“Well that sounds nice,” said the Spanish dentist lady. “But I’m still wondering how you are going to fool me over. Because I know that’s what you people do.” Well, that wiped the smile off my face. I felt like she hit me in the stomach, out of the blue.
If you are not from Europe, you might be confused, but “you people” was referring to my surname Fučić, clearly marking me as one of the “shifty -čić” Slavic people. The outrage. She made an innocent enough remark about it earlier, which I then played for laughs. Well, laughing time was over, and so was that conversation.
This kind of thing is not new, but only ever happens (to me) within Europe. It seems that other societies read into prejudice in different ways that mostly don’t affect me.
But I wanted to get away from all that and inadvertently launched what people now rightly call a global career. Covid working standards made it possible, but the main driver of change was getting away from prejudice.The thing you run away from defines your career. A non-traditional background turns into a specialization, and a lack of formal training becomes a focus on real-world experience. I’m not talking about wordplay here, these are real qualities of great people who happen to have a pebble-in-your-shoe origin.**
So that aspect of your own profile that sticks out and you wish clients would ignore? Maybe it’s been a springboard all along.**