- 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.
Skype name: mkemerson
Podcast web site: http://www.emerson.libsyn.com
Podcast feed: emerson.libsyn.com/rss
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