Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tea and Fags

I think I had said before that I work for a British company.  It is a small company, with only seven employees in the United States and only two of the seven are here, including me.  For the past few weeks, however, I have had three British visitors here working in the office. 

They are good guys and I like listening to them talk.  It's kind of like working at Hogwort's.  The only down side really is that two of them smoke like chimneys.  Honestly, they must go outside every 20 min for a smoke break.  I don't really know how they get any work done.  The when they come back in they stink up the office since the smoke smell is on their clothes and breath.

I am not really as bothered by it as it sounds.  It's annoying but I am not bothered enough by it to write a whole blog post about it.  There is one thing and I am not sure how or even if I should do any thing about it.

When they arrived, I picked them up at the airport and brought them to a hotel near the office.  As they grabbed their bags from the trunk of my car one one them said to me, "All right, I am going to take a shower, grab a fag and then I'll meet you in the office about half 3."  

"Half 3" means he would be in the office my 3:30 that afternoon.  

Grabbing a fag?  What the hell is that?

Instantly I remembered that a "fag" in Britain is a cigarette.  And he said it so casually, that I don't think he meant anything negative by it.  It was no different from than when he called the trunk of my car "the boot".  

Over the next few days I heard him casually use that word.

"Let's have a fag, and then we will answer that email?"

"Let me finish this fag and I will look at that problem."

"Put on the kettle and after this fag, we'll have tea."

I don't think they know I am gay.  I am pretty sure neither of these guy have been to America before so they may not even be aware that "fag" is an offensive term here.

I am not sure if I should say something or not.  Maybe I should just ignore it 


RB said...

I'd say ignore it, but be careful if they want to get "stuffed."

Anonymous said...

I agree, ignore it, they are English and use English terms. It means nothing more than what it is to them, a smoke. A fag in the UK also means a bunch of sticks tied up into a bundle, several bundles tied together is a fagot.I am Canadian and I lived in London for a year. I just enjoyed their English and I use some of it here. further, like us Canadians they probably wouldn't care less what your sexuality is. It was made clear to me once by an American Cousin of mine that he does not speak English but he does speak American. So just understand at times translation is required!!!!! No offence would ever be intended.

T said...

You and I, each smoked a fag last night! Let them smoke theirs, don't tell them.

Biki said...

T!!! Your the funniest guy ever!!!

And yeah let it go about the whole fag thing. The only way I can see telling them that it doesnt mean the same thing here as in the UK is if they are going to stay around awhile, it might get them into some hot water.