Man walks into office, greets me with, “Bonjour Madame”
I respond in kind with, “Hello, how are you?”
Man glares at me, while my coworker happens to respond with, “Bonjour.”
Glare immediately melts into instant joy, happiness and rainbow-shitting puppies.
“Ohhhhhhhhhhh!” He exclaims, literally TURNING HIS BACK ON ME. He shifts over the five feet between my coworker and I.
“So THIS is the bilingual one!!” he says in English, just clearly enough for me to hear.
His wife walks in and makes the grave error of opening her mouth and looking at me, as though she was about to speak. Luckily, her husband quickly prevented her from wasting her time and energy on a stupid anglophone such as myself. “No no, THIS is the bilingual one!” he said with glee, like a kid who had just dressed themselves for the first time. He was prouder than proud that he’d managed to find a fellow french speaker.
She gave me a look as though I eat babies, but first, beat them up a lot beforehand. She quickly joined her husband on the french side of the desk.
They conversed in french, laughed all jolly-like, then took a seat to wait for their appointment.
As they were walking away, I MAY have said to my coworker, en anglais, ‘Ohhhhhhh, IIIIII get it! I don’t get the privilege of being spoken to cuz I’m a useless english speaker! My bad!’
I got the ‘shut your mouth, Talea!’ eyeball bulge from her, and just a shocked expression from mes amis francais.
I’ve had it with this fucking city. Seriously. The level of incompetency here that is accepted for the tradeoff of letting the french run amok is disgusting. You are literally hired here based on language skills, not job skills or work ethic. It’s disgusting and I’m done with it. You want to treat me like shit because I’m not fluent, then please, suck my balls. They’re allowed to be snide to me and I’m done just taking it.
BUT WAIT! There’s more!
So…….background story time. Yesterday, the bilingual coworker was sick. Amongst other raucous pranks we pulled, we set her screensaver to come up after 1 minute of inactivity and to scroll the message, ‘Tu es un cochon puant’ across the screen. This means, ‘you are a smelly pig’. It was an inside joke from before. Anyways.
SO. As Monsieur et Madame Douchebag were leaving their appointment, my decidedly NON-bilingual coworker sat down at bilingual girls’ desk and the screensaver popped up.
She loudly stuttered out, ‘Tu…es….un…..cochon’ JUST as the couple was behind her, about to leave.
The gentleman (using the term loosely here, people) stops and goes, ‘Quoi??’ then starts blathering off in french, because she (as far as he is concerned) has just called him a pig. She at least didn’t get to the ‘puant’ part, so he didn’t know that he was on his way to being called a stinking pig.
She sat there stunned, as she doesn’t understand a single word of french. She then just smiled and told him to take care.
Sidebar: Yes. I am fully aware that this blog is turning into an ‘OMFG I hate Ottawa’ blog. Whatever. Deal with it. When I stop hating this city, you’ll stop hearing about it. Or, eventually I’ll move. One or the other.