Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Stranger In A Strange Land

A new worker working with us. English is not B's first language. She has taught herself our language, and though a bit bumpy, I think she is doing a superb job. Also, she is absolutely lovely in nature.  She is kind and intelligent and helpful and funny. These are the things you want in a co-worker.

It's interesting watching the facial expressions and the general attitude of our customers when they deal with her, especially when there is some confusion because of the language thing. Some people are all smiles and patience and make the effort to make small-talk.

Others squint and shake their head a little and get a slight tone, a superior attitude. Some talk down to her and seem to think she is unintelligent.

And these people make me want to ask how their second language skills are. How the fuck have you been at living in another country, supporting yourself, speaking another language? Would you be as good and gracious and intelligent and helpful to others and as funny as B is? Have you travelled? Do you have any empathy at all?

B has seemed oblivious to their ignorance, and has just quietly gone about serving everyone in good grace, with helpfulness, intelligence and her gentle humour.

Am very happy to be working with B. I feel kind of sorry for the squinters and head-shakers.

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