Fat=Stupid

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?

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.

You could always reply:

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

OR

“Yo quizás sea gorda pero soy pagado más que usted hace.” [COLOR=Red]I might be fat but I get paid more than you do.[/COLOR]

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.” [COLOR=Red]I don’t like being called fat. I would appriciate it if you would stop.[/COLOR]

P.S. He’s an ass!

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.

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… :??

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.

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.

: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!

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.

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 [B]this[/B]?

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 [B]is[/B] offensive.

Hang in there, Sweetie. :hug:

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.

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:

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

What? Why was that rude? :think:

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:

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!)

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.

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.

[COLOR=#ff0000][COLOR=black]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.[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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: