Dear Mexican: Our customer-service department uses a phone-tree system that asks callers to press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish, and a few other numbers for commonly spoken languages in our area. I handle customer complaints as part of my job, and I get a surprising number of complaints from people who feel they shouldn't have to press a number to be spoken to in the "normal" language of English. For some mysterious reason, they are offended by our phone tree. You seem to have a fairly high readership of people who are generally offended by Spanish-speaking people; could you please deliver a message to them for me? The message is this: The phone tree is for your own good. If we didn't ask non-English speakers to identify themselves at the beginning of the call, English-speaking people would have to wait in line behind those who don't speak English, and would have to wait for those non-English speakers to get on the line with a non-Spanish- (or other language-) speaking representative. They'd then have to wait for that customer to be transferred to a representative who speaks their language. All of this speaking of the wrong language and call-transferring would make calling a customer-service center take far longer, and would irritate everyone. There is no law against not speaking English in this country; a company isn't going to give up revenue by refusing to serve people who don't speak English just to please you jingoists. People should just be grateful that they're asked to press 1 for English and not 8.
Press 2 for Tough Tamales
Dear Gabacha: I get asked this question mucho, and yours is as good a respuesta as I could ever scrawl. Can I pick you up at Home Depot if I ever need a replacement?
Dear Mexican: Being in law enforcement, I've had to handle many radio runs. I think Mexicans are some of the hardest-working people in Mexi-America, but why is it that when Mexicans drink, they often stab or hit a brother or cousin? Why not a stranger to shake off some of that tension?
Hateful Hermanos Harmful
Dear Triple H Gabacho: Mexican family and drinking is as volatile a mix as an Irishman and Jameson, but stats don't support your anecdotal evidence. The 2005 study "Family Violence Statistics: Including Statistics on Strangers and Acquaintances," by the U.S. Department of Justice, found that "whites and blacks were more likely than Hispanics or persons of other races to be victimized by family violence" between 1998 and 2002, the most recent period investigated by the DOJ. As I've written before, "alcohol" and "logic" repel each other like "border" and "enforcement."
Speaking of alcohol, boycott Absolut vodka for its cowardly capitulation to the Know Nothing nation over the company's recent advertising campaign, which imagined that the Mexican-American War never occurred and that what's now the Southwest United States always remained on the Mexican side of la frontera. Hey, Absolut: Here in Americaztlán, we value people who stand by their actions, who don't back down in the face of petty protestations from whiners. May the Mohammedans who keep invading Sweden's shores teach your countrymen the beauty of a vodka-free life.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.