One Friend Less

I see when I mess up in English, I was actually having a conversation about languages this week at work and saying how sometimes this language really limits me in expressing how I feel. There are words that simply don’t exist in this language (I have been writing a post about that one for a while.) One of my favorite examples is “Saudade.”

This week I also talked a lot about my blog to someone that does not blog. I explained how it was something I used a lot more back in the day but have since stopped using for various reasons. I do miss it, but today I got a chance to be motivated enough to actually post something. I was “unfriended” on facebook. Since the conversation was removed and probably nobody that knows the participants in the conversation even saw the exchange I figured, lets preserve the exchange without the authors… except for me. One disclaimer though, I do realize that people, conversation and context don’t exist on the internet and for the person that unfriended me this was probably the short end of the stick in the sense that it escalated without proper background. The person that unfriended me was someone that I was already questioning even having as someone that I read. They did survive several cullings (I love doing that on facebook for some reason) which is an activity that brings me almost as much inner peace as detailing my car.

Some more context. I am starting to hate facebook. It has amazing ways of viewing other people’s life unfold and it makes you almost feel part of things that happen oh so far away. It also lets you hear what I call “facebook prayers” which makes me wonder if some people just never talk to any other humans. The part I am tired of is the constant regurgitation of talking head points about racist, sexist, and just plain ignorant things. Some people seem so conditioned to it that at every slight opportunity ignorance comes out, and then the diatribe of the topic already regurgitated several times comes pouring out like a river that smells like the streets of New York. Aside – (Someone needs to come up with a true New York Perfume that smells like sidewalk piss.) Long week in New York… too much work not enough play I guess. After spending time there where the language you hear the least is English I come home to this little discussion.

Original Status – Heavily Redacted
Person 1
Carpet guys are here and I’m getting an education on country music. Apparently “country boys and girls getting down on the farm” is worth singing about. I also have become aware that there are women who thinks trucks are sexy. #TheMoreYouKnow

3 people like this.

Funny, witty, entertaining. The reason this person survived multiple cullings.

Person 2
Let me know if they are any good. I’m always on the lookout for good flooring guys. Just be thankful they speak English!

Person 1
They’re from XXXX XXXXX. Super polite. One of the guys is an apprentice and I can hear the older guy teaching him along the way.

Nothing to see right? Simple exchange. Well, not for me. My facebook feed feels inundated with this type of crap, not just by Person 2 but many other friends of friends that say just ignorant stuff without realizing it. I stay quiet and say nothing 99% of the time, but maybe because the topic had NOTHING to do with English speaking in the first place, or because I saw so many NON English speakers living and working in New York which for you geography buffs is part of ‘Murrica!

I’m curious Person 2, what does speaking English have to do with any of what Person 1 said? Furthermore, if they did not speak English and were contracted and did a great job why would it matter if they performed and maybe educated Person 1 on some Latin music? How many languages do you speak again Person 2?

I know. I am wrong… I opened up the door, you could even say I baited… but this was my hope. Maybe, people can see that jumping to the whole “SPEAK ENGLISH PEDRO!” BS is kind of offensive and most first generation naturalized Americans are tired of hearing that. Maybe people will stop assuming that every worker in this country that does something construction related does not speak English. In fact, if you talk to contractors in some areas of the country they will tell you that skilled labor left, to the point that they are poaching framers from each other’s jobs. I digress though. I just did not see where the whole, “be glad they speak English fits.” What kind of people do I associate with when they are glad that their ‘Murrica speaks only English? Assimilation complete at all. So here is where it gets very interested.

Person 2
It is VERY difficult for people to communicate with people who don’t speak English. I work with MANY hispanics, some from Mexico, some from El Salvador (and even guys from Eastern Europe). ALL of them speak English! It is a requirement because my guys have lots of interaction with homeowners. I also listen to a lot of latin “Polka sounding” music when around my guys. Not sure I like it any less than country music! I speak only one language, English.

I figured Person 2, but your comment is really offensive because the conversation had nothing to do with speaking English at all. Thank you though, I now know where not to take my business. I work in a environment where many of the people I interact with don’t know just one language, and English is not even close to being their primary language. I kind of chuckle at your VERY difficult, try to understand the word “Policy” in a legal environment where the meaning translation is “Politica”, which does not match with the literal translation. Its ok though Person 2 I am sure communicating with people from all over the world is can be very difficult when all you know is English. I like to communicate via food, but that is just me.

Here is where it kind of got surprising, one of the reasons that Person 1 was considered for previous culling was that I figured the antagonistic stuff came from a place of intelligence and not close mindedness.

Person 1
So (for the sake of being a dick because I’m bored) – if I move to Colombia I should just expect to speak English?

Person 2
I respect your opinion, John. I’ve heard countless stories of customers asking a worker a question about their specific project only to get either a blank stare or an “ok” from the worker. It has nothing to do with the quality of their work, but customer service. I’ve made a conscious effort to employ skilled people no matter where they are from! They must be legal to work in the US (no matter where they are from) and be checked through E-Verify. They must also be able to communicate with my homeowners. Heck, some of my hispanic guys do a better job of that than my American guys!

So now its a tag team!

Funny that you bring that up, many Americans actually do and live in closed communities sending their kinds to English only schools. That’s ok though Person 1, I now know what I am dealing with.

Person 2
If you move to Colombia (not Missouri!) you should expect to learn the language and assimilate into that culture.

Person 2
Those folks can attend the English only schools, that’s their prerogative. But don’t expect the locals to go out of their way to accommodate it!

Person 2 By the way, Person 1, I love it when you call yourself a dick!

I should have known better and stepped away after the flirting started, that should be private but it is facebook right?

People that take every opportunity to shine the light on topics that are not theirs but that a talking head gave them to discuss and use. It is really sad that a post that has nothing to do with “Speaking English” was taken there. I thought pointing that out would make it stop and maybe open a mind but I see that immediately where I a from is being questioned and now the word assimilation is brought up. I am as America as you two are.

Person 2
I never asked where you were from, nor does it really matter to me.

Person 1
You’re not making sense. What talking head? What topic that is “not mine”?

Person 2
It must be “Offend me Friday” or something.

What does your post have to do with speaking English? which is the first thing that Person 2 brought up. What does me being from another country have anything to do with pointing out that it is ignorant to bring up “people that don’t speak English” in a topic that had nothing to do with it.

I said it is offensive, not that I am offended. It does make me sad when I see this kind of ignorance though.

Person 1
This is done.

Topic deleted, Logtar was unfriended. I thought about posting the actual screen grab or posting it to lamebook for other people to comment on, but I figured I would use my little corner of the internet for my rant.

This is the thing. I am tired of being around people that are semi racist and intolerant of others but when called out on it they simply shrug and say, I am not racist. I am from another country and I personally can be racist in some situations. We don’t even want to do it but our brain is trained to… how, by being exposed to images and writing that is racist or intolerant. You might not think anything of it, but constantly being bombarded with, people should speak English, and undocumented workers are taking our jobs, and bla bla bla eventually becomes what everyone goes to when anything remotely related to the topic comes up. Why do I have to explain to people that even though I am from another country and speak more than one language I am American… BUT that does not make me one of the “good” ones or in any was assimilated, if anything I infect people with as much food and culture from other places in the world as I can. It is almost like my mission to make people see that communication is not just about language and that 20 seconds trying to look up what you are trying to say in a dictionary is not going to kill you but maybe teach you a thing or two. Tell the people of New York that they have to all speak English and be assimilated and they will laugh in your face, or a good portion not even understand you. I seriously thought that xenophobia was on the decline in this country. I guess it is alive and well.

Btw, I was not remotely offended by any of it. I was just more sad that I was right about the level of some people’s quick response to a topic that to me is much, much broader than just! “Learn English Pedro! You are in ‘Murrica!” Then again, the original post had nothing to do with it… that was my only point.

3 Responses to One Friend Less

  1. Got your back, Jack! Bitches be crazy.

  2. tl;dr… but, you de-friended me a long time ago as well, lol.

  3. I’m glad I’ve survived your cullings, even though we don’t talk much and see each other even less.

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