I am really getting tired

Of having to use sign language, repeat myself numerous times very slowly just to clarify my request to retail staff who don’t speak English. Happened at a pharmacy today where I attempting to pick up a prescription. Are you serious, you’re dispensing meds to old folks like me and it took me 5 minutes for you to understand what I wanted!!


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Retail and more

Dec 10, 2018 at 8:22am

Isn't it becoming a joke in these businesses more and more ?
Doesn't matter where you go ....the bank the grocery store the drug store .... try communicating....it's getting scary out there ....

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Dec 10, 2018 at 8:40am

Did you stop to think even for a second that maybe people learning English actually need some time to do so. If a person lands here with some but not all English, it takes a few years to become fluent. It's a real struggle and it takes some courage, but you can't even allow someone a lousy extra minute or too to work it out.
Worse, the person handling your prescriptions is intelligent enough to be a pharmacist, or at least an assistant, but you think a language barrier indicates incompetence.
Here we have a self-centred, judgemental, mean spirited, unkind attitude with some poor soul at the other end of it, and a boatload of thumbs up.

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Couple of thoughts...

Dec 10, 2018 at 9:13am

1) Perhaps you don’t have an ear for accents?
2) Perhaps you need hearing aids?
3) Retail stored are having a tremendously difficult time hiring staff these days so there may be some need to hitre people who do not have impeccable English language skills
4) You can always choose a different store.

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I can't believe...

Dec 10, 2018 at 2:41pm

that every pharmacy you go to, the staff doesn't speak English. Just go to another store. Also, I'm sure they speak English. You're just showing your racist tendencies.

Dear white person,

Dec 10, 2018 at 2:42pm

The whole world isn't just for you. Canada is not inherently "English" or any one language speaking. We never have been, never will be. Hundreds of indigenous languages exist here. Languages from other continents have been spoken here since way before confederation; people from China, Japan, India, the Caribbean, and many other places have played an integral role in creating Canada (case in point, BC would not have even joined if not for a railroad built entirely by non-European labour).
You think you're going to get sympathy with your "poor me, sick old person" line, but when it's a cover up for thinly veiled racist nonsense? Mais non, mon ami.

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Dec 10, 2018 at 3:13pm

Give me a break. My folks didn't speak the language when they came here either, but they didn't expect to have their incompetence tolerated, they expected to become competent.

Accents are one thing, but if you can't make yourself readily understood in the dominant language of the country, you are incompetent to serve the public and the employer is nuts for putting you out there to (a) suffer the embarrassment of being incompetent and (b) to get a reputation for hiring people who can't speak the language.

It may or may not be easy to learn English, but so what? It's also hard to learn math, but you don't put that person on the checkout till either.

Get a grip. Not everything is due to racism. In fact you are subtly reinforcing the prejudices of those who are inclined to be racist, by telling the rest of us, who have bothered to learn idiomatically clear English, that we needn't bother.

GFY. Comprende?

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Dec 10, 2018 at 4:25pm

I agree, competence and clear communication skills are crucial in a field like pharmacy where if somebody forgets the difference between "fifteen" and "fifty", that could mean life or death for a customer.

I could tell a story about the time an immigrant pharmacist who refused to help an elderly person I know who was standing in front of the counter with blood running down his mouth, paralyzed with shock, the result of a nasty fall just outside the store, but I'll save it for another day. The College of Pharmacists already know the story.

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@ @miserable

Dec 10, 2018 at 4:50pm

Wow, not once did I mention racism! I was thinking about kindness! Same here, I'm first generation Canadian. My parents did their best to learn the language too and they did. They had to work and that was actually admired, right?

I hired someone once who was well educated and could barely speak English, but happened to be the most qualified. We were all helpful and in a short time, the person was doing well with it. Sometimes it was bit difficult, but that person stayed on for years doing a great job.

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Hard to believe

Dec 10, 2018 at 8:26pm

I think you’re making this up. Or you expect people to not have an accent before you will think they are speaking English.

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