Nat :) (smiley_nat) wrote in bad_service,
Nat :)

No se habla ingles en el Drive-Thru

First, let me assure everyone that I have nothing against immigrants, regardless of legal status, where they're from, or whether or not they speak English. That out of the way, let the story beigin.

There is town, not so far from my hometown, where about 80% of the people are Hispanic (or Latino, if you prefer). Of this 80%, about 75% speak Spanish and about 20% speak little to no English. Yes, I rounded, but the numbers are fairly close. Because Spanish-speakers are the majority, signs and fliers are in Spanish, the products at grocery stores and Wal-Mart are labeled in both Spanish and English, and there are places like La Tienda and Stefan's Supermercado where you are served in Spanish and people look at you funny when you say "I'm looking for a" instead of saying "Busco un". Totally understandable.

The thing is, though, I expect to be able to go into large chain stores and find someone who speaks English. It can't be so impossible to find someone who's bilingual. They're all over the frickin' place! Like I've already said, if I went into a place with a name like "La Tienda" I would expect to be served in Spanish. But when I go into a place called Burger King, I'd quite like to be able to place my order at the drive-thru without having to shout "SIN QUESO!!!" instead of "without cheese!"

It is good service to hire workers who speak what the majority of the people in your area speak. It is bad service to hire people don't speak English to work the drive-thru. There are tons of bilingual people in the area. It can't be that hard to find someone who can work the drive-thru. Or even to teach the people who work the drive-thru enough English so that they understand that "I want a number two with cheese, please." means "Quiero un numero dos con queso, por favor."

It wouldn't even really bother me if, when you tried to order in English, they said "un minuto" and went to go get someone who spoke English, because they do have English-speaking employees. But instead they get snarky and try to make you order in Spanish. I don't speak Spanish well enough to order certain things, and (and I know this might piss some people off) I shouldn't have to. And when I ask politely to be served by someone who speaks English (in the drive-thru or inside), I should not have to put up with attitude from the workers.

After this happened about three times, I complained about the attitude of the employees, the manager told me to "get over it" and stop being "racist". So then I asked the manager "If I call the textile factory where all the Thai people work (yes, they are all Thai, I know this for a fact), and someone answers the phone in Thai, refuses to find someone who speaks English and takes up an attitude with me, and then I complain to their manager, am I being racist then?" No, the manager tells me, because the people are being uncooperative. Well, I tell him, I asked to be served by someone who speaks English, and your employees were uncooperative. He called me racist again and said that it wasn't their attitude that was bad, it was mine. I don't think I'll be eating there again.

Edited because apparently the US doesn't have an official language. My apologies. That's what I get for listening to a teacher who thought Columbus came over on the Mayflower.
Tags: debate, question
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