Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Trash Fee Bill: English Speakers Only

Well, I received my trash fee bill a couple of weeks back and I've finally taken the time to give it a good look before signing over my money to the City of Springfield. The instant I examined the notice, however, I found myself shocked - stupefied beyond all comprehension, actually - by the fact that the bill came in a mere single language - ENGLISH!

Of all the insensitivities!

Was this some terrible plot on the part of the City government? Some inexcusable administrative blunder? How could this have escaped the leering gaze of our community PC watchdogs? Perhaps, I pondered then, my Latino and Vietnamese neighbors received their bills in their native languages? (But no. I later found that a single line located at the top of the notice, which appeared in three languages - Spanish, Vietnamese, and Russian - actually instructed non-English speakers to get an translator, of all things.Thanks a lot!)

The truth to this insulting omission, I suspected, was something far more mundane than some evil conspiracy: Budgetary constraints. Nowadays, however, in our "progressive" and ethnically sensitive society here in the hinterlands of Western Massachusetts, one should reasonably expect to see all our government correspondence delivered to us in every single language in the Western World, as well as Vietnamese, Laotian, Arabic, and Somali. Expenses be damned! Doing anything less would merely display our Western-chauvinistic, Euro-centric Imperialist bias.

How dare we!

What happened, by the way, to the brightly colored bill - like the one we received the first time? My new bill was on plain white paper. Sheesh. I did think the new name for our city service, "City Haulers," was pretty catchy, though. We should get a roller derby team named after them!

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Missing Persons in New England

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At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Heather B said...

Roller derby team! That's brilliant.

I like the idea of a "City Haulers" tatoo.

At 8:26 PM, Blogger Bill Dusty said...

Why, Heather.... you don't strike me as the type!


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