Nguyen is the "Smith" of Vietnamese last names. There's a whole boatload of us out there. After all, that's pretty much how most of us came here. Loaded on a boat.
So, no I don't know sister's best friend Daisy, or your brah Jimmy, or Cindy who does your pedicures. But I don't mind if you ask. It's a small world. Every once in a while I do know someone you're talking about.
But one of my AAJA reporter mentees has the same last name, and she's been applying for reporting jobs all over America the Beautiful. In some parts it is "America The Very Small Town." In one such city, the news director called her and said, "I received your resume and DVD. I see that you have your sister listed as a reference. She's a reporter too?"
And my mentee was all, "Oh, no! She's not my sister. We're not related at all, sir. It's actually a very common last name."
And the news director was all, "Hmm. Really? You're sure she's not related to you?"
Mentee: "Umm yes, sir. I'm sure." Thinking, "I probably don't want to work for this man if he doubts my ability to identify my own relatives."
If you'd like to meet a Nguyen, head to the nearest nail salon. Someone there WILL be a Nguyen or be able to introduce you to a Nguyen. And upsell you to crittal gel.* So pritty! Like cheerleadah.
*Wow. I can't believe this has been viewed 16 million times.