3 times today my calls were answered by companies whose automatic phone systems told me to "press 1 for English". Enough! I can't stand it anymore.
Over the past 40 years I've lived and traveled throughout Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Rim. Everywhere I lived and worked we were expected to learn the local language and to carry out business in that language; especially when dealing with the government. Not one other country offered us the option to "Press 2 for English".
In fact each time I had to obtain a drivers license the test was in the local language (if there was a test) but the application and instructions were always in the local language. When we wanted to sign a lease, have the utilities hooked-up or just wanted to find out when the garbage would finally be picked up it was always done in the local language.
I find it ironic that when we moved to Mexico we had to have our immigration permit, work visa and all of the other documents submitted in Spanish; English was not an option. When we arrived, everthing from subscribing to the newspaper to leasing our home, to purchasing a car and everything else was conducted in Spanish. When our children went to school only one language was offered, Spanish. There were no English options. Not one official document was ever provided in English.
And God forbid if my work permit was out of date! That happened to me once when a trip back to the States was extended. My permit had expired at midnight the night before I returned. I was flanked by two Federal Policemen, each with M-16s and marched to a "holding pont" (sure looked like a jail, felt like a jail and I was treated as if I was in jail). After more than 4 hours of questioning (interrogation) I was escorted back to the border and my wife had to fly up with my revised work permit so I could return.
Yet illegal immigrants expect the United States Government and each of the states to provide Spanish documents, instructions and even teach their children in Spanish. This has gotten totally out of hand.
What makes it all the worse is when US companies force us to make a choice just to speak english in our own country.
As far as I'm concerned this is how all automated phone systems SHOULD be answered!
GOOD MORNING, WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, a Christian nation with tolerance for all Religions, land of the free and the home of the brave. For Assistance please:
· Press '1' for English.
· Press ‘2’ to disconnect until you learn to speak English