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Where the Hell Do People Like That Come From?

This week we had our quarterly sales meeting in Seattle.

So just because I haven’t openly ranted about my idiotic co-worker (codename Donald Duck) does not mean that he’s made any progress towards becoming a tolerable human being. There are many stories to be told, but Tuesday’s episode deserves special attention.

On Tuesday night, we had a team dinner at Crow, in the Queen Anne* neighborhood of Seattle. We were sitting at a big table and random topics were being discussed. At some point, Donald Duck starts telling this story that I literally have heard 3 or 4 times. It’s not particularly funny nor does it feature a single bit of interesting information to amuse the listener, so I was getting bored again.

Donald Duck: Yeah, so this lady, her last name is Pizarro, you know. And the first time I met her I was all thinking she was this Italian lady, blah, blah, blah *yawn*

Donald Duck (not minding his audience’s bored looks): But one day I finally met her. She was not Italian. she was ORIENTAL.

(Co-workers look at each other, in shock and confusion)

Co-worker: You know, DD, you don’t call people that.

Me: Yeah, only RUGS are Oriental.

DD (totally clueless): Oh really? What do you call them?

Co-worker: Asian. Or Asian American.

DD: Oooooh. Ok.

I knew the guy was old, but how long ago, if at all, did people refer to Asians as Orientals? And how do you explain that somebody who’s always lived in NY (ok, NJ) could be capable of saying something so ignorant?

Great.  So not only do I have to teach him Excel, but now I also have to educate him about people and life.  Go figure.

*As a side note, Crow is not nearly as good as it was when I first ate there.


One Response

  1. Okay, this is even weirder…

    I live on Maui, basically a place of ‘all things Asian’, but you have no idea how many times I have heard that word out of someone’s mouth. Always a woman, older (always 50 plus) and ASIAN!! The first time, I was so shocked and now it’s just commonplace. Why?? Crazy! I don’t like my kids being called ‘Oriental’!

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