Saturday, August 13, 2005

Lunch Hour Stress Relief

Two days ago I had to call France on my lunch hour to talk to a good friend of mine who is contemplating applying for a job at Disney World. I had to call on my lunch break because, as you may already know, France is six hours ahead of us, and if I had waited until I got home from work to do it, it would have been almost midnight there.

...but I digress. I made the call at 12 on the nose and I must admit that it was a welcome respite from listening to little old ladies ask questions about the Rockettes. [I must insert here that I officially HATE Al Roker. He announced on the Today Show a few days ago that tickets for the Rockettes were going on sale that day in 9 cities. He didn't bother to name the cities, so every little old lady and bored housewife in the tri-state area started calling us, even though our tickets don't go on sale until next month. Stick with Food Network, Al. You seem to fit in better over there.]

I must have been on the phone for a good hour, and when I hung up, my boss made some comment to me along the lines of "And you say WE talk loud!". I just find it easier to pronounce French properly when I am speaking at a normal to loud level. It just sounds better! Have you ever tried to pronounce words properly while whispering? There's a reason why it doesn't work!

Really, what was bothering him was not the fact that I was speaking loudly, but rather the fact that he could not understand a word I was saying. He's just as much a gossip as the rest of the biddies in the department and I know he wanted to know what I was rattling on for an hour about. I could tell it was eating him alive. His suspicions are here confirmed: of course, I was talking about the office and my coworkers!

Now I know what my mother felt like all those years ago when she'd speak Italian to my grandmother at the kitchen table so my sister and I couldn't understand. They can't get away with that anymore, though, since we all have enough romance language background to blow the lid off their family gossip. But I can totally relate to the sense of release one gets from speaking a foreign language in public.

So there I was, bad-mouthing my boss and expressing my annoyances with my co-workers right in front of them. I think I will make this a regular part of my stress-management self-medication. It's quite satisfying.

3 comments:

BeckEye said...

I hate my job. Can you teach me some French that I can use to express my disgruntledness (that word may not even be an English one) during the work day without getting myself fired?

Sangroncito said...

French is so useful for that because so few Americans can speak or understand it! When I try that in Spanish half the people around me can understand in our increasingly Spanish-speaking country (especially in California).
Portuguese works much better when I want to say something I don't want others to understand, but it is so rare to have a fellow Portuguese-speaker to speak with here I rarely have the chance.
I do love that little "frisson" (spelling?) of superiority I feel when I speak a foreign language in front of monolingual Americans!

Prométhiûs said...

Moi..J'adore Francais...
C'est la langue d'amour.
For me though....
Cheers mon amie...
French rocks and rolls...