The mandatory medium of communication

At work, there is a person who always talk in French. I am sure he knows English. But he never utters a word in English. This is tedious for me as I am the one who handles his projects. As these projects cannot be delegated to other French speaking members of my team due to the nature of the projects, I have no way to avoid the meetings.

When I have a meeting with this person, I have to take my French speaking colleague with me. It is not efficient but the only way it is going to work! So this person talks and waits for others to explain it to me. While others explain it to me, he looks at me strangely; the same way you look with sympathy at another being trapped in an unpleasant situation. If not for the look in his eyes, I would have labelled him arrogant.

Today, a friend explained the real reason for him to choose French during the meetings. He is in charge of the production systems. According to the French law, all the production related tasks have to be communicated in French in order to avoid confusion in the minds of people executing the instructions. Failure to comply to this rule can end in the organization getting sued. So the people handling these kind of jobs are never allowed to speak in any other language other than French.

This new piece of information helped to take a second look at the situation. It also tells me not to draw conclusion without knowing all the facts.


  1. In morning I read an article about the lack of credibility in French laws and now I read about its implications.

    Weakest LINK

  2. reminded me the mammootty story in the movie kerala cafe ... due to efficiency of my communication style, i too am always caught in such situation. it takes people ages to understand things. but the good thing is, you have people coming up to you after years(could be even 7yrs) & tell you, 'thanks for being there to take care of me' ... that feels good ... :D


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