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.