My first « Go back home »
I don’t really know how to start this article, but I know I have to give this testimonial. I grow up with some values like : respect, friendship and learning, so I can’t stay mute about what I experience last week-end. I will not explain exactly who I am and tell my story here, I just want to question you, who is riding this lines.
I am working full time in Bláfjöll at the ski resort, I am technician on the lift, exactly in the big chair lift named “Kóngurinn”. What happens is a very common scene of our job, a woman with her child didn’t took right the chair, there were a sort of “human-crash”, so I stopped the lift cause I am exactly here for the human safety. Then I went out to talk to this woman and explain to her what she did wrong, to be sure the next time she will make it right. She didn’t appreciate it and order me to stop to talk to her, what I did. This is a real common scene, we all have this kind of sad moments with costumers in every job, we have some 10% of people who think that they are costumers, we are workers so we had to be the servants and they are the kings... I don’t really mind about it cause the 90% of smile of kids, family and teens enjoy me and I love my job, defenitly.
But what happens ten minutes after terrify me even now. The woman entered the cabin (she is not allowed to) and start to order me to apologize, I did it. I’m not a warrior and in this case, my only goal is to pass this moment to work back as soon as possible. She ask me to do it twice, I did it again, then she start to explain me that she was icelandic and I didn’t, that she is an old costumer and know this place much better than me so I don’t have to speak to her like I did, and reclame once again excuses : “Je vous présente mes excuses Madame”. What can I do more than giving excuse in my mother tongue?!... All of this took my attention, I was working, I had to pay attention of the lift and costumers inside, so I try to say to her to leave the place now, she took my arm and yell at me that she will complain to the manager of Bláfjöll, at this moment I thought she will scrap me and was frightened about this situation during work! But she decide to insult me in english first, then in icelandic...
Of course I didn’t understand it, will you understand me if I insult you in french? We all clear understand the anger of someone insulting ourselves, but not the precious words, sometimes much more painfull than punches... My young colleague translate me her words “she sully you” and you have to “go back home”... End of the story, she went to the manager office to complain, I went there at the end of the day, my colleague and my chef also as witness, and we know all who was wrong in this story.
But I still feel terribly shoked, shoked to see the freedom of this woman to come to me in my work place to insult me, to order me like an animal and to say to me “go back home”. It reminds me very bad moments in the human history... I learned and teached the International Human Rights around Europe via the French Youth Council, so I know that a human had to respect an other human, whatever his social or professional place, whatever his origin, religion and skincolour, whatever his age or gender, whatever all, we are one race : human.
She bruise me. And I ask me now how someone who had probably an education, some values, who educate her children, how can she weak me using the only thing she could access from me cause she just don’t know anything about me : I am utlensk.
I was asking my colleagues and friends “What is the next step in this country? I will be hit when I will walk down on the street?”, I just read on the newspaper that it happens last day to a polish girl for an other banal story of cigarette lighter... I can’t accept this kind of values, eg eslka Ísland, but not this one. What about YOU, Madame?... What about you all icelanders?
(it’s the name the icelanders I’m working with gave me, integrating me with them, and I love it !)