Monday, October 6, 2008

Oh geeze. Or; A day at my desk.

I am dying of embarrassment right now.


Okay, my job. I'm an International Order Processing Assistant for a company that sells GPS timing and synchronization equipment to the Military and Utility Industries. All that to say... I'm on the computer 10 hours a day talking with our International Office which is Panama. They speak Spanish as their primary language.

We usually speak in English, but also in Spanish. I've taken a bunch of Spanish classes in Jr. High, High School, and College, my mom is a Spanish teacher, and my Panamanian coworkers help me out as needed. Mostly one of my coworkers teaches me a lot of slang, and another one helps with conjugating and verbs I may not know.

A few weeks ago I sent an email back to the slang-teaching coworker trying to tell her "Did you mean 892? Don't confuse me!" I wrote:

"¡Significa 892? No me confunde!"

she wrote back:

"the correct expression is: No me confundas carajo!"

I made a little note and didn't think of it again. Until today when she sent a message to me by mistake and had CC'd a few other people in the Panama office , and I sent that "No me confundas carajo" message along with a little smiley face back to her with a note saying "Look, I remember what you taught me!" and again CC'd everyone who had been copied on the original message.

After about 5 seconds, I get this message back from one of the people copied on the message:


that could sounds hard.

what are you teaching her?"

I put "carajo" into a translator and it didn't come up with anything. I put it into Urban Dictionary and oh wow.

1. Carajo

Literally meant the lookout basket in the top mast of a Spanish galeon ship. Sailors would get very sea sick when assigned to this post, so when they would think of becoming mutinous, the captain would send them up to the carajo as punishment. Hence the Spanish interjection meaning anything from get out of here, go fly a kite, go fuck yourself, etc...
Vete para el carajo.
No me importa un carajo, I don't care a shit!

2. Carajo

Rarely used by itself- used to mean "hell" or hellish place.
vete para carajo
"go to hell"

3. C arajo

Pretty much means shit in spanish slang...
Ay carajo wey!
Aw shit man!


So then she emails everyone back, with a blank message and this attachment titled "Cara Ajo"

So then I start freaking out that she just spelled it wrong. Cause she does that a lot. Cara ajo would mean "garlic face." they have a bunch of weird expressions in Panama, so I could totally believe that "don't confuse me garlic face" is something that they say. They say "arroz con mango" if they are talking about making a confusing mess out of something. It means rice with mango. Apparently that is just really confusing.

So as I'm sitting there thinking that I just made myself look like an idiot, she sends me this message:

"Carajo is not a bad word, is only a expression that express an emotion..

Ohooo no! I forget the key
Carajo! olvide las llaves

He is a serious CARAJO! ha ha ha

That is the reason that I send the picture
that means CARA DE AJO = Garlic Face "

I have a feeling that if I sent that in a professional email they wouldn't think I was just stating an expression of emotion though. I'm going to say that next time my mom gets on my case for cussing though. I can see it now:

me: *^%$*&$ I can't find my keys!!!

mom: ...

me: Relax mom. I'm not swearing, just expressing an emotion.


The Bitchy Wife said...

HAHAHAHAHA!!!! OMG Steph, all I can do is shake my head. And laugh so hard that I peed a little bit. And perhaps make a little bit of a garlic face :)

Beth McDermott said...

nice to know im not the ONLY one who occasionally gets a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease.