A coworker recently returned from a week long vacation in New York. She stayed with relatives, and began to worry as she heard herself slip deeper into her native New York accent each passing day. She was a bit fearful of becoming the subject of one of my posts (Hi Michelle!) when she returned to work talking about her “muddah, faddah, and kwoffee.”

The funny thing is, I’m okay with heavy accents from The South, New York, the Cayman Islands, and the Bay Islands of Honduras, given sufficient volume and lip movements. My brain is able to “fill in” the missing sounds when I listen to people who hail from these places. But most foreign accents leave me baffled, especially when extra syllables are added and emphasized. Case in point:

Customer: Re – AH – roo.

Me: (Blank look on my face) Please repeat that?

Customer: Re – AH – roo.

Me: (Speaking quietly to coworker) Please help me! I don’t know if he’s speaking English or not!

Coworker to customer: May I help you?

Customer: Re – AH – roo.

Coworker: (Points to restroom)

Customer: (Begins walking to the restroom, but not before giving me a disgusted look)

Me: (Humiliated)

In moments like this, it’s hard to prove I wasn’t raised by a pack of rabid wolves.