Sunday, September 9, 2012

Marv Albert, and Mrs. Marv Albert and Statement Analysis

I must share this comical story within the realm of Statement Analysis. 

Many years ago, as a young man, I was working for the New York Telephone company at the repair service.  

"Hello, New York Telephone Repair Service, may I help you?" I said for the umpteenth time as I had been doing this for more than a year.  It was an awful job where people in New York dialed 611 to report an outage. 

Not to date myself, but it was before cell phones.  

Marv Albert was a famous sportscaster who used the signature, "yesssssss!" well. 

He was also called "big weirdo creep" by Michael Scott, on "The Office."

He had been accused of biting a prostitute in 1997.  

She says he threw her on the bed and that he bit her severely, viciously, on the back. She had bite marks, 10 or 15 of them," said Arlington County (Va.) police spokesman Tom Bell. According to Bell, the flesh on her back was "ripped."
"He pushed her on the bed and bit her and forced her to commit sodomy," Bell said the woman told police. The woman notified police after seeking treatment at a nearby hospital, Bell added.
A source close to the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the woman said Albert became angry when she refused his request to bring another man to the hotel for three-way sex.
Newspapers across the country reported that Marv Albert vehemently denied the assault.  It was called a "Strong denial"
Here is his denial with Statement Analysis following: 

"I categorically deny these charges and intend to vigorously defend myself against these allegations
I am confident that I will be completely exonerated when these allegations are addressed in a public courtroom."

Here is the statement with emphasis added and Statement Analysis in bold type. 
He is accused of biting the woman.  If you were accused of biting a woman, and you didn't, what would you say?

We enter the statement presupposing that he did not do it and he will tell us so.  Remember this is how all analysis is begun:  presupposing innocence and expecting to hear it.  

We also know that if someone didn't "do it", there is nothing to hinder him from saying so.  There are no civil nor criminal consequences to saying, "I didn't do it" and, in fact, it is hard to keep an innocent person quiet:  they will climb to the roof of their home and yell it.  

"I categorically deny these charges and intend to vigorously defend myself against these allegations.
I am confident that I will be completely exonerated when these allegations are addressed in a public courtroom."

What's the first thing the untrained eye sees?

He never said he didn't do it.  

Principle:  If a subject cannot bring himself to say he didn't do it, we are not permitted to say it for him. 

Next, note the additional wording.  Additional words are often added because the subject thinks it will sound stronger.

To the trained ear, it sounds weaker.  These additional words include "categorically", "vigorously", and "completely":  all words which, if removed, allow a complete sentence to stand on its own.  

Note besides avoiding telling us that he didn't do it, he also doesn't commit to a defense in court.  This should not be missed:

He does not say that he is going to defend himself in court, but that only "intends" to do something.  We often intend to do one thing only to end up doing another.  It is actually a weakening of the assertion.  He could have said "I will defend myself" but instead he weakened it by only "intending" to do so.  This indicates that he and his lawyers likely talked about a plea and not going to court and having all the vile details make it to the front pages. 

Interesting that he added "public" courtroom, rather than "courtroom."  What caused the thought of "public" to enter the statement?   Was it that this, itself, was a public statement?  Was it that he feared public outrage?  His public image was his paycheck and if the public image takes a hit, he loses a great deal of money.  It is not surprising that "public" came into his mind or anyone close to him, as much rode on this. 

Marv Albert may have intended to defend himself, but he did change his mind and pled guilty.  

Years before this was my interaction with Mrs. Marv Albert.  You decide what she meant in her statement.  After all these years, I still can't figure it out. 

Working for "611 Telephone repair" was a terrible job in which people only called to complain about phone outage.  

I also had to work on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other holidays...which was awful, especially when with my little ones.  

On such holidays, we answered calls, (24/7) but did not send out repairmen to climb polls.  The only crew to be dispatched on a holiday was for Police stations, hospitals, and other life threatening emergencies. 

The saving grace was that we were paid time and a half (overtime) and the call volume was low and the small work force had a casual atmosphere.  If someone did report a phone outage, the response was "We will be there tomorrow, between 9AM and 7PM, will someone be home?" Most callers didn't mind, and had good, 'holiday' attitudes and understood that only a hospital is going to get an emergency repair. 

Mrs. Albert reported her phone line out.  The contact was difficult as she was high minded, arrogant and downright nasty.  She was particularly nasty when I asked the scripted question, "Do you have a number we can call you back on should the repairman need to speak to you?"

She did not want to give out the number.  Even though it is right there, on the records, before me, we have to ask.  Calls are monitored and if we miss any scripted question, we get "dinged" on our performance evaluation.  She refused to give it to me and grew increasingly hostile towards the standard questions. 

After finally getting the relevant information, I told her someone would be out Monday.  She said, "Monday?"

Here is the interaction: 

Hyatt:   "yes, ma'am, Monday."

Mrs. Albert: "Did you just say to me, "Monday"?  Are you kidding me?  Do you know who I am?"

Hyatt:  "yes, ma'am, you are Mrs. Albert. "

Mrs Albert:  "Do you know who my husband is?"

Hyatt:   "No, ma'am"   (I couldn't take her arrogant, demeaning tone.  After much silence...)

"Will someone be home to let the repairman in on Monday?"

Mrs. Albert:  "I want someone there today."

Hyatt:  "Ma'am, it is a holiday and we are on a skeletal crew and cannot send out a repairman until Monday.  Will someone be home on Monday to let him in should he need access?"

Mrs. Albert:  "I said I want someone there now."

Hyatt:  "Ma'am, we only have available repairmen called out from home on holidays for emergency situations."

Mrs. Albert:  "What is an emergency situation?"

Hyatt:  "Like a hospital's phone line, or a police or fire department's phone line down.  These are critical service reports and are repaired within 4 hours."

Mrs. Albert:  "This is an emergency."

Hyatt:   "Ma'am, this is a residential line and..."

Mrs. Albert:  "This is an emergency.  Do you know who my husband is?  I have an emergency need and have to have a repairman out right now."

Hyatt:  "Ma'am, what is the emergency you want noted?"   (Some people had lines set up for medical checks, or special needs children, and so on.  These can be noted for potential exceptions)>  

Mrs. Albert:  "We are having a party here with important people.  People that you may have heard of.  People traveling in from all over.   What happens if one gets sick?  How will we call 911?

Hyatt:  "Mrs. Albert, my records indicate that you have two other phone lines in your home."

Mrs. Albert:  "Yes, but they are on different sides of the house."

I then explained that if there was an emergency in which 911 had to be called, she would have to use one of the other lines and told her that we were not going to send a repairman to her home. 

Mrs. Alburt:  "What is your name!?"

Hyatt:  "My name is Mr. Hyatt.  H-y-a-t-t."

Mrs. Alburt:  "Hyatt?  Oh, that figures!" 

She slammed down the receiver in my ear.  

What did she mean by "Hyatt?  Oh, that figures!"

I thought of this often and figured she was looking for a ethnic insult of sorts, but do most people associate my last name with being Irish?  English?  If so, what is the insult?

The same day, one Daryl Strawberry called in from a neighbor's phone to report his own out of order.  His only response, "Ok, man, that'll be fine" and ended the call with no talk of the Mets, or anything else.  I pretended not to recognize his name and he made no references to his own growing fame in NY.  


Lemon said...

Hi AT&T ;)

Tania Cadogan said...

I love it when i get asked "Do you know who i am?"
In my job i can be nice, i can be very nice and i can ultra nice.
My reply to this question was
" No. Don't you know who you are?
If you don't know who you are you can check your email or better still a letter and it will have not only your name but also your address as well."
This usually results in much spluttering and threats.
Depending on my mood and how aggravating they are being. I have suggested they have name tags sewn into their clothes or a identity tag on their wrist or a label on their forehead written backwards so they can see it in the mirror.

When they threaten to report me to my boss i always ask they spell my name right just so my boss knows they have the right person, i even spell it out for them.

My boss on seeing my detailed report (including text) will always say they deserved what they got and stop being so ultra nice and helpful. You know it makes them mad as hell and they sign off in a temper tantrum.

It also works in real life when the town mayor came in where i worked one night drunk as a skunk and generally being an ass.
The customer was always right except when i was on.
Nuisance customers, drunks, etc would find themselves sent to the back of the Queue or in the corner.
He was particularly obnoxious , insulting my staff so he was sent to the corner by the big window with his hands on his head till he was sorry and i decided he could be served. The look on his chauffer's face was priceless as were the shop full of customers.
After that when he came in he was always polite and well behaved.
I am also proud to say in all the time i worked there, i never had a fight break out, whilst other shifts did.
I also recall walking past one night and 2 girls were working (one very pregnant) a drunkard over 6 ft was trying to climb over the counter to get to them. I went in grabbed him by his collar and his pants and hauled his ass out the store. I am 5'2. I tore into him and he slunk off. Again after that he was nice as pie.

Lemon said...

I thought you were 4'14"?

BostonLady said...

LOL Well Peter, at least she didn't call you a stupid ass and hang up as your other fan did.

Working in a customer service position is difficult. People can be so mean, nasty, arrogant, etc. They love to yell at the person on the other end of the line. Many times it is displaced anger/rage at the person just trying to do their job.

Nic said...

People often use "oh that figures" when responding to irony. I didn't find anything "ironic" about the telephone conversation -- Hyatt doesn't sound ethnic, either, although it could be that since she didn't succeed in intimidating you into responding to her "emergency", even with a veiled threat of reporting you for doing you job, the "Oh that figures," was all that she had left to make you "feel" marginalized/disenfranchised.

Anonymous said...

Umm, did good old biting machine Marv commit his pain and decoration of a prostitute's back in a HYATT HOTEL?

Tania Cadogan said...

Darn it, you got me sussed Lemons..

~goes back to my sooperdooper 101 guide to fibbing, misspeakng and telling of porkies written by B. A. Lyah.~

Lemon said...

he he he

Amaleen6 said...

I've decided if anyone asks, "Do you know who I am?" I'm going to pretend they're demented and say loudly to those around me, "Hey, this person doesn't know who he/she is! Do you know?"

mommaklee said...

My first thought for "Hyatt" was for the hotel connection...

Lemon said...


[Albert refers to Marv Albert]

Masden's second incident with Albert occurred in 1994. While he was staying at a Hyatt Hotel in Dallas, Albert called Masten to apologize for the previous incident. Albert allegedly asked Masten to come to his room to help him fax a letter. When Masten knocked on Albert's room door, he said, "Come on in. I'll be right out." While Masten waited in the bar area of Albert's hotel room and looked outside the window, she heard the door close behind her.

Dahlia said...

Ughh, I have one theory and I feel kind of dirty even mentioning it: it's ethnic.

I like Lemon's theory a lot: your name triggered a bad memory for her, but we don't know if she was aware of
the incident at the Hyatt or if her call to you preceded even that.

First, this only applies if that is your real last name.

When I first heard, "Hyatt", I thought it sounded kind of WASPy (I looked it up and it seems to mostly be English). Two groups immediately spring to my mind for not liking WASPs: Irish and Jews, especially the latter.

I have vague memories of that Marv Albert scandal (is he still around?), but I remembered
that he had brown hair and his name is odd for an Irishmen. I looked him up and my hunch is
correct that he's Jewish. I didn't look up Mrs. Albert, but I assume she's the same.

Child Advocate said...

I worked for the phone company too! I worked in Customer Service. Oh the stories I could tell! The lady who called to tell me a CIA agent took off his tennis shoes, then climbed the pole to listen to her calls.. ooookkkkk....Ma'am the CIA agents don't have to climb poles to listen to calls...if you'd like I will call and confirm we have a repair man in your, he's a CIA man and I want him'am I'm very confident it's a repairman and I will ease your mind and confirm....forget it you're a stupid CIA person yourself and you know what you want from!!

I didn't know, but I sure wanted to know after!!