Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekend reruns

English is an odd language. Being a native speaker, it seems pretty easy to me. But I'm generally lousy at other languages. I took 2 years of Spanish in high school and 4 in college, and I still can't speak it worth crap.

As you guys know, I moonlight doing medical market research interviews. Some are over the internet, some are in person, and some are by phone.

Some of the phone meetings have been outsourced overseas, so occasionally I find myself chatting with someone who speaks English, but with a non-American accent. Occasionally it's someone to whom English is a second language, though usually they're still quite good at it. And that's the situation I found myself in yesterday morning.

The study was on my interactions with drug reps, given by a lady with a mild, nonspecific, accent, but her English was still quite good and understandable. Unfortunately, it was also very old-style, and oddly formal, with phrases and words that aren't used much among modern English speakers. Understandable words, just a little odd.

Most of them were minor, but one was an issue. She used the old word for personal interaction.

Which is "intercourse".

Yes, I know it can mean ANY kind of personal interaction, and the technical phrase for sex is "sexual intercourse". But it's been shortened over time, to where now intercourse just means you're doing the wild thing.

And I'm a veteran of crazy patients, and having to keep a straight face. And I freaking lost it here, (thank heavens for the phone mute button) and at one point had to run to the john to keep from peeing myself (I told her I was going for a Diet Coke).

Here are some of the questions:



"How many times a day do you have intercourse with drug reps?"

My inner voice: It's variable, depending on the time left after I have intercourse with patients.



"If a drug rep provides lunch for your office, are you more likely to have intercourse with them?"

My inner voice: My standards aren't that high. If she's hot, I don't care if she brings prime rib or Taco Bell.



"Do any of your staff members also have intercourse with drug reps?"

My inner voice: Oh yeah, we have a non-stop orgy here. Nowadays I just wear a silk robe to work.



"During intercourse, did the rep provide you with insurance formulary information?"

My inner voice: If she did, I was too preoccupied to notice.



"Following intercourse, did the rep provide you with medication samples?"

My inner voice: No, but we shared a cigarette.



Wait until Mary and Annie find out I had intercourse with a marketing person yesterday. Of course, then I'll be having intercourse with them, too.

23 comments:

Old MD Girl said...

I remember the last time you posted this it was just as funny.

ER's Mom said...

You see, that's the problem. You & I have the emotional maturity of a 12 year old sometimes.

I would NOT have been able to get through that without either giggling or saying some smartass comment. I'm not that strong.

Anonymous said...

were you having this phone interview at home? did Mrs Grumpy know about it?

Pam said...

Sounds like an exhausting workday to me......

Kyla said...

Hahaha!

Jess said...

I'm guessing the intercourse to explain the intercourse may make any intercourse out of the question.

Sharon said...

I'm reminded of all the old novels (such as the Sherlock Holmes stories) in which you have dialog like

"My God," he ejaculated.

Anonymous said...

When my husband was learning English, the teacher was a non-native speaker, himself educated by a Canadian from England. So, my husband had a proper Queen's English training.

I had to laugh at one of his stories in conversational English.

Hello. Hello. How are you? I'm fine. How are you? Fine, as well. What's in your bag? Grasshoppers. Grasshoppers? Grasshoppers jumping up and down. Good-bye. Good-bye.

Old RPh said...

Sounds like you were having telephone intercourse.

merinz said...

Our New Zealand english has some 'quirks', some words we use that you just wouldn't - and the other way round too!

When teaching in Canada I quickly learned never to ask my students for a rubber!(eraser)

Anonymous said...

Aw, Grumopy...you should have let the interviewer know what she was saying. I wouldn't have had the heart to let her go on like that.

Anonymous said...

I think it would be rather insensitive of a woman to offer a man medication samples straight after intercourse. I wouldn't do it...well certainly not if I wanted to see the man again. Just sayin'.

A Touch of the Peculiar said...

I started busting up after the silk robe comment and I'm still giggling . . .

T said...

You're my inspiration, Dr. Grumpy. I can't wait to be doctor so I can have intercourse with drug reps at work.

clairesmum said...

in Galway at a fairly nice hotel the lovely female manager/head housekeeper knocked on the door of the room one midmorning, to ask in a cheerful and accented (not Irish accented) voice 'is everything all right in the bedroom?" Managed to nod yes and she left before i broke down giggling. Took my husband a minute to get the joke - best memory of that hotel!

cliffintokyo said...

Why don't I ever get interesting phone-calls like this?
I am speechless with envy!
Ask her to call me! (Must brush-up on my phone chat technique....)


WV: chineysy
Chimes with the non-native theory?
(No offense intended)

Mrs A said...

now that explains a lot!

Bio Geek with Patience said...

merinz said...
"When teaching in Canada I quickly learned never to ask my students for a rubber!(eraser)"

Some of the people I work with were not that fortunate, and were the end of strange looks and laughs for many, many months before someone clued them in. Wasn't me. I found it entertaining!

Anonymous said...

omg the poor woman. Someone should really tell her. Hilarious though.

Anonymous said...

@merinz: And somebody really ought to point out to Americans visiting the UK that there's a very good reason we call them bum bags and not fanny packs. ;-)

Andy

The Bus Driver said...

HAHAHAHA!!! i needed that laugh after today!! haha and my word verification is "ingsh"

KG said...

Insurance formulary info? Is that classified? It takes a LOT of desperate intercourse for us at the pharmacy to get that info from insurers.

Anonymous said...

If your intercourse partner starts giving you insurance formulary information during intercourse, you're probably not doing it right.

 
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