Thursday, June 14, 2007

Kell me Bub.

I have to say, I am going to miss training. I had a ball. Not the learning part, but just the people in the class.

Out of the class of 20, there were 5 white's, two Chinese guys and the rest were Bengali. It was an interesting dynamic. (If you're waiting for me to get all PC, don't hold your breath.)

There is quite a healthy Bengali population at the Undisclosed Customer Service Center™ and for a community that has never really had contact with people of other cultures, I think we are handling it pretty well. It helps that the Bengali's are very good natured and will answer 500 stupid questions in the run of a day without getting offended. They even go so far as literally changing their names so the rest of us hicks can pronounce them.

I sat beside this one guy who had to repeatedly tell me what his name was and for the life of me I could not get it out of my face. After three days of slaughtering the pronunciation of his name I finally gave up, "If you don't mind, I am just going to call you Bob." He laughed, "OO Key, Ewa. Kell me Bub."

The only thing that irritates me is when they start talking to each other in their language. I don't know about you, but I think that is rude. It was interesting that only the Bengali's did this. You would never catch the two Chinese guys doing it. Believe me, I tried. It was all I could do to pry a couple Chinese words out of either of them.

Anyway, as I said, the jabbering on in their own language was irritating to me. It was also irritating to the guy sitting next to me. More interesting is that he was Bengali also. Tareq and I sat in a row alone behind 5 of them, and as soon as they would start, he would lean forward and chastise them. "English please." Then he would turn to me and make sure I knew that they were not talking about anyone in the class or anything like that. He was a bit embarrassed by it.

Day two, I decided to have some fun with it. They started having what appeared to be a heated discussion when I stood up, "Excuse me! But I will have you know they pay good money for my mother!" Mizan turns, horrified. "She is not a common street walker!" The look on his face was priceless and I kept a straight face for about 10 seconds until I caught Tareq out of the corner of my eye. He had lost it, and was slapping his leg, trying not to roar with laughter.

After that, they knew they were fair game.


Nadine said...

IT IS RUDE, and there should be a policy. I have worked in 7 different countries and worked with people from all over the world (I do SAP stuff).. and in ALL our locations there is a office language policy. And in EVERY case it has been ENGLISH ONLY at the office/email/etc. Tareq, sounds like the type of person I enjoy working with! He's here in NA and WANTS to learn and live our culture... for the 'others' who want to live here but make it like "their home" - should MOVE HOME!

Anonymous said...

LMAO. Man my classes were never that fun.

I don't know if I would hold it against them. It's easy to forget yourself when english isn't you're native language especially if your buddies sitting next to you are from your own culture as well. They may not even have realized it was causing a problem - although I'm sure they do now! lol


Fyr said...

yes - bugs me too.

i have been called a "sellout", been criticized for "behaving like she's better than us" and all sorts of other names ...

you see, Jamaicans have a dialect, broken English (bastardized, i like to call it, just because it seems sometimes soooo crude), and it is difficult for others to understand. when together, Jamaicans also "forget themselves" and speak to each other (and sometimes even others) in this dialect. it's funny the first time, it gets old after that.

me? i try to speak slower and in as proper english as i can muster because i firmly believe in "when in rome ... "


Cattiva said...

Absolutely classic!

My first instinct is to make up my own language, babble it and point and laugh.

That's why I get the good drugs.