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View Full Version : [Rant] about bookstore..


knit.newbie
08-28-2007, 06:56 PM
Disclaimer: This is a very long, boring, and pointless rant.

I went to this HUGE bookstore today..looking for 3 things..
1- books about knitting
2- vegetarian cooking book
3- a specific Arabic lit. book
and they have a huge part for crafts stuff so thought I'll also pick up some set of needles..or some circulars if I didn't find a set..

I go there and I go to the crafts area first..and there're supplies for EVERY kind of craft..EXCEPT KNITTING!!! I ask about it and the guy working there says they don't have any..so I thought oh whatever..it's a bookstore anyways..they don't have to have that stuff...and go towards the books section..

I look for the knitting book first..and again I go to the 'hobbies and crafts books' section..and there're books about quilting..crochet..painting ceramics...making things with corks!!etc. and no knitting!!
so I approach the man working there..he's a brown guy so I ask about the knitting book in english (mind you I'm currently in an arabic-speaking country)..so the conversation goes sometihng like this:
me: hello..I was looking for knitting books..do you have any of those?
working guy: :oo:
me: umm..you know..knitting..no?
him: knitting?!
me: umm..yea..knitting..
him:(he proceeds to tell me about various other books they have in VERY poor english..totally ignoring my question about knitting..)
me: (i ask him about it in arabic)
him: :oo::oo::oo:

now I have a very important question..if you're in an arabic speaking country..WHY ON EARTH DO YOU HAVE AN EMPLOYEE WHO DOESN'T SPEAK THE LANGUAGE?!?!?!fine fine..the guy needs a job...but at least get someone who's good in english!! someone people can COMMUNICATE with!!:gah:

so I pull out the project I have OTN in my bag and show him wut knitting is..and he still gives me the blank stare..except now he's just saying 'no knitting' repeatedly..

I walk away and go ask another person..and the other person had to go through the whole story again with the same guy cause he's the one who knows the books in that section!!!!!!
so I decide I'm gonna look at all the books myself..and I find only 1 book..ONE BOOK! in a two floors bookstore as big as a small mall!! and I didn't even like the book..so I think fiine and go looking for my vegetarian cooking book..

and they have 2 books to chose from!!! only two!! mind you they had 2 whole walls filled with cooking books...oh..and the two books are the same book..just one has a hard cover and the other one doesn't :wall::wall::wall:


but thank god I find the third book I was looking for!!

my memories of that bookstore is back when I was little..my dad used to drop me off at that bookstore and I'll be there for an hour or so looking at books and he'll come by to pay for the books and pick me up! it was always so big and pretty in my eyes!! it came right after candy stores for me!!:)
and today I go there and I'm majorly disappointed..ugh..so glad I'm going bk to canada soon so I can buy all the books I want!!!


[/rant]

Jan in CA
08-28-2007, 07:20 PM
Good grief. I'm glad you found your book!


You're not alone though, it happens everywhere. We have a problem here with many, many legal and illegal immigrants from Mexico. So many of them don't even bother to learn english and they work in most of the service professions...ack.. just try to order at a drive through window, or go to Walmart, etc, etc.. I have no problem with immigrants getting jobs, but LEARN the language for pete's sake.

Vendie
08-28-2007, 07:52 PM
I appreciate the fact that you're upset about your experience in this bookstore and your exchange with the clerk. However, I would like to remind everyone that this community hold a very diverse, international population and we need to respect that.

knit.newbie
08-28-2007, 07:54 PM
You're not alone though, it happens everywhere. We have a problem here with many, many legal and illegal immigrants from Mexico. So many of them don't even bother to learn english and they work in most of the service professions...ack.. just try to order at a drive through window, or go to Walmart, etc, etc.. I have no problem with immigrants getting jobs, but LEARN the language for pete's sake.

I don't have any problem with immigrants getting jobs..they need to live too! after all I was just an immigrant a while back before I became a citizen! but I didn't go to a country where I can't speak any language they do!! I went to a country where the first language is a language I speak fluently (learning english since I was 3)! hell I even took french courses before I got there because some people there speak it! :wall:

I have the bookstore I go to bk in canada..with a very very nice lady working there! who speaks english!

knit.newbie
08-28-2007, 07:58 PM
I However, I would like to remind everyone that this community hold a very diverse, international population and we need to respect that.
I totally understand that...like I said in the post I was posting while u were replying..
I'm not born in canada..I immigrated to there..so i def respect the diversity..it's just that you need to make the effort and learn a language..any language so you can communicate with people there..
I didn't expect him to speak arabic..cause he's an immigrant there and it's a hard language..but i expected him to at least speak/understand me when im speaking english to him! but that wasn't there..
I'm not blaming him..I'm blaming a manager who put him responsible for the 'crafts and hobbies' when he doesnt even know what 'knitting' means!

Jan in CA
08-28-2007, 08:48 PM
Please take what I said as my own opinion. I didn't mean to offend anyone, I guess I wasn't thinking. My apologies in advance if anyone is offended. You all know me and know I am a good person and care for you all. :hug::hug::hug::hug:

Dilly
08-28-2007, 08:58 PM
I would rather see a person struggle with the language while they learn it, and actually have a job and support themselves, instead of living as an immigrant in a country and using the welfare system as a means of support.

Perhaps the employee was new to the country and was still learning the language?

Are you able to order books and knitting supplies online?

knit.newbie
08-28-2007, 09:45 PM
apologies to anybody I offended! I'm really really sorry..I was just frustrated that I couldn't communicate with him..and by saying the term 'brown' I mean it just as a descriptive word..I didn't know if it would offend anybody because where I am and in skool and stuff it's used normally..like..not in an offensive way..
and mentioning that he was 'brown' was just for description..wouldn't have made much difference if he was a local who didn't know what knitting was..I would've still had the same rant about him getting the job when he doesn't know what knitting is..

my apologies again if I offended anybody..I really didn't mean to put his ethnicity in any offensive way..it was really just for description..

and to Dilly...of course I'd rather him work and not just live on welfare..I would think if he had a job in the same bookstore, but just not in the 'How can I help you?' section while he learns the language would be a better choice...and again i'm blaming the employer for him holding that position..I'm sure it was also just as frustrating for him(the employee)

again, I'm really sorry and I didn't mean to offend anybody..I'm originally arab..and I've been living in canada for a while now but my mom is still struggling with the language..so I know..please accept my apologies..
I'm new here and I really don't mean to offend anybody...I really am a nice person:shrug:

Dilly
08-29-2007, 12:44 AM
No hard feelings here. I was just trying to look at the situation from the other side.

And so far as using his skin colour to describe him... I don't know much about Middle Eastern countries (is that the right region?) to know how language and skin colour tie-in together. You made it seem like because he was brown, he should be able to speak English and Arabic. Are you generally able to figure out what language a person might speak, based on the shade of their skin, or were you just guessing? I love learning little details like this about other countries and cultures.

knit.newbie
08-29-2007, 01:08 AM
And so far as using his skin colour to describe him... I don't know much about Middle Eastern countries (is that the right region?) to know how language and skin colour tie-in together. You made it seem like because he was brown, he should be able to speak English and Arabic. Are you generally able to figure out what language a person might speak, based on the shade of their skin, or were you just guessing? I love learning little details like this about other countries and cultures.

yea you got the region right..and based on that he was brown I figured he might not speak arabic..since brown people's first language are usually urdu or hindi or any of the language spoken in their country..although it's very likely that he would speak some arabic since lots of the brown people living here do speak a bit of it..but I assumed english would be the best language to approach him with..because again, in that place (saudi arabia) english is very commonly used because of all the other nationalities there who can't speak arabic.. so english is usually the safe and common way to approach people who you're not sure of their nationality, or people whom you know aren't saudis or arabs..

I'm not generally able to figure out what the person would be able to speak..I was only acting on what I'm used to since I visit here a lot and have lived here for a few yrs(even though it's not my home country)..

again I hope I didn't offend anybody..and I apologise if I did..his race or nationality really doesn't have anything to do with the whole thing..

Susan P.
08-29-2007, 06:30 AM
Ok..aside from not knowing what 'brown' in the context actually means...two points.

We have heard examples here before of American born, english speaking people never having heard of knitting before. This is an experiential thing and if you had said 'weaving' it may have hit the mark better. How many knitting stores are in that country for example against weaving or rug outlets?

Secondly, a number of high ranking CEO's and American politicians made the point not that long ago that America would fall over without illegal immigrants because they often do the dirty jobs no-one else wants to do.

Tolerance people and understanding that when someone doesn't know something it might not be unwillingness or ignorance but simply because they are not familiar. A number of posters here have spoken about having trouble finding yarn stores in their country. If that is the case then how would people in said country encounter knowledge about the topic of knitting.

Susan P.
08-29-2007, 07:04 AM
Oh..and to be fair..do I sometimes get the hump because people here can't speak English properly? Sure I do. But there's a difference between your govt allowing people in through usual immigration schemes (and not checking english proficiency in the process) and people who have come as genuine refugees who are doing their best to better their lives. On this issue I am sympathetic but as I know no other language than English I would be a complete dolt elsewhere.

Stiney
08-29-2007, 09:52 AM
English is actually only the de facto National Language in the States. There is no law saying that English is the Official National Language, so it's really hard to say to immigrants, "You MUST learn the language." I think if they are going to be in a position where they interact with the public on a regular basis, they should be able to understand and speak English reasonably well.

Susan P.
08-29-2007, 10:04 AM
Stiney.. Where I am bothered in particular is when someone can't properly read road signs or, if pulled over or spoken to by a police officer can't respond to any questions at all, or they can't respond to an emergency and don't know the emergency number and so on. I feel certain basic issues of safety and assistance and response must be taught as a priority. I agree that if someone works in a public face industry they should have proficiency in the primary language - however, harking back to knitting, as I commented earlier, people with english proficiency haven't known what knitting was so the specific inability to respond to questions about knitting is not necessarily a language issue as such.