So last night after David got out of class, we rushed over to the Lookouts game for the Volkswagen employee picnic. Unfortunately we missed all the food and a lot of the people that David works directly with, but it was nice for me to go anyway. I had greatly underestimated the diversity of David's work environment. I mean greatly. I knew that there were a lot of German people and that people spoke lots of languages, but as soon as we walked in it kind of hit me. These people don't speak English! I mean, they kind of do....
David's direct boss, Javier, moved here with his wife (Iciar?? no clue how to say it) and 3 kids from Pamplona, Spain. He, obviously speaks Spanish. We chatted with him and his wife for a while and I was floored at my ignorance! I just assumed they would have an accent or something, but nope! They know enough English to get them through a conversation, but it is pretty broken and a lot of work. Their kids are speaking English full-time at school, and coming home with homework in English. I was totally amazed by them. I mean, these people have picked up their lives, moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee and just started over. They are learning a new city, language, culture, and [from my observation last night] doing it with such grace.
So David and Javier muddle their way through a day of Spanglish communication, and then throw the CFO, Patrick into the mix. He is insane. He speaks German, Spanish, English, French AND Japanese. Fluently. So, he and Javier speak to each other in Spanish, but he speaks German to the other execs. His wife is French, thus the French. I guess Japanese is just for fun.
The three of them spend most of the time working together, so David is constantly learning and interpreting. David is literally inundated with cultural and language barriers every single day. And you know what? He loves it! He is thriving and doing such a fabulous job at his job. It is almost a non-issue that he has these obstacles. I just haven't been able to stop thinking about how amazed I am by him. Starting a new job is challenging enough, but he is really in an intense work environment. He is pretty spectacular.
David says he's thankful that most of their job deals with numbers. Since the only Spanish he retained from his high school classes is counting from 1-10, he says the numbers in Spanish at work.
The two classes David is taking right now are Human Resources and International Business. Coincidence? No siree. One of his assignments for the HR class is an observation paper on a diverse group of people... one of his assignments for International Business is to begin learning a new language (and give a presentation in that language!).
It's so cool how God has placed David in the exact place his is for such a time as this.