Wednesday, August 03, 2005

At the Exotic Zoo

James, the "fake loan" supervisor, gave his notice today. Too bad, because James is a decent guy. Not the kind of guy I would normally befriend (he's a little too goofy and bug-eyed and in the habit of saying, "that's soooo Sex and the City!" for my liking), but he's nice and never gets mad when he catches me reading TQN or Amber chatting on BP. He's always good for a story too. (His claim to fame is that he used to date Brandi Stahr, the former Texas A&M student who got national news coverage a couple of months ago for faking her own disappearance. He said he's been trying to get in touch with her ever since the story broke but she hasn't returned his calls.)

Anyway, James came by in the afternoon to introduce Mike, the guy who will be taking over as our supervisor when James leaves. Mike is a short, sunburnt guy who moves with a slowness and talks with the drawl to match.

They stopped at my desk, peering over the cube wall while James made introductions. Mike's eyes fell on my ID badge.

"Hey, you have the same last name as Chad!" Chad is this guy in the office who's from the same country as my father.

"Oh yeah, I met Chad last week."

"So...are you [Chad's nationality]?"

"Well, my father is, but I was born here in the States."

"Wow, I never would have guessed you were [Chad's nationality]! You don't look it at all."

"Oh...yeah, well I'm uh...mixed." I made a swirling motion in front of my face, as I always do when I'm pressed hard enough to have to explain. It never occurred to me until just now how silly that is.

" would really never know..." Mike shook his head and regarded me in disbelief; I could see him trying to do the math in his head. "I never would have guessed from the way you look...and the way you talk!"

"Well, I'm American -- I was born here in the States," I repeated.

"Yeah, I can tell," he said, "you hardly have an accent!"


Blogger sJea said...

there's something in the exchange that makes me wanna pull the infamous race card...but...i'll settle for...IGNORANT and UNCOUTH...

August 04, 2005 7:57 AM  
Blogger hanmee said...

well, hello, SISTER! I'm mixed (Korean, Caucasian) and I get a range of reaction about my appearance. Basically, have my mom's face, but American brown hair. Some people think I look totally white, other people think I look mixed and when I get a person who thinks I'm one or the other, they can't see how someone else sees me differently.

This one older black lady once commented how well I spoke (which is funny b/c I speak fast and my speech is a bit slipshoddish) when she found out I was mixed Korean. I said "yeah, well, I've been in the U.S. since I was about 2" and she said "yes, you have no accent at all" and I just repeated what I said. I laughed to myself only b/c otherwise I thought she was a great person, but initially I was surprised by her comment.

August 04, 2005 8:21 AM  
Blogger JLR said...

I'm so glad this happened. Ok, not really, but I have a friend at school and something similar happened to her, including the "where are you from?" comment that was really asking what her ethnicity was (she's an American of Chinese ancestry). She's from Houston, and she claimed that this kind of thing NEVER happens to her in Houston, and it's just that Dallas is populated by a bunch of idiots. Well, the part of town she lives in, it is. But I don't happen to like Houston, so I didn't like to take that. So now I can tell her that in fact the idiots are everywhere, even her precious Houston.

Which actually is sad, but still. I win! So there's a silver lining.

I got to hear Star Jones speak recently, and she mentioned how people have told her how "articulate" she is. As someone who talks to fast and often slurs her words, I admire people who are articulate, so it makes me mad that others have turned this into a backhanded compliment. Grr.

Anyway, sorry to go on and on, but this just makes me SO MAD. Because I always like to think that there's a limited number of these idiots--and maybe there are, but they sure do get around.

August 04, 2005 8:35 AM  
Anonymous War said...

Eh, or you could take it for what it is. A less intelligent person trying to compliment you in a ham-handed fashion.

August 04, 2005 9:10 AM  
Blogger Croaker said...

what's up with that? This an inbred company you are temp'ing at?

August 04, 2005 2:26 PM  
Blogger ambrosia ananas said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 04, 2005 3:55 PM  
Blogger ambrosia ananas said...

Trash. Sorry. I'm a little distracted today. Usually I do write in complete sentences.

August 04, 2005 4:12 PM  
Anonymous ambrosia ananas said...

[sarcasm]Entirely . . . charming. [/sarcasm] It reminds me of many of the people back home, actually, with their longstanding beliefs that . What can you do with them, besides laugh?

August 04, 2005 4:20 PM  
Blogger Icey said...

Huh, can you say dumb ass! WTH was he thinking! Ignorant and Uncouth indeeed!

August 04, 2005 4:20 PM  
Blogger ambrosia ananas said...

Thanks for the explanation, Kim.

August 04, 2005 4:53 PM  
Blogger RR said...

Unbelievable. Wow. I didn't know there were so many of those people still around.

It's funny how that sort of thing works the other way around, too. One of my friends when to Columbia on a trip to take supplies to an orphanage there. The kids at the orphanage didn't believe her at first when she told them she was an American. She's of Mexican descent, and she has the dark skin, hair, and eyes that go with it. The kids seemed to think that Americans are only blonde-haired and blue-eyed.


I'm still shaking my head at that guy. Yeah, he's going to make a *great* supervisor. I can just see it now.
KP: Mike, I already finished that project.
Mike: Okay. Hey, listen, when you finish that project, let me know.
KP: I. already. finished. it.
Mike: Right, right. Well, just let me know when you're done.

August 04, 2005 5:03 PM  

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