Saturday, June 10, 2006

Adventures In Customer Service

Eatery's English-only sign raises ire

The owner of a Philadelphia cheesesteak joint located in a neighborhood with a growing Hispanic population has put up signs demanding that all orders be given in English.

"They should be glad that I put the sign up. I'm trying to help them to speak English," said Joey Vento, 66, whose grandparents moved to the United States from Italy. "Without the English language, they are going to have a lot of problems in this country."

I'm sure Philly's Latino population is gratified that the city's purveyors of meat sandwiches are so concerned with their welfare.

Hey, I agree that it's necessary for immigrants to learn English. But this is less an immigration or racial issue to me than one of lousy, arrogant, and condescending customer service.

If I want to order my goddamn sandwich in Lithuanian, I ought to be able to. I am, after all, the customer here. The guy with the money that makes it possible for you to stay in fucking business. Remember me? So Just make the sandwich, okay?

And remember to hold the tomatoes this time.

5 comments:

Stephen Blackmoore said...

"And remember to hold the tomatoes this time."

Only if you can say it in Lithuanian.

Anonymous said...

ne pomidoras

(babelfish is useful....)

Duane Swierczynski said...

I once when in there and asked for a Polish sausage. Vento slapped me.

LongHairedWeirdo said...

Tomatoes? On a cheesesteak? Oh, Dusty, haven't I taught you *anything* about Philly life? Beef, cheese, onions if requested... unless you order a cheesesteak hoagie, in places that make them.

Frankly, I think the entire issue is pretty stupid... but what gets me is that now that he's been caught out, and people think he's just being mean, he's pulling the "oh, no, I'm being mean with gladness and helpfulness and sincerity in my heart!"

Frankly, *that*, more than the sign itself, would keep me far from his store, even if it was my last chance for a cheesesteak before leaving Philly. If you want to be an arrogant cuss with a bug up your butt about people with accents and still learning the language, by god *be* an arrogant cuss with a bug up your butt. Telling us you're trying to keep the bug warm through the winter is just going to make us laugh at you.

JD Rhoades said...

Telling us you're trying to keep the bug warm through the winter is just going to make us laugh at you.

Quote-worthy.