October 16, 2008

Thought I Was Getting Better

I've just been named the go-to communications person for the new project I'm working on. This has meant, essentially, doing things my grad school professors would be utterly ashamed of. For the past three days, I've been liaising between my team and our external partners, swapping background documents over e-mail and arranging meetings. I thought this would have been complicated by my "cute" but "gutturally challenged" (thanks Forsooth) Arabic, but after positive consultation with an officemate, I was pretty confident about the task ahead of me.

I couldn't have been more wrong. One of today's many phone calls (in Arabic, obvy) went a little like this:

Me: So...*details, details, details* Great, Monday at 4 then.
Young, government employee: Okay. Can I ask you a question?
Me: Yes, go ahead.
YGE: Where are you from?
Me: Here.
YGE: No, really.
Me: Umm, really.
YGE: Oh...
Me: Yeah, I grew up abroad. My Arabic isn't great, but it gets me by.
YGE: Oh, not really. I thought I was going crazy, but it's just you.

Boo. Maybe it is YOU, you goon. Cannot say I'm looking forward to this work relationship.

5 comments:

Forsoothsayer said...

well i'd be much more interested in reading this convo in arabic :)

anyway, it turns out u need graduate degree for logistics. noted that myself.

Groomy said...

Holy Crap that shit is funny!

Mo-ha-med said...

I occasionally get this. Seldom, though, thankfully. So when someone presses to know 'where I'm from' and I obviously do not feel the urge to share my bio with them, I actually end up saying 'Port-Said' (my paternal family's HQ, where I obviously never lived). Somehow, ANY answer you give seems to satisfy the curious goons.

thingsonmymindgrapes said...

No way! Every time I reply with Egypt, it's never to the liking of the goons. There are always follow-up questions. I just can't win. Maybe I'll start saying Port Said though to catch them off guard.

Forsoothsayer said...

if it helps people ask me all the time too.