Hostile In Translation, Part 2

| Working | December 29, 2013

(I am bilingual, a fact that my coworker seems to be jealous of. One day the phone rings and she answers it.)

Coworker: “Hello? Oh wait.” *hands phone to me* “Here. A Spanish customer.”

(I take the phone. There is a lot of background noise on the customer’s end and her cellphone is losing signal, so her words are very garbled up and choppy. I tell her to call back later, and hang up.)

Coworker: “What was that?”

Me: “Oh, her cell phone had a bad signal so her words came out all choppy. I couldn’t understand her at all!”

Coworker: “Yeah, right. I bet you don’t know Spanish! You don’t even have any accent!”

Me: “That’s because I moved here when I was a baby. But my family spoke it at home.”

(She shoots me a suspicious look and we continue on with work. The next day, a woman approaches and starts asking questions in Spanish. I didn’t get much sleep the previous night, and I’m dead tired. Plus, it’s near the end of my shift, so my brain’s fried. I try to help her as much as possible. She was inquiring about a job. Then she leaves.)

Coworker: *from behind me* “What was THAT?!”

Me: “What?”

Coworker: “You were so awkward with that Spanish-speaking woman. I knew it. You’ve lied about being bilingual! I’m telling the supervisor.”

Me: *irritated* “Look! I’ve been on my feet for the last eight hours. I can barely speak English!”

(She tells the supervisor that I’m lying. The supervisor tells her to shut up and quit causing trouble! The Spanish-speaking woman gets hired and we speak Spanish all the time, much to my coworker’s irritation!)

 

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