Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Press 1 for English

03 August 2006

This is a pent-up rant that’s been waiting for a while, but bear with me.

Last time I had to contact our state government’s Employment Development Department by phone, I had to “Press 1 for English.”

Now, really, does that make any sense at all? Shouldn’t English be the default? Especially when there’s separate phone numbers for other languages?

I mean, it might be A Clue that if you don’t happen to speak English and you call the English phone line, maybe you should press 1 and get some message like, “Well, maybe if you learned English (or one of the other supported languages), you might not be unemployed.”

Your tax dollars at work, making the UI harder for everyone.

I’m reminded, as an aside, of Nick Moffitt’s response when being panhandled, “I’m sorry, but I don’t speak a word of English.” Still makes me laugh.

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