An Armenian American friend emailed me the following event at a New York-area college, it’s very funny and demonstrates the absurdity of life:
So as I may or may not have mentioned, I had another interview today at a college. I met the Dean for the first time, who was so inappropriate that I honestly thought at one point that he was testing me to see if I would contest his offensive comments about Muslims, immigrants, and pretty much everyone who isn’t Italian (as he is).
When discussing salary, he also asked if I am married. When he finds out I’m Armenian, he tells me about a beloved member of the staff who is Armenian, nick-named Ahtto–but his real name is Ataturk.
I did a double-take and asked for him to repeat it, which he did, and so of course I insisted that the gentleman must be Turkish, as no Armenian would name a child Ataturk (I spared him a history lesson)[history lesson]. As fate would have it, in walks Ataturk himself (he’s a janitor) and we start talking in Armenian (which was particularly ironic since the Dean had just gone off on a tirade about how immigrants/illegals/aliens, pick your term, refuse to learn English).
So I question the guy about his name, which he says is in fact Atabek. I tell him that the Dean thinks his name is Ataturk, which he naturally finds laughable–but which is especially insensitive and bizarre given the nature of the institution. Can you imagine if I worked at an American college and introduced someone named Hiram as Hitler instead?!
Hands down the most surreal interview I’ve ever had. Just mind-blowing.
I have to say that I whole-heartedly agree!