28 October 2007


On Thursday, Luc spent a few hours at the worktable helping me break out blades and build sets. It's part of the management style of our Japanese super-parent company: managers should understand and know how to do their underlings' jobs. Every time someone walked past the table behind Luc, they glanced at him, looked at me, and rolled their eyes as if to say, "oh god, he's out here again? Good luck." It's starting to annoy me.

Joe has taken to calling the company "the frog pond," and complained yesterday about our Canadian engineer's imperfect command of the English language. Never mind that English is a second or third language for all of our Canucks. They're seen as the enemy because they don't speak the way we do.* Between the accent, the vocabulary, and the conjugation of verbs, they never had a chance.

When I was assembling the rings for the next rotor and stator last week, Joe gave me a page of instructions that Christophe (the engineer) had written. With the exception of a few words, his English is very good... much, much better than my French. I brought in my French-English dictionary yesterday and spent my break writing notes for Christophe, hoping that he'll see them for what they are: an attempt to make life a little easier for everyone. Nobody knows when he'll be back in the shop (he telecommutes from Quebec most of the time), but when he visits again I'll have to remember to give him the notes.

I need to pick up some language tapes next time I'm out shopping. I want to be able to say something more useful than "le singe est sur la branche."

* Let's just ignore the fact that phrases like "he don't know no better" come out of the mouths of the same people who say that the Canadians don't speak English properly.

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