How do I tell the cleaning lady at my job (who barely speaks to me) to stop treating me like my co-worker’s keeper?

She doesn’t speak very good English, but understands it perfectly. Therefore, she’s a social butterfly in Spanish, and very “mute” in English.  She’s good friends with my co-worker, Juan, who was born and raised in U.S. and is Puerto Rican.  He speaks English and is bilingual.  They’re very good WORK friends, as they’ve worked in the same building for a long time.  But she’s NOT our co-worker.  Here’s how she treats he and I when seeing us for the first time in the morning:

Him: *happy to see him; starts flapping her gums in Spanish.*

Me: Hi. Juan didn’t come in today?

She especially asks me that if she hasn’t seen him all morning.  When I first started working there, and she would ask me that, I thought he was very sick, or that she had something important to ask/tell him.  But then as the years went by and she constantly asked me if he’s here, I realized she just wants to shoot the breeze with him, which is obviously not a good reason for her to ask me if he’s around.  I understand she doesn’t feel comfortable speaking to me due to her self-consciousness of her broken English, but what I don’t like is that she treats me like the unpopular kid at school who she’s asking “Have you seen the captain of the football team” while she has no desire to speak to me or get to know me.  Should she be more considerate by not asking me where he is, when she’s just desperate to speak Spanish to someone, as opposed to her being concerned about Juan because he’s sick?

Update:

She’s in her mid-50s, but acts like a shy teenage girl at school who only wants to speak to her best friend while isolating herself from everyone. 

4 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    She is asking about her friend...its pretty easy to answer the basic question...right?  

    She also isnt your co-worker.  This is like making friends with someone who works on another floor for the same company...are you expected to become friends with their co-workers too?  

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  • 1 month ago

    Is your life really so boring that you have time to worry about what the cleaning lady at your office thinks?

    Sounds like you need a life outside of work and Netflix.

    If she asks you about Juan just say you haven't seen him today.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Why don't you find more important things to troll about?

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  • 1 month ago

    the same way you told us

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