Is speaking French Posh? [PART 2]

In 2008, I wrote a post about the perception people in England have about speaking French and what, for some of them,  it means in term of standard, status or just "class".

At the time, I was working for IBM UK as an analyst in a busy work place surrender by managers, consultants, software and hardware sales people, who on average were making roughly over £85K a year. One of the think I learned during my time at IGF (IBM Global Finance) was that people who know that they earn way more money than you are, drive an expensive car and own a bigger house than you, look at themselves as superior as you and more educated that you will never be (how could they know that...), and can be really offended (or shocked) when they found out that you have a skill they don't have, specially when the skill I'm talking about (speaking French fluently) is about knowledge and culture...
Believe me I had some funny time, some of the conversation I had were just surreal...

Anyway, 3 years later and I now work for a different company, in a different place. Much smaller, less people around me, a better view from my wide windows (view on the parking lot) and a kitchen fully equipped in the corner.
The big difference, other than the fact that nobody earn a salary close to £85K, is that the perception of people about speaking French or France is still the same.


Nothing make me laugh more than the typical english "dude" trying to tell me "in French" (I mean something they call French...) the name of his favourite cheese or the bottle of red wine he or she has share with his or her partner the night before, then start to explain me how knowledgeable she or he is in French...
Sometime someone will attempt to teach me something about French culture or say to me something like :

" Oh I have been in France before, Oh no, I go in France every weekend to enjoy the food and the forecast and my French is getting better..." ok cool, happy for you but....
" No no wait, you're not the only one to know about France, or French, I do too, I do my shopping at Waitrose..." Ok wait a minute... I don't care where you do you shopping Lol...
"Hey listen I can speak French too, you're not the only one...I know too..." Lol this is not a contest ok, calm down please, we're cool...
"No who do you think you are...speaking French doesn't make you better than me ok.... me too I..." STOP...PLEASE


Then sometime you will have the awkward moment of someone laughing during a conversation I have on the phone with a French client, pretending that "I do understand too" but asking me a few day later to translate something or call for help to deal with French documents....
Then you have the "Google effect", which for some people is like speaking or understanding French or even a good way to learn French and obviously making sure that I know that "now" you too speak the "Chosen Language"

"I can do your job...why are you earning more than me....I know French too..." .....

Pathetic but highly funny... Welcome to my world

Hope you enjoy it.

1 comments:

August 24, 2011 at 9:20 AM The Man said...

Man this is so truth in some work place...
Great post.

 

© THE PEACE BLOGGER
Revolution Elements by Blozard. Original WP theme by Jason Schuller | Distributed by Deluxe Templates