I almost feel sorry for this guy

So, this guy is managing a dilapidated hotel in Taos, NM. He’s trying to turn it around. The employees speak Spanish for the most part and they speak English too. The manager wants them to speak English and to use the Anglicized versions of their names because he claims they’ll be easier to understand on the phone. The interviewers verbally beat this poor guy up! But is he right?

Well, if their customers speak Spanish, then it’s a good thing to have Spanish-speaking employees. And actually Martín (pronounced MarTEEN) is probably acoustically easier to hear than Martin. The problem is in assuming that the language spoken by the employees is contributing to the financial problems of the hotel. Does Spanish cause hotels to become shabby and worn? Hmmmm…. maybe it’s the location, the economy, the lack of care, lack of amenities, but Spanish?? Really?

As a counter-example I was in Washington, DC a couple of weeks ago, and had dinner at Vidalia. The waiters there speak other languages, some of them spoke Spanish with me. The restaurant seems to be doing well.

Anyway, it was almost painful to watch this interview and the stated reasons for wanting the employees to use Spanish and change their names just didn’t hold up.

Here’s the next day’s update.


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