samedi, avril 15, 2006

06.04.14: Respectez le fromage

OK, so where I work, there are about 10,000 frenchmen and a few people from various countries around the globe. I am the only person there that doesn't speak french (yet). Shame on me. OK. I am working on it. Really.

At any rate, all of the written communication in the plant is in french. Until this week. A new sign showed up in the cafeteria:

"Please take on a full piece. Dont cut the cheese."

When we walked into the cafeteria on Thurs, 6 people read the sign and immediately looked at me and started laughing. The sign was obvioulsy not posted for them. I told them it wasn't very good english.

Some observations we can make here:
  1. Assumes all french speaking people know how to behave in public with cheese.
  2. Assumes all previous mal-handling cheese purchasers do not speak (or at least read) french. This is a very small population.
  3. Conversely, we could assume the actual fromage abusers are french, but to save face, the sign is posted in english as a diversion.
  4. Assumes that the offenders are compliant with written instructions - so obviously does not apply to the french
  5. When it is important to communicate, even a frenchman will stoop to english.

I will just say this: I did not cut the cheese in the cafeteria. (and I will not explain this expression to the locals, just yet).