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Chel
09-28-2007, 02:32 PM
Okay, I have joined in on the rants that have been going on here lately but this is one I could use your witty advice about.

We have a new janitor in our building. He got hired because he is the husband of the best friend of the daughter of my bosses close friend. (if that made sense). He has lived in the US like 10 years and been employed here a few months. He is a little Hispanic guy and his english definitely leaves something to be desired. I took some Spanish in high school so I try to run interference with the boss and I have been teaching the boss some pleasantries in Spanish. Just basic stuff like hi, how are you, have a good day and such.

I have really tried to make him feel welcome in our office.

Every morning, every time we bump into each other in the hall, every day, several times a day, he cheerfully greets me with a smile on his face. "Gorda!!!", he exclaims, evidently thinking I am too stupid to know that gorda means fat.

I doubt this guy is going to lose his job over this. But it is unacceptable. I have been letting it slide for a few days now thinking he would get a clue. And I am worried about confronting him because I will either cry (which I do out of anger and frustration) or seriously (and I am not joking) cause bodily injury to this guy.

Advice?

marykz
09-28-2007, 02:37 PM
OMG-

1) look at him and call him something nasty in spanish. (like an unflattering male body part.)

2) stop being nice to him

I am just speechless at how awful humans can be to each other. hugs for you.

letah75
09-28-2007, 02:40 PM
You could always reply:

"Oye estúpido entiendo español. No me llame gorda y yo no llamaré la inmigración. " Hey stupid I understand spanish, don't call me stupid and I won't call immigration. (I know NOT nice, and VERY UN-PC, but it popped into my head. And I'm not a PC person sorry.) :aww:

OR

"Yo quizás sea gorda pero soy pagado más que usted hace." I might be fat but I get paid more than you do.

Ok, it's not very nice, and might get you in trouble, but it might make you feel better.

"Señor, yo no quiero ser llamado la gorda . Yo lo apreciaría si usted pararía." I don't like being called fat. I would appriciate it if you would stop.

P.S. He's an ***!

Rorshach
09-28-2007, 02:40 PM
Well you could do several things, though it seems by his manner that he's not intending to be mean or hurtful, and as he doesn't speak a whole lot of English, I suppose you could give him a nickname as well. Depending on how much Spanish you speak, you could ask him to quit calling you that name. I hope things work out for the better.

iza
09-28-2007, 02:46 PM
Chel, I'm not trying to defend the guy, but I know in some spanish communities, it's actually an "affectionate" thing to say. I know, it's weird, but it's possible he didn't mean to insult you...:hug:If he'd been in the US for 10 years though, he should know it's very rude... :??

Chel
09-28-2007, 02:56 PM
Thats just it, he has been her over 10 years... and he is only 23. He KNOWS its inappropriate. I also know that I tend to be oversensitive.

We had an issue here when I first started here. Someone in the company downstairs (which is our sister company, same owner) submitted my work phone number, e-mail address and mailing address to tons of companies. Jenny Craig. Barix Clinics. Fat friend finder. Fat lovers.com. Ballys. I was getting e-mail after e-mail, packages and phonecalls sent to my office. Nothing was done even though I got the IP of the person who did it. They wouldn't track down which computer it was. Anyway, I know I am defensive, as much as I try not to be.

But I really wouldn't mind just popping him in the mouth one good time.

sinistral_needler
09-28-2007, 03:03 PM
I would just consider the source (a dopey janitor) and let it go. No one gets to determine your self worth except you, and if some doof needs to make a joke to himself at your expense every day, that is really his insecurity problem and not yours. My guess is that he struggles with his deficincies in English.

Mariblue
09-28-2007, 03:17 PM
:hug:Every time he says that, I would probably just call him a jerk to his face. He's got to know that it's inappropriate. You could ask him to stop, but I doubt it would help.
Try not to cry though. I tend to cry when I get frustrated at people, and I've worked really hard to overcome it, so I know how hard it can be.
If he is saying this to you for his own evil pleasure, than you crying in front of him will just spur him on. Don't give him that right!

DianaM
09-28-2007, 03:19 PM
I have to agree with Iza that in some hispanic communities, "gorda" or "gordita" is actually a term of endearment.

And although he's been in the country for 10 years, it's not enough time to get over your upbringing.
I grew up travelling between Mexico and the US and have lived in the US for 5 years and I still have to catch myself every time I open my mouth or in how I approach people.

My advice would be to let him know that it bothers you and you'd appreciate it if he'd stop. If he doesn't, then take harsher measures.

zazzu
09-28-2007, 03:46 PM
We had an issue here when I first started here. Someone in the company downstairs (which is our sister company, same owner) submitted my work phone number, e-mail address and mailing address to tons of companies. Jenny Craig. Barix Clinics. Fat friend finder. Fat lovers.com. Ballys. I was getting e-mail after e-mail, packages and phonecalls sent to my office. Nothing was done even though I got the IP of the person who did it. They wouldn't track down which computer it was.


Good Lord! Where in the world do you work that this behavior would be considered acceptable? I thought the obnoxious janitor was bad enough, but this?

Ask the rude janitor to stop calling you fat. If that doesn't work, go to management. It is not acceptable to be treated this way at work. Period.

BTW, you are NOT being oversensitive to find this offensive. It is offensive.

Hang in there, Sweetie. :hug:

kemp
09-28-2007, 04:07 PM
I'm sort of with Rorshach here...given his manner maybe he is not intending to be mean or rude (I tend to give people the benefit of doubt, maybe too much). Or it is possible he may be saying something else that just sounds to your ears like gorda? I sure hope he isn't intentionally being mean.

iza
09-28-2007, 04:10 PM
It's true Diana, all the different cultural codes are the hardest thing to learn when you have to adapt to a new community. I'm French Canadian and my boyfriend is English Canadian, and although both cultures are very close, there are some things I still find strange. I also remember going to a Christmas party hosted by the military, and when one of the lieutenant wished me merry Christmas apparently I did a horrible mistake and answered "merry Christmas to you". Supposedly that was rude. :shock::?? And when I stayed in Chile for 3 months, I was totally lost when it came to many cultural codes (one of which was arriving late to any invitation!):teehee:

This being said, it doesn't mean you are overreacting, Chel. Whether he meant well or not, you have the right to feel offended. You can just tell him you don't appreciate being called like that... and you'll see his reaction. If he meant well, he'll be embarrassed. If not well... you'll know. :hug:

scout52
09-28-2007, 04:22 PM
I'm hispanic and because you try to be such a friendly person to him he really is meaning Gorda as a term of endearment. Gorda, Gordo, Gordito, Gordita, are all terms of endearment. my cousin was chubby since he was little but is skinny now that he is 20 but everyone still calls him Gordo instead of Johnny. He even signs his name as Gordo

MellieThePooh
09-28-2007, 04:29 PM
I also remember going to a Christmas party hosted by the military, and when one of the lieutenant wished me merry Christmas apparently I did a horrible mistake and answered "merry Christmas to you". Supposedly that was rude. :shock::?? :teehee:
*snip*


What? Why was that rude? :think:

iza
09-28-2007, 04:32 PM
I still don't know Mellie... I think the custom was just to say "thank you" and not say anything else. :shrug: I don't think the lieutenant was terribly offended, but he seemed surprised... but oh well, nobody told me! :shock: Maybe it's also because I didn't use his title? :??:shrug:

Mariblue
09-28-2007, 04:48 PM
Let me add that, like the others have mentioned about the differences in culture, it might not hurt to try to find out what his intentions are before calling him a name back. Like iza said, if he meant well, he'd probably be embarrassed, and if he didn't mean well, you'll know. Then it would definitely be ok to be angry. :hug:
(It's good to be reminded about those cultural differences, so thank you iza, scout52, and Hanaku. I lived in England for a couple years during my high school days, and for the first couple weeks I was there it was like speaking another language. So even among our English languages, there can be problems!)

mum2caden
09-28-2007, 05:10 PM
Well, I am from east coast Canada, my family is french, I know nothing about spanish- however, if it is true that it CAN be an affectionate term, well I wouldn't call him on it (though before i read that, I was all for the full on spanish language insult lol). I would just flat out say you don't like to be called fat- and see what he says back.

jodstr2
09-28-2007, 05:22 PM
I would just flat out say you don't like to be called fat- and see what he says back.

I agree. if he means it as an affectionate term, I hope he explains that to you.

if he means it as a derogatory term, idk what he'll say. but if after you tell him you don't like it, he still continues, escalate the complaint and go to management.

Sharly
09-28-2007, 05:25 PM
You could always reply:

"Señor, yo no quiero ser llamado la gorda . Yo lo apreciaría si usted pararía." I don't like being called fat. I would appriciate it if you would stop.

I think regardless of his intention, it does offend you (rightfully so) and he should know. If he means it affectionately, he would want to know. I like Letah's suggestion above. And, maybe you could suggest another name for him to call you. Something more approriate. In english. Help him broaden his english vocabulary.

If that doesn't work, then he is a jerk, and you should no longer go out of your way to make him feel comfortable.

Just saying.

DQ
09-28-2007, 05:34 PM
I think regardless of his intention, it does offend you (rightfully so) and he should know. If he means it affectionately, he would want to know. I like Letah's suggestion above. And, maybe you could suggest another name for him to call you. Something more approriate. In english. Help him broaden his english vocabulary.

If that doesn't work, then he is a jerk, and you should no longer go out of your way to make him feel comfortable.

Just saying.

I agree.

Good luck with it Chel :hug:

feministmama
09-28-2007, 06:30 PM
what Zazzu said. It sounds like he has picked up on the "joke" who started something and whether or not its a term of endearment or not, it has got to be related. Do people in your office think "hey let's go mess with this chick by calling her fat and see what happens" I would sya you are not outraged enough! Geez, *I* want to call this company and give them a piece of my mind. I'm so sorry for you that you have to go through this. I am there with you in spirit :hug:

brendajos
09-28-2007, 06:46 PM
Okay I am completely over the janitor issue here (okay it isn't me so that is easy for me) but i am COMPLETELY appalled by this company that you work for. I don't know your situation, of course, but I would have a VERY hard time working for this company after the "practical jokes" that have been played and approved of by the owners. and they HAVE approved it if you have called it to their attention and nothing was done. I would seriously consider moving to a different company where this kind of behavior is not condoned. And I would light the place up with all sorts of ugly on my way out the door.

But again... it isn't my life we are talking about. I am sorry that you are dealing with that situation.

hellokitty165
09-28-2007, 07:51 PM
I think you should have a good talk with him nicely. 1st .. if he do it again ... just ignore him......

Mulderknitter
09-28-2007, 08:02 PM
I would say "pienso que estas un ..." (I think that you are a ...really bad word) And forgive me if my grammar isn't quite correct. I have spent a lot of time in mexico and have never heard that this is a term of endearment. amiga is a term of endearment. Please forgive me if I am wrong, but I just don't see this as a nice thing to say. bonita, amiga, all of those things are words that guys in mexico say as a term of endearment as far as I have seen.
And your company sounds like a horses arse for letting this go on.

Prazzie
09-28-2007, 09:02 PM
I don't know whether the janitor is trying to be malicious or if he is using the word in an endearing way, if it bugs you, ask him to stop. And ask him politely and as friendly as always. You can tell him that you haven't said anything up until now, but the truth is that it does bother you and would he please stop calling you that? And if that doesn't work, then you resort to the violence. :ick:

I live in South Africa, where being fat is considered attractive and a sign of wealth, amongst the Xhosa people. I am often complimented on my curves and some of my parents' employees comment appreciatively when I gain weight. And by "comment appreciatively" I mean they make motions around themselves to indicate a barrel shape and say "You're getting fat!" with a delighted smile. So I can identify with the bolt of shock that you must have experienced when he first called you that! Knowing that in their culture it's a compliment, I don't mind it at all.

You have to deal with this in a way that makes you comfortable, whether that means keeping quiet and telling yourself that in Africa, you're a goddess, or shaking your fist at him and letting him know exactly how you feel about it. Good luck, I hope this is resolved without upsetting anyone.

syndactylus
09-28-2007, 10:12 PM
if I was close enough I would go inconspicuously sprinkle tuna in people's keyboards (and cleaning supplies, if determined necessary, etc.) for you.

what a bunch of jerkfaces.

dustinac
09-28-2007, 10:17 PM
:hug:I'm sorry you have had bad experiences with this company... I don't understand at all why they wouldn't track the ISP address that was really mean... as for the janitor I have no idea when it comes to Spanish...I'd prolly just ask him you know I've been told that this could mean some type of endearment...and if that is the case then I am thankful (or another word besides thankful but it's the best I can think of right now) that you feel this way towards me however, in this culture that isn't really acceptable and can hurt someone's feelings...I really would prefer you to greet me with Hi or something else... if he keeps it up then you will know how it was meant and as stated below I would tell someone although after the other incident I'm not sure if they would do anything...:help: :hug:

Limey
09-29-2007, 04:06 AM
Mariblue wrote:

"(It's good to be reminded about those cultural differences, so thank you iza, scout52, and Hanaku. I lived in England for a couple years during my high school days, and for the first couple weeks I was there it was like speaking another language. So even among our English languages, there can be problems!)"

Tell me about it!!! - I've just written a thread asking what Heelies are???

If you really want to know whether this bloke is being friendly or taking the mickey, ignore what he says and how it sounds and just look at his face as he's saying it.

If I'm not sure where people are coming from and I have the chance to be in the same situation, I mentally turn the sound down on what they say and look at the body language and facial expression.

Personally, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt but if you really think he IS taking the mickey, just look up a jokey Spanish word and say it to him with a broad grin and and a wink. Baffling people is much more satisfying than getting mad.

All the Best

Yarnlady
09-29-2007, 08:33 AM
Many, many, many, etc., years ago my great grandmother was riding in a train. Among the passengers was a young mother with a very fussy baby.

After a few hours, my grandmother could see the mom needed a break. She walked over, with kindness in her heart, and said, "Here, let me hold the brat."

Now many, etc., years ago, in the North, brat was the same as our word "kid". However, this young woman was from the South and brat then (and possibly now) mean that the paternal branch of this baby's family was unknown. My grandmother was trying to be kind, friendly and helpful. She ended up, in the mother's mind, calling the child a bastard.

Yes, they woman was insulted, just as you are. However, the intent in both cases was to be kind. If you want, tell the young man in our culture, it's an insult. Just remember, HE'S trying to be nice. :shrug:

Chel
10-08-2007, 08:22 AM
Well. Problem solved either way.

I just decided to ignore his existance.
A couple days later he tells our receptionist, "She understands Spanish. I am so embarassed!" Now I simply get, "Hola!" and I respond in like.

Silver
10-08-2007, 08:38 AM
Odd that he was embarrassed. Now I wonder if he meant it in a nice way or not. At least the problem with him is solved, but I still think there are some people there who deserve a smack in the head.
:hug:

sig
10-08-2007, 08:41 AM
You could always reply:

"Oye estúpido entiendo español. No me llame gorda y yo no llamaré la inmigración. " Hey stupid I understand spanish, don't call me stupid and I won't call immigration. (I know NOT nice, and VERY UN-PC, but it popped into my head. And I'm not a PC person sorry.) :aww:

OR

"Yo quizás sea gorda pero soy pagado más que usted hace." I might be fat but I get paid more than you do. (pero me pagan mas que a usted)

Ok, it's not very nice, and might get you in trouble, but it might make you feel better.

"Señor, yo no quiero ser llamado la gorda . Yo lo apreciaría si usted pararía." I don't like being called fat. I would appriciate it if you would stop. ( Apreciaría mucho si usted para de llamarme gorda)

P.S. He's an ***!

I'm sorry, just a few corrections, that way it'll make sense.:mrgreen::thumbsup:
If it was me... mmmm i'd just tell him "cabrón" or "maleducado" or something like that... :!!!: I know, you are not supposed to tell people things like that but... maybe "enano" ?? (dwarf)
Hope it gets better. :hug:
PS: By the way, i don´t think "gorda" is a nice word to say, maybe "gordita" but not "gorda". And if he tells you he's been nice... he can pick another word, maybe bonita, cariño, linda, etc!!! :mrgreen:

zazzu
10-08-2007, 01:12 PM
I just decided to ignore his existance.
A couple days later he tells our receptionist, "She understands Spanish. I am so embarassed!" Now I simply get, "Hola!" and I respond in like.


He thought he could call you fat and get away with it because he assumed you didn't understand Spanish? If that's the case, then he really is a jerk and is lucky to work in such a toxic place that permits this sort of behavior. In a more professional workplace he'd get written-up for this.

Okay, I'm leaving before I get even more ranty.