I actually ask this question in a calm voice with a smile on my face. I make an effort to explain the difference between Testing and QA if the offender is open and willing to receive my message.
What I feel and what I hide from the offender is different from what I hope shows on my face and in my voice. It feels like my hair is standing up on the back of my neck. I feel that my evil tester twin wakes up and starts spewing fire at the offender. I feel like I am bubbling with indignation inside and will explode any second. I want to scream "How dare you call me a QA? I am a friggin tester! I 'break' software. I don't monitor processes and methods to ensure its quality".
Did I say that I can't stand being called QA? It happened again this past week. Someone said - "We will finish coding, then qa it and then demo it to the client." "Aren't we going to test it??? (curse words flowing in my head)" I asked. "That's what I meant when I said that we would qa it." "I don't do qa, I test." "The same difference."
No one called me QA until this place. At my previous company we had the whole department dedicated to quality assurance work. We did not get along with QA. To me they were condescending and arrogant bureaucrats and Apparatchiks who valued large volumes of written documentation and reports over effective test results. Our team supported an application with over 2000 users worldwide. It was a pleasant work environment. The developers and testers worked well together. We made the company proud by passing the CMMI3 audit for 3 years in a row. We used Test Director (and later Quality Center) for traceability. Nothing we "traced" was detailed enough for QA.They were just never happy. Management and clients were happy but QA were hard to please.
Now I hear our group being called QA almost daily. I try my best to raise awareness about the goodness and value of testing and the difference between the two but there are days when I just give up, bite my tongue, think of Dilbert cartoons and pray that maybe one day things will change.
At least I no longer hear people say that I am like a plague of locusts or that "even a monkey can be trained to test"...