Monday, June 19, 2006

My first staff pick up of the summer.

As assistant camp director, one of my responsibilities is to be the local contact for people that are flying into LA and take them to their hotel and make sure that they have everything they need until camp starts on Thursday. Today I picked up Kim. She is a 24 yr old that is just about to receive her master's degree in electrical engineering from somewhere in Kentucky. Well she seemed nice enough. I mean I can't stand her accent and she wouldn't shut up, but I guess that the kids will get a kick out of her. Then she did something that really pissed me off!

I have 3 major pet peeves. The first one is when people make up words and swear that they are real (like conversate, fictitional, janky, etc.). The second one is when people refer to Asians as "Orientals" (In HS I used to get so mad that when people used the word, they were crying within minutes or apologizing profusely for being so ignorant! I mean seriously, am I a rug!? Do you really think that I am going to let you walk all over me!? Am I a soup? Would you like me to bend over so you can eat me!? ARGH!!) The third and final thing is when people ask what your "nationality" is, but what they really mean to ask is, what your "ethnicity" is!

So anyway, in a 30 second time period she hit all three of my pet peeves all at once! Basically it went a lot like this.

Kim: O my gawd! Los Angeleeez is so amazin'. It is hard to think of this city as a real place until you actually get here! I swear that in my head this place was completely fictitional until I saw it with my own two eyes!

Me: Yeah, this place is pretty great isn't it?

Kim: Yes I love it! And you are the cutest Oriental that I have ever seen! What's your Nationality!?

Me: We like to be referred to as Asian. And I am an American.

Kim: You are not American! You don't look American at all! Stop kiddin' around. What's your nationality!?

Me: Well My grandparents were born in America. My parents were born in America, and I was born in America. I am pretty sure that I am American.

Kim: Well you just don't look very American. Aren't Americans white?

[2 minutes of awkward silence]

Me: Hey look! There's your hotel! I'll see you Thursday! Later!

All that I wanted was an "eject" button for my passenger seat that would send her flying into oncoming traffic! That bitch totally pissed me off. The worst part is that I had to stay professional and not chew her out for being an ignorant lout. I know that I could have cleared up the issue pretty easily but I am sick and tired of trying to educate the world. Plus that accent grates on my nerves in ways that I can not explain. People like her are why everybody else on the planet think that Americans are so ignorant.

I basically think that this is a cultural problem. Jesus vs. Buddha. Not really Jesus and Buddha in a battle royale, but in an abstract way. The idea of Christian superiority and social Darwinism is very much alive in parts of society where they don't really get to see what else is out there. The thoughts being, "I am a Christian with Christian values, so all other viewpoints and beliefs are completely irrelevant. If they had anything of value to offer us, then they would be the most powerful nation in the world."

Its also the fault of my Asian culture also. Asians in general are all to willing to accept whatever is put in front of them with little resistance. To quote Siddhartha, "A foolish man tries to change the world. But a wise man lets the world change him.". And that is our problem! As Asians everything is just happening to us and we seldom get up and make things happen for us!

I gave the cock juggling thunder cunt (kim) my number in case of an emergency, but I also added that I was going to be very busy over the next few days. So she had to make sure that whatever she needed was important. Then I peeled out of there, and I hope to not see her again until camp starts. FUCKING PSYCHO! Okay I am over it. Thanks for reading, I feel much better now.


Trevor said...

haha! Remember that one time during counselor training week when that dude from Georgia made the mistake of calling you oriental!? That was so incredibly uncomfortable! I am glad to hear how much you have calmed down since then. I can remember a time when you would have stopped time and built an exection seat just so you could send that ignorant freak onto oncoming traffic! Good for you. You are definitely getting a lot more mature. A for effort dude!

Jake said...

That picture is priceless! O man I want that on a t-shirt immediatly! hahaha! You are so freakin awesome that it hurts.

I am white and as I was reading this post I was feeling really embarassed for this chick. It blows me away when i meet people like that. But I guess that if I grew up in Kentucky I might be a little bit like that also.

Anonymous said...

That's Buddy Christ! I love buddy Christ! There are no words for how amazingly funny and talented you are! This is a perfect example of why I read your blog! Great post. You sooo totally rock.


Kelly said...

t first I kind of felt like you were over reacting. As a white guy I have never actually been questioned about my nationality because I am white in America. Then I realized how annoying that would be for somebody that wasn't white to have to deal with. And now I see how you gets really old really fast.

I am so not a fan of accents from middle America! They are jsut all so annoying. And for some reason I feel like those people are all really stupid and I have no idea why. Its just that the Deliverance soundtrack starts to play in the background and then John Voight is in the background telling me how I have a pretty mouth... Chills. EWWW!!!

James said...

The worst part is that poor girl probably has no idea what went wrong! I almost feel bad for her, but then I realize that she is from Kentucky and then I don't...

Ken said...

I don't even know how to explain to you how grateful I am for you to put what I have been feeling for years into words! I am an Asian American, and I have been living my entire life dealing with bullshit like this from other people. I feel like being Asian in America means being an under represented minority in a country that does not care about.

The reason why they don't care is beause we don't make a big deal out of things like the other ethnicities do. I have been thinking these very thoughts, but I haven't been able to express in words what I wanted to say, but you said it beautifully. We are not rugs or soups! So fuck them!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eric said...

I have never actually erased another person's comment, because I feel like everybody has the right to say whatever they want. If you look through my blog, I am pretty sure that you can find a large assortment of comments left by various losers, such as yourself. However you were just RUDE!

Mike said...

When you answered “American” to her nationality question, and she responded “you're not American.”. You should have responded jokingly "do you want to see my passport?". Humor goes a long way those types of situations.

As far as referring to an Asian was an Oriental. That's just wrong. You were much too polite to her. You should have gone off on her.

But to give her credit, she did choose to spend the summer “abroad”. For people from Kentucky it's "abroad", believe me. Hopefully she’ll become a little more worldlier this summer. She is trying to expand her world.

I’m glad you deleted the previous post. I concur it was rude and unnecessary.

Michael said...

All I can say about this is "Good for you" on several fronts.

1. You didn't let her ignorance become your overt problem. You were the better person and didn't snap at her. You can feel good about that.

2. You vented to us, your readers, who understand. We have your back!

3. Originally being from the South myself (but I thankfully escaped - being gay and Southern is not a good mix!), I saw that kind of bigotry and deliberate lack of acceptance and understanding virtually every day I lived there. That is certainly no excuse for that stupid woman, because there are certainly enlightened Southerners who have chosen to stay down there and fight the good fight, but that stupid girl you were forced into proximity to is obviously an ostrich.

Way to go, Eric! You rock, and your blog rocks too.

Jason said...

Country bumpkins bug the hell out of me also! I am sorry I hate to generalize liek this, but NO. They just bother me. It had a lot to do with those awful accents, but its also a lot more than that! I don't want to talk about this anymore...

Good self control though! I think that I would have chewed her out for being so ignorant. You are definitely more mature than I am.

Jason said...

I just wanted to add that your graphic is funny as hell! It doesn't get any better than Buddy Christ!

dan said...

hey tell us how you really feel..why don't ya he he. yeah, you can prolly relate to what I deal with getting people acclimated to my ESL students here in good ole one minded OKC culture when they come from other countries, and I'm talking about the adults at the schools not just the students. Anyway, southerners ( crap I hope that's not a made up word) are pretty one minded with generalizations. I can see where your patience would completely run out especially that she hit all 3 peeves. oops. but also good you're an understanding type and pretty awesome when it comes to dealing with all that crap, or they wouldn't have put you as assistant director you stud. well, I hope the next out of-state-airport-pickup is a hot hung stud who wants to be educated in california surfer bay camp director culture....have fun. later.

Marc said...

You are a great guy. I love the way that your brain works, it seems to have a nice little censor on it that protects you from saying stuff that you might regret later. LUCKY!! I kind of just spew out whatever is on my mind. I try my hardest tnot to, but it just never seems to matter. I am an asshole.

It was funny because in that conversation that you had with kim, I pretended that I was you, and my side of the conversation really changed drastically. I honestly think that I could have either made her jump into oncoming traffic, or atleast break down crying for an hour! that would have taught her!

Josh said...

Great post. I laughed the wole time! Fromt he first time that I saw the graphic to the description of your conversation with kim! Oh man that was freakin hilarious! I love the way that you think.

I also love the way that you handled yourself. That is soooo great! I totally would have said a million things to make her feel stupid and at my nicest make her shed atleast one tear!

Anonymous said...

I can't even explain to you all the ways that you are awesome!

WhiteflameNZ said...

Oriental sounds very much like an instant noodle dish... I cant say I have ever heard a person being refered to as Oriental, except for the discovery channel when they find really old bowls of instant noodles. So I cant blame you for being livid about the whole thing.

As for making up words, its kinda fun if you find a good one. Although I dont so much make up words as just mix words that shouldnt got together, sweet as chicken and gravy?

Terry said...

Thank you! This has been one of my pet peeves for years! Anyone who is born in American is an American. Period. That means that tall, blond, blue-eyed people born here are Americans NOT Scandinavian! Black people born here are NOT Africans! Latinos born here are NOT Mexicans, Panamanians, or etc., etc. That's also why I detest *hyphenated* Americans: African-American, Latin-American, Polish-American, etc. (unless used purely for genealogical reasons). One day we might all get on the same page but until then we are all going to come up against antiquated and derogatory definitions of what people think we are supposed to be.

Good job on this one Eric! It even got me looking up definitions of "Oriental" and "Asian" just out of curiosity. All of the sources I found (online and off) that included usage notes made sure to underscore that "Oriental" is considered derogatory except in very limited cases.

One of these days, Jesus vs. Buddha just might end in a tie!

Anonymous said...

So true!!! Jesus (He Su) vs. Buddha (the true religion)

But next time, you have to correct them right away and not let it pass!


whitewatcher said...

Wah! Nice post!

I think I can relate to an extent. I am of both European and Asian ancestry but I live in Asia. People would often blurt out: "'Eh hindi ka naman Pilipino kasi eh!" (You're not Filipino, that's why!) for things that they think an Asian is NOT capable of doing. Talk about colonial mentality!

Roger said...

If I were you I would have told this bitch off! I can't believe how forgiving you are. Good for you I guess... But can't you see how you are kind of putpetuating this whole mentality that you are complaining that your people do>?