I work in a grocery store deli. This job makes me feel demeaned and empty inside day after day, and there are many things that make the feeling worse. Difficult customers being the most common reason for the worsening feeling of doom, despair, and general disdain for said job that pays in what feels like peanuts on pay day.

We have recently had an increase in people from other cultures coming through daily, which I have no problem with. I have no problem with people from other races, cultures, ethnicities, economical backgrounds, and other walks of life. I also have no problem with people immigrating to America as long as they do so through the proper channels and live and abide by the same laws that I do as an American citizen.

The problem I have is their refusal to even make a meager attempt at utilizing the English language. I understand that the United States of America has no official language. I get that. However, the most commonly used language in America is English. I wouldn’t go to France and get all pissy and self righteous because people didn’t understand me speaking English. I would plan before going and at least make an attempt. These people do not. Not even a little.

There is a group of Haitians that have begun frequenting the deli counter daily. They walk up, and demand things, but not in English. When you apologize for not understanding said demand, they become rude, make wild hand gestures, and point to what they want. Do not get mad at me for not understanding your language, when my native language is English and everyone around me is speaking English. If change is a problem, maybe you should leave.

A few nights ago, an Asian couple walk up to the counter, yelling at each other in their native tongue. They ignore my attempts to help them at first. Finally, the woman shouts something at me, again not in English. I had no idea what she wanted or needed. I tried many times to figure it out, and even tried to see if maybe she could point out the items she was interested in and we could go from there. NO! I was ignored and was basically as useful as the wallpaper for 20 minutes.  Her significant other returns from grabbing something and they begin shouting at each other again. He turns to me, shakes my hand, and tells me there is nothing that I can help them with.

They wasted 20 minutes of time I could have spent helping someone who actually needed something. They were rude, and I felt very demeaned. I am bilingual. I speak English and Spanish. Just because I don’t speak your native tongue and have no idea what you are shouting at me does not make me less of a person. I was born in America and my native tongue is English.

I am over the sense of entitlement so many have when they come to this country. Get over yourself and learn some common decency, respect, and speak the damn language!

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