Last week, I received a phone call from one of those annoying tele-survey people. Normally, I make some excuse and tell them that I’m way too busy or going through a tunnel or something.
This time, however, the nice lady managed to squeeze in the fact that she was calling on behalf of a magazine I subscribe to in the first 30 seconds, and as a J-school grad, I felt compelled to stick with this one.
I could tell, as I answered the questions she was asking, that the poor woman was getting more and more confused with every answer. Finally, she said. “Miss, I’m just going to go ahead and skip forward a few to the demographic questions, and then I’ll come back, okay?”
Here’s where she FINALLY understood what was going on.
You see, when I told her I subscribed because I both wanted to expand my cultural horizons and have magazines that my students were interested in, I’m sure she thought that was a little weird. When I said that I only identified with the magazine as a woman and not as a Latina, she thought that was SUPER-strange. And then when I said that I thought the best way to improve the articles was to provide more back story or rationale for their topics, she totally flipped. I mean, how could I not know what the difference between a regular birthday cake and a Dominican birthday cake was?
So, of course, when she realized that I’m a 25-year old, middle class, white girl who teaches ESL in the ‘burbs, she felt a lot more comfortable continuing our survey experience.
Not, however, before double-checking that I knew what was going on.
“Honey, you do realize that you’re subscribed to Latina Magazine, right?”
Yep. I told her I knew. I may also have told her that my students say I’m a closet Mexican anyway.
She just laughed and said, “Well, maybe I’ll put that in so that they don’t totally throw your answers out of the sample.”
Maybe, lady. Maybe.
PS – It’s actually a decent magazine. Right now they have an intriguing article about the Pope selection, if you’re interested.