Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dépanneur owner whose store was vandalized should learn to speak French

The owner of a Verdun depanneur had his store vanadalized after a series of events resulting from his inability or unwillingness to speak French.

CTV is reporting (HERE) that Anthony Williams, owner of a convenience store east of Montreal, has seen a drop in his business after a confrontation with a customer last week because he wasn't serving customers en français.

That apparently led to a call from a radio station, not identifying it as such, in which Mr. Williams went into quite a long rant about welfare cases doing nothing but smoking and drinking beer.  That rant was broadcast.   The business owner claims in the article that he'd been receiving as many of 50 harassing phone calls a day about his serving customers in English, and didn't know he was speaking to a radio station.

As for the vandalism, it was reportedly dog feces smeared on the a store window.  Thankfully it wasn't worse, like those idiots in Vancouver.  I am not condoning any act of vandalism no matter how minor. I'm merely making the point that at least no  property damage was done.  Obviously the person  responsible for the vandalism is either or child or has the mentality of one.

But the point that needs to be made here, is that any retail business operating in a predominately French area, of a province with French as its only official language....they really should serve French speaking customers in the frickin French language.  Duh!!!!

Imagine a convenience store setting up shop just outside of Toronto, say in Oshawa, with an owner/operator who only spoke Chinese.  How long do you think the place would stay in business?

Hopefully the residents wouldn't stoop to harassing phone calls and vandalism, but I bet there'd be precious few customers coming in for smokes if they had to ask for them in Mandarin.

Canada's Québecois have been recognized as a nation by the Harper government.  Given that status and the pride Quebecers have in their culture and language, this kind of reaction is perhaps easier to understand, although vandalism and harassment should never be condoned.

But French speaking Quebecers also understand the fragility of their language, given that they are but a small island in a sea of English, and unfortunately some over do go over the top. 

The solution is simple, shop somewhere else, $$$ is the language all business speaks. 

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