With the morning routine now less of a concern, there were still plenty of things to figure out. The most obvious obstacle for me being the Spanish language since that’s the primary way to communicate here. It’s oddly similar to the one year I played high school football, a sport I knew nothing about. Despite running around like a cat chasing a laser pointer, I gradually figured it out and managed to get a few touchdowns. In retrospect, that experience was merely a stepping stone for where I’m at today. Now, instead of chatting it up at the cooler when I’m supposed to be in the game—I’ve managed to sit through full meetings that I shouldn’t even be in because I misinterpreted an email. Thanks, Google translate. I’ve also shown up to work when the office was closed because I saw an email announcement in mostly Spanish and figured it wasn’t for me. Needless to say, I can relate to the face-palm emoji on an emotional level.
Humorous shortcomings aside, I’ve come to learn that my Hispanic workplace is far more dynamic than just language, greetings, and lunches that would make Lucifer himself sweat. You see, just as everyone bands together for a good laugh; they also surround around each other, and me, in times of uncertainty and stress. This kind-hearted concern extends to situations outside of work, which makes these people more than co-workers. It makes them family.