I found some answers on Quora (here) for an interesting question, that was sitting in the back of my head for a long while and never being put in words.
This post is not about that question but for some of its answers.
A few days ago I had to do a complaint, by phone, to a Customer Service. I was a little irritated about the issue because I already addressed it a couple of months ago. I stayed on the phone for about an hour trying to convince the guy over there to do what I was asking for. He declined his competence concerning my issue and passed me over to his supervisor. As usual, when you are dealing with these kinds of things, the best thing to do is to keep in mind that you have a problem to solved and not to show to the other that you are smart and he is dumb or you are Right and he is Wrong.
Here I have to bring in a clarifying note (maybe you already figured out): I am not an English speaker and I do not use English on a daily basis. For this reason, I pay a great amount of attention to the others’ English.
Both these two guys speak English with a quite bumpy Spanish accent. This was a little unusual for me (naively) and I asked the supervisor where in the world is located. He proudly answered me that was in Salvador and he followed with the question if I know where the country is located. I told him that I know and I gave some details to proof my knowledge.
This simple dialog triggered a quite different approach of my complaint. Everything was solved very smoothly in no more than a couple of minutes.
In the educational system, where I spent my youngest years, the notes were, and still are, from 1 (minimum) to 10 (maximum) but to pass the minimum was 5.
To have the 5 at Geography, in the last year of High School (over there is called Lyceum), it was quite simple: you should know all the countries of the world with their respective capitals and be able to show them on the map. There were two “exceptions”: the USA and USSR where you should know all the States and the Soviet Republics with their respective capitals.
Back then, there were some 180 countries on the map.
In the comments, below, give me your best guess for the country I am from.