After visiting the Colorado State House we met a Russian immigrant who told us an interesting story about working in the capitol building as a guide. It was his first job in America and he was joking about telling his friends that his office was located higher up in the capitol than the governor because he took visitors on tours and showed them the capitol dome.
One day a group of visitors from Russia were touring and he occasionally answered their questions in Russian. They were amazed and asked him where did he learn to speak Russian so well? Being a guy with sense of humor he answered, “That he had a very special education!” One of them asked, “What are you doing here then?” “What do they think?” Being from a country where special agents are the invisible part of every delegation or important governmental places, someone asked. “So you are CIA?” He just smiled and kept his mysterious silence.
Unfortunately, it seemed someone on the tour was puzzled by his comments. A couple days later he was fired, ending his very first important job in America after only 2 weeks.
His story reminds me of my spiel I used occasionally when customers came to our booth in America. They were surprised when I greeted them wearing traditional Ukrainian clothing and I am speaking okay English to them. Because of it I am often asked how I managed to speak English so well being from Ukraine. I couldn’t resist telling them it was my job in the old Soviet Union to train KGB officers because of my special English skills. When my wife first heard me tell this story to a few of our customers she was amazed how I could keep a straight face telling such a preposterous story. It was a side of me she hadn’t seen before living in Ukraine. However, being back in America after a 4 year absence I couldn’t resist this golden opportunity to play a little prank to see if my audience would take me seriously. In the end it was hard for my wife to contain her laughter and ended up spilling the beans by telling them that I was one of them after they had taken the bait! A collective sigh of relief was heard from my attentive audience because they were happy to know that I was just a fellow American who had played a little joke on them.