General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

This was fine, right? Tell me it was fine...

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Thanks for the reassurance guys. It's been a long week and I'm off balance. I have always said that I have NO interest in a management role and worrying about things this much definitely confirms that that is right :)

I totally understand why you may feel weird about it - anytime we have to actually think about whether we're being politically correct, it makes us self-conscious whether we were accidentally offensive or not  :P  I've run into this with my SIL a few times - I hardly knew any African-American people until I went to college, and I've never had a particularly close friend who was black, so every once in a while I have this "Wait, was that totally racist of me?" moment.  (Most recently, it was when she forgot her shampoo when coming to visit - I offered to loan her mine, but she tactfully explained that she really needs something formulated for natural Afro-textured hair.  No biggie, but I was worrying for a while afterwards about whether she thought I was a complete idiot for not knowing that African-American women with non-straightened hair used a different type of shampoo than white women did  ::))

So yeah, long way of saying it sounds like you did fine, and although her non-native-English-speaking status was indirectly the cause of her issue, you found a good way to suggest help without making her feel like you were judging her for it.

I think your response was perfect, and is something that could easily also be applied to a native English speaker, so not racist/patronising at all.  :)

Awestruck Shmuck:
I think you gave great advice! I worked in customer service a long time, and while the calls started out fairly scripted, I was able to adapt them to suit my conversational style/sales tactics - but there was always questions that came up, and having points or sentences that I could fall back on - if I wasn't feeling particularly chatty or 'switched-on' really helped!

And for someone who is adjusting to working in an english speaking environment, when english is not their first language, your suggestion was spot on as far as I can tell - it's exactly what I would have suggested to newer staff members.


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