Tuesday, April 23, 2013

True Story Tuesday: Sound it out!

If you are anything like me, sometimes you will look at a word and just say it completely wrong.  And.. If you are anything like me, when you are corrected you can laugh it off and accept the constructive criticism. Sadly, there are some people out there that will fight you tooth and nail.  They will argue you down, if you correct something they have mispronounced.  I only correct people that I work with or friendly with.  I only do this because I do not want them to embarrass themselves in a public setting. If someone approaches me and begins speaking and I hear words that are pronounced incorrectly 9 times out of 10 I am only going to believe 50% of what you are saying.   From my point of view, I think I am doing you a service and not trying to embarrass you. I have even pronounced a word or two wrong.  For example, when I lived in Georgia, I always pronounced Chipotle.. Chi-pottle.. Hell, I didn't know. I was from the Midwest and in my area we didn't have those restaurants.  A friend politely corrected me and we still joke about it to this day. 

A few years ago, I worked with a very nice lady who started selling Avon to supplement her income.  We developed a friendly work relationship and I thought we were good.  But, then one day she asked me if I would like to purchase anything from her.  I like supporting my friends.  I knew Avon had that anti-mosquito lotion called Skin So Soft.  And since the mosquitoes think my blood is the nectar of the gods, I decided I would order a bottle. While searching through the catalog I get to a page that smells delicious. It was one of those scratch and sniff things and it smelled of chocolate.  And for all that know me you know daddy loves his chocolate.  The words on page boldly stated NEW MOCHA something or another. I told my co-worker/ Avon lady, "Girl I think I need some of this (pointing at the page), it smells so good." Like all good sales people should do she affirmed and confirmed my choice and proceeds to tell me, "Yes, David that MOE-CHA is the bomb."  I tried not to laugh and I respond, "What?". She says, "THE MOE-CHA.. MOE-CHA!!". I am not a mean person.  Have you ever had those moments when you think you are thinking something.  But, in actuality, it is coming out of your mouth for the whole world to hear. Well that is exactly what happened.  I say to her, "Girl, you know that doesn't say mo-cha. What have you been drinking?" She looks at me like I have been drinking and says, "You always trying to correct somebody. It does say MOE-CHA!"   
See I was trying to help her sells out and put some coins in her pocket book.  But, with all that attitude, I had to shut it down. Then like a possessed person that can't control the themselves I say, "Girl, how are you going to be the Avon Lady and not know how to pronounce Mocha?! K sound not CH.." She snatches her Avon book from me and rolls her eyes and stomps off saying MOECHAAAA... MOECHAAAA... I am laughing because I cannot believe what just happened.  I felt bad because the next day I left on vacation and while I was gone she was fired because she constantly came to work late. Consequently, I think she stopped selling Avon.  I wonder why?

Pretty much the same scenario came up recently at my current job.  I work with developmentally disabled adults in a home setting, where there may be some light cleaning from time to time.  Normally, that cleaning is left to the 3rd shift staff.  But, of course, it's my job to know where all chemicals are in the home.  Nevertheless, my coworker, who seems to think I am in competition (there is none) with him was to relieve me that night.  There I sit patiently waiting to go home and here he comes. We exchange polite glances and a good evening.  I proceed to share with him some work related business and we make a little small talk.  Let me say one of the reasons why I do not like this person is because every time he addresses me he has to say Big in front of my last name.  That ain't cute.  It's not like I address him by saying Old or Ugly or Midnight in front of his last name when speaking to him.  But, he does this thinking he is getting under my skin.  I have too much confidence for all that.   Nevertheless, he says , "Hey Big Last Name, where is the KUN-SUE-MAY cleaner at?"  I promise you I asked him 5 times what the hell he was talking about.  He starts to feverishly search through the closet to find this new super cleaner that I am obviously not aware of.  He is thinking that he had found his ace in the hole.  He finally had me.  There was no way I was doing part of my job, if I didn't know what or where the "company sanctioned" cleaner was located.  And as if the angels had sent it from above, he produces the cleaner. He turns around, cleaner in hand. And says, "Caught you slipping Big Last Name. See here KUN-SUE-MAY!! KUN-SUE-MAY (as he points to the letters CONSUME on the bottle)."  He was proud.  But, once again a lesson has to be taught.  Not because I am helping you or want to help you.  But, because of that smug I-know-it-all grin on your face.  So, I say, "Don't you mean Consume?" Realizing  his faux pas in trying to challenge me, in the English language, his grin goes to stiff lip.  He replies, "Doesn't that say KUN-SUE-MAY, I've always called it KUN-SUE-MAY" In silence, I quickly gather my things and walk towards the door.  But, before I leave I say, "Only in Swahili, didn't know you were African." I smile and walk out.  He hasn't spoken to me since.

I don't try to make people mad.  Sometimes it just happens.

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