Manic Witch

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bitching and venting and rants, oh my!

Disclaimer-this post may offend some of you. But I welcome comments. Maybe I need to see things from another point of view.

I live in a fairly predominant hispanic community. Unfortunately many of them do not speak english. This is not about the immingration debate. This is about learning the language of the country you chose to live in.

This is quite frustrating to people who work in industries where communication is vital. A while back Doc took care of a baby through the ER. The baby's parents did not speak one word of english. Not one. The baby had blood work drawn and the results were a little worrisome and the parents needed to be told. The hospital does not provide an interpreter for private offices and it's not like we can just ask someone like my neighbor to translate. We ended up going through Languageline at almost $4 a minute. Unlike the phone sex lines, we were pretty motivated to keep the conversation short and sweet. It still ended up costing us over $25 to make sure the mother had the information she needed. This is total bullshit! It would have been on Doc's head if she didn't follow up with the parents on the test results, but because the parents won't even bother to learn the language, WE have to pay.

A few years ago we had a young mother with twins become patients at our office. The mother assured us through her father that there would be someone who could translate at the office visits for the babies. The grandfather barely spoke enough english to get by shopping at Sprawl-Mart. And half the time he wasn't available so she brough in a friend who spoke even less english. There is so much information that needs to be given to a new mother about the care for babies that this was a HUGE problem. I had to keep going to Babelfish to translate any written communication for them. We finally had to tell them to find a doctor who speaks spanish and that we couldn't care for them anymore. Again, it would be on Doc's head if anything went wrong because the mother and grandfather just don't understand the language.

Doc took care of a patient in the hospital who had a friend in the room to translate. Doc knows about 50 words in spanish and knows that the friend was not translating correctly. The misinterpretation could have been deadly for the patient. At least Doc could get an in-house translator for her.

When I send bills to patients treated through the ER, I have to go through Babelfish to make sure they understand the charges.

At another office I worked, kids as young as 8 would come in to translate for their parents. Even when their mother is there for her annual check up. Including her "woman's exam".

I know someone who works at a bank who says that kids come in with parents all the time to translate for financial transactions. Like mortgages. And loans.

My kids do NOT need to know about my finances, and they certainly do NOT need to know about any problems I am having with Carol Cooter.

Nearly all the paperwork that comes home from my kids schools is written in both english and spanish and at least 1/3 of the kids at school are in ESL programs. When Hubs and I go to the parent/teacher conferences, we constantly hear teachers on the P.A. asking for an interpreter for their room. We've also eavesdropped on conversations of parents who bring their kids to these things. I still understand some spanish from my college days and I KNOW these kids aren't translating for the teacher. The teacher is basically saying that the kid is a total fuck up and the kid tells the parents that he is every educators wet dream.

I know that many of these people just don't want to bother to learn the language and really do expect others to make allowances for them. They just have no fucking clue as to how much this handicaps the rest of us. If we don't make sure they get all the information they need for financial and healthcare decisions, then we are the ones who take it up the ass because they can (and have) come back and said "Well, we didn't understand".

Annnnd...I've noticed on many job postings "bilingual required". What. The. Fuck? So now most of us can't even get work if we don't speak THEIR language? Let me make sure I have this straight...I have to learn their language just to get a fucking job because they can't be bothered to learn the language of the country where they live. Did I get that right?

Please feel free to share your P.O.V. on this.

Manic Witch wove her spell:: 4/28/2007 08:27:00 AM ::