Habla Espanol? Very weird problem


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First off, I beg of you, please don't make this political in any way, shape or form. Thanks. But, I absolutely could use some input. HELP!

I have health problems. Lupus, Sjogrens Syndrome...autoimmune type stuff. I'm on a lot of medications and can't work right now. I was always very good in Spanish class in HS and college, but this was years ago. So, I decided to take some Spanish classes. It's been hard, but I enjoy them none the less. Even though I've missed lots of classes, I finished Spanish four in the Spring. I had to get a tutor for the classes I missed while sick. Now, I'll need to take Conversational Spanish in the Fall. Everyone says to practice. Where I live, 80% of the population speaks Spanish. Others in class, typically practice in the community.

I get my nails done at this place, where they all speak Spanish. Almost all of the techs don't mind if I ask some questions.One woman (who does eyebrows and facials, no naisl) insists upon it and almost turns into a teacher....she loves it. Two of them are middle of the road....seem to enjoy it when they can help out a little. One woman (L) doesn't like it. She actually doesn't speak English very well, like the others. Years ago, an American woman quit, because she found out that L was saying nasty things about her behind her back in Spanish. The owner is not always there. She waits for her to leave and then says unkind things. The others are nice.

In May, I got my nails done around Mother's Day. As I was leaving, they all said goodbye, some in English and some in Spanish. I loved it...one lady gave me a quick lesson on how to say "have a good weekend," then L came running up to me and very sarcastically said "Feliz Navidid" just as I was leaving the shop. One tech heard it and put her head down. This left me cold.

Yesterday, I had a pedicure. I had my Spanish flash cards with me. The lady that loves to help me came up to me and we chatted a little in Spanish....she loves it. My tech, was quiet, but did help me with the pronunciation of a word on a card. We spoke very little...in either language. She is lovely, but tends to be quiet.

As I was finishing up, L, started talking almost to no one. I think she was attempting to speak to my tech. She (L) speaks very rapidly, so I don't fully understand her. She said in Spanish sarcastically something like "she comes in her and expects to be a student .....and we are suppose to ....." Then, my tech, blushed and whispered "Did you understand that?" And I said, "a little" then my tech fell all over herself helping me. She seemed embarrassed by her co-worker, L.
The owner had just left.

The owner will be back today at 11. My husband feels strongly that I should call her and tell her what happened. She doesn't speak Spanish. She is a very happy go lucky, nice person. She was in AA many years ago and is somewhat non confrontational. She does not like stressful situations, so I don't think she would do a thing .She might even think I'm weird.

Should I tell the owner? Just avoid that tech? If I avoid that tech it will become obvious and I suspect the sarcastic comments will increase.

Another thought I had was to tell the owner nicely, but act like it's not a big deal. Then every time I see L say "Merry Christmas!"

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Let it go. Who needs the headache. Wish her merry Christmas, happy new year, blessed Easter. Happy 4th of July...... she will either laugh or stop her nonsense.


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I see your point. Yesterday, I was prepared to call. Today, not nearly as much. I honestly do think the sarcastic remarks in Spanish will increase
when I refuse to schedule an appointment. with her. This concerns me. But maybe if I give her a taste of her own medicine and wish her Merry Christmas all summer , she' ll get the point. What a sad, unkind, cruel woman. She had that other tech hysterical and crying and I recall calming her down and begging her not to quit. And she said to me"Nomad, you have no idea how upsetting it is to work with her. She is very mean." And I didn't take her that seriously. Geez, a lesson I empathy. I was so upset last night, I got a fever, which can happen to us folks with screwy immune systems.


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Hubby is furious. Says I spend too much money in there to be treated rudely. Wants me to speak with owner. Now, I'm thinking of going in person, so L can see me. This is turning into a soap opera.

Scent of Cedar *

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You have an opportunity here to stand up, Nomad. If you take it, your life will change. You will feel stronger, cleaner, more centered.

For the sake of the owner too, you should explain to her that one of her employees is not treating customers with respect.

Without respect Nomad, we have nothing. You could spend a billion dollars there, but knowing one of the employees chooses to approach her work determined to disrespect her own customers will destroy the pleasure of the personal services you receive, the pleasure of the interactions you undertake there, and the pleasure in creating of yourself a bright, attractive, well mannered woman who speaks Spanish like a natural.

All this, that one employee is determined to cheapen and to change into something uncomfortable, into something ugly.

In good conscience Nomad, you must inform the owner that one of her employees is undercutting the good, healthy atmosphere her business depends on. But I would caution you too Nomad, to approach all this from a loving perspective. If you look closely enough, you can understand the harshness coming from the employee has nothing to do with who you are, and everything to do with her own sense of inadequacy. Do you know her story? How did she come to be here? Does she have children in trouble, maybe an overbearing husband?

There is something, some place in her heart Nomad, that admires you so much that it leaves her feeling less than, or she would not be doing what she is doing.

As for me? I applaud your efforts to learn and speak another language. A normal, healthy response from anyone you come into contact with would be honor, that you care enough about them and their people to learn their language.

That is what I have found, in the past, about any new thing we take on and do well. There are those who celebrate that with you, and there are those, hurt somehow in their own pasts, who cannot see further than their own hurt, than their own jealousy.

I have been that hurt, jealous person more than once, in my own life.

Approach this situation with warmth and kindness Nomad, and you will handle every aspect with grace.

This can be seen as an opportunity for growth, Nomad.

Take it, and be grateful.

I know you will handle this situation with grace and with strength. Will you post back to us about how you handle it, and about the employees response?

I wonder whether you might ask her yourself, why she feels as she does.

That is what I would do.

If there is no change after you have spoken with her, then I would inform the employer. If the employee does not change her attitude, that jealous kind of negativity will transform that shop from a happy place to a negative one, and the owner's business will suffer.

That is the only reason I would tell the employer.

You are more than strong and kind enough to have had these kinds of things happen to you in the past, Nomad. Though it may not seem possible to us because we know how we struggle, to others, we may seem to lead charmed lives. How each of us responds to those we feel are happier or wealthier or more beautiful has nothing to do with the other person. It has to do with who we are, and with who we are becoming.

The employee's response to you is nothing personal, Nomad. She is responding in the only way she knows to something that hurts her, that tells her she is not enough.

I am glad you posted to us about this, this morning. We all need to remember that about people who hurt us, who ridicule or make us feel less than.

They have been hurt, too.

Or they would not be doing that.

I needed, very much, to remember that this morning Nomad.





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Thank you, Cedar. A very thoughtful and helpful response. I too have been in that horrible place, where you are jealous of others. My friends who have multiple high achieving pcs. At worst, I am quiet....would never be unkind. I feel very badly for this woman and do have empathy for her. Surely, she is hurting. Hurt people, hurt people....unless they get help.

But, I did not want it to ruin my weekend. And it was obvious, she distresses her co workers. I am haunted by the co worker who quit. It was a very bad situation....trust me. And now this woman (the co worker who quit over it) is sick. My tech, a quiet, shy woman, had a visceral reaction when she realized I understood most of what L said. And it is wrong for me, a long time, polite, steady customer, to be disrespected.

I just walked into the shop and asked to speak to the owner outside.
She already knew that L does this. She said that now L seems to be talking negatively about her. She said I'm not the first to complain. She apologized that she hasn't done something sooner. She said she had personal problems to attend to and put it off. She said she wasn't at liberty to talk about it in detail, but was working on it and hoped to "fix" the problem in two weeks..maybe slightly more. She also admitted that L was a very unkind, sarcastic person.

I said that a change in two weeks or so brought me some comfort.... I told her I had thought long and hard about coming in and thought about all the angles and even feel badly for L, but it is profoundly inappropriate and disrespectful.

She thanked me and said it would be taken care of.

So, we'll see what 2-3 weeks brings. She also said to never book an appointment with her. I said that goes without saying.

I wonder what the change will be. What a sad situation. I do thing if L stays and she continues to be rude, I'll begin the process of looking for another shop.

I'm glad I spoke up. Very hard decision, but I believe the right one.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
I am so proud of you! That must have been very scary to think about Nomad, but you did it!

I am happy for you.

You did the right thing, and it sounds like you handled it beautifully. That took courage and grace.

My husband is always getting upset with me for not standing up for myself, too. We are learning how to do this, Nomad.

You did great.




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Tell her. There are other Gringos that DO understand Spanish and this woman is potentially ruining her business. Tell her you're not angry but you are concerned and sad.