Thursday, October 6, 2011

Why I'm not making fast friends at work.

I know what you're thinking....."Whaaaaaat?? Brooke not making friendssss?? Who wouldn't want to be friends with this......"

Let me start by giving you some background about the company I work for. Without going into too much detail......I work at a small sales office in Northern California for a product that is manufactured in two different locations. One of those locations is in Southern California and the other is in Israel. The headquarters in Israel is very big and we communicate with them on a daily basis. We also receive all of their company wide emails. Which are in Hebrew. We have two people who work in our office that are originally from there, who speak Hebrew as their first language. They are both fluent in English as well as most of the employees at the Israeli headquarters. There are definitely cultural differences (especially in the work place...that could probably be a whole different post) but there isn't too much of a language barrier.

Like I said, these company wide emails (in Hebrew) come in all the time and they usually say say things like "Wireless access down from 6:00-7:00pm today" or something about holiday hours when they're closed down. But sometimes the company will be having a fundraiser for a charity or send out fun emails like "Ice cream social today in the lobby from 1:00-3:00pm." Regardless, these emails have nothing to do with happenings in our office or they would also be translated in English. I've NEVER once asked one of my coworkers what these emails say......until that fateful day February 9th, 2011 when curiosity got the best of me. It's safe to say I've never asked since.

*coworker and company name changed to protect their privacy :)

From: General Information
Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 4:56 AM
Subject: חלוקה והחלפת ערכות מגן
בתאריכים 21-22/02/2011
בין השעות 09:00-17:00
תתבצע חלוקת ערכות מגן חינם
לעובדי טאואר ובני-משפחתם בחדר הכושר

·        חובה להצטייד בתעודת זהות/רישיון נהיגה
·        ניתן לקבל ערכות מגן לכל בני המשפחה המופיעים בת.ז ומעודכנים במסופים של פיקוד העורף
·        ערכות חדשות יינתנו רק למי שהחזיר את הערכות הישנות. מי שלא החזיר יכול להביאם איתו.
(מומלץ להביא אתכם את אישור פיקוד העורף על החזרת הערכות הישנות) .

שאלות ובירורים יש להפנות בימי החלוקה לנציגי פיקוד העורף.


Looks like they might be having a party right?
Attempting to be friendly and playful....I forward the email to an Israeli coworker and ask her what it says.....


From: Brooke 
Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 8:37 AM
Subject: FW: חלוקה והחלפת ערכות מגן

Hi Cindy.
This looks like something fun…am I wrong?  Just polishing up on my Hebrew!  J



From: Cindy
Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 8:51 AM
Subject: FW: חלוקה והחלפת ערכות מגן

Hi Brooke,

It’s actually gas masks that Company is handing out for free for their employees and their families.

Every resident of Israel must have it as Israel could be a subject to biological and/or chemical warfare by their ‘friendly’ neighboring countries.

Fun stuff...


Why must I always say the wrong thing at the wrong time?  *sigh*