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To feel offended about having my regional accent mimicked at work?

(117 Posts)
Ballet123 Sun 12-Jul-15 11:04:27

I've NCd for this as hope to not be identified. Will also change a few details for the same reason.

Basically, a couple of years ago, one woman at work began mimicking my regional accent in front of me. (Obviously it's from a different region from where I'm currently working, though same country). She has continued to do so, and only does it when there is at least one other person with us, not just her and me. She usually has a conversation with the other person, in my presence, using my accent. A couple of othe people have recently started replying to her using my accent too.

I'm not sure if I'm being very over sensitive (hence why posting on here), but I actually find it quite offensive and am sick of it. I just wouldn't do it to someone else, regardless of whatever the accent was.

I suspect she thinks that I haven't realised she's doing it and thinks she's making fun of me 'behind my back' because I've never mentioned it or acknowledged it. I know it's partly my fault for letting it continue, but I hate confrontation and also I don't know if it would sound petty to ask her to stop doing it. But, honestly, it's starting to get me a bit down and self conscious of soaking at work.

What do you think I should do, and AIBU?

ssd Sun 12-Jul-15 11:05:40

go up to her face and tell her to fuck off.

TheHouseOnBellSt Sun 12-Jul-15 11:06:48

HAs she got an accent? Mimick her back! If you can't manage that then just say "You can't pull my accent sound really stupid!" and laugh.....if you can't do that then report her.

CaspoFungin Sun 12-Jul-15 11:10:52

If she's doing it infront of you then she isn't doing it 'behind your back'.

Sometimes if I hear an accent I can't help but repeat something in that accent, I do always apologise cos it does seem like taking the piss.

I reckon tell her how annoying it is, hopefully she'll be embarassed and stop.

Bakeoffcake Sun 12-Jul-15 11:10:57

Next time she does it say, "is there any reason why you keep mimicking my accent?"

Then tell her to stop doing it.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sun 12-Jul-15 11:11:22

Doris, aren't you bored of mocking my accent yet? I certainly am. It's rude and tedious, I think you ought to stop it.

Ballet123 Sun 12-Jul-15 11:13:11

Thanks for replies. Yes, she has got an accent, I don't know if I could mimick it back, and if I did manage to, maybe she would just think that was the green light to keep doing it to me?

I don't think I could report her for it, because I'm not foreign so it's not racism. However, it is annoying and I don't want to have to try to change the way I speak as I'm proud of my background and where my family are from!

ChampagneBabyCakes Sun 12-Jul-15 11:14:13

I have this problem too - with one guy who also makes comments about the diet of people where I come from. He really thinks he's funny. I'm going to keep an eye on this thread for some perfect mumsnet comebacks.

ThePinkOcelot Sun 12-Jul-15 11:14:14

'For the length of time you have been mimicking my accent, I would have thought you would have got it right by now....but you haven't' with a smile on your face��

Ballet123 Sun 12-Jul-15 11:15:06

Maybe I should take the plunge and word it similar to Bakeoff or Testing have suggested. Not looking forward to it, I loathe confrontation!

StayWithMe Sun 12-Jul-15 11:15:08

If you're afraid of confrontation, is there anyone in work that you get on well with? You could try telling them how uncomfortable it's making you, they might have a word. If you don't do something about it then others are going to join in and I know that would be awful.

gallicgirl Sun 12-Jul-15 11:17:03

It's borderline bullying to be honest, particularly if she's making you feel belittled. Does she mock anyone else's accent or characteristics?

TheHouseOnBellSt Sun 12-Jul-15 11:17:27

"I've got a strong accent and you are rude....isn;'t it nice that we're all different."

"Your voice sounds so whiny when you try to do my accent....I'd stop it if I were you it makes you sound ridiculous."

Ballet123 Sun 12-Jul-15 11:18:59

I think you're right Stay, I have to do something as others are picking up on it and I'll be so upset if lots of people think it's ok to do the same.

I could try to think of someone who could have a word for me, there is a manager who may be willing to, but then again they may not want to get involved...

Ballet123 Sun 12-Jul-15 11:22:08

I haven't noticed her doing the same to others, not to say it hasn't happened. She's quite loud and outgoing. Although in some ways quite pleasant and reasonable.

My worst fear is that she will just deny that she does it, or say that it's just coincidence or something, so make me look silly and that I'm making a fuss when there is no issue.

Angie611 Sun 12-Jul-15 11:26:41

I'm a northerner and I just hate it when southerners try and mimick a northern accent. They go over the top with missing out 'the' etc. personally I'd have a word with her manager because it's a form of bullying. It can make you very self conscious. You could do what another poster said and tell her she sounds stupid doing your accent, and tell her so when there are other people around to hear it.

Meloria Sun 12-Jul-15 11:28:20

I can sympathise so much. It happens to me all the time at work and no one can understand why I find it so offensive.

RachelRagged Sun 12-Jul-15 11:28:46


Next time she does it , , look her straight in the eyes and say "Do Grow Up, or are you still of the playground mindset?"

YANBU for being fed up at it .. I am a Londoner but love many regional accents .

gallicgirl Sun 12-Jul-15 11:32:27

If you flag it as potential bullying your manager has to get involved whether they want to or not.
It doesn't have to be a huge deal. Hopefully it'll just take a quiet word for your colleague to realise she's making you uncomfortable and change her behaviour.

itsmine Sun 12-Jul-15 11:32:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sun 12-Jul-15 11:44:51

This is abuse and bullying. I am not going to dress it up. If you were African Or Asian with your own accent and she was mocking you. She would be sacked on the spot for racism and quite right, too, so I don't know could this been seen as Reginalist behaviour. Well what ever it is you do not like it, You do not deserve it. And you do not should not have to put up with it, So report it.

missorinoco Sun 12-Jul-15 11:51:48

I think you should call her on it. It is one-upmanship, and she is trying to put you down subtly, whether she realises it or not.

I also like Testings response - it is to the point and leaves no room for responses about your sensitivity to a "joke".

Ballet123 Sun 12-Jul-15 11:58:05

I can't tell you how much your support and suggestions mean to me. I wondered if IWBU, and thought you'd all tell me to get a thicker skin and just put up with it. Now I know I'm not, I know I've got to act on it.

I'll mull over all your suggestions during the day (plus any new ones) and try to take action tomorrow!

CakeLady1 Sun 12-Jul-15 12:00:15

It would be tempting to ge her to read out loud something really tongue-twisting, when she asks why say "your accent impersonations really do crack me up!" but there's a risk she can report you as a bully and a bitch.
Or if she is just an obvious bitch & you've over heard her speaking to others, not in your accent, you could just correct her... Next time she says something, you could say "it's more 'ahh', like 'baa', than 'arr' like a pirate. Go on, try again"

CakeLady1 Sun 12-Jul-15 12:01:18

Btw, you are not a bitch, but just be careful that you don't get portrayed as such in dealing with her flowers

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