica: Thanks for dropping by. Now, shoo, go on back to La La Land, Missy. You've got enough to worry about, what with that sprog about to hit the streets any day now.

Anonymous said...

Great photos. I had to laugh at the "One of Our Fifty is Missing" as it truly sums it up well.

It still happens when call centers are in the U.S. and are a neighboring state. It doesn't get much worse than that.

Wolfie in NM.

Anonymous said...

Is there anymore information you can give on this subject. It answers a lot of my questions but there is still more info I need. I will drop you an email if I can find it. Never mind I will just use the contact form. Hopefully you can help me further.

- Robson