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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Dear sir/madam I fell i fall in to a trap. Last thursday

Customer Question

Dear sir/madam
I fell i fall in to a trap.
Last thursday at my working place iwas approached by a woman from another company that as a task of her dutys has to identify all staff present (vigilant/security) at that especific moment.
She approched me first politly to identify me and i reterned to her the same way. It was quite noisy (we were at rear of an aircraft just after stopped on stand at airport). I was seated inside my lorry and close to me there was another lorry. Both lorries with engines running. It was around 18:00 without extra light. This was the scenario when that short conversation happened.
Both had a nice conversation laughing with some jokes. Words were said with second sense of humor. She laugh, i laugh!

For instance: I said that my picture at my ID card wasn't so pretty as me, even that day that i wasn't shaved for 4 days (it was dark enough and my picture also it's a bit dark). She answared that i was ok even unshaved. We burst out laughing.
I have a rubber band grabbing my ID card to the card holder and i bevied she couln't read my ID number. Her both hands were busy to write my details and she asked for my number. Once again we burst out laughing. Obviously it was my ID card number and not my phone number. Although she'd showed me that on her paper there was a collum for telephone.
She told me i was already on her list with a big laugh (obviously it was the list of all staff around aircraft).
But i was the last at that time on that list and she said (joking) that she knew all my other collegues long time before me, that i should be happy to be on her list. Another time we burst out laughing. All times were like this!
Words come to our mouth all time could be used with humor with the second sense of those words.
I never toke that serious or offensive. She was always laughing and make fun with words as well. There was no harm from both parts.
My other collegue couln't hear anything but he could see that we were both having a laugh! Inside the cab of his lorry we (me and her) could see that he was trying to say something, but we couldn't understand.
This happened within 2, 3 or 4 minutes and she walked away.
At that time, i could pay more attention to what he was trying to say. Reading from his lips i could undestand the word Portuguese. I could undestand that he was trying to tell me that she was Portuguese.
I'm Portuguese too.
She was a few seconds away from me and i call her back using some Portuguese words.
We had another time a chat.
She was borned in Goa (India). She could understand some words in Portuguese (just a few), but she was unable to talk. She introduced herself as Natasha Gustino, as if her name were proper Portuguese.
Natasha is a easy name, can be Portuguese but it also can be other nationality and i did understud perfect. Her surname, didn't sound me Portuguese. So i insisted. I though she said Agostinho, or Justino (typical Portuguese) but it was not. For me to understand she talked slowly and once again she said it using a second sense of words.
Gustino is nothing in Portuguese, but it could be a surname.
However there's a similar word, with nearly the same pronunciation wich is Gustinho, that in English means the verb to taste, more exactly Tasty. Once again we were laughing. What else could happened?!
Then she told me about her husband with a perfect Portuguese pronunciation Filipe. Even him borned in Goa, but his parents were real Portuguese, from Portugal. Her husband borned in Goa but he went to live in Grece with his parents for quite a few years. So beside of understand and speaking Portuguse perfectly he could do Greek and obviouly her naturaly language from India.
No one could listen our conversation, but everybody could see that we were chating. We were at a cargo stand, close to a Singapure freighter.
In sequence of that conversation she said that she have four kids.
Woo, i got surprised, because she look quite young. Maybe 22, 23 years old. Who knows 25 year old at maximum.
I said something like: -"... uau, you waist no time,... were you afraid of the end of the world?!
I'm 46 years old and only have two kids. Obviously i was not offending her with this.
She said something like: "... you know how it is..."
As a joke i said. No! I don't know how it is. I don't have 4 kids and i'm 46 years old.
" You know more than me, you are more experience than me. You tell me"
At that time in my mind was the idea that in Indian culture they get married quite young (13, 14 years old) and sometimes with family agreements. That could be an explanation.
She moved away, because i was helping my collegue to get close to aircraft, so i had to get in action at work and everything was ok.
That collegue (Mr. Jasbinder) i helped, i believe he could listen our last words. He was the one who was closer to us at all times. Just a few meters away!
After Mr. Jasbinder moved away with two horse boxes to animal reception centre i replaced him at same position by the aircraft, to get a second set of horse boxes to the same destination.
While i was performing my task by the aircraft. Mr. Bob (Team Leader) approached me warning me that the Indian woman that i’ve been talking with was making a report on me as if i had used rude words.
I couldn’t belive that.
As soon as i load my lorry and just before move away i went to talk with her and see with my own eyes what was happening. She was nearby with one of her collegues and politly i approached her.
When she turned her face to me . I could see that she was face down and start crying. Tears were on her eyes.
I asked what happened? If it was anything with me?
She said that she felt bad with my last words.
I apologised strait away if i said something offensive to her. It wasn’t my idea at all! It never crossed my mind to be offensive to her.
Maybe she misunderstood. On our last words we were not so close as before and as from the beginning it was quite noisy by the aircraft. Mr. Jasbinder was closer to me.
I had to move away from the aircraft to Animal reception centre.
It was at the end of my shift work and before i went away home i decided to go back and have another word with her to clarify everything. Surprisingly she was surrounded by two other collegues of her company that didn’t aloud me to talk to her . Nevertheless i could say to her that i apologise if i had said anything that could hurt her feelings, that it wasn’t my intention at all.
One of her colleagues wasn’t to cooperative, which i believe was a team leader (a short tall young lad, dark skin) didn’t want to listen anything from me instead he pushed her away, not to listen anything from me.
Then he told me something, he accused me of saying something that I’m sure i never said! It was completely outside of all joke we’ve said each other. Outside of context.
I must say now that i never look at her as being an attractive woman (which she is not), sexy, sensual, or pretty even. Her good mood from beginning makes me feel that she was ok, a funny pleasant person. That’s it!
Best regards.
Adino Neves
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello and thank you for your question, which I will be happy to assist you with. Please return to the original conversation, which can be found here: