An Award-Winning Disclaimer

A charming little Magpie whispered this disclaimer into my ear, and I'm happy to regurgitate it into your sweet little mouth:

"Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for those of you who start to laugh and piss your pants a little. Although this blogger understands the role he has played (in that, if you had not been laughing you may not have pissed yourself), he assumes no liability for damages caused and will not pay your dry cleaning bill.

These views represent the thoughts and opinions of a blogger clearly superior to yourself in every way. If you're in any way offended by any of the content on this blog, it is clearly not the blog for you. Kindly exit the page by clicking on the small 'x' you see at the top right of the screen, and go fuck yourself."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

That Funny Talk

Because America's a totally sexypants melting pot and all, you've probably had this experience:

You're sitting in an office or breakroom at work and there are two or maybe three people in the room, and they are conversing with each other in another language-- French, or Hmong or something-- and you are sitting there thinking that either a.) they're probably talking about you, or b.) they're definitely talking about you.

Because, really? They are.

Now, any PowerPoint presentation on cultural sensitivity (featuring at least one "Fred Basset" cartoon, as required by law) will make you attuned to the fact that it is critically important to workplace harmony to respect the diverse cultures that make America and its various workplaces all sexypants and melty potty-like. Of course, those self-same PowerPoint Presentations will also tell you that, while you must accept and appreciate cultural diversity in your workplace, people of differing cultures must be aware not to offend or upset you by making you feel isolated by subjecting you to third party conversations conducted in Sanskrit or Jive Version 3.1.

Nobody likes to be in a room with people who are speaking a completely foreign language. It's just uncomfortable, even for those of us who do not suffer from paranoia (I have a charming touch of it myself-- by the way, stop talking about me) and it's just plain annoying. My wife has a Russian friend and, whenever we are out with her, her mother calls.

"Hi, Poocha," my wife's Russian friend says, and then it's all in Russian. I'm assuming "Poocha" is Russian, too-- I guess for "mother." Anyway, her mother invariably asks who she's with at the current moment, and she says our names, and then a bunch of other shit in Russian. In my head, this is what she's saying:

"Mr. & Mrs. Apron. (Pause.) Da. (I know that means "Yes." so I'm presuming her mother has just said something akin to, "Oh, those soulless dickheads?") Yes, going out with them is really a public service of sorts, it makes me feel good to give purpose and meaning to their lives by taking them out for Vietnamese food. I deserve a medal from the Motherland for all the horseshit I put up with from these idiots. I said, "a medal." Yes, one with a relief of Lenin on it, perhaps eating a pair of stockings. Okay, Poocha. I love you, too."

At work yesterday, people were speaking a different language in front of me all day. I call it "Vickinese."

Yes, all my coworkers were talking about Michael Vick. And the Eagles. And quarterbacking in general. And Andy Reid's decision, whatever it was I don't know-- something about Michael Vick, I suppose. In between the Vickinese was general Footballish, off-the-cuff spouting of inane statistics and quarterback comparisons going back to the early 1980s.

I was talked... around. Over. I was perhaps generally ignored is a good way to phrase it. I've only been there a week, and they already know that I do not speak this language, perhaps it's my blank stare or disinterested posture. I don't know how adroit these people are at reading body language, but I presume mine can't be that hard to interpret. Of course, I don't want them to stop, and I don't particularly care for small-talk of any kind anyway, I'm perfectly happy to be left alone to mentally undress people or play old maritime songs in my head or think about something idiotic I did seven years ago, but, every now and then it would be nice to be acknowledged.


Maybe not, though. If the Vickinese are happy in their world speaking their language to each other, who am I, really, to interpose? I am, after all, only the New Jack, and would hate to spoil the fun for everyone.

Of course, God help everyone if I hit upon a coworker who has a closeted love for English, late 19th century operetta.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got something to say? Rock on with your badass apron!