We don’t often send out a special edition of Blanche as we don’t want to inundate you with emails. However, we feel we were not crystal clear yesterday in our explanation of the cafe on Greene Avenue.
The owner of the establishment is a businessman who, as anyone who owns a business, wants to succeed. And, he is in the service industry, which means he deals with customers all day, every day.
Jerome is from Paris and as such is fully bilingual. He doesn’t think so, but we had a 30 minute conversation with him totally in English, so to us, he’s bilingual. Given that, as many people who switch easily from French to English and or visa versa, English words creep into a French conversation and French words creep into an English conversation.
The woman in question had ordered a croissant. He asked her if she wanted it chauffee the French word for heated up. He wasn’t following any ridiculous edicts of emperor Legault. He just added a French word into an English conversation.
Because of the imminent passing of the very negative Bill 96 here in Quebec, which is aimed with a laser beam at the English speaking community, tempers here, especially in the anglo community, are on red alert. The woman in question is clearly, as we stated, upset at what is coming when Bill 96 passes.
So when Jerome said the word chauffee, she lost it.
Jerome is the owner of the cafe and as such, should have been a bit more patient, even if her tone was less than polite. The woman should not take out her frustrations on one person who uttered a French word. It’s not a dirty word. It’s a French word.
Which leads us to the following: Yes, we should have done more due diligence and spoken to Jerome before putting that email out there.
But, as we have learned, nothing happens by accident. Nothing. Our task, in every situation that we deem negative is not to ask why, not to point fingers, but to ask what can I do to make it better.
We will go to the Lubavitcher Rebbe for our final words:
Think good thoughts. Do good things. Everything else about you will harmonize. It’s that simple.