It has been more than 10 years, but it still hurts.
Why would the lab boss lady jump to the conclusion why the reason why I was having trouble picking up certain (not so simple procedures), had dropped something and something else exploded in front of me (I did not knock it over nor leave it unattended), used expressions that were disruptive (I later realized it was the result of the fumes bothering my eyes- not that she ever asked), and overall had "zero common sense" would be the result of "cultural expectations"?
Why would she not come up with any other conclusions, such as perhaps a distracting situation going on in my life (like say, the severe depression I was battling at the time, which curiously ended when I left the lab), or perhaps an undiagnosed medical problem (depression, or an inner ear imbalance explaining the klutziness, or the sort), or something else? Why jump straight to the culture aspect AND say something not only horrible, but illegal (that I was NOT fitting in the USA and I should go back to Lavenderland)? What does that have to do with anything?
She had not commented about my English before, but she did say that getting rid of the accent would be a good idea when I brought it up.
This cultural issue was never mentioned again in any way, so I do not know if she was reprimanded by her supervisor (whom I had told), or if she had realized she was irrational or what. She never apologized but she never brought it up again (avoiding hot water, or true contrition and realization that it was not legal or right or accurate).
She later wondered if I did not have the "instinct" to ask the right questions at the right time. When I told various friends about it, they were FURIOUS.
Why would she jump to such an irrational, hurtful, and possibly illegal conclusion? Had she called me a name at the moment the flask broke and apologized for it, I may have forgiven her. But the next day in such a long winded way that seemed deliberately stated?
I do not know if she knew it was a sensitive issue or that I was NOT happy in Lavenderland. But I told her that over there I certainly did not fit in. She should have known by then that the USA is a very diverse country (she was not from here- she was from the USA's parent country) and that just because I did not fit in her specific lab, did NOT mean that I did not belong in the USA (did I mention I was born a citizen?).
Overall, WHY? How is this going to improve my performance?