Back in the day, when I was workin’ in the South, most my colleagues were white, black, or Latino.
Until I met Vladimir.
When he pronounced “Vlad,” his Russian accent turned his V’s into B’s and his ‘a‘ sound into an ‘uh‘ sound. (Vlad= bluhd) “In America, Michael is a popular name but people say Mike, right? Well in Russia, Vladimir is a popular name, but you can call me Vlad,” he explained.
Then, a nursing assistant interrupted our report during shift change.
“Hey dude. You the nurse for the patient in room 20? Ya busy?” she asked. Even while asking a question, she had ‘swag’ in her walk and talk.
“The name is Vlad,” he introduced himself, speaking in his natural Russian accent.
“Blood, nice to meet ya,” she smiled. “Can I get some help with the patient in 20? ”
He paused. “Uh…the name is VLAD, not Blood. VLAD.”
I chuckled. His Russian accented “Vlad” sounded identical to her Southern accented “blood.”
“Aight, Blood,” she tried to imitate his pronunciation, but it still sounded exactly the same as before. “Gimme a hand, the patient’s waiting,.” She led the way.
“It’s Vlad,” he murmured, following from behind.
This memory seems silly, but when I replay it in my mind, I can always hear their voices and remember their body language. I’m thankful to have worked with such fun coworkers who teach me about their culture and language (a bit of a continuation from the last post).
~ ~ ~
Is it the stethoscope? The scrubs? The glasses?
When babies see me, they immediately begin crying, because they always remember their pain from the last time they got shots. I thought that the facial recognition only happened at work. But maybe not…
One day I ran into some kids at our church’s children’s event. The kids looked familiar, but I didn’t recognize them nor remember their names.
Suddenly, a 7 year old quickly pointed towards me, and blurted “hey I know you!”
Hm. Did she see me dancing on stage? Was it at another church event? Or she saw me playing piano? Or… somewhere else? “Where have you seen me?”
“At the doctor’s ! You gave me shots!!!” she answered quickly, without hesitation.
Doh! Although I was not in scrubs…
I still got busted.
I’m thankful that I’m still somewhat approachable!