Friday, September 11, 2009

I Need Your Opinions

A couple of things:

First, there is a couple at work, V and R, they are post docs (read: supervisors) and they are Indian. They have always talked to each other in Hindi and it never bothered me much. Then two new Indian people started working with us, L and P. P is super and she knows that it is rude to speak in Hindi in front of me so she doesn't. But V and R do and do a lot more now.

Two instances bother me. The first, they were speaking in Hindi, and P made some mistake and they were trying to fix it. R started laughing and looked at me knowingly and gave me the can-you-believe-it look. I asked what happened. He said "She wants to know what happened. You want to tell her?" I would not have cared about any of it, had he not included me, then didn't want to tell me.

The next instance was yesterday. I was working with P. Standing right next to her and V came over to tell her that she was doing something wrong. In Hindi. P then had to translate for me. Why didn't she just say it in English and we all would have understood the first time?

Question: Should I say something? And if so, who should I tell what? The guy in charge above them is absent most of the time. What do you think?

Second, my father-in-law and his wife live in Denver. When I lived out there, they were nice to me. They are really strange, and quite dysfunctional, but nice enough. They haven't met Ryder. They don't call or send cards. Biannually, they email me. While they are nice, I am not particularly fond of them.

Question: I plan on going out there for two weeks. Do you think I have an obligation to spend a day with them? I probably will anyways, but do you think I am obligated?

Finally, while on vacation, I want to go to Yosemite. It will be just Ryder and I.

Question: Do you think it is safe to stay out there by ourselves?

That is all for now. I am sure I will need your opinion again soon enough. Thanks!


  1. Re: the rude people at work - although it is incredibly rude, I wouldn't complain yet, if it has only happened twice. I'd suggest blatantly ignoring them any time they are talking Hindi. As in, literally walking away, or turning your back or whatever. That way you won't see any funny looks they give you, you can just not even worry about them, and they will be forced to speak to you in English if they want you to stay in the vicinity and/or in the conversation. Ideal situation would be, they are talking to you and then one turns and speaks to the other in Hindi. You immediately walk away, even if you in fact know that they haven't finished with you. They say, "Hey, wait, we weren't finished speaking to you." (or words to that effect). You say, with a profuse and overstated apologetic tone and exceeding good will and cheeriness, "Oh, my goodness, I am soooo sorry! I thought you were done with me since you started speaking a language I can't understand!! Well, here I am, then!" Then, you've mentioned the problem to them and if the behavior doesn't stop you can complain to the powers above them in good conscience, even stating that you've mentioned the problem to them and they continue to do it.

    Question 2: You are not obligated to visit them or to even tell them you are anywhere near them. Denver is a big enough town, I assume you can easily go there and never run into them accidentally. Still, I think it's nice of you to make the effort. Perhaps when they see Ryder in all his adorable glory, they'll warm up a bit and become more involved. Or perhaps not. And then next time you'll feel free to skip the visit.

    Re: Yellowstone. I think you are brave and very cool to take your little guy camping. It is lots of work, but well worth it! How long are you planning to stay? I would think it would be safe; probably there are campsites like in most National Parks, with lots of families, couples, college kids, and park rangers etc. around so that you won't truly be "alone" even if that's what you crave. I've never been there, though, so I can't say that for sure. I do understand the bears are an issue - especially with getting into campers' food - and you should definitely be very careful not to keep food in your tent or campsite near your tent. You should probably also research what to do if a bear decides to attack. I think bear attacks are pretty darn rare, but there are bears and you should know what to do just in case. Look it up on the internet, see what experiences others have had. I bet Ryder will find the whole thing very exciting and it will be an experience he remembers for years. Most kids don't remember much of what happens to them before the age of 5 or so, but that might be something he'd remember long-term. :)

    Good luck with everything!

  2. If your coworkers want to be antisocial by communicating with each other in a way not everyone can understand then you just don't have to be social with them. I agree you should just walk away or put your headphones on. They'll speak English when they want something from you. To which you can always ignore and then say, "Oh sorry, I thought you were still speaking in Hindi". It's so highschool.

    You're not obligated to see Ryder's grandparents. You could tell them you'll be in town and ask if they would like to see Ryder. Then the ball is in their court. Let them make the effort if they want to be a part of his life. I realised with friends in old places that you don't have to go out of your way to see them when it's already out of your way to get to that town!

    I don't know anything about Yosemite or camping. Maybe you can call up the park and ask what facilities are available. There may be some small overnight cabins you can stay in for better peace of mind.

  3. The coworkers: Next time they speak in front of you look at them and say "hey I know you guys don't mean to be rude by speaking your native language but when you are next to me would you mind please speaking English so I can understand you too."
    Say this in passing conversation like it doesn't bother you.

    The visit: No you do not have to go. Go if you want. Don't go if you don't want to. They haven't made the effort which means you can make as little or as much effort as you want.

    Yosemite: YOU WILL LOVE IT. And yes as long as you don't go back country backpacking by yourself you should be perfectly fine. ENJOY

  4. #1 (Rude co-workers). If it's only happened twice, I would ignore for now. I like LegalMists comment about just walking away. What's the point of hanging around if you don't know what they're saying? Plus it might force them to realize they need to speak a language you understand (which is English, not Hindi) for you to stick around.

    #2 (in-laws). I don't think you're obligated. If you want to be polite you could mention you're going to be there and spend the afternoon with them, but if you have plans and they're not going out of their way to have a real relationship with you guys, no way should that make you feel obligated.

    #3 (camping). I would totally think you could. I've never been there, but I'm sure they have different levels of sites and you could maybe ask for a site close to the main gate (and people) if you're a little nervous?

  5. hey raine :)

    i'm not sure if i would let the language thing bother me. i would just ignore it and go on about my business.

    if i didn't want to visit my in-laws, then i wouldn't visit them. wouldn't say a thing about it to anyone.

    don't know much about camping...

    i'm sure you'll handle each situtation with finesse... ;>

  6. Hmmm.

    I'm trying to think of some good advice, but I've got none. It's probably best...I'm a 'fly off the handle' kind of girl and the above comment-ers sound much more rational than I.

    I'm pissed at your co-irkers now, though.


Whatcha think?