Post # 1
Hi Bees, please help me figure this out. English is my second language and i can only try sooo hard believe me. I have worked with a different company for close to 3 years, done letters in English and was never told off on my spelling or grammar. Now i have changed jobs and my boss and colleagues tend to pick on my grammar; i get told “your letter doesn’t make sense at all, were you taught how to write letters at Uni?” And when i ask what’s the problem they will pick 2/3 things like ohh you did’nt add “is” or “a” but honestly the letter makes sense and that’s all that matters (getting point across) and if the second person does not understand then they will ask me. My other problem is my boss will then come in and say this in front of clients too; Read sentence one by one and say does this make sense to you? I also wonder if the letter doesn’t make complete sense as they put it how are they able to correct me? Please help, i feel picked on and bullied. What should i do?
Post # 2
With love and kindness, please take English classes. Not in language but in grammar. All native speakers had to through public education because, let’s be honest- the English language is a mish mash of many languages and dialects that as a whole is not logical to a non-native speaker. Most native speakers screw it up on a daily basis.
I’m sure they want you to sound grammar perfect if you are writing letters for clients. That is your trade so you need to build your skill. Kudos for learning this; a really illogical language.
Post # 3
theatrejulia : thanks for your feedback, i will work on that. I have however done English course in grammar on my first year of Uni. Other thing; is it ok for her to approach me about this in public (in front of clients and colleagues)?
Post # 4
fluffy1 : In a work environment getting the general point across is not all that matters. It’s important that letters and emails to clients are grammatically correct and flow well.
All I have to go on is the information you’ve given in the OP, but from that I wouldn’t say you are bullied or picked on.
The key to fine tuning a language like english is just practice.
Post # 5
It sucks, but I’m I don’t think they are doing anything wrong by calling you out for the issues. It isn’t doesn’t sound like harassment to me (based on what you have written).
I understand your frustration- but if you are writing things that are going out to clients, I agree with your boss that the grammar should be perfect. If you don’t want to try to fix the issue by taking a another class, then maybe this isn’t the right field for you to work in.
Post # 6
fluffy1 : aww that is a tough place. Since that is your job I would say it is very important to get everything correct but it is unprofessional of her to call u out in front of other people especially clients. In fact it looks bad on her than u, of course I do understand that u d feel really bad. In addition to improving grammar, I would suggest talking to her in private n telling her u have started taking lessons but that u would appreciate her telling u in private in case anything is wrong. Tell her u are on same side of the team n ur goals are same as hers n ask her if that is doable. Trust me this most probably will fix the situation as u are addressing the problem as well as telling her what u think (which is standing up for urself.) People take advantage when they know u will not say anything. If it does not improve after talking to her n improving grammar, then may be its time to change job.
Post # 7
fluffy1 : How is she asking? If the client has questions and they are asking her so she has to ask you then yes, it is appropriate. It is tough to answer that question without knowing the approach or tone she is addressing you.
Post # 8
fluffy1 : How is your boss bringing this up? You say in front of clients…does that mean that you’re both in a meeting with a client and your boss will bring up a letter you sent this client and go over it specifically in relation to that client/meeting? Or do you mean that you’re in the middle of a meeting and she barges in to berate you about a letter you sent that has absolutely nothing to do with the client you’re speaking to?
Honestly, it must suck and be so frustrating. I’m horrible with languages! But no, “getting the point across” is not all that matters when sending correspondence, especially if this is in relation to clients. It may seem unfair but clients will judge you on what/how you write.
Post # 9
I think it’s rude for your boss to approach you in front of clients, if it was a big problem he should approach you in private. Do you have an HR department in your company? If the issue is bad enough I would try confiding in them while at the same time working to better my English. Good luck! <3
Post # 10
Writing is hard. I know people who speak with proper grammar but can’t seem to write with proper grammar. Hopefully you’re in this case because the following tip won’t work otherwise.
The tip that I tell people who struggle with grammar is to read everything out loud after you’ve finished writing it. Exactly as you’ve written them even though it feels silly. The brain is really good about filling in the blanks when we’re reading silently, which is why you can read words that are misspelled or jumbled. It doesn’t do that for speech though so hopefully in reading things out loud, your ears will be able to catch the things your eyes are missing.
Post # 11
Thank you soo much everyone I appreciate all the advice, I will work on improving:) the letters are not for clients they are refferal letters, I write it and give it to the admin person to send away. What beats me is that i have been doing this for months in the same job, never called on it but last week admin lady mentioned it with a letter I wrote and I did appreciate the feedback but thought must be one off thing since it was the first time the issue was brought up. yesterday she saw me write a letter (before completing it) she asked “were you taught how to write letters at Uni?” Then added on about my grammar. And I thought surely there must be other ways to tell me I need to improve my grammar than to ask something like that? Then she went on to discuss this with my boss and other colleagues while i was in the other room (I could hear them whispering&giggle) and when i came back they kept glancing at me like I’ve done something horribly wrong. Few minutes later my Boss approached me in the reception area (in front of collegues and client) to say “you need to work on your grammar, read the letter i had just completed and handed on to the lady. Read out a sentence and said does this make sense to you? *looks at me* You need to say xxx and from now on I will have to proof-read your letters until you are up to standard. I felt the whole situation was exaggerated (maybe that’s why I felt picked on) because the things i was called on for example I wrote “i have advised client to see you for your opinion and for further investigation if required” she’s written same thing in most of her letters too. But no that was wrong, i also wrote “investigation (stated what form of investigation) has been done and xxxx noted” but no that is wrong i should say “investigation was performed and NOTED is xxx” so this are the mistakes pointed out and 1 other minor thing. but to be told whole thing does not make sense? And for this to be mentioned infront of clients?
Post # 12
Not good or professional to call you out on it front of others , especially clients. It does not, however, sound like a bullying situation, not even ‘picking on’ though as I say , it seems not very professionally handled .
As pps have said though ,written communication does have to be perfect and whilst yours (as far as these posts can show) is very good, it is not quite perfect – no paragraphs for example .
That said, the ‘correction’ you said happened re the investigation comment is not as correct as your original , as far as I can see! And native speakers, as for example I assume emeraldsmiley above is, often write in less than perfect ways, either by accident or design. Though context is very important, as you know .
Post # 13
elderbee : thanks soo much for your feedback. Something to work on 🙂
Great advice everyone xx