diplomatic corps

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"Hire whoever you want," I once said to Amy, but then I thought better of it. "Wait. Native English speakers only. I'm not dealing with that at my own company."

She sighed the familiar, exasperated sigh of a woman who's tired of my every utterance. "Whatever."

She then set up our interview with a guy named Giovanni Benedetti.

"ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" I shrieked.

"He's English."

"No, he's in England. He probably just got off the boat. Have you spoken to him?"


"I swear to god, Amy, if he sounds like the Mario brothers..."

But Gio was fine, a proper English gentleman whose crisp pronunciation was such that I figure he was annoyed with the sound of my voice. In which case, welcome to the planet's least exclusive party, Gio. Meet Amy, your hostess this evening.

Yesterday I made an appointment to interview another Brit, googling her only after the meeting was scheduled. Oh, no! She's very Indian. So is her entire family. Like dots-on-the-forehead Indian, my most dreaded of accents. I cannot penetrate it. It's machine-gunned gibberish to me. I say "Excuse me?" a lot, but I just respond "Yes" in the dark a lot more. And this is how I ended up working for an Indian multinational a few years ago, quite against my will.

As the appointment approached, I said a silent prayer to whatever invisible man in the sky might be listening.

To whom it may concern,
Please let her be Gio's sister. Or at least born in the UK. Just not Scotland, okay?
I met with her. She sounded like Kate Winslet.
Thanks, bro.
Do I owe you a dead sheep or something?