Friday, July 02, 2010

There Goes Half

Fired for speaking Tagalog at work.

Well, there goes half the night shift.

I personally work with nurses and other staff members from the Philippines, England, Mexico, Nigeria, Italy, Ethiopia, Canada, India, and even the faraway and exotic realms of Idaho, to name a few places off the top of my head. I hear languages other than American English all the time. Even the doctors can be heard conversing in other languages sometimes.

From ABS-CBN News:

BALTIMORE, Maryland - Four Filipina ex-staffers of a Baltimore City hospital haven’t gotten over the shock of being summarily fired from their jobs, allegedly because they spoke Pilipino during their lunch break.


“They claimed they heard us speaking in Pilipino and that is the only basis of the termination. It wasn’t because of my functions as a nurse. There were no negative write-ups, no warning before the termination,” she added.

The nurses were previously required to sign paperwork agreeing to limit lunch and snack breaks, and included in it was an English-only policy that "directs that English should be the only language spoken while the nurses are on ER duty."

Fair enough. Like the guy says, in a code situation you don't want people yelling out commands in a variety of different languages. It's bad enough we still have to deal with all the crappy Latin abbreviations and such that we use everyday. But these nurses were allegedly overheard while they were at lunch. The hospital hasn't actually specified when exactly the nurses violated policy.

And they were fired for this?! What, is there an oversupply of E.D. nurses in Baltimore?! It's going to cost that hospital a good 10K a piece to train replacements. If they can find any. I wouldn't work there. In times of stress I sometimes let out a string of words from Olde Englishe. That would be bad.

Of course, this being Arizona, here it could actually get worse.

"The Arizona Department of Education recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English it deems to be heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students still learning English," The Wall Street Journal reported.

So, joo con be fired por sayeeng "biolet" eensted uff "violet."

Los yikes. There goes half the teachers in south Phoenix.


been there said...

So ridiculous! Don't trust whitey.

wunelle said...

I simply do not grasp the Amurrican fetish that everyone else be bilingual so that our native language is the default. The least educated people demanding additional skills for everyone else.

We fly into a lot of places where English is not spoken, but by regulation must be available for air traffic control operations (English being the designated ICAO language). But guys I fly with will be pissy when they hear people speaking their own native language in their own country. "It hampers our situational awareness," they say. And what of the situational awareness for everybody else having to speak a foreign language for your benefit (especially when you're not around)? It's feels like another Faux News bad idea gone unchecked by common sense.

I love going in and out of Southern California and seeing the strong Latin American influence there. This is the world.