Picture - if you will - a bustling contact centre in South Wales. Men and women are carrying out their business: talking to customers, doing admin, walking around looking busy to avoid being busy... The kind of thing that happens in a professional work place.
In walks a woman in her CMU (Central Michigan University) hoodie, Airwalks and occasional drawl. That's me. Even after living in this country for almost a decade, I dress and talk and act in a way that is instantaneously recognizable as American.
In walks a man in a UofM (University of Michigan) sweatshirt and sits behind me. Must be another American, right? From, you might guess, the same state even, given his apparel. Right?
...But what are the chances of two 'Ganders working at the same contact centre in South Wales?
Slim to none. (I have worked with other Americans since moving here - and the occasional Canadian which I count since most people can't tell us apart here - but never another person from Michigan.)
Meet Max. He's ITALIAN. And, no... He DIDN'T attend UofM. So why the UofM shirt? Clearly not to offend me since Western are "our" rivals, not the Wolverines.
Well, I had to ask. His reply was a grin and the words: "Super Max."
Best use of a UofM sweatshirt ever... Except for the ones being burned by students in East Lansing each Fall, of course. (Hey. I said they weren't my college's rivals... I never said I liked them.)