The day I nearly walked out of the Opticians, a true story direct from my own experience:
I went to an optician a while back to get some glasses, while I was trying on my new glasses, the optician (from Poland) looked at me and said:
‘You know, if your skin wasn’t so dirty you may not have so many problems with your eyes.’
I was astonished. Annoyed. And I could feel my hackles rising.
‘What do you mean?’ I asked in a slightly petulant and suspicious voice.
‘Look’ she said. ‘All this dirt around here’ and pointed to my eyes.
So now I was getting a bit peeved. Then the penny dropped.
You see, I have dry skin around my eyes, there is a long and complicated medical term for it, but I regularly use an amazing organic and 100% natural cream on my skin which works wonders usually, but I hadn’t used it on this particular day.
Her command of English wasn’t good enough so that she could explain herself in a way that was precise, detailed and professional. She had chosen the closest word she knew, without realising that it could be interpreted as an insult.
I have seen this happen many times, especially in my time in the corporate world. I can remember defusing arguments, simply because a staff member who didn’t have English as first language had used a word or phrase that was almost right, but not right enough, so it had come out as a harsh or even insulting statement.
And that’s just an internal dispute. Imagine what could be happening when these people select the wrong word if dealing with a customer, or supplier.
At VICI we provide tailor made English language coaching, each lesson plan is written specifically for each student, so that students get EXACTLY the coaching they need, ensuring that the money you are investing in them is used to maximum efficiency.
Personally, I can’t see the downside to this.
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