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Discussion Starter #1
First, I'm not anti-immigration. I do believe we should just standardize and make English our official language and make that "mandatory" to learn if you come here from somewhere else. But until today, I didn't have a very good argument.

I was sitting in my office enjoying the crap that Monday's tend to bring. Then, true to Monday madness, the fire alarm panel lights up. I go to the panel and it says, "manual pull station-first floor-building 2". This is usually a good indication that there most certainly is something wrong, since it take a fair amount of effort to pull the box. The lights blaring red, the sirens blaring loud, I run outside to find the fire. I run passed this woman that's just standing there with her child, no emotion or notion to stop and talk. Meanwhile people are running from their doors to clear the building. They're all looking at me to find answers since I'm the honcho. With a shrug I tell everyone, "I don't know! I'm looking". I check all the halls and floors in building 2.... no smoke, no fire. I have only a few seconds more to run back to my office and answer to the alarm company to let them know not to dispatch the engine company (which is in the lot adjacent to us). Too late.... as I get back to the office, big red rolls up. I'm standing next to the lady I mentioned earlier but she's not saying anything. She doesn't look worried or alarmed and doesn't try to talk with me. It's obvious, by her attire that she's from another country (origin is not important).
A guy that happens to speak her language starts to talk to the woman. She tells the man, calmly, that her child was playing and accidentally pulled the box. She explained that she didn't say anything to me because she didn't speak our language. :confused:
All in all, that's my entire office staff of 8, 42 dwellings, 1 fire crew, 1 community center full of people and 1 big ol' false alarm. Now, of course I don't hold it against her that she couldn't say the words "false alarm", but this, to me is one reason why we should standardize our language.
A little after the incident, the woman came in to the office to do her business with my staff. Still no emotion. No attempt at apologizing or anything.
I'm a little heated from the incident so my view may change once the dust settles. But GOD! She could at least have tried to communicate in some way.....
End rant....
Thanks :35a:
 

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Sounds to me like less of a language barrier and more of a common sense/courtesy barrier. Pointing and looking sheepish should be pretty universal?
 

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Good point.... you may be right! It makes me wonder though, she's now sitting in one of my agent's office doing gobs of paperwork. I wonder how much she is actually understanding, since it's all in English. She's about to commit to something with lots of terms and money involved. We can only explain so much in so many ways. :(
 

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I think what you might find, is that quite a few immigrants understand english, especially written, but are uncomfortable with trying to speak it. Me, I stumble through French, German, and Thai when I'm out on the job and it gets a lot of respect because most people won't even try....

My $0.02 worth,

John
 

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Two lessons agreed upon.

Learn the language of the country you'll reside or spend a lot of time in or
have an interpreter friend handy.

Whack that kids arse for grabbing stuff that's not their own (or playground equipment).
 

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I will be in the 'I can't comment group' because this is a family forum. I will say however that about 6 billion people are lucky I am not the King. I would make some changes.

Even that veiled remark is politically incorrect isn't it? :46:

Why do you think I stay out at a cabin 115 miles from town and 77 miles off the road system so much. I am the King on that piece of America.
 

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The kid didn't know what he/she was doing but the parent should be fined or something. Poor parenting for sure. And yes, New immigrants should learn basic english to better themselves. My parents never learned english and were doomed to low wages until they passed on. On the flip end. America stands for Freedom to stay ignorant or "uninformed" or learn as much as you can to better yourself.
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