[bct] traveling

  • From: "Mary Emerson" <maryemerson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 00:43:28 -0800


This isn't good news about the increase of non-English speakers in this country. I may have shared some of these experiences before; if so, just skip this message.

Before my employer switched to a really good van company last year, we had to deal with one for over ten years that employed a lot of people whose language wasn't English. A couple times they made the mistake of employing some who really didn't understand the language at all. I have a couple issues here; one is that I really don't believe people who can't understand or read English should be driving around; what do they do if they violate a traffic law and a cop pulls them over? Also, I ended up riding the van with a couple of these people and neither understood where I wanted to be dropped off, and on both occasions they left me on the wrong side of my street, which, for me, is a frightening experience since I don't hear well enough to cross an eight-lane monster of a street that doesn't have square corners and you have to turn at a certain point and cross in another direction. On one of these occasions I wandered around for over 20 minutes before someone helped me; on the other occasion, I had to ask for assistance from a bus driver. I reported both of these incidents; one driver was fired immediately, and the other was kept on for a month or so.

Another incident occurred in which a non-English speaker didn't know how to operate the controls for the wheelchair lift on the van. When somebody in a wheelchair tried to instruct him, he grabbed the control and yanked it so hard it came off in his hand, and we sat stranded for 15 minutes; in fact, the driver didn't even know how to use his radio to contact the dispatcher for help. I don't think he ever learned how to use the radio, which was a very simple device.

I am fairly sure all these incidents, and a few more, contributed to the van company not getting a contract renewal last January.

Needless to say, I am one of those travelers who only goes where I need to go, when I need to go; I don't have family here in California so they can't bail me out if I get stuck. Friends and acquaintances see me as independent and not needing much help, and they're not used to me asking for it, so I am pretty much on my own. I figure that as long as I can do what I need to do, this works for me.

Mary Emerson
E-mail: maryemerson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Skype name: mkemerson
Podcast web site: http://www.emerson.libsyn.com
Podcast feed: emerson.libsyn.com/rss

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  • » [bct] traveling