In 1992 I took my girlfriend to Florida for our first vacation together. It was great - we stayed in that huge hotel opposite Sea World and had a fabulous time. The only problem we had was when we tried to book tables at restaurants. It was so hard to get people to understand our accents.
The hardest bit was with my name, Etherington. I would spell it over and over but it was never conveyed correctly. One afternoon the concierge gave us the number of a local restaurant and overheard me in terrible trouble trying to get them to understand me, and offered to make the call for us.
I stood there and listened to see what I was doing wrong...
"Etherington, no, Etherington"
"Sure, E - T - H"
"No E, yes E that's right"
"E T H"
"No E, yes E for Edward"
And so it went on, finally we had a reservation.
Anyway we turned up at this nice seafood restaurant on International Drive and told the guy at the desk that we had a reservation for eight o'clock in the name of Etherington. He quite bluntly told us that we did NOT have a reservation and that they were full. If we would like to come back in an hour then they might be able to seat us then. I told him that actually we DID have a reservation as I had heard it being made for us. Then he got a bit stroppy and told me again that they were full, they did NOT have a reservation and to go away.
Before he got completely nasty to us I asked him just to confirm if they had ANY reservations for eight o'clock. He looked in the book and said that they did actually have one. I asked him if it was for two people in non-smoking and he said that it was was. Then I asked him who it was for and he said.
"Sir I have told you we do not have a reservation for you, this one is for Dr Effingpot!!!". And from that moment on it just stuck!