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  1. #1

    Illiteracy, um problems with immigrant assimilation - funny story though

    I had breakfast at Jack In The Box today (west / southwest fast food chain originating from San Diego).

    All of the employees there were Latin American immigrants. That doesn't mean Mexican-descent specifically. Though that is probable.

    They are working at jobs that likely pay very minimum wage because that's possibly all they can do, have tried to do, have yet had the opportunity to do (maybe they're in school), or that's all they think they can do (why outreach to these employees and the discussion of their future opportunities falls to the government because I don't see the private sector doing it here anyway - that could vary from area to area though).

    But anyway, at some point while I'm dining in, (and start to feel nature's call) the last occupant in the men's room must have done something. But not what you think.

    The next thing I know, this sort of plump, rotund, large, young woman is locking the door to the men's room.

    She posts a sign on the door that she hand wrote.

    It says:


    What do you suppose that means?

    (Warning: keep this thread clean. Discussion of immigration problems and cultural assimilation issues is fine. No racial jokes or intentional intolerance will be allowed.)
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  2. #2
    Note, to work at Jack In The Box, all the employees HAD to be LEGAL immigrants / green card holders for absolute certain.

    If she was a US born citizen, versus an immigrant, why wasn't that one employee's English better?

    Does that indicate a failure with our public education system? Or at least our naturalization program?

    Realize that she could be working here because at least someone in her family, or she herself, could not find work better than a fast-food restaurant in our country, back wherever she emigrated from. And while our social security and Medicare programs are suffering, other Latin American nations' programs are either non-existant or close to 100% unreliable.

    What are the issues here? And what are the solutions?

    Are we all "Of the Service?"
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  3. #3
    Well, I'm not sure what "Of The Service" refers to, but I alsoanother restroom sign incident.

    Last night I went to see the "Wizard of Oz" at the Saenger Theatre in N.O. (it's the Saenger's 75th Anniversary so they were showing movies at $.75). The men's restroom had an interesting sign in it, one you would see in a women's restroom. The sign read something like this:

    "Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause unwanted health risks."

    I'm not sure why that sign was in the men's restroom, my only guess is that the theatre could convert that restroom into a women's restroom if needed.

    Anyway, that's it.
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  4. #4
    scruffziller's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
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    Maybe because they are not interest"ING"!! in having you use the restroom when it is broken.
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  5. #5
    i would venture to guess that the sign intended to read "out of service"? that would figure in with the locking of the restroom door.
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  6. #6
    I once saw a paper attached to a chalkboard covered with writing. The paper read, "Do not ese."

  7. #7
    I realize the sign was supposed to say "Out of Service" and why.

    But that wasn't my point. It was funny and tragic at the same time.
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  8. #8
    Originally posted by Tycho
    Does that indicate a failure with our public education system? Or at least our naturalization program?
    I'm hoping we won't be touching off another potential powderkeg, a la the Pledge thread, with this topic. I believe that immigrants do help in the development of our country. Look at all the good things that we have that other nations don't have by virtue of all the people that stream into this country. My ancestors came from England, Western Europe, etc., including my Grandma who left Nazi Germany before the invasion of Poland.

    When they came over, they learned English and assimilated into American society. My Oma (grandma in German) moved to Palm Springs, worked as a maid in Elvis' mansion there, and soon got married to an American who wasn't German.

    I'm from the LA area and have had much exposure to people who are of closer foreign decent than myself, i.e., first or second-generation Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Phillipino, Samoans, Mexicans, Central Americans. I've noticed that when they assimilate more closely with the general American 'culture' (I supposed there is one ) they tend to learn English quicker and interact with those of different backgrounds to a greater degree.

    The flipside, again from my perception, is that when they fail to learn and practice English, they tend to be more clannish and do not interact as much with people outside their own culture, language, or background. Perhaps this is the case with your Jack In The Box friends, Tycho.

    This being the case I think it would behoove us to institute a strong English language program for immigrants to help them integrate better. It could only lead to better jobs, higher confidence, and better integration. Sure we want diversity but it's not a good thing when society is fractured into groups that can't or won't intermingle with others outside their immediate sphere of familiarity.
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  9. #9
    Again, I share the same opinion as Madalorian Candidate - and the same ancestry.

    I'm of German-Austrian descent, 1 part Russian. Most of my family came to America very early dating way back to colonial times. I've heard that some of our ancestry left Europe to escape prejudice against Jews way back when. Before England ruled the 13 Colonies that revolted and formed the United States (wasn't it a first Confederation of States - referring to the Articles of Confederation that governed us between the time of the Declaration of Independence and when the Constitution was written?)....well anyway, back then, Germans, Slaviks, and the Dutch colonized Pennsylvania. Later I think either England won it in war, occupied it economically (kind of like the Japanese own Los Angeles (J/K) or they just bought it from the Germans).

    Anyway, then it was the English Pennsylvania before joining the other states in the Revolution. Notice the Slavik name Pennsylvania like Transylvania? The more English named colonies were for King George (Georgia), New York (for Yorkshire), etc. Now I wonder if there was a famous Lord Jersey, or if England had a holy cow: Jersey Maid? (bad joke)

    Anyway, I think that perhaps racial prejudice and / or the fear of it, causes many peoples of darker skin to assimilate into English speaking America more slowly. In our City Council, we have one Mexican-American who follows in the footsteps of his former boss, another widely popular Mexican-American Assemblyman (Juan Vargas - he makes his name known quite well in California, so you may have heard of him). Anyway, just by speaking Spanish (because the other Councilmembers don't) this politician is held in awe by people of Latin American ancestry (who recently immigrated). That doesn't mean he could be a terrible leader and use his image like a demogogue (he doesn't and I personally supported him and his re-election), but such cultural outreach shown going both to and from this elected official describes a bit of the situation with cultural assimilation.

    It also illustrates the problem with people not assimilating. 8 councilmembers decide policy in San Diego. The white-anglo councilmembers have just as much responsibility to their Hispanic constituents as does the Latino politician. The only way immigrants can make their representatives really hear them though, is to testify in council in English. Because if a corrupted Latino official was in power, who would really be representing his people if he used his popularity for his own benefit.

    In an English speaking country, they must assimilate if only to defend themselves. They are often poor and have to work their way up from having nothing. They can just as easily be taken advantage of by one of their own with an elected position or a law degree (medical one too).

    Knowledge is power, and language and education are the tools to acquire it.

    Just the same, I should know Spanish (and do not) though I'm taking classes when I can. (I learned German as my 2nd language mostly because the teacher in high school was a Lakers Cheerleader )
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  10. #10
    If only we had protocol droids...
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