One disadvantage of living in South Florida is that many people speak Spanish. I took Spanish for 4 years in high school, and thought I had some understanding of the language. Oh how wrong I was. People speak so fast that I’m lucky if I catch a few words that they say. Luckily, most people that I interact with speak English pretty well, but that doesn’t mean that they use it all of the time.
My company has a policy that we can only speak English at work. That makes sense, I think, since it’s an American company. They have no problem with employees speaking whatever language they want during their lunch break, but while on company time, you should speak English.
Most of my co-workers from somewhere in the Caribbean or South America, so they have accents. And the majority of those accents are very heavy. I’ve gotten used to it and can understand them very well, but one girl will speak Spanish at every opportunity. I understand that it’s more comfortable for her to speak Spanish, but when I’m having a conversation with someone else in English and she joins in Spanish, it just doesn’t make sense to me. I mean, it’s fairly obvious that I’m a white girl through and through and I can’t keep up with a conversation in Spanish. Thankfully, the other girl in the convo turned it right back to English.
What gets me even more than that is the break room. For some reason, people come from all parts of the building to use my department’s break room. They sit in there and chat, which is fine of course. I can hear them talking in English as I get approach the room, but as soon as I open the door, they switch over to Spanish. As soon as I go to shut the door on my way out, they speak in English again. If they were speaking in Spanish the whole time I wouldn’t be concerned, but it’s so strange thinking that they really care that much about me hearing what they are talking about.
I really have no problem with my co-workers speaking their native language at work. In all honesty though, some people could really use a lesson in manners!