Monday, November 27, 2006


I blog about work sometimes, and sometimes I blog about funny things that we or others say at work, or funny things that happen at work; but I will tell you now, I edit and/or censor those post heavily because of one thing.


I work with people who come here from every corner of the globe, with hope and optimism and guts. Sometimes those people, in their efforts to navigate a new system, or master a new language, say things that are, frankly, laugh-out-loud funny. I don't think preserving those moments, while protecting the human beings involved, hurts at all. I think it makes people who are from here much better understand the confusing, baffling, frankly whack world of the immigrant. At least I hope so.

With some of those people I have been incredibly privileged to build a relationship of real trust.

I realized it pretty slowly (I'm not that smart) but I realized it when people would come into my office saying things like "I am supposed to call courier. I don't know this word courier. What is courier?" or, "I got this sandwich bonus in my breakfast order [ronniecat note: sandwich: Egg McMuffin, contents, egg, ham cheese and God knows what else]. Is okay to eat or does it have pork? [answer: no, it isn't, and yes, it does.]."

Knowing you're trusted is knowing when people will come to you and ask things that they fear are embarrassing or stupid. Because they know you're not going to laugh, or say "What? Everybody knows that...", or tell anyone else in the office that they asked the question.

It feels good to know.

So, while I might post stories about people I work with, I'm puttin' you on notice that I'm going to be deliberately vague, and/or misleading about language or country of origin.

I think the point will always prevail. And the personalities will be protected.

So, this tall/short, dark/light, young/old, short-haired/afro-sporting, well-dressed/shabby, down-and-out/affluent, unschooled/university-educated African/Asian/South American immigant walks into a bar...




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