Life experience

On Becoming Joe

So, it’s Sunday morning, and I’m awake early and ready to do…something.

This is why I’m soon standing in a coffee shop, ordering my medium latte and cinnamon roll. Order placed, I take my note pad and iPad to a 2-seat table.

I check the football scores, begin what is, I discover, a cinnamon roll made for two.

“Joe, your latte is ready.”

That’s for me, although my name is not Joe. I use it when someone needs to call my name out in a busy restaurant/café. I use a nom de café because people can’t understand my actual name. Which is odd, as it’s an incredibly simple name.

Carl

Rhymes with “Sophie Dahl”.

But, in my time here in the US, I’ve found that vowel sounds are everything in terms of comprehension. When I asked for “no tomato” (noh-toe-mah-toe) and the kid taking my order could not process the word in his head, that was a clue.

But still, I would continue to use “Carl”, and would either have a long conversation that went:

“Carl.”

“Col?”

“Caaaarl.”

“Colin? Connor? Harry?”

“Yes, Harry.”

Or the person taking the order would not say anything and ten minutes later they’d announce the order for Cole was ready.

And so, I became Joe. And I get my coffee on time.

True story.

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