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4 Bumps

How do people who can't speak a word of English get hired?

Went to Penny's the other day and needed directions to a location and asked an employee wearing a Penny's badge how I might get there. This is in Los Angeles on the west side. This person spoke not a word of English but led me to an English speaking Spanish person who also spoke Spanish. WOW!! I asked an African American employee about this and he responded that in the lunch room during breaks, all you hear is Spanish and that the other non Spanish speakers questioned how they (the other Spanish speaking employees) could have gotten employed without speaking any English. Is this happening in other places? Can I go to Mexico and get a job in a retail store like Penny's without speaking a word of Spanish?

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ladylovemm

Asked by ladylovemm at 4:07 PM on Sep. 8, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 10 (411 Credits)
Answers (28)
  • What do you expect? LA is sanctuary city ..it's gone long gone..i'd move lol
    tnmomofive

    Answer by tnmomofive at 4:10 PM on Sep. 8, 2010

  • Cheap labor. Some places will pay someone who doesn't speak or understand English lower because they don't know the policies. My old job hired Hispanics for 2 dollars less then what I paid and we did the same job. I was out of there within weeks because my boss bragged about ti and it pissed me off, try to report it but don't know if anything happened.
    mommy_of_two388

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 4:14 PM on Sep. 8, 2010

  • It is ridiculous, And I love other cultures so this makes me sad. I really do not want to sound mean, but in an English speaking work environment it should be mandatory to speak English. I was not a problem where I live but It is sprawling here and I was quite surprised by that. I was offended when I heard Spanish speaking employee's talking amongst themselves stocking shelves in the store.

    tyme4me2day

    Answer by tyme4me2day at 4:52 PM on Sep. 8, 2010

  • What was their job? If they were "custodial" or "stocking" type positions where they would not be on the front lines dealing with customers this is likely why--in other words cheap (minimum wage) labor. I would be that they speak good enough English to get hired, but don't really care about customers, and CLAIM they don't speak English, or due to SOME of the crazy equal employment opportunity rights people have were entitled to have a translator help them through the interview! Having been a regional HR Director for a major international hotel chain, I can tell you stories that would make your head spin!

    I find it incredibly rude when a bilingual person holds a conversation in front of someone they know doesn't speak the same the language. I'll bet if you said something about INS coming, they'd perk right up! LOL
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 4:57 PM on Sep. 8, 2010

  • Maybe the person was stocking or cleaning, and as such did not have to deal with customers as a rule. Maybe most of the customers that go to that Pennys speak Spanish.

    "I was offended when I heard Spanish speaking employee's talking amongst themselves stocking shelves in the store."
    "I find it incredibly rude when a bilingual person holds a conversation in front of someone they know doesn't speak the same the language. I'll bet if you said something about INS coming, they'd perk right up! LOL"
    ____________________________________________________
    I do not find it "rude" when people speak to each other in their first language, any more than I find it rude to speak English to my co-workers that speak English. Why in the world would it be rude to speak Spanish? lol I do find it rude to make a joke that anyone speaking Spanish would be scared of INS coming. You do realize that a lot of US citizens speak Spanish don't you?
    stacymomof2

    Answer by stacymomof2 at 5:11 PM on Sep. 8, 2010

  • CONT...
    Or are Spanish speaking citizens less American than you? Hmmmmmm
    stacymomof2

    Answer by stacymomof2 at 5:13 PM on Sep. 8, 2010

  • I hate it when I go to McD's and I can't even get my order right because the person with headphones can't speak english. Why put those people on the headphones? So irritating!!
    Laura2U

    Answer by Laura2U at 5:15 PM on Sep. 8, 2010

  • It's a mystery to me too, but if an American can get a job in a foreign country without knowing how to speak the language I don't see why someone else can't do it here. I knew someone who got a job in Korea and didn't speak a word of Korean, but they still got the job. It was customer relations too.
    GinNTonic

    Answer by GinNTonic at 5:18 PM on Sep. 8, 2010

  • People just need to accept the fact that English is not everyone's primary language.
    GinNTonic

    Answer by GinNTonic at 5:19 PM on Sep. 8, 2010

  • Maybe not Gin, but English is America's primary language, so why not put those people in non-communicative jobs? Why can't I order a chicken sandwich at McD's? ;)
    Laura2U

    Answer by Laura2U at 5:21 PM on Sep. 8, 2010

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