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    Accentuating The Problem, Part Deux

    | RI, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Language & Words

    (I’m from a region that has a very unique and distinct accent. Despite having lived in the region for my entire life, I do not speak with the accent. My lack of regional accent and the unusual spelling of my first name will often lead to customers asking me where I’m from.)

    Me: “Can I help you with anything else?”

    Customer: “Yes, your accent and name are interesting. Where are you from?”

    Me: “I’m from this state.”

    Customer: “No, no. You misunderstood me. Where were you born?”

    Me: “I was born in this state.”

    Customer: “That can’t be! You don’t talk like you’re from this state and I’ve never seen that spelling of your name! Stop lying to me and tell my where you’re really from!”

    Me: “Sir, I’m telling you the truth. I was born here but I grew up in a Francophone family which is why I don’t have the typical regional accent.”

    Customer: “You’re definitely not from around here if you’re from a whatever-you-called-it family! I want you to tell me where you’re really from!”

    (Finally fed up with the customer keeping me from my work I give up trying to argue with him.)

    Me: “All right. I’m from Quebec, Canada.”

    Customer: “See, was that so hard? You speak very good English for someone from Quebec. You must have studied hard. Have a nice day, mademoiselle!”

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    Accentuating The Problem