A dose of reality, with fries
Once upon a time, when I walked into my neighborhood McDonald’s I would order my Double Cheeseburger and fries and within roughly a minute-and-a-half, I would receive my coronary-clogging treat hot and gooey.
Unfortunately, this is no longer the fact. Americans, especially here in the Southwest, are no longer seeing the level of service once received from the food service industry.
Why? Because most gringos can’t cut it. Literally.
We are now beginning to see some up close and personal effects of American immigration policy in the food service industry.
Many Americans have come to the generalization that Latino migrants, both legal and illegal, are hired for the reason that they will do anything Americans will do for cheaper. This is a falsehood. Our hermanos from south of the border are hired because, generally speaking, they are better employees. They work harder, for longer hours and at a higher standard than most Americans. This is especially true of the restaurant industry.
Spend a day with a Mexicano in the kitchen of any restaurant in the nation and you’ll catch my drift.
Now, I’ve worked in the food service industry for the last two years. Keep in mind that I’m a suburban-raised white kid from Littleton. I’ve bussed tables, washed dishes and cooked on the line. After one particularly grueling evening a friend of mine by the name of Ernesto tells me, “You’re a wetback now.” Nothing could have brought me more pride.
Over the past two years I have keenly watched the work habits of my peers and the generalization I come to is that I would rather hire an immigrant with little or no English language skills to work in my kitchen than many Americanos.
This generalization is not racially based; rather, it is one of mentality and creed. Any immigrant coming to this nation is more likely to work harder than the average suburban, white bread-raised American.
People of every ethnicity come to America to work in support of their families or simply to live in a land with certain amenities and freedoms that surpass those of their homelands. They’ll work three jobs, seven days a week and won’t complain an ounce, whereas an average American worker will bitch and moan over their single job if asked to stay an extra hour past the end of their shift.
These people strive to keep their jobs, they learn from mistakes and do the best job they can for whatever pay they can get.
Recently, it has become harder and harder to hire proper workers. The food service industry has seen the brunt of this.
The cause is xenophobic, nativism crap that is plaguing American policy-makers.
The path to citizenship in this country requires fluent literacy in English, and knowledge of American government and history. Interestingly enough, one of the questions asked on citizenship exams is: what are the three branches of government? Studies show that less than 50 percent of native-born Americans can correctly answer this question.
If fluent understanding of the English language were a prerequisite for citizenship, I have doubts that George W. Bush would not be allowed to naturalize. However, Bush is the perfect definition of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant male, so no problems for him.
This begs the question; does lingual ability define citizenship?
Many states have passed laws naming English as their official language. This presents several problems. It disallows federal documents or buildings from displaying any language but English. Government and public officials are limited in their ability to communicate, both orally and in written word, with tax-paying citizens of the United States that are not fluent in English.
Bilingual ballots become impossibilities and many Americans are denied the vote by these modern day literacy tests.
The Bush administration is actively pursuing techniques to crack down on illegal immigration by attempting to force employers to fire any employee whose social security information does not match up with federal records. Recently, federal courts halted these actions.
I do love seeing my taxpayer dollars at work.
Americans are gradually increasing native sentiment not only toward illegal immigrants to this nation, but to those who legally immigrated here and to those citizens who were born here to parents of other nations.
Nowadays, I go to McDonald’s and it takes eight minutes for the staff to produce a cold cheeseburger and soggy fries. At Wendy’s the fries are half frozen and the burger is bland.
It isn’t only fast-food joints that are seeing the effects. Full service restaurants are being hit hard as well, even the high-end ones. Cost is rising and it is taking longer for food to come out of the kitchen.
Next time you’re seated at your favorite eatery, look around. See how many tables are left un-bussed, think about how long your food is taking and at what quality it is coming out. How clean is your plate? How much did your meal cost?
Arriba! Immigration reform.
Contact Campus Press Editor Brandon Springer at email@example.com