I have the most interesting work environment. My department is sort of a United Nations of sorts as I am the only “official” American who works there. The department consists of all women which number one is just asking for trouble, but I will get to that later, and secondly they are all from different countries. Communication between people whose first language isn’t English has been challenging to say the least. They just can’t communicate well between each other and it seems like I have turned into the department translator. I am translating English to English if that makes any sense. Oh and I forgot the most IMPORTAINT component. Nobody is of the same religion. Usually that isn’t significant, but where I work it seems to be vital.

To say that working with these women is like watching 5 wet pissed off cats in a burlap bag go at it doesn’t quite begin to describe the conflict. We are talking Sheite and Suni, Hutu and Tutsi, Israeli and Palestine, as well as the Hatfield and McCoy all mixed together in one building. To give a brief rundown of these ladies one is from Pakistan and is Muslim, another is from the Philippines and is Roman Catholic, there is a Jordanian woman who is Christian of some variety, a lady from India who is Sikh, a Lebanese woman who I believe is Muslim, and little ole me. It is like the freakin UN but NONE of these women get along at all! They have been working together for so long; all pretense of civility has evaporated. Broken down like an ineffective peace summit.

The moment one person leaves the room; another will slink up to me and give me an inventory of what said person has done wrong. These women tattle on damn near any offence major or minor. They even manage to weave in extremely personal information about the offender. None of this spilled tea is relevant to the job. I shall provide DIRECT quotes:
“She is never going to loose weight with her fat ass”
“People like here are going to be punished by God”
“Her husband is surely cheating on her; she has the face of a goat”
“Did you see all the food she ate?”
“Her lazy ass hasn’t done anything all day but eat brownies”
“I don’t know why she is working here, she doesn’t need to work. Her husband is a millionaire”
“She gets on the phone speaking her language loudly; it hurts my ears and gets on my nerves”
“Nobody likes people like her. They never prosper”
“She is stealing clients because she needs attention”
“Not even her children have anything to do with her”

Surprisingly these are on the LIGHT end of the spectrum. Usually the barbs they hurl at each other make me giggle a little. (I'm mildly evil) Lately the most disturbing ignomies contain a religious constituent of some sort. Examples:
“I can’t stand Muslims, they run around grabbing up everything”
“She acts like she is better than everyone, just like all Christians”
“Her people killed don’t value life and they run around killing themselves and decent people in the process”
“She needs to pray to God for her soul, it is blacker than a thousand nights”
“If she believed in the REAL God, she wouldn’t be a bitch”
“Don’t trust Jewish people. They are cheats and liars” (BTW no confirmed Jews in the building)
“Christians are so greedy; they fight for every penny on the ground”

Many of the other things I have been privy to I can’t even bring myself to type. With all of this division it is a wonder if they agree on ANYTHING. Oddly enough, they do. Each lady has told me NUMEROUS times that the other ones are going to hell. Daily I can count on hearing at least three times that someone is going to hell. I am convinced hell is going to be over populated by people sent directly there by the ladies I work with. Although there has been religious conflict since the dawn of time, and people can’t agree on God and who he/she belongs to, we can all take comfort in knowing that we can agree on one fact. Everyone who is not like us is going to hell. Or at least so says the mini UN that I work with.

Comments (1)

On September 10, 2009 at 7:36 AM , aht4005 said...

I'm sorry that you have to deal with this. It seems very awful to say the least. but i should say that you're dealing with this very well, almost like a champions of some sort.

It's been a while since we last talked, I hope everything is going well with you otherwise :)