I've been at my job for almost 9 months now. In the office about 75% of the people working there are English, 24% French and me. Little old American me.
In the beginning it was interesting and fun to compare these differences between American and British language and humor. I've always had English friends and we've always had a blast, I've never felt any tension between Brits and Americans other than the brother/sister relationship of good natured teasing. But now I'm really starting to get fed up with references to me being American. I was hired because I speak English (and French), my own English, what I grew up speaking. I was not hired for my British culture or language and I refuse to change the way I speak. I know when in Rome but guess what, I'm not in Rome, I'm in France.
I admit, I have changed one word, yes, I have given in and write cheque instead of check. When on the phone with English customers I am clear, articulate and I know what I'm talking about - they understand me. With my colleagues I say pants, gas and I pronouce the "h" in herb.
I've recently had rude customers on the phone when after I admitted that I misunderstood what they were asking (not due to language differences, simply because there was a misunderstanding) say, "oh, that's OK, you're American." No joke, he was dead serious.
Why they have to nitpick everything I say because it is strange, weird sounding or different is beyond me. It's not like they have never heard an American accent. They all have English satallite TV at home, rather I should say they have American satallite TV because all the shows really are American anyway. They obviously understand American English and I am getting beyond annoyed with people teasing me (even if it is meant as good natured and not mean) for everything that comes out of my mouth. (I'm not even going to go into the comments they say about the French...)
In the 7 years I've lived in France I have not had as many rude comments for being American (even during the Bush years and "freedom fries", sorry "freedom chips") as I have had in the last 9 months at work.
Grow up people you obviously must be bored at work if the only thing you can think about to talk about all day is my accent.
Sorry, rant over but this has been getting under my skin for the last few weeks.