My Photo
Location:Purdue, University, United States

I have a need for coffee with my oxygen.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Were you Whittington's friend? The Pied Piper's assistant?

Do you know what the number one thing that people assume I am when they meet me?
A Stuck up snob/bimbo with no brain.
It took Nishant three dates with me before he realized the complete opposite.

I work at Purdue Convocations. We are the people that bring the shows to Elliot Hall (among other halls). We bring musicals such as Fiddler on the Roof, Cats, Miss Saigon.. etc, we bring in rock concerts such as Dave Matthews, Guster, O.A.R., etc. and other odds and ends like Ravi Shankar and Larry the Cable Guy. We are a place of business. My paycheck is made possible by these lovely shows.
So today, I was working in the office when I heard the door open and close. No one came to my front desk.

There is a little nook right after the door that you can see outside, it fits about 5 or 6 people uncomfortably, and it leaks often when it rains.
I assumed whoever it was, was drying off there before coming all the way inside.
No one came.
Then suddenly a cell phone went off and someone started talking in a loud voice. Then another two people (none which I could see) started carrying on a conversation. Apparently there were 3 or more people just waiting in the nook, blocking customers, and talking amongst themselves and on their cell phones.

Our office gets confused a lot with one of the Purdue Engineering buildings because we are actually attached to each other (go figure, theater and engineering under one roof). So it is a common occurrence for a student to walk all the way in and then be confused on where they are (especially freshman). I thought maybe these people didn't know. So I walked around the corner, and smiled and said, "I didn't know if you knew or not, but this part of ENAD is a place of business."
One of the guys said, "I didn't know, GEEZ, Fine we will move!"

I just kind of stood there appalled as I watched them go. I think I even had my mouth slightly open.

Was it "place of business" that made them think I was a bitch?
Was it "I didn't know if you knew" that made them think I was a bitch?

How can I be read so wrong?

This reminds me of when I worked at Barnes and Noble. I had a guy in front of me buying a book. He asked me if I was a student at Purdue. He asked me if I grew up around here. He asked if I had read some of the books he was buying. And then trying to be polite I tried to think of a question to ask him.

This guy was my height, skin tone that was the same as Nishant's, heavy Indian accent, and a comb over that was slicked down with coconut oil (I could smell it). So my question was, "Are you originally from India?"
The question that was heard around the world.
I have never had my head torn off the way that man did it.
I have never been so insulted by a complete stranger, until that man came along.
I have never cried so much over one person being mean to me, until that man.
When Nishant picked me up that evening, I was still so upset that I got into the car and just burst into tears again.

I realize now that Americans tend to judge and put down first and ask questions second.
I realize now that Americans are self centered and so absorbed with their own self worth that they put down anything that isn't close to their likeness.
I realize now, how that man could have taken my question as an insult.
I was judgmental, I did assume, I actually assumed things off of what my Indian boyfriend told me about his culture.
What I cannot realize is how that man took it that far.
How could I be judged so wrongly?

I think what I did was no different from the Italian man who took one look at my white tennis shoes and said, "You must be American."
I smiled and said, "Oh, was it the shoes? or was it the camera bag?"


Post a Comment

<< Home