February 15, 2009

Dos Veces

We went to a restaurant tonight called Sweet Tomatoes, a competitor to Fresh Choice. My wife returned from a visit to the restroom talking about discrimination. I visited the men's restroom to see if it existed there, too. Here's what I saw:


Yeah, the sign in English says, "Employees must wash hands." But the sign in Spanish says, "All employees must wash hands two times." The implication would be, of course, that we would rather have Mexicans handling our food than English speakers. Since the Mexicans would wash their hands twice. (Living in California, it's pretty safe to say that most Spanish-speaking restaurant workers are Mexican.)

I am wondering what possesses the restaurant to put up two different sets of requirements based on the type of language you speak. Presumably, bilingual people must wash their hands three times.

8 comments:

JaneyV said...

That is just the weirdest thing. At first I thought it might be an idiomatic phrasing thing. Sometimes in the Irish language the direct translation would seem odd. I thought perhaps it might just mean "wash hands thoroughly". But then the English sign should have been equally encouraging. Personally I would encourage all restaurant workers to adopt an OCD attitude to hand washing between bathroom and kitchen.

I definitely feel the English sign needs updating to get it in line with the obviously higher Mexican standards.

pacatrue said...

I smell bad translation somewhere. Could be one of the actual signs translated inequivalently. Or perhaps it was supposed to say "wash both hands" thoroughly, and the translator took two hands to be two times.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Over at Miss K's place, we were discussing sign makers and how bad their results can be. Not sure if this is the case, or if we're looking at what was cheap to buy or real discrimination.

Does seem strange no matter what and it's the first time I've seen one like this.

McKoala said...

What about the guests? Don't they have to wash their hands at all?

bluesugarpoet said...

And, I suppose, if you speak neither English nor Spanish, then washing your hands is not required.

verification word: "nonratin": non=not and "ratin" = rating, as in rating the value or worth of something.

Used in a sentence: "Them's sign makers is nonratin English handwarshin, but theys ratin the Spanishes handwarshin twice."

blogless troll said...

These signs aren't for the employees, no matter what language they speak. Employees have this stuff drilled into them over and over. The kind of employee that needs a sign to remind them about washing their hands isn't going to listen to a stupid sign anyway. These signs are for the patrons who feel reassured by the insinuation that the restaurant has some control over whether employees wash their hands. The best way to solve the problem is stop eating at restaurants.

blogless troll said...

Forgot to say, restaurants don't have signs in the kitchen that say EMPLOYEES MUST NOT SPIT IN THE SOUP do they?

Tiffany said...

I was in a bathroom at Warwick Castle recently and they had a sort of "Goofus and Gallant" (two characters from a cartoon strip in Highlight's kid's magazine) cartoon to encourage hand washing. Now I wish I would've taken a picture!