Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When it is your turn

So, people who know me, know that I have had some choice words about the general level of ignorance that I tend to find among Americans about what goes on outside of their boarders. Almost everyone who is not white has stories a dime a dozen about some stupid thing that was said to them regarding their ethnicity.

I mean for Asians, they get the chin-chun-why-r-ur-eyes-so-small-u-eat-dogs-r-u-all-good-at-math, or that they are all Chinese. For Africans, we get the inquiries about war, poverty, disease and whether or not we have wildlife game reserves in our backyards and we swing Tarzan-style on our way to school. Middle eastern people have to answer about Islam and terrorism. I am not sure what South Americans get but I am sure it would go along the lines of Tacos and Immigration issues. In any case, we get them all the time, roll our eyes and retreat behind our walls of derision and self importance, imagining that we ourselves would never make such a mistake.

And we mostly never do.
Or at least, I don't.
I am quite geographically enlightened.

Which is why, I was stunned to hear myself asking a colleague at work if Panama was close to the Philippines....

And I was serious too

Even more amazing was that for a good minute, in the world map I had drawn in my head, Phillipines was somewhere next to Mexico and Brazil. How that was working out in there is probably a research topic for another day but I could not believe that I could be so clueless and then so vocal about it.

I mean, I was at a table full of superiors....
Aargh, I guess I had to learn a lesson on compassion and respect.

People will always ask stupid questions. And if they do so of you, reply politely with the correct answer and thank your stars that you did not make the mistake and that you knew the answer.

And FYI:
Panama is in Central America. Close To Costa Rica, you know at the bridge connecting North America and South America....

Phillipines is in Asia

And I am going to read a book


LucidLilith said...


And this is hilarious. And right on point.

Plus...dont beat yourself up. We make mistakes from time to time. I am pretty sure not all your superiors knew the answer to that one either.

Anonymous said...

LOL!!okay Catwalq..haba!Philipines & Panama?As LL said above dont beat yourself up about it jare