What do you do when someone gave you a compliment, but you don’t really like it? Do you tell them to fug off or thank them anyway? How do you get out from the ackward situation?

This morning, a patient called and ask about information for her daughter who will be traveling to Kenya, east Africa, at the end of this year. She’s asking about what vaccination is needed, the status of disease outbreaks, and whether or not the specific place her daughter would be flying into is considered as malaria-risk or not. After I answered those questions, she furthermore inquired the cost of the office call for the physician, and what’s the approximate pricing for each immunization needed. Satisfied with my answers, she laid out her final questions, which was about the validity of those injections. All in all, it was a lengthy 15 minutes conversation. I was glad that it’s going to be over as soon as she said, “Wow, OK. I got everything I needed to know. You’ve been very helpful. Thank you so much for your time.”

Not to be arogant, I got that a lot. I know the other receptionists think that it’s a bunch of wasted time. That they would prefer to direct patients to a certain website that could answer their question. Or to have the Travel Clinic nurse call them back to answer their question. I don’t know, maybe because I too like to travel, I find it exciting to look up information on different countries for patients. I like to hear the reason they’re traveling; mission trip, moving away, just vacationing, study abroad, exchange program, adopting, etc.

Anyway, back to my lady friend. As I thought she was done with me and said thank you, goodbye, and all that formality, before I could finish my sentence saying, “Have a good d…” she interrupted me.

“Oh ma’am? Or, Dai-nee, is it? I’m sorry, I just have to ask you this…”
“Oh, OK, sure…”
“The way you talk… has anybody ever made fun of you?”
Wtf? Is she making fun of my accent? It’s not uncommon to hear somebody refer to me as ‘the receptionist who has an accent’
So I weakly said, “Yeah… I got that a lot. English is actually not my mother t…”
“No… no… the way you talk. You sound like Sarah Palin.”
Whaaa? Now, this isn’t even funny anymore. Did I really sound that dumb? I thought she was glad that I helped her a lot. Now she’s making fun of me? I don’t even know who this person is.
“Well…”
“You sound so sincere. You’re so confident and not afraid of who you are. God bless you.”
“Thank… you?”
Click.

Wow. What a cruel joke. Either she’s a truly Republican or a hardcore fan of Sarah Palin, or she’s just completely nuts. But honestly, I really don’t want to sound like her. Just hear here her. Ridiculous. I should start practicing talking like Yoda. “Listen to this video clip, you must.”