Author Topic: "Cultural expectations"  (Read 2862 times)

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whiterose

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"Cultural expectations"
« on: September 08, 2009, 10:49:08 PM »
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?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 10:57:16 PM by whiterose »
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mechtilde

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Re: "Cultural expectations"
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2009, 03:30:27 AM »
"Cultural expectations" can be a guise for racism or other prejudice.
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whiterose

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Re: "Cultural expectations"
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2009, 06:54:28 AM »
Well, we were both the same race (Caucasian). So I do not think racism is the right term in this specific situation. But ethnic prejudice is likely.

I do not know if it was against anyone outside a small range. Or against Purples in general. Or against Lavenders specifically. There was another Purple girl working in the lab, but she was a Thistle (not many Thistles around the area) and did not have an accent (at least not as strong as mine) and may have been born in the continental States or moved here very young.

She did not make comments about having difficulty understanding the way I talk (and I do speak fast), or about speaking too loud (which I admit to doing), or about my English in general period. She did not point out any known areas of possible culture shock, such as punctuality, deadlines, eye contact, or anything else. She just mentioned "cultural expectations" after a long winded speech that included "everyone else had mastered the skills by that time frame", "you have zero common sense", and "the expressions you use, 'unh', 'ugh' (my reaction to the fumes getting into my eyes) are disruptive", and that if I was not fitting into the USA, I might as well go back to where I came from (don't know if she mentioned Lavenderland specifically, but I do not recall discussing it all that much other than people asking about my accent in general).

So why would she come up with this when it is not relevant at all in any way?
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Azrail

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Re: "Cultural expectations"
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2009, 07:25:00 AM »
whiterose, {{{{{HUGS}}}}} I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

If you didn't work in the U.S, I would think that you worked in the same lab my husband left a few weeks ago.

I'm glad you got yourself out of there.

Some people are just horrible. Sometimes you can't waste time asking why. You just need to accept that they want to bring you down because they are unhappy and bitter. Misery loves company.

There was a really enlightening link to an article someone posted on people like this - people who just want to tear others down. If they read this and still remember the link, I would love it if they reposted it.
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mechtilde

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Re: "Cultural expectations"
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2009, 07:48:04 AM »
I don't think a different skin colour is necessary for an action to be considered racist. I don't want to get too far into it here, but I can think of several historical examples of racism where both groups had the same skin colour (and in some cases shared a common ancestry)

ETA T give a more current example, I've just remembered that there is a minority group within my country who have the same skin colour as the majority, and are specifically covered under our race relations laws.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2009, 07:58:45 AM by mechtilde »
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