In part one and part two, I’ve discussed the issues my accent can cause this side of the pond and some of the reasons for it. Today, I wanted to touch on whether that confusion could actually be a good thing.
I’ve heard many ex-pats express frustration about being mistaken for one of our antipodean cousins and it seems that it isn’t something that only affects the British. Whether you are mistakenly identified as the wrong nationality, from the wrong state or even town, people the world over can have an issue with being mislabelled.
Personally, I embrace it - I see it as an opportunity! I like that my accent triggers discussions with interesting and friendly people. People that I might not otherwise have had the chance to engage with. I see it as an asset and a door opener.
I would much rather the people I meet develop a measured and considered view of me as an individual based upon how I behave, rather than pigeon holing me into a pre-conceived national or regional stereotype.
Again, coming back to my work with Phocas Software - confusion can be a good thing. It means there are questions to be answered, it means that there is room for improvement, it means there is an opportunity to be grasped. Implementing a successful BI solution to address a particular issue will very often have additional, unexpected benefits in other areas of the business and that’s no bad thing.
Likewise, the fact that Americans sometimes confuse me with an Australian, while sometimes a little frustrating, also gives me one more thing to talk to them about!
It also presents me with the chance to roll out my tried and tested response when they apologize for getting it wrong…. “It’s OK, you Canadians are notoriously bad with accents…”
In closing, I'd like to send a shout out to all the Australians reading this blog as today (January 26) is Australia Day! I might not be Australian but I do like to celebrate. I guess being mistaken for an Aussie can have its benefits. Is it time for Skippy?
Now I've shared my story, I'd like you to share yours. Have you ever been mistaken from being somewhere you're not? Tell me in the comments section below.