My first language is not english but I work in a company where everyone is british and white. When I take notes, my supervisor talks suddenly more quickly. In office, colleagues talk with their wired slang. they also use slang with me and then make jokes because I don't answer to what they say ( I genuinely don't understand slang and they make fun of it). When they give instructions, suddenly their english becomes Shakespearean... I am not sure on how to approach it as it is clearly up to their behaviour but it would also affect me.

My boss knows it, but he does nothing. Once I asked not to use slang in office or to repeat some key info. It didn't last long...it caused rumours in the office and didn't last long.

It's frustrating and affecting my happiness in the workplace.

  • 3
    So you feel they are deliberately making you feel alienated because of your background? What country is this in? Do you have an HR department? It sounds like a pretty straight forward case of workplace bullying. – Jane S Sep 9 '16 at 1:01
  • You could try asking someone you get along with "Was that slang? Please teach me what it means." – Brandin Sep 9 '16 at 8:10
  • Don't see why this is more off-topic than any of the other hundreds of "how do I handle this workplace situation" questions we have on this site. – DJClayworth Sep 9 '16 at 15:32
  • It's not about slang, it's about communication.. – Gabriel Moore Sep 10 '16 at 9:35
  • if you are in a foreign country, it is up to you to keep up with the language. Go to a english school, use a dictionary. When I was an Eramus students, I read "The Sun", lots of slang there. Buy a slang dictionary. How difficult can it be? – Rui F Ribeiro Sep 12 '16 at 0:34

They are deliberately playing with you, your best option is to handle it cheerfully for a while until it stops or you understand the colloquialisms. Once you have earnt enough respect it will stop.

Learn to be self-reliant in your work, don't let their petty rubbish stress you out and make you unhappy. You are a minority, it's NOT enough to be as good, as professional, as patient etc,. as everyone else. You have to be better, much better! I have been a minority in every job I have ever had in every country I have ever worked. This is the only solution long term.

You can go crying to HR, but that creates illwill, and a host of other issues which probably won't end well for you. But if you want a short term solution and to get a bit back, then perhaps take that route. Realistically you have a manager who is not interested in holding your hand so you need to stand on your own feet and develop strategies to cope.

  • "You're a foreigner, so you should put up with the abuse until it stops" isn't really appropriate advice. – DJClayworth Sep 9 '16 at 15:31
  • @DJClayworth it's pragmatic advice, the only sort I give. – Kilisi Sep 9 '16 at 19:39

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