Friday, September 04, 2009


Here is a true story and it happened to me so I need to let off the steam. It will be the beginning of my Weekly Rants & Raves, so I hope my adoring fans and faithful followers will be ready for this new weekly feature!

The last few years I have been a volunteer for a local charity golf tournament. My job is very easy and kind of fun. I am the un-official photographer, using my personal camera, for the organization at their fundraising events. My duty included taking photos of the golfers and managing the putting contest during the tournament and at the silent auction during the evening reception and awards presentation prior to the dinner.

This year I was also asked to help with setting up the auction items. So I handed my own camera to another volunteer, let's call her "Melinda", to take photos of the last five teams and I went into the dining room to work on arranging the items and the bidding sheets. Unexpectedly the tournament was terminated early due to lightning as the rain also began falling heavily. Everyone began to gather in the dining room when the golf course blew the emergency horn. When I saw Melinda, I asked her if I could have my camera. She responded that she put the camera on the podium together with the clipboard listing the names of all the golfers, the calculator and the tape measure. When Melinda looked at the items on the podium, she realized that she had left the camera outside in the rain! She then tried to explain, "I heard the siren so I quickly grabbed everything and ran to safety." I did not know what else to say except, "Don't worry about it." When the rain finally stopped, Melinda went outside and brought back the camera which already had the look of "soaking wet". (Two days later the camera no longer had the foggy screen but when I tried turning it on, you could hear the "click, click" sound from the shutter trying to open but could not. Someone suggested using the hairdryer blowing directly into the Battery/Memory Stick cover. I wanted but did not say to the person, "If that did not work, will put the camera in the microwave or the oven for 20 minutes or 300 degrees!" Luckily the memory stick was unharmed and I was able to upload all the photos into a CD.) Another volunteer also carried a camera and he was able to take photos of the auction and awards dinner.

I tried to remain calm, went on taking care of the auction and the awards presentation. Melinda mentioned the incident to the executive director of the charity organization. She offered to replace the camera but I told her I would not accept. As I drove home that night, I kept thinking about what Melinda said that the items she was able to grab before running to safety was a $5 tape measure and $10 calculator, but not my $200 camera!

This is the same woman who looked at my nametag and asked if my husband was Vietnamese. The name on my nametag was printed "Lydia Andrzejewski" (this is not my real name, I am just trying to make a point here). Even after I said, "Does Andrzejewski sound like Vietnamese to you?", the woman still said, "Well, I don't know your language or how Vietnamese is written."

This is not the first time someone asked me if my husband was Vietnamese. If I was a Caucasian woman with a name like "Mary Jones", would anyone ask me if my husband was a White man? If I was an African American woman with a name like "Tonya Washington", would anyone ask me if my husband was Black? So why do people ask me if my husband was Vietnamese because I am Vietnamese? Why is it so important for the person to know or why would it matter whether I married within or outside of my own race?

I think I have wasted enough time ranting and raving for this week. I am going to shop for a new camera that is waterproof!

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails