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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Pelios Offline
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Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 27th 2009, 12:21 AM

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/...n5422261.shtml

Quote:
Larry Whitten marched into this northern New Mexico town in late July on a mission: resurrect a failing hotel.

The tough-talking former Marine immediately laid down some new rules. Among them, he forbade the Hispanic workers at the run-down, Southwestern adobe-style hotel from speaking Spanish in his presence (he thought they'd be talking about him), and ordered some to Anglicize their names.

No more Martin (Mahr-TEEN). It was plain-old Martin. No more Marcos. Now it would be Mark....
What do you think?
I think it could have been handled in a more tactful way. I mean if they cannot be understood by customers they shouldnt work there, but just because their names and accents aren't completely "normal" to white guests.


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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 27th 2009, 12:29 AM

I would quit if I worked there.


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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 27th 2009, 12:47 AM

I'm sorry, but that's hilarious. I'd work there if he gave me a raise.
   
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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 27th 2009, 12:50 AM

That must illegal, isn't that like a discriminating work environment or something?


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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 27th 2009, 01:01 AM

Actually, my boyfriend is Mexican. Not an "americanized" Mexican. And he even told me that It's not good to speak Spanish in front of customers because they might think you are talking about them. So yeah, I can understand that. And sorry, If you work in customer service, you need to speak the language of that area. I'm not being rascist, I'm being honest. You wouldn't take me and and put me on drive thru at a Mexican McDonalds, that would just be stupid...


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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 27th 2009, 01:19 AM

They speak English but with accents, what’s wrong with that?
Why would they change their names to fit the American once?


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  (#7 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 27th 2009, 01:22 AM

ok so i don't think they should have to change their names.. but.. i do agree with speaking spanish in front of customers. it can be very rude when people start yapping away in a foreign language to eachother.. especially if you're in the middle of a conversation with one of them then they break off and start speaking in another language.


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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 27th 2009, 01:31 AM

Yeah I agree with the "don't speak another language in front of costumers" but they spoke both English and Spanish, if he is so afraid they are talking about him make an effort and learn the basic Spanish. In New Mexico the majority of the population is Hispanic.


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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 27th 2009, 01:42 AM

Well, foreign language...sure

But he really shouldn't be forcing them to alter their names and change their accents.


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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 27th 2009, 09:42 PM

He owns the hotel, I suppose he can set whatever standards he wants for employment. He sounds like a rather horrible boss, though.


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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 28th 2009, 12:52 AM

I'm sorry but it makes sense to me. First of all the area might be heavily Hispanic, but the people who live there aren't the ones that are going to be staying at the inn. It's incredibly frustrating to try to check into a hotel and not being able to understand what someone is saying to you. As for the name thing, honestly I don't see why they would have to change them, the Martin guy should just expect to be called Martin and not Marteen because that's what most people are going to think if they see that on a name tag. As for Markos, not that hard to figure out how to pronounce when you see it written out so I don't see why changing that name is nescessary.


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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 28th 2009, 04:26 AM

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He owns the hotel, I suppose he can set whatever standards he wants for employment.
Nope, there's discrimination laws. You can't say you're only going to hire white girls between the ages of 20 and 25, for example. I'm pretty sure that saying people are only allowed to have names that are "American" is discrimination. I'm pretty sure that's illegal here, but I'm not sure about there. It's not like it would get enforced, though.

I have no problem with the not speaking a foreign language while at work part, though.


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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 28th 2009, 05:03 AM

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Originally Posted by Toast View Post
Nope, there's discrimination laws. You can't say you're only going to hire white girls between the ages of 20 and 25, for example. I'm pretty sure that saying people are only allowed to have names that are "American" is discrimination. I'm pretty sure that's illegal here, but I'm not sure about there. It's not like it would get enforced, though.

I have no problem with the not speaking a foreign language while at work part, though.
However he's not not hiring people because the don't have "American" names. He's just trying to make the names sound more American. I don't agree with it or see the point but I don't think what he's doing is illegal.


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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 28th 2009, 09:56 AM

The "Americanizing" of names isn't anything original. A lot of outsourcing positions will ask employees to "Americanize" their names in order to appeal to customers/make them feel at ease with the service.

He's not really discriminating, as he's still hiring non-Americans. He's basically just telling them to make their names easier to pronounce for guests. Again, I don't agree with it, but I don't think he's out to discriminate against other people.
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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 28th 2009, 02:11 PM

Personally I think if he wants Americanized staff, he should be hiring Americans. It's the price to pay for hiring Hispanic staff. He could be sensible and hire just a few Americans to fill the more visible jobs (receptionist, head waiter, etc.) while leaving the Hispanics to do the behind-the-scenes work.
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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 28th 2009, 03:46 PM

I actually think the whole not letting them speak spanish is a really good idea. The Americanising names thing is down right offensive in my opinion.




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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 28th 2009, 04:42 PM

I agree with the language thing, if you've got English speaking customers, talking another language in front of them will just confuse them and they'll probably think that you are talking about them. But why do they need to Americanize their names? That's stupid.
   
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October 28th 2009, 07:14 PM

Whether it's right or wrong, it is a privately owned business and he can do pretty much what he wants. That being said, I don't agree with Americanizing the names - they did this at Ellis Island back when legal immigration was HUGE - I know of a greek family with the last name Anastopolis that forced them to shorten it to Anas. This happened most of the time. They also do this with other companies such as Dell. If you call their Tech Support which is stationed in India, you'll speak to someone who is a native Indian, but their name might be Bob, Mark, or Tom. Americanizing names to cater to your customers is nothing new.

Though, good for him for making all of his employees speak English. They are, after all, in America, not Latin America. If your customers speak English, so should your employees.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toast View Post
Nope, there's discrimination laws. You can't say you're only going to hire white girls between the ages of 20 and 25, for example. I'm pretty sure that saying people are only allowed to have names that are "American" is discrimination. I'm pretty sure that's illegal here, but I'm not sure about there. It's not like it would get enforced, though.

I have no problem with the not speaking a foreign language while at work part, though.
Just because there are discrimination laws doesn't mean businesses can't find other reasons to not hire a person or to fire them. They can say someone else was more qualified. They can say they weren't hired because they weren't "exactly what they were looking for." It's very easy to bypass discrimination laws when it comes to hiring.


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Last edited by Gaia; November 2nd 2009 at 03:40 PM. Reason: merging double post.
   
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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 28th 2009, 08:00 PM

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Just because there are discrimination laws doesn't mean businesses can't find other reasons to not hire a person or to fire them. They can say someone else was more qualified. They can say they weren't hired because they weren't "exactly what they were looking for." It's very easy to bypass discrimination laws when it comes to hiring.
True. The French police undercovered a technique interviewers use - this is serious - where, if a guy turned up and was black, in the report they had a sentence whose first 3 words started with a certain 3 letters, signalling that he should be turned down. It doesn't have to be explicit.
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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 29th 2009, 08:34 PM

I can see his view from a business standpoint, and he has every right to exploit it.

But I feel this generates a negative reflection on society in general IF his hotel succeeds. Has anyone stopped to think WHY his hotel would do well if he just did these simple things? Remember, WE are what drives these types of things.
   
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Re: Man buys hotels and tells staff: Americanize your names - October 31st 2009, 06:24 AM

I don't like this. I understand the not speaking Spanish in front of customers part, although some customers might speak only Spanish. I work at a restaurant, and the people I work with all speak different languages. One of the girls talks in Spanish to some customers, because their English is very poor. I use sign language with some customers. We have people who speak Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Sign Language...and we use some of them at work. Even in front of customers, because sometimes it's easier to speak in someone's native language to them. So I don't really like the 'no Spanish at all' rule.

The Americanizing names is stupid. I have American friends whose names I can't even began to pronounce, I give them nicknames. If they have a really hard name, just shorten it to something you can say, don't make them change it.


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