It is HAPPENING! I’m beginning to INTEGRATE!!!
I think it sorta crept up from behind when I wasn’t looking. All gradual and sneaky like.
But I’m beginning to notice it in small increments. The way waiting at bureaucratic offices makes me cringe but not boil. The way I try to think two steps ahead (i.e. strategize) and today, how I attempted to foil the system.
I was sitting at the offices of the local Maccabi Medical Center waiting my turn. I needed to take care of some billing and paperwork. I overheard an admin. woman turn to her colleague and say in Hebrew: “Do you speak English? How am I going to help this guy with his paperwork?”
I offered to translate and they accepted. He was from France – a new immigrant signing on for health benefits on behalf of himself and his wife (who was not present).
We got through the mandatory questionnaire part of pre-existing conditions, medications, surgeries etc. and then the admin. woman noticed he and his wife hadn’t signed the forms. I can’t bring them onboard until they both sign, said Ms. admin. I translated.
And after translating, while Ms. admin was busy on the computer, I hid my face behind the plant on her desk and pantomimed/whispered to the French guy: Go outside and forge your wife’s signature! He smiled and whispered back: “Trying to turn me into an Israeli already?”
He departed and then it was my turn. I got the same admin. woman.
About 20 minutes into our “session”, I chuckled when I noticed the French guy hadn’t returned. “Honest guy,” I said aloud. The admin. woman looked puzzled so I confessed, telling her the story.
Shame on you! she admonished with a wide grin. Don’t corrupt him so quickly. Let him stay naive and innocent for two minutes, wouldja? It won’t last long.
It’s not because we live in a den of dishonesty (although some may beg to differ). It’s because you learn what’s important and what’s not. What is worth going back home and coming back again the next day for to wait in line for an hour and….need I say more?