As a joke among a handful of Asian females on my team, at our team week in June, one of my colleagues got all of the Asian females on our team a “wrong Asian” pin. Unfortunately at our company, we’ve had more than a handful of instances of people confusing us for each other, and so we thought we’d keep the inside joke running along regarding how dumb people can be to actually think we’re all interchangeable.
So, you can imagine how I felt when my Australian colleague, who is based out of our London office, said “Hey, Mei!” to me today. He and I get along really well and have endless fun banter when it’s just the two of us, but given that I was between too many meetings today, stretched thin for time, and he said this to me, I looked at him in shock and said, “What the heck — did you just call me Mei?!”
“Whoa, whoa!” he said, defensively. “Calm down! I said ‘hey, mate!'”
We both cracked up. My sensitivity was clearly on high given my work to-do list has felt never-ending, but at least we both had a good chuckle about this. He knows the story behind this. However, I did tell him he’d be in a lot of trouble if he ever did confuse us in the future.