Today I had a colleague, (another fellow non Spanish speaker. There are 3 of us.) who had a horrid episode with a Hispanic American physician. She called his office to find out the kind of medications a mutual patient is on, (because he didn't know what he was taking.) The doctor was transferred the call by his secretary and immediately started speaking in Spanish to our technician. She said, "Dr Espinoza, sorry I don't speak Spanish. I'm Jan from Dr White's office. We need to know what medications Mr Velez is on." And the doctor berated her by yelling at her, "YOU DON'T SPEAK SPANISH! AND YOU WORK IN THE HOSPITAL?!" I CAN'T BE BOTHERED WITH YOU!" And he then slammed the phone down on her, without giving her the information. They were disconnected. Dr White was too pissed and busy to call back to give the ass hole a piece of his mind.
I was mortified. I felt bad for her. It ruined her day. I get this too on occasion. Sometimes a patient asks me if I speak Spanish. I'll say no. And they'll say, "NO? Porque no?". Like it's my duty and responsibility to speak Spanish in America. I learned some before traveling to Spain. I learned it well enough to not have any problems. I can make appointments in Spanish and do that well. Anything else, it's translator time. But how and why some arrogant, pompous ass people think it's a moral obligation to know it, is well..... FUCKED UP! I am not a technician, but if I worked directly with people as a nurse or technician, I would learn it on my own and pay for it. It's people like the doctor who are fucking up the order of things in our country. They made it so easy for people in their community to not learn English. The communities all have one of everything for the non English speakers. A butcher, baker, florist, clothier, pharmacy, doctor, lawyer you name it. And people like me can walk into a Mexican fruit market and ask where the coriander is and they look at me like QUE QUE? Shit. Does no one know what the fuck coriander is anymore? Do we all have to call it cilantro from now on? Can I not speak English anymore? Stop the madness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For those of you who think I'm a racist and a bigot. Piss off. What's racist? Exactly what? NOTHING IS. So don't send me your shitty stupid stuff in my in box. Post it on comments so that everyone can see how flaky you are. You know who you are. Well now that that's off my chest. Coriander is not a word like buffet or Hors d’œuvres which was adopted since English America didn't have them in their daily life. But do we have to say DU JOUR? Why can't we just call it soup of the day? Du jour on American menus is just plain dumb. I'm not anal about bi or tri lingual signs or anything. I'm just peeved about people being offended by my speaking English. It's become ridiculous already. So ridiculous that I'm not understood by people at Dunkin' Donuts because I have such a thick CHICAGO accent. When I asked for a "cup o' decaf, little bit o' cream, no sugar" last month. They just stared at me not understanding me. I couldn't help but be sarcastic, "What's the matter, don't you understand my Chicago accent? Is it that thick?". I was born in Chicago, so my accent is not mixed with anything else. I more or less have that William Petersen, Gary Sinese thing going. And that's soooo hard to understand when your from ____________________ fill in the blank country. Well gotta go now. Gesundheit you all.
Post script. I loved my trip to Spain. And I loved how easy it was to learn it after being there for three weeks. The people, music and food was just awesome and wonderful. The Mediterranean (southern) part was my favorite. Hell who wouldn't like the sunny warmer part? But I'd never expect them to know English so for 8 months I learned the Berlitz Spanish for travellers. My gripe is those who live in the U.S.who loathe speaking or learning English. Those who just want to sit back and take because someone told them that they could. Ignorance should not be bliss. For those of you planning to visit or move to the U.S. to live or stay awhile, I have three words for you......Berlitz and Rosetta Stone.