Kmart Warns Spanish Speakers Not To Open Stuff Before They Buy

Kmart scientists have discovered that everyone who opens products and leaves them on shelves can read Spanish, so a Maryland store has cleverly posted this sign to warn stuff-openers to ceasendesisto. Silly Patrick, who spotted the appropriate and in-no-way-insensitive signage, takes issue with its posting:

I’m not quite for sure why the local K-Mart needed to write a sign in misspelled Spanish to not open the products. Is it okay for speakers of other languages to open the products but not those who can understand the sign and are Spanish speakers? I’m thinking not.

This was the only sticker I found in the store and it just so happened to be on the cleaning product aisle. According to census data the Hispanic/Latino is only 6.5% As a Caucasian male, I find this to be offensive toward the Latino community.

Again, it’s tough to see why Patrick considers this racist. Kmart is probably just implying that those who know Spanish take their home cleaning seriously. It’s a compliment, if anything. I’m sure Kmart has all sorts of friends who speak Spanish. Not friends they’d invite to dinner or anything, but great pals whom they totally respect and think of as really hard workers.

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  1. TVGenius says:

    That sign would be expected at a Walmart in Arizona. Not because the clientele are 80% Hispanic, but rather because half the employees don’t speak English. Better than half the PA announcements are in Spanish at our Walmarts…

    • eddieck says:

      Are you in Tucson? The northwest side has Wal-Marts with English speaking employees (the Cortaro store and the Foothills Mall one in particular).

      • tbax929 says:

        There are lots of English-speaking employees at the Speedway/Kolb store as well. That’s closest to my office and, therefore, the one I frequent the most.

        I suspect he may be referring to Valencia, though.

    • Kam K. says:

      I’m in Tucson too and all of the Walmart stores I’ve been to have had the majority English speaking employees.

  2. obits3 says:

    solamente la gente blanca puede abrir éstos

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      heh, I don’t even speak Spanish and I understood that. I guess it comes from breathing the air in Houston for a decade. :) Well played.

    • ARP says:

      Well played- funny.

    • rick_in_texas says:

      10 – 1 the sign was written by a Hispanic. As a Hispanic I find that many immigrants are illiterate in both languages. Most of the horrific Spanish I find is from businesses assuming their Spanish speaking employees know how to properly translate.

      • LorgSkyegon says:

        There is truth in what you say. In my Spanish classes in high school, the worst students were the native Spanish speakers. They couldn’t write in their own language for shit

        • zekebullseye says:

          Public school only goes to something like fifth grade in Mexico. After that you have to pay and poor people can’t afford it.

      • quail says:

        Wish I could vote your response up to the top. It’s been my experience too that Hispanic workers are usually the ones who write the home made signs in any given store. When gringos write in Spanish they get it checked out for spelling errors and syntax for the most part. (This almost always leads to correct but funny signs.)

  3. Gruppa says:

    So the OP is offended FOR Spanish speakers, because they aren’t? I’d imagine if you pointed the sign out to a Spanish speaker, they would just shrug their shoulders and say “so?”

    It really seems some people go out of their way to be offended, just because they can.

    • runswithscissors says:

      My wife is Latina and finds that sign offensive. Can we discuss the topic now that we have someone who is qualified to be offended (according to your rules), suitably offended?

      • Tim in Wyoming says:

        Maybe… just maybe… the people who have been caught opening the products have all been Spanish speaking.

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          Maybe… just maybe… we are all laughing at you, secretly, behind your back where you won’t notice.

          • Tim in Wyoming says:

            So, should I complain to the consumerist because I might get offended that people are laughing at me? Again, people need to grow up and grow a pair. I’m not going to cater to a “group” just because they might get offended by something I do or do not do. Nor should I expect someone else to. We all get sh*t on, stop complaining and worry about something important.

            • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

              Please, for the sake of yourself and those you love, go beg, borrow, or steal a sense of humor. Don’t wait another minute.

        • runswithscissors says:

          If a cop pulls over 10 speeders in a row and they are all black, can he then target blacks for speeding?

          This is a very minor form of racial profiling. Yes, its not cops and arrest and such, but you know what it is? Bad business. A second sign in English costs them almost nothing, and ensures no one is offended. It’s good business not to offend your customers.

          • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

            Okay, I see here you’re going to try and explain this. If it needs explaining, I’m pretty sure they won’t get it anyway, but good on you for trying I guess.

          • Griking says:

            Should Chinese then be offended because there wasn’t a sign in Chinese? What about French? Again, stop looking for reasons to be offended.

          • Michaela says:

            There is a difference between pulling someone over and putting up a sign in the same language a group of repeat offenders speaks. Please cut the use of fallacies.

        • Tim in Wyoming says:

          If it has been all Spanish speaking people doing this, why should they be PC about it. You have a specific group doing something, so tell that specific group. If you can’t handle your feelings being hurt than don’t shop there…. People need to grow up and realize that not every situation can be accommodate so your feelings won’t be hurt. Life sucks, move on.

        • Michaela says:

          +1

          I was thinking the exact same thing.

      • Gruppa says:

        Sure. May I ask why she is offended? Is it only because the sign is in Spanish? How many other languages would they have to post it in for her not to be offended? Or is she offended just because it is in Spanish? Would she be offended if they posted in a number of languages except Spanish?

        • runswithscissors says:

          Because it is only in spanish, basically saying “Hey Latinas/Latinos! Quit opening packages!”

          As a Latina who would never open cleaning supplies in the store, it makes her feel like they are casting suspicion on her just for being Latina.

          If the sign were in both languages, especially since spanish-speakers only account for about 6% of the population in the area, then its a message for all and no one is singled out by race.

          • Hooray4Zoidberg says:

            Well you’re jumping to conclusions a bit. Spanish is one of the most widely used languages in the world. I don’t think putting up a sign in Spanish necessarily indicates racism towards Latinos/as.

            We also don’t know the story here, this sign could aimed to employees of the store who speak Spanish as their first language. Let’s hold off on the immediate outrage and witch hunt until we have more information.

            • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

              True. After all, it IS Columbus Day. Maybe it was meant for Ferdinand and Isabella.

            • runswithscissors says:

              Maryland. This store is in Maryland. Stats show a 6% local Latino community.

              • SBR249 says:

                While I agree that in the spirit of fairness, the sign should have been at least bilingual, the fact that the store is in Maryland (with an overall 6% Hispanic population) could mean very little. What if the Kmart was located in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood? What if the clientele demographic of that store is predominantly Hispanic? What if the employees are predominantly Hispanic and the one who made the sign just couldn’t (or couldn’t be bothered) to write in English? Then the sign might make a bit of sense. There’s just too little info to go on here to make a definitely judgment.

              • Merujo says:

                I live in Montgomery County, Maryland. I can think of several locations in the county where the majority of shoppers would be/are native speakers of Spanish. Riding some of the local Ride-On buses, I see advertising that’s exclusively in Spanish. Just came from some shopping in the Wheaton area today where you’re just as likely to hear Spanish as English. I didn’t even blink when I saw the photo of this sign. Didn’t strike me as racist or offensive at all, depending on the location. More, I saw it as helpful. Maryland on a whole may have a 6% Latino population (I have no idea if that’s accurate), but here in MoCo, there are areas where I’d be mostly out of luck as a non-Spanish speaker.

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        As a seasoned giver of purposeful offense myself, I can only say you bit that bait hard and took the hook with it. Not that I mean to offend you… just that I know the signs of someone trying to offend.

        • apd09 says:

          why do you think this is a troll post just because the person has strong feelings about the topic?

          The comment It really seems some people go out of their way to be offended, just because they can. is a reasonable thing to say with the recent discussions on here about in regards to Roto-Rooter and a few other topics. People go out of their way to feel offended about every single little thing and then they vent it in a public setting. I have a right to tell someone when I believe they are being hypersensitive just as much as they have a right to say what they want. There are very few topics where 100% of the people, nuclear weapons being bad is about the only one I can think of off hand.

          But not everything is a troll comment just because they lay into someone who seems to be taking something a little too far with no actual meaning. if they were that offended then why be passive aggressive and send an email here as opposed to demanding that the manager of the store on the spot answer them why that sign is up?

          Think about that question because it seems to be more important to the person to send it to Consumerist and claim outrage then to stand up for the people on the spot.

          • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

            Not too gifted in the subtleties, are you?

            The original commenter was twitting non-Spanish speakers for getting their noses out of joint on behalf of Spanish speakers, overreacting to the original intent of the K-mart sign by becoming irrationally offended. The reply was from someone who got his nose out of joint on behalf of a Spanish speaker, reacting to the post by becoming offended. I thought the original commenter was intentionally trying to nastily bait the sensitive readers who had close friends or loved ones who were Latino. Such as me (my sister-in-law is a Latina and her sons either do or don’t consider themselves Latino, but they are children and they haven’t made up their minds). But I didn’t rise to the bait, and runswithscissors did.

            • apd09 says:

              Not too gifted in the subtleties, are you?

              I guess I’m not, but I am aware of the subtleties of you not responding to what I actually said you still are posturing to your point about why it had to be a troll type comment instead of a person stating their opinion. Not too mention you didn’t actually answer my question about the person who sent it in being more interested in emailing Consumerist than actually asking the manager. I know you don’t know the answer but it is a legit thought process of being overly sensitive to something but not to the point where you would confront the people about it.

              • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

                Oh, well since you implied you intended for your question to be taken rhetorically, I don’t see why I was supposed to have responded to it. Make up your mind.

                • apd09 says:

                  because you need to accept the legitimacy of the question, whether rhetorical or not, the question is valid. You don’t know the answer as to why they didn’t do that, but they obviously were outraged enough to send an email to Consumerist which means I and others have a right to say the person is just looking for something to be overly sensitive about.

                  Not every dissenting view is a troll comment just because it does not agree with the individual view of every person. You have a right to disagree, but you do not have a right to imply someone is being a troll.

                  • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

                    You seem to think I am taking issue with your right, or anyone else’s right, to speak their minds. I could not, and would not, stop you.

          • Skyhawk says:

            I take offense at your assertion that nuclear weapons are bad.

            I can’t sleep, have migraines, and am unable to have relations because of your insensitivity.

            I’ll be contacting the ACLU and the NRC.

          • H3ion says:

            I’m offended. I also realize that more people died in the conventional bombing of Dresden than died in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. When a bomb goes off under my behind, I don’t take the time to worry whether it was conventional or nuclear.

      • Griking says:

        Tell your wife to get over it. It’s a dumb sign and if she doesn’t open product in stores then it doesn’t apply to her.

      • Griking says:

        Tell your wife to get over it. It’s a dumb sign and if she doesn’t open product in stores then it doesn’t apply to her.

        • runswithscissors says:

          She’s not wringing her hands over it and pacing the floor. She went “Hmm. Kinda offensive. They might as well have had a sign that started “Attention Latinos” for that matter.”

    • allstar3970 says:

      Getting offended for others is the new american pastime dont you know

    • MMD says:

      You do realize by taking this stance, you’re essentially supporting Kmart’s racist stereotyping, don’t you?

      • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

        Does anyone know if this KMart recently had a whole-store inventory done? If so, was it done by a mostly Latino firm?

        When I worked in retail, we had to put signs like this up for the company that came in and did the inventory (though ours were in English. This would explain why the note is so brief, not on any labeled KMart stationery, and spelled so horribly – it was never meant for customers.

        It’d be a little racist to assume that they can’t read English, unless the staff saw that none of them were speaking English.

        • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

          Or, if the KMart’s cleaning crew is mostly Latino, that could explain this sign, too (though I don’t know why they wouldn’t just…tell them not to use the floor stock to clean.)

      • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

        Does anyone know if this KMart recently had a whole-store inventory done? If so, was it done by a mostly Latino firm?

        When I worked in retail, we had to put signs like this up for the company that came in and did the inventory (though ours were in English. This would explain why the note is so brief, not on any labeled KMart stationery, and spelled so horribly – it was never meant for customers.

        It’d be a little racist to assume that they can’t read English, unless the staff saw that none of them were speaking English.

        • Kibit says:

          I was wondering this too. After the stores I worked at did inventory their would be one or two random pieces of paper laying about.

          We had some items that were two full size items in one pack (we also sold them individually) and the people who were scanning did not have them programmed in their scanners. So they opened the packages and they scanned them individually.

          • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

            Interesting. It always made me wince that in local office buildings, people would write BASURA on the side of boxes they needed thrown away. Not BASURA/TRASH, just BASURA. It looked as though they felt like non-Spanish speaking janitorial staffers were all intelligent enough to learn and remember what BASURA meant, but Spanish-speaking staffers were not intelligent enough to learn and remember what TRASH meant.

            • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

              By the way, is your username intended to be the singular of “kibitz”? Just curious. it would be really cute if it was. :)

            • grapedog says:

              Yes, because the vast majority of mexicans who have come to this country have shown the desire to learn the main language being spoken. They have not come to this country to create a little mexico where they can speak their own language, observe their own customs, and ignore the basic precepts of our country.

              • rooben says:

                I get the feeling that you are being sarcastic here. Have you ever been overseas, or to a country where english is not the primary language? Ever notice Los Americanos group together, because they all speak the same language, so they are more confortable dealing with a strange, new environment?
                First generation immigrants do this, no matter where they are from. This is how things work. Go to New York or Boston and tell me you don’t have clusters of Irish or Italians living together, still. How about the German communities in California. It is a fact of life – migrants group together for protection, then assimilate through generational growth and time.
                Welcome to America – glad you were able to find it alright.

              • runswithscissors says:

                Ah – now you clearly articulate your racism. I mean, you danced around it a lot in these comments, but this nicely puts it right out there.

                “Damn dirty Mexicans wanna turn God’s white ‘Murica inna MEXICO!”

                • grapedog says:

                  haha, you have absolutely no clue. you should try reading more often… or getting out in the big wide world.

              • Brunette Bookworm says:

                How long did it take you to learn to read and write English? How many years of school was that a subject that was required? People who immigrate here can and will learn the language but it does take time and no matter what, the first language they spoke will always be more comfortable for them. If they want to have a community where that’s what’s predominantly spoken, who cares?

            • David in Brasil says:

              That would be correct, Bob.

      • Ixnayer says:

        How is it racist, it wouldn’t be racist if it were in english would it?

        • runswithscissors says:

          If it were in the language of the majority of its customers (english, being Maryland) then that makes sense. Having it ONLY in a language 6% of the population understands clearly says “Hey Latinos! This is for you and only you!”.

          • NotEd says:

            Having grown up and lived in Maryland for 36 years of my life I can say with a little authority:
            “This depends on what part of Maryland you’re in.”

            As with anywhere in the US, the Hispanic population of a specific city or region varies. To say that most Marylander’s speak English is a flawed assumption without knowing the racial make-up of the community the store is in.

        • MMD says:

          It’s racist because singles out a specific demographic based on a perceived cultural/liguistic/racial difference. if it were intended for everyone, it would at least be bilingual.

          If this were directed toward black people, or Asians, or any other specific group, people would be up in arms. But because the bias is expressed through language, it allows English-only speakers to view Spanish speakers as “other” and, as evidenced by many of the comments on this story, inferior.

          Are you really going to defend that? Really?

          • RvLeshrac says:

            It isn’t racist because, demographically speaking, patrons from countries which speak spanish are more likely to open products on the shelves.

            The alternative is that you get to pay more for them to have someone stand there all day and slap people on the hand when they try to open something.

            • bigTrue says:

              Wha-what?

              If you have research to back this up, I’ll be learned something fierce, but where do you get the information to make the statement “because, demographically speaking, patrons from countries which speak spanish are more likely to open products on the shelves”?

              Is there actually something that backs this up beyond a personal opinion?

          • Sneeje says:

            Actually, that isn’t the definition of racism, which is the problem. It might be ignorant, but it isn’t racist. And, I’d be willing to bet that there are 10 reasons that are more likely anyway for why the sign is up, starting with the language skills of the person that put it up.

            Racism requires a belief that race is the primary determinant of all physical and mental traits and that a particular race is superior. Usually that results in discrimination–so unless you can prove that everyone but spanish speaking people can open the products before purchase, you might want to educate yourself to not cry racism at the drop of a hat.

    • grapedog says:

      Hey, don’t try and bring up the obvious. Latinos, AND Latinas( I don’t want to leave them out, lest they get offended, or white people get offended that I left them out also) might be causing a problem at this store. I find it perfectly reasonable for this sign to be in place.

      I don’t get offended when, in english, a product gives me instructions in how not to kill myself by taking this electrical device into my shower with me. Just because SOME people who can read english are idiots and would do this, doesn’t mean I would.

      I get over it though, because I’m NOT LOOKING FOR REASONS TO GET OFFENDED.

      • sagodjur says:

        In Spanish, Latinos means either Latino men or Latino people (including Latino women). You would only way Latinas if the group to which you were referring entirely consisted of females.

        • sagodjur says:

          Argh.

          “you would only *say*…”

        • redwall_hp says:

          That’s how 90% of languages work. It’s only recently that English speakers, primarily in the U.S. decided things should be more awkward for the sake of Political Correctness.

          • Anri says:

            English hasn’t had gendered nouns for centuries, in ANY COUNTRY. We aren’t talking about the handful of words like waiter or actor; we’re talking about almost every single noun being gendered. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_gender has an explanation. A quick example: In English, we say “Latin Americans” and this can mean a group of all men, all women, or a mixed group. There’s no special word for In Spanish, “Latinos” can mean all men or a mixed group, but “Latinas” can only mean all women, and there are 2 different words (one for male + mixed and one for female) for almost every noun/adjective/adverb.

            • shadowboxer524 says:

              I’m a big proponent of using he/him/his when I am being non-gender specific. I find it less awkward than constantly stating he/she or him/her or his/hers. I refuse to inappropriately use “them” for the convenience of its inherent non-gender-specific quality.

              A lot of people get uptight when I use he/him/his to mean all singular people, including women. They think I’m being sexist…

              • katarzyna says:

                You are. There’s nothing inappropriate about using singular “their” or “them” when referring to unknown genders.

                • cardigan says:

                  Actually, yes, it is inappropriate. Using “their” or “they” in place of “him/her” is grammatically incorrect, and should be avoided.

                  • Anri says:

                    It was grammatically correct 100 years ago, but luckily languages are capable of change, and the singular they is well accepted today.

                    • katstermonster says:

                      No. No it is not. Check out any major publication – the singular they is not used. It’s not acceptable, and I hope it never is.

                    • ablestmage says:

                      Newsflash, and this may be a big thing for you to learn, but there is no grammatical correctness. Grammar rules are observations of how words have been used and ordered, not prescriptions of how they may or may not be used. You learn the rules in school so that you will know how people of today commonly speak, but patterns change and the rules change with them because they are descriptive, not prescriptive. A dictionary, similarly, is a newspaper of words that are popularly used, not a list of how words may or may not be used. Research a little into linguistic [prescriptivism or descriptivism] for more info. There is certain grammatical correctness within a specific style (such as AP Style, or medical terminology), but ultimately there is no required style that can be enforced with any true credibility. Sorry to break it to you.

  4. grapedog says:

    What bothers me most is that this idiot is offended by it. Perhaps that KMart has a problem with spanish speaking people opening products. Perhaps they just don’t like spanish speaking people. Regardless of which, it’s not his job to wander around letting his panties twist.

    • runswithscissors says:

      Like Gruppa, you’re misdirecting. The issue here is whether the sign is offensive, not how you feel about the OP.

      Is that sign likely to offend Latinos/Latinas?

      • grapedog says:

        it might very well insult them, if they’re easily offended.

        • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

          I’m offended that you’re so easily offended by other people being offended.

        • MMD says:

          If you don’t see the problem here, you’re part of the problem.

          I can’t wait until your demographic, whatever it is, gets singled out in a similar manner. It will be fun to see the hypocrisy of your ire.

          • grapedog says:

            My demographic gets singled out ALL THE TIME, but I just don’t care. I don’t have a huge, gaping, vagina for buckets of sand to get poured into for me to gripe about. You apparently do, because you’re offended now, that I’m NOT offended. Talk about “being part of the problem”.

  5. deathbecomesme says:

    How else are they suppose to check and make sure they aren’t getting sold a box of tiles or a block of wood?

    • EarthAngel says:

      My SIL does this all the time. Because once she gets it home, they will hassle her if she tries to return it when parts are missing.

      • Stiv says:

        Can’t she check at the time of purchase? I hate finding merchandise on the shelf that’s been open, had its contents pulled out and then shoved back into the box.

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          That’s just slovenly. When I check a box, if it has something wrong with it, I take it to a clerk and tell them. If it doesn’t have anything wrong, I close the box and buy it. After all, my touch didn’t contaminate the item!

    • El_Red says:

      Do it with the cashier…

  6. EarthAngel says:

    It doesn’t say where the store was.

    I used to live close to the Mexico / Arizona border. Just by walking through the aisles, it was obvious that most of the customers in Kmart / Walmart on any given day were Mexican. I don’t know if it is coincidental that there was almost always opened packages on every aisle. Socks, underwear, blankets…toilet paper. It didn’t matter, if someone wanted to see what it felt like, they would open it. I even observed people pulling the product out of the plastic wrap, sizing it up, shoving it back into the wrap and then putting an unopened one in the cart.

    But I think it is bad taste not have it in multiple languages. Who is to say some Russian or Swede isn’t going to open the package?

  7. Alvis says:

    I’m sure they’ve had problems with spanish-speaking people opening the packaging. Apparently english-speakers just knew better. If english-speakers were doing the same thing, there’d be a sign in english, too.

    • MMD says:

      Sorry, but that’s a huge and offensive generalization, and you have no factual basis for making it.

      Would you accept a sign that was directed at a specific race or gender?

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        I read sarcasm into Alvis’s comment, actually… or maybe I have my BS meter turned up too high today. :)

      • ryder28910 says:

        If that gender or race was the problem, then it’s not an issue.

        • MMD says:

          The generalization of an entire demographic is not an issue? Really?

          And how would you prove that only members of that demographic are at fault?

          Just wait until it’s your demographic that people are generalizing about. Methinks you’d change your tune.

          • ryder28910 says:

            Ha, haha, hahahahaha — please, I’m a black male in his 20s, arguably the most generalized group of people out there. And you know what? I’d be absolutely delusional if I ignored the fact that we’re statistically the most crime-inclined and jailed group in the country. It’s not a generalization when it’s absolute, unequivocal truth. Quite frankly, you’re moronic if you choose to pretend that such statistics and actualities don’t exist. Perhaps ignorance is bliss after all.

    • runswithscissors says:

      I’m sure the cops had problems with spanish-speaking people having drugs in the car during traffic stops. Apparently english-speakers just knew better. If english-speakers were doing the same thing, the cops would be pulling over more english-speakers too.

  8. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I wouldn’t buy anything in a closed box at K-Mart (or Wal-Mart, or Target) unless I could clearly see it through the box and know it was in good shape. I carry a tiny penknife on my keychain, as every woman should; I not infrequently use it to open a box to make sure that some electrical item is in new condition and has all its pieces and isn’t a resealed return. If an employee objects, I invite them to stand in front of me and watch as I do it.

    • TehLlama says:

      Congratulations, you’re clearly not somebody who was contributing to this problem to begin with, obviously that store had been experiencing issues caused by some that led to folks purchasing tampered with products.

    • zekebullseye says:

      I was in Walgreens today and many of the toothpaste boxes looked liked they had been slit open on one edge by a razor. The toothpaste was still inside. What gives? I’ve heard that people do that to pregnancy test boxes and slide the pregnancy test sticks out, but toothpaste boxes?

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        Oh, that? It happens when someone opens a box with a box cutter and accidentally slits some of the boxes inside. No particular cause for concern unless they also damage the product.

  9. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    If the Hispanic/Latino community is only 6.5% of the population, why would he consider it offensive to them? I would think the 97.5% Non-Hispanic population would be the offended ones, having not been given a sign of their own!

  10. Blueskylaw says:

    If most of the things we buy in stores nowadays have instructions in Spanish written on them, why not on the store signs?

    • cocodash says:

      I think the point is that there was no companion sign in English, lending the impression that only Spanish shoppers can’t be trusted/wreck the packaging/open stuff up and steal it. I can see why the writer thinks it’s offensive. Because it is.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        I think this might be a cultural thing. Americans know that they shouldn’t open stuff before buying it (if something is wrong, they know they can return it anyway). When I was in a certain country in Europe, people used to open stuff all the time because if you didn’t and the item was bad then the attitude was tough luck, you should have looked. Although times have somewhat changed.

    • mbz32190 says:

      Oh, Spanish on store signs has been here for a long time….walk into any Lowe’s or the rare “remodeled” Kmart stores and look up at the department signs on the ceiling.

  11. Dover says:

    “According to census data the Hispanic/Latino is only 6.5%”

    And I was upset that black people used to only count for 3/5ths!

  12. commenterofsize says:

    People from different backgrounds have different customs. Americans (or anyone who has shopped in the United States for a long time) know that it’s not appropriate to open grocery/cleaning products to smell or otherwise inspect them. Doing so means the product can’t be sold to anyone else.

    I’m guessing it’s customary in many Latin American countries to open cleaning products, smell them, touch them, whatever, perhaps to see whether they’re ammonia-based or bleach-based. To save a lot of inadvertently spoiled product, the store put up a sign.

    Suppose it was customary for French immigrants to uncork wine before buying it. (That’s completely contrived, of course). Would it be racist/insensitive for a store to put up a sign in French asking shoppers not to open wine before buying it?

    Get over your white guilt, Patrick.

    • ret3 says:

      I think you’re right that it’s a cultural issue, and that this sign targets non-acculturated (i.e., exclusively Spanish-speaking) latinos. I don’t think it’s a racist move, although having a bilingual sign would be better so that no one feels that they’re being singled out. If I was in a place with unfamiliar customs, I know I’d appreciate a hint here and there so that I didn’t do anything embarrassing. I actually encountered a similar clash of cultural conventions at Target this past weekend, where a couple Spanish-speaking guys were trying on shirts in the men’s section. Multi-lingual signage suggesting the use of and indicating the way to the dressing rooms would have spared me the sight of flab that is not my own.

    • arcticJKL says:

      Well put.

    • c_c says:

      Well by that logic they should put it in Yiddish too, because my Jewish grandparents and aunts/uncles would do the same thing.

      Actually, put it in English too, because my other non-Jewish grandparents would also probably do the same thing.

      …So maybe they need to put in in Reader’s Digest large print font… but then that would be ageism!

    • cleek says:

      i’ve seen (Indian? Pakistani?) people in Indian food stores open sealed jars of food (pop! goes the safety button), smell them, and put them back on the shelves.

      • kethryvis says:

        Back when WalMart had a real fabric department, my mom was a fabric department manager. She had several (many many many many many) occasions where customers of Middle Eastern descent would *chew* on the fabric still on the bolt. They were testing for… i dunno, colour fastness or something. This was perfectly acceptable in their home country, apparently. Here… notsomuch. Yuck.
        (she finally told them that they’d need to purchase 1/8 of a yard if they wanted to chew on it, as that was the smallest denomination she could sell.)

        So the OP needs to get his panties out of a bundle. Newsflash: There are different practices in different cultures. Yes, a bilingual sign may have been more sensitive, but it sounds like this is a problem they’re seeing in x cultural group and are trying to tackle it within that group. A bit poorly yes, but you can’t be perfect all the time. Otherwise, what would we have to bitch about on The Consumerist?

        • common_sense84 says:

          Not poorly at all. A certain group had the issue, so the signage was written for them.

          Nothing wrong with that. This is only insensitive if you claim latinos don’t have a different culture. Which would be an insensitive statement in it’s own right.

          • MMD says:

            Can you prove that it’s only Spanish-speakers who do this?
            No, you can not.
            Therefore, you’re making a broad and biased assumption, just like the store is.
            Be careful what you defend.

            • Michaela says:

              Ouch! Your horribly obvious fallacy just made Aristotle die once more!

            • zibby says:

              I think it’s offensive that we’re even assuming it’s bad to open products one doesn’t own. Personally, I’d rather visit a culturally vibrant store where people are opening crap and sniffing it and rubbing their fingers in it.

          • balderdashed says:

            To use this logic — “A certain group had the issue, so the signage was written for them” — if one observed (or believed) that people from one ethnic group were responsible for a greater percentage of thefts at a particular store, I suppose it would be OK to post a sign that says (in Spanish), “Hey, Mexicans, Don’t Steal.” Lots of groups may have lots of issues, but racial and ethnic stereotypes are still racist and offensive.

    • veritybrown says:

      This. If the store is having a problem specifically *because* of cultural differences, it would be logical (even if not politically correct or “sensitive”) to post a sign in the language of the offenders. (And it only takes ONE Hispanic offender claiming–truthfully or not–upon being caught, “I didn’t know it was wrong! Everyone does this in Mexico!” for the store to accept the stereotype and react accordingly.)

  13. apd09 says:

    Kmart scientists have discovered that everyone who opens products and leaves them on shelves can read Spanish, maybe not scientists, but probably undercover employees who see people opening boxes or potentially the security cameras see who is doing it. I find this same problem in Home Depot, people open boxes all the time even though there are 3 already opened to look inside then put it back or they steal parts out of the box. i don’t see much wrong with this if they want people to know not to open boxes.

    here is what really offends me, I get offended when I get mail from Comcast written in Spanish because my last name sounds Spanish. In truth I am a white dude who is half Italian and half Portuguese and do not speak a word of Spanish but my name is Spanish based on the Portuguese side of the family. I understand why they market it in Spanish, but I get highly offended when they send it out blindly to a person based on their last name, that is racist to me.

    • EarthAngel says:

      I get random Spanish magazines in the mail. Whenever I have to tell someone my last name, they sound kind of weirded out because I don’t sound Spanish, “Well that’s an interesting last name.”

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      My first and last names aren’t the least bit Spanish, since it was my mother who was Latina rather than my father. I still get Spanish stuff in the mail. Check your neighborhood. Mine is full of Hispanic people. I don’t think they actually check names. Aside from being creepy- it would be costly and stupid, compared to mass mailing based on demographics.

    • kalaratri says:

      I married a Colombian and I get lots of phone calls/mail in Spanish (I’m a prime example of a WASP). Apparently latinos only marry other latinos.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It’s a double whammy since even if you did speak the languages native to your two halves, neither of them would be Spanish anyway!

  14. sheldonmoon69 says:

    That’s right, it’s probably K-Mart. No one else could ever possibly place a sticker on a shelf. Disgruntled employee? Teenage prank?

    But you’re right. It’s probably the big, evil, racist corporation… it always is… and it’s easier that way isn’t it?

    • MMD says:

      Because lots of teenagers laminate the joke signs they post in stores.

      • Costner says:

        The shiny surface you see appears to be the tape used to adhere the sign to the shelf.

        However, before everyone wears out their PC alarms, perhaps they could think of other possible explanations:

        1. The sign was a prank and not put there by store employees.
        2. The sign was a prank by a store employee who doesn’t represent the company (or even that store) as a whole.
        3. The sign was placed there as part of an inventory process by a third party.
        4. The original poster wanted to get his name attributed to a Consumerist post so he fabricated the sign simply to create controversy.
        5. There was an English version of the same sign present originally, but it has since been removed by an offended shopper who can’t read Spanish, a store employee, gravity and/or weak tape, or even the OP himself.
        6. Store security has witnessed one or several Spanish-speaking customers repeat the same actions of removing products from packaging and not putting them back in, so they decided to target a specific audience.

        Truth be told I worked in retail in the past, and we had a problem with a specific unidentified woman causing a “mess” in the woman’s bathroom. Each and every day, this same person could enter the bathroom, and proceed to miss the toilet. Now obviously we couldn’t put cameras in the bathroom to catch the suspect, so instead we fabricated a sign that was placed in the woman’s bathroom that warned of the consequences of creating such a mess. I don’t remember the wording exactly as it was 15 or more years ago, but basically it threatened legal action as well as banishment from the store.

        Should the men have been offended because we didn’t put the same sign in their bathroom? No – because we put it where it would have the most impact… we targeted the specific “genre” of customer that was causing the issue.

        People really need to focus upon the real issues in our world instead of getting bent out of shape over the silliest things such as unofficial misspelled signage in a retail store.

        • MMD says:

          1) The whole thing is laminated, so unlikely.
          2) Irrelevant. The sign reflects poorly on the store, regardless of who put it there
          3) Also irrelevant. See #2.
          4) That’s a hell of a stretch
          5) Unproven conspiracy theory, and one that conveniently supports your position.
          6) One or several does not warrant the generalization that this signage implies.

          Your story is also irrelevant because it involves one individual was directly observed to be a problem in a specific space. This story involves a generally public space.

          So, nice try, but you’re still supporting a huge, culturally biased generalization.

          • Costner says:

            “1) The whole thing is laminated, so unlikely.”
            Oh so Kmart employees are the only ones who know how to laminate a sign? Hate to break it to you, but most retail stores don’t laminate their signs – period. Besides – look at the image again – you can clearly see the line where the gloss ends, thus that shiny surface you see is either tape, or the clear plastic liner that signs and price labels are tucked behind.

            “2) Irrelevant. The sign reflects poorly on the store, regardless of who put it there”
            I don’t disagree it reflects poorly on the store, but it is fair to blame Walmart when a disgruntled former employee (or anyone who knows how to operate Google) accesses the PA system and tells all people of X color or race to leave the store? I hardly think that seems fair – but that is the world we seem to live in.

            “3) Also irrelevant. See #2.”
            Irrelevant because it doesn’t fit your predetermined view of “blame the store” no matter any other reasonable explanation? Very well then.

            “4) That’s a hell of a stretch”
            Not really – we’ve seen it happen before. Submissions are rarely verified and as such need to be accepted with a certain amount of doubt.

            “5) Unproven conspiracy theory, and one that conveniently supports your position.”
            Actually it is a logical explanation – far from a conspiracy theory. And my “position” was merely that there are a number of other logical explanations for the sign… which is a simple fact.

            “6) One or several does not warrant the generalization that this signage implies.”
            Why not? If you have an issue with children opening boxes of crayons and coloring on the floor, you put the crayons on a higher shelf where they can’t reach them. You address the solution towards the problem.

            “Your story is also irrelevant because it involves one individual was directly observed to be a problem in a specific space. This story involves a generally public space.”

            A retail store bathroom is just as much of a “generally public space” as an aisle is, the only difference is bathrooms are gender specific. Also, the problem in my story was as you state observed in a specific space. The opening of cleaning supplies would also seem to be an issue observed in a specific space. This is the same issue.

            “So, nice try, but you’re still supporting a huge, culturally biased generalization.”

            How is it biased if it is factual? Answer: It isn’t. Then again there are a lot of unknowns here, and we are only hearing one side of the story. Did anyone contact the store to get their opinion on the sign? No. Did anyone verify the story to ensure validity of the claim that they are unfairly targeting spanish speaking customers? No. Did anyone even bother to ask store employees why the sign exists to obtain background data? No.

            The “I read it on the Internet so it must be true” justification isn’t good enough in my opinion… but I’m a skeptic. However, even if this sign is 100% legit, if it was placed there in response to a specific problem then I don’t see the issue.

            If someone is stealing tanning bronzer they are more than welcome to target light skinned caucausions and if someone is opening boxes of tampons to check the size then they should target women. Why does the language someone speak somehow make them immune to such targeting?

            The fact is people are just looking for reasons to get offended. There are much more important things to worry about in this world that going out of your way to find offense where none was intended or even implied.

    • ARP says:

      Probably not a prank and I doubt it’s from corporate.

      Most likely, local store mangement sick of having to either repackage, or write off opened stuff.

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      Read what it says on the box:

      “The Consumerist: Shoppers bite back”

      Do I need to explain this to you, or do you get it now?

  15. enomosiki says:

    Hspncs, spcfcll th lltrt ns, r rdclsl rd. rmmbr whn n Ltn ws cttng thrgh th ln t Strbcks skng th prc f vrs tms nd tllng th mplys wht sh wntd whn thr wr t lst ght ppl n frnt f hr. Th chrd wnt n fr svrl mnts ntl n mply pntd t tht sh ws bng rd. n brkn nglsh, sh skd fr th mngr nd, rncll, th mply tht sh ws tlkng t hppnd t b t. Sh thn trd t fnd n xcs, f rmmbr crrctl bt hvng t p fr jllybns, nd whn th mngr tld hr tht th ddn’t hv n sh lft th str wtht sngl wrd.

    • MMD says:

      Are you really basing your view of an entire population segment on one incident?

      Congratulations…it’s been a tough competition, but you win today’s award for racism on the Consumerist boards.

      • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

        Really? I thought the award went to the “sand monkeys” crack on a previous post.

      • enomosiki says:

        Strange, because it’s only one of several experiences I’ve had with them. Perhaps I should have pointed that out in my first post.

        If you want some more examples, I am happy to post them here for you. First one happened in middle of the night, when one of my friends was walking home from work. Along the way she was followed by two Hispanics who were shouting offensive things to her, just because she happened to be White. Second is when I was a victim of a hit-and-run. Some Latino dude driving a van rear-ended an SUV behind me, which proceeded to rear-end me. Unfortunately, the asshole took off before either the driver of the SUV or I could collect any information, leaving us to take care of the damages. Third, a friend of mine who, in an ironic twist, happens to be Hispanic, was assaulted when he tried to break up a group of Latinos ganging up on a person. Fourth, a former co-worker, a high school drop-out with a massive ego and machismo problem, was promptedly shitcanned after numerous complaints about his attitude towards his co-workers and customers.

        I have a lot more, but I just can’t pull them out of my mind at the moment. So, yeah, it’s not just a single incident but a whole shitload of them. Sure, you can call me stereotypical and/or racist, but that still doesn’t change the fact that they are rude, with some of them even being borderline trash.

        • runswithscissors says:

          So, you personally have had some bad experiences with Hispanics and now you feel justified in labeling the entire race and culture as rude, illiterate, and uncultured? Is that your argument here?

        • Anri says:

          There are plenty of white/black/Asian/etc people who are rude or borderline trash too, but I don’t go around saying “black culture is rude!” “white culture is trashy!”

          because that would be just stupid.

    • runswithscissors says:

      “Hispanics, specifically the illiterate ones, are ridiculously rude.”

      Dear lord.

    • Mike says:

      White people, especially educated ones, are ridiculously rude.

      I remember one time I was selling a computer to a white woman who ran a clinic and had a very proprietary piece of equipment. She insisted on trying to use it on a computer that did not run the proper version of Windows for the hardware, and she tried to use emulation software. After an hour of fighting with her and showing her why she needed to get a computer running an older version of Windows she screamed that I get someone else to help her, they came over and told her the same thing I did. She stomped out of the store.

      Now I make sweeping generalizations about an entire race because of that one experience.

      • BomanTheBear says:

        Speaking as a white guy, I have to agree: I’d rather deal with someone who speaks barely any English than someone who speaks too much English.

      • enomosiki says:

        I don’t know. The fact that you are attempting to relate an “educated” person with a woman who couldn’t tell the difference between two things by looking at it seems to be a huge contradiction on your part.

        Please, find a better argument.

    • Mom says:

      Besides spouting off a racist stereotype based on exactly one experience, what does this have to do with the topic at hand?

    • evnmorlo says:

      There are some countries where pushing ahead like that is customary. Of course she could be a jerk or incapable of learning local behavior

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      Non-Hispanics, specifically the racist ones, are ridiculously rude.

      I remember once I logged onto this website discussing consumer issues and one of them started making assertions that castigated an entire class of people based on a single experience. It was full of basic attribution error and other forms of flawed thinking. Right there, in front of the whole Internet! It was very inconsiderate.

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        golf clap

      • enomosiki says:

        Liberal extremists, specifically the ones who are easily offended for something that’s not directed towards them, are ridiculously rude.

        Once upon a time I posted a comment about how rude the Hispanics are to relate to the article in which brought up the news about Kmart trying to stop property damages by attempting to communicate in their own native language because they can’t speak the primary language of the country that they are in. Then all these parasites came to say how butthurt they felt for the uncultured and illiterate Hispanics and that it is politically incorrect to give only a single example to judge a group of people. It’s too bad they didn’t realize the fact that I only named one instance before they shot their mouth off but, hey, I’m stating a fact here, not an opinion like these smartasses.

        • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

          Now, you’re just being wearisome.

          I wasn’t disemvoweled. You were. Guess who lost?

          • enomosiki says:

            That’s funny, considering the fact that you were protesting about how I made the judgment using “a single experience”, thus implying that you wanted me to make further, more broad expressions. I did just that.

            Butthurt much?

            • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

              Once again. You were the one disemvoweled, and who reallyreallyreally seems to want to have the last word here.

              What am I butthurt about exactly?

              • enomosiki says:

                Jeez, I don’t know, perhaps about the fact that I actually managed to prove contrary to the message in your first post?

                I’ve managed to support my statement with facts. I honestly can’t see what have you accomplished so far, aside from making a wise-ass comment and falling back to the “disemvowelment” (which is wholely dependent on the bias of the moderator, not about how correct or incorrect it is) to compensate for your inability to properly argue. It seems to me like you are the one who loves to have the last word here.

                • runswithscissors says:

                  What argument? What proof? You just came in and spewed the same old tired “all Mexicans are illiterate and uncultured and dirty” type argument we can hear from any pickup driving “God’s White America” spewing racist.

                • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

                  *Shrugs*

                  *Walks away*

  16. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Does every K-mart have this sign? Are there K-marts in Canada with signs like this in French-Canadian? Are there signs like this in Chinese in Los Angeles? Maybe the sign is in Polish in Milwaukee or German up in the Texas Hill Country, who the hell knows.

    /kidding

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      or, even better, a sign like this one in Brooklyn:

      “Oy! Why you touching that box for? You put that back before I see you!”

      (Courtesy of my little Yiddish great-grandmother, LOL)

  17. BeyondtheTech says:

    I had a garage sale, and some of the items that I had were clearly factory sealed, hoping for some higher return. Yet, I was extremely pissed and bewildered that I had to stop a few Spanish people from completely ripping open the box to check out the contents.

  18. dolemite says:

    When I worked at Roses, the management would tell all the stock boys to take off their smocks and pretend we were shoppers, but we were actually supposed to keep an eye on the large group of mexicans that just walked in the door.

    When they left, we all resumed our duties.

  19. Jesse says:

    I think the more puzzling question is why do people still shop at K-Mart? :)

  20. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    They know wherin the problem lies.
    I can walk the aisles of my local stores, and see children unattended and running amok, unsupervised. Ethnicity of the majority are hispanic. Could there be a correlation to the high percentage of Hispanic children on posters from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® at the front of the store?

    Not racism, just an observation of reality.

    • zekebullseye says:

      Cultural reality check: Latinos have a high tolerance for letting kids be kids. Kids are a part of the group culture; they’re expected to be there. In the U.S. they’re supposed to be corraled, controlled and quiet in public; we’re adult-centered here. When I was living in a Latin American country I realized that their way is the most realistic.

  21. Mike says:

    I just want to go on record saying that the amount of racism in the comments is astounding to me.

  22. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Que demonios!

  23. raybury says:

    Meh, someone made an observation and acted on it, without realizing they’re supposed to suppress such observations. It may well be a cultural thing, and having the sign in Spanish — and the OP only found one — may fix the actual problem.

    Having said that, I reiterate my “not English only, but English always” preference for (legally and legitimately regulated) commercial speech, from roadside McDonald’s ads to in-store notices like this one: Follow the Quebec model and insist that the dominant language — the one immigrants from anywhere would be well advised to learn to speak to other immigrants and native born residents — always be equally represented. My added twist would be to require an odd number of languages — English only is fine, but if you are going to add Spanish you also have to add a third language, or fourth and fifth, etc. This means knowing your community and shows customers you are accommodating, not capitulating. And by the way, the Spanish for my preference rolls off the tongue: no sólo Inglés, pero siempre Inglés.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      I live at the point where several ethnic neighborhoods meet. If I wanted to represent languages with a meaningful presence within a mile of me, I’d have to print every lost cat or garage sale notice in English, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Cajun French, Russian, and Swahili.

  24. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    Is it possible that there’s just some cultural barrier here and immigrants from Latin America are just more likely to inspect products before purchasing them?

    I used to work extensively in eastern and southeastern Europe (a big chunk of the 1990′s) and I remember occasionally seeing English-only warning signs for very random things — like to leave change in the dish if you use the bathroom, not to tip, you must return bottles, etc. I don’t think they implied that English-speakers like to steal or are stupid, just that there are certain cultural differences that can get in the way of business practices. They didn’t need warnings in other languages because local residents already knew the conventions.

    • Mom says:

      A number of years ago, especially before Sept 11, lots of young people would go down to Tijuana to party on the weekends, especially holiday weekends, because the drinking age is lower there. For awhile, the Tijuana government put English signs up on in the big party district that said “No sex in the street.” Their reasoning was that, unlike Mexicans, Americans would actually read and follow the instructions on signs. The signs apparently worked reasonably well.

      • veritybrown says:

        And best of all, because they were targeted at English-speaking Americans, they weren’t racist!

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          I don’t know. The signs didn’t, after all, say, “Don’t have sex in the streets.” They said, “No sex in the streets.” After all, signs like “No vacancy” don’t mean the same thing as “Please don’t stand around being vacant.”

  25. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    It’s OK. The majority of creatures at PeopleOfWalmart.com are white. No racism intended.

  26. NOS says:

    “I’m not quite for sure why the local K-Mart needed to write a sign in misspelled Spanish to not open the products. Is it okay for speakers of other languages to open the products but not those who can understand the sign and are Spanish speakers? I’m thinking not. “

    Or maybe, just maybe, through experience of the manager or employees, it was deemed necessary to post the sign because they have seen repeated incidents where Spanish speaking individuals have been seen/confronted concerning the opening of packages.

    • MMD says:

      And maybe, just maybe, that’s not true in 100% of all cases, yet Spanish-speakers are the only ones targeted here.

      Can you prove that *all* incidents are committed by Spanish-speakers? No. You can not. Therefore, you’re condoning bias with no factual basis. Congratulations, you’re part of the problem.

  27. El_Fez says:

    *shrugs*

    I open boxes all the time – occasionally to inspect the quality of the goods (I’m in the market for a rice cooker that doesn’t have a pan that sucks) and occasionally to make sure all the parts are there (or I’m not buying a box full of bricks). I try and put the item back as much as possible and be considerate to the next person – but if I’m dropping money on an item, I’m going to be informed about my purchase.

    And I’m a male and white as the driven snow – so race/gender/whatever has nothing to do with it.

  28. Coupon says:

    Toughen up cry babies. Seriously, where is the backbone? I’m a woman in “a man’s industry” and if I boo-hooed every time something could hurt my delicate feelings- be it discrimination from the industry and public, sexual harassment, etc.- I would have cut myself by now. How pathetic. Just don’t shop there and move on sissy.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      So happy you’re bitchy enough to muscle your way into a roomful of swinging dicks and swing with the best of them. Too bad you look down on talent that doesn’t have as big a dick as you.

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        By the way I work in IT and I train engineers, and I never felt the obligation to be a man in a man’s world. You don’t have to become a stormtrooper to resist fascism, to be crudely Godwin’s-law-violating about it.

      • Coupon says:

        Thanks!! I’m pretty awesome.

    • organicgardener says:

      Really (and same here)! I love Martin’s line in Frasier: “Well aren’t we the little hothouse flower?”

    • runswithscissors says:

      Hells yeah! All them blacks and jews and gays should just toughen up and get over it! Amirite?

      / Annoyed sarcasm

      • Coupon says:

        *wave* bi-lingual here too and dwell with native Latinos everyday. Showed a few this article and some thought this was “roll their eyes” funny as I thought they would and a few lol’d at the comments here that are making a fuss over it. They are the best!

  29. Punchy says:

    The packaging is probably all in English, so people who speak English know exactly what is inside. People who speak Spanish might have to inspect it by opening it to see what is inside.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I think that’s the most logical point I’ve seen.

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        It’s a good thought, and it would be logical, except that I bet I could walk blindfolded into the same aisle, put my hand on anything, and find Spanish language text on it. I would be prepared to admit the possibility that the manufacturers have different labels for product shipped to Maryland and to Texas, but I don’t think that’s terribly likely.

  30. smallcreep says:

    I was in Capri Italy, and most of the signs on that Island were in 3 languages. Except, the one on the chair lift was English only: “Do Not Swing on the Chairs”. I work in a supermarket, and the Hispanics think they are in some sort of supermarket Disney World when they see products they have never seen before. They do open more packages compared to other ethnic groups. I think it’s because they are just in awe at the American way of life.

  31. Jdavis says:

    There’s this office park in VA that has large signs saying “prohibido el paso,” which I take to mean that the Spanish-illiterate are allowed to trespass. I wonder if that would stand in court.

  32. Andyb2260 says:

    You’re all assuming that it was the store who posted that signage. I work in retail and I’ve found bible tracts taped to products, does that mean that Chef Boy Ar Dee wants me to discover the wonder of the blood of Christ?
    He said in the post that this was the only example in the entire store.
    More than likely another customer posted that sign.

    • Allied Biscuits says:

      Someone who works at that Kmart posted the sign as that’s the font used on the store’s sign printer.

  33. spittingangels says:

    It’s so simple. In Maryland, the only people buying the cleaning products are the hired help. They also happen to be illegal immigrants so of course they don’t show up in US census data and therefore make up way more than 6.5% of the population. Given what I know about statistics, some study somewhere will show this to be true.

    The OP is just upset that his maid got deported and he had to do the shopping himself and his American sense of entitlement means he got offended there wasn’t a sign just for him.

    ;)

  34. sqeelar says:

    Favor de bese mi cula Kmart/Sears.

  35. phxman says:

    Wow, I used to think Consumerist people were a step above. Just the ignorance of the first page of comments is amazing.

    • MMD says:

      I used to think so, too. Comments moderation has really gone downhill. Glad to know I’m not the only one who has noticed this.

  36. ClaudeKabobbing says:

    Im just happy that because I dont speak spanish I can open products if I want

  37. IThinkThereforeIAm says:

    Just out of curiosity: who’d get offended if the sign were in English?

  38. diagoro says:

    Just another sign that this country is far too politically correct, regardless the issue. It’s to the point where ‘non-citizens’ who break the law coming here. and believe they’re ethnically superior to anyone else (la raza anyone), somehow have Americans bending over backwards to please them.

    While I would never wish to see America as it was racially before the 60′s, I think it’s damn time for Americans to step up and say enough. I’m damn tired of living in a state (ca) where all the signs are bilingual. I’m even starting to see sings that have the larger/prominent text in Spanish, with small English text below. What the hell! I say do as they do in Mexico. If you can’t read the sign, either learn the language or don’t buy the damn thing!

    In terms of this story, it seems to me that the majority of those that can’t speak English are illegal. I know there are non-English speaking citizens (I dated a girl whos parents were like that…..after living here 25 years???), but if you’re illegal, you’ve already been afforded the luxury of not being deported imemdiately. Kinda like that housekeeper in the governor’s race (CA)…..

    • veg-o-matic says:

      There’s plenty wrong with what you’ve got here, but the most important thing I want to share with you is this:

      Human beings are not illegal. They might have a migration status of “undocumented,” but it’s not possible for a person to be illegal. Using language like that is incredibly and purposefully dehumanizing.

      • evnmorlo says:

        They are criminals. Happy now?

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          Circular reasoning. Say I got a law passed making it illegal, for example, for people with your initials to grocery shop on any day but Monday and spend more than a hundred dollars at a time, because people with your initials were statistically more likely to commit fraud in grocery stores. Say you were caught there on the wrong day or attempting to spend more than your allotment, because you ran out of food or because you had company coming. Would you meekly accept your arrest and sentence? Or would you challenge and fight an ignorant, arbitrary law?

          The real criminals are the oppressive jingoistic racists who proposed and passed the dumb law in the first place.

          • diagoro says:

            “The real criminals are the oppressive jingoistic racists who proposed and passed the dumb law in the first place.”

            Actually, the criminals are those in Mexico or other rulers of oppressed countries. I have these feelings because I love my country and I love my state. My family has been in California for 140 years, and while I have a strong desire to leave the area, I’m also not a quitter.

            As I started with, the criminals are the president of mexico, and others in power. If this were happening in the US, I’d be one of the first people to fight for my country and rights. I wouldn’t run off to another country. As far as I can tell, the mexican government sponsors and pushes their poor so that Americans can pay for them. In return they get millions (if not billions) sent back home.

            ‘Jingoistic’ are those that cry “RACIST” every time they find offense with something, regardless of the nature. Just like Meg Whitman and her former housekeeper. I’ll bet you think she’s a racist for firing the maid, right? Look at yourself before accusing others, and if you’re an American, either start showing some pride in your country or get the hell out……

            • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

              I have enough pride in my country to embrace its founding humanist and Enlightenment values. I care enough about my citizenship to educate myself about them and where they came from and why they have the moral high ground. And I care enough about my native language to know what the word “Jingoism” means and to use it appropriately.

              • diagoro says:

                Anyone who broke the law by sneaking across the border has lost the moral high-ground. Many, if not most of these people, take jobs illegally, use someone elses social security number (identity theft) and buy fake id’s. They have kids here, or bring others, and enjoy free education, free medical care. They even have access to unemployment and wellfare!

                So why should I feel sorry for them? I’d feel sorry for them if they were poor in mexico, and tried to make their country a better place. Instead, they come here and bitch about every little perceived insult……..and those like yourself (whom I wouldn’t be shocked to find is an ACLU lawyer) do every little bit they can to break down the fiber of American society.

                The moral high-ground is held by those that took time to follow the process to come here, who waited, paid, and struggled to get here. Otherwise, you’re just a criminal.

                By the way, what is your degree in?????? History here, yeah I know what the hell I’m speaking of. And not all laws were meant to be just. It’s not a perfect world, as you seem to think. It’s for the good of the group, not the individual.

                Citizenship fail….deport him!

                • bugpaste says:

                  Maybe things are different in California, but in Virginia you have to be a citizen to get unemployment. Also non-citizens’ access to low-cost health care is severely restricted, as many free clinics and similar safety net orgs require proof of residency & citizenship to become a patient. This results in poor non-citizens walking around with communicable diseases. And that, my friend, is how you get a drug-resistant TB outbreak. I really don’t mind paying for non-citizens to get basic health care if it means my three young nephews won’t get TB from the guy next aisle over at Target.

                • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

                  I’m a classical musician and corporate trainer for the oil industry, the first-generation daughter of immigrants from Hungary, Italy, and Russia (grandparents counted too). ACLU lawyer? No, just a proud native citizen born of proud naturalized citizens. We recent immigrants tend to take American ideals more seriously than you spoiled blatherskites who managed to party your way through a typical dumbed-down degree program. I bet I’ve read more history and studied more social and economic theory since graduation than you have. I’m sure I understood it better.

                  • diagoro says:

                    spoiled blatherskites who managed to party your way through a typical dumbed-down degree program. I bet I’ve read more history and studied more social and economic theory since graduation than you have.
                    ——————————————————————————————————————–

                    Are you sure about that. You wouldn’t know that I’ve never partied, nor have I ever had a drink, smoked or taken any kind of illicit drugs. I’m also not spoiled, the first of my family to graduate college, and was making my way through the masters program before I decided on a change of careers (for which I am still paying, as I did it all myself).

                    I believe you and I might have had a better discourse had it not been for our differences here, at least the means in which we have approached them. Regardless, I do agree with your comment about new citizens’ appreciating their freedom and rights more. American’s have been slow to appreciate these until they are seriously threatened (pearl harbor, 9/11, the intolerable acts)

      • diagoro says:

        Dehumanizing? Call it a banana for all I care. The term is Illegal Alien, it’s a technical and legal term in this country. Don’t like it? Than run for congress and join all the others there that aren’t doing a damn thing to save or help this country…….

        Solid.

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          Why, because laws are not expected to be human? Citizenship and history fail. Back of the class.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      What, exactly, do you think you are defending here? Some cockamamie idea of liberty that only includes people similar to yourself? The non-existent purity of the American citizenry? Your so-called right to a society that keeps the poor and oppressed from seeking freedom and opportunity on the grounds that they obviously don’t deserve any better, because if they did, they’d be more successful? You and your ilk, I’m convinced, won’t be happy until the Statue of Liberty is toppled into the sea. Does this make you angry: “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,/I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” BOO! The dirty, smelly, babbling barbarian devils are forcing signs to be in two languages! Did you wet your pants in fear?

    • Mom says:

      It sounds like we should just forget the damn sign, and arrest anyone who’s opening the packages at kmart. If they don’t understand our culture, they should be deported anyway.

  39. Dave on bass says:

    1. People who are offended, about anything at all – it’s their own problem. This guy, being offended on behalf of somebody else? Dear God. Let me call the whaaaambulance.

    2. Observations and their associated reactions are not profiling or racism. If that Kmart noticed a high proportion of package-openings by Spanish-speakers, then it makes sense and is even a concession by Kmart to put up a sign in Spanish.

    And both together: Ever seen a sign in a store preemptively admonishing children and/or their parents for potential kid-related mishaps? Is that some kind of insensitive sign and should people without children feel slighted? “My stars; I am going to complain to the authorities that that sign doesn’t say my poor barren wife can’t crawl around on the floor and break things!”

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      Observations and their associated reactions are not profiling or racism. If that Kmart noticed a high proportion of package-openings by Spanish-speakers, then it makes sense

      Um, that is the definition of profiling. In this country we are not supposed to accuse or suspect an individual of anti-social behavior for no other reason because they have a certain skin color or accent. You just can’t say to an individual, “You’re a Spanish-speaking immigrant, therefore you are going to engage in undesirable behavior.” One does not have anything to do with the other. One percent of the US population is pregnant at any given time, but that does not mean that a given person is one percent pregnant.

      • apd09 says:

        I don’t mean to get into it with you on multiple threads, but you’re right about profiling in the sense of doing it with malice as opposed to doing it because it is your customers but without the demographic info it’s hard to say. Go along with me here and this is all heresay not backed up with any other info than I live in Maryland and there is a K-Mart 10 miles away from my house I have been to before, if 65% of the people in the surrounding area speak Spanish and you have 75% of the work force in the store who speak Spanish because of the clientele then you have every right to make the sign in Spanish because that is what the majority of your customers can read. We all know that not everyone who can speak Spanish can read Spanish, just like not everyone who can speak English can read English. But there is a higher percentage of chance that the person who can speak Spanish can read Spanish than can read English.

        Sure the store was profiling their customers though not to single them out for persecution but to be able to effectively communicate with them.

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          No, that’s OK. I can certainly see your point, and since you live in Maryland yourself, i would expect you to know more about the demographics in your area. I can speak only from my experience living in an area that is, if not majority Hispanic yet, probably close to it by now.

          I see the “effective communication” thing differently. I write training documentation for an international workforce, so i know a little about that, too. If I want a message to be absolutely clear and understood by all users, I enlist a translator, and then I have an engineer or drafter whose native language it is test the translated document to make sure it says what it should say. That’s a bit rich for K-mart, I admit.

          Fortunately I have more direct experience even than that. Part of my duties in the craft store where I worked in my 20s was to make the point-of-sale signs, since I had graphic arts and typesetting experience. If I wanted to communicate effectively to my Spanish-speaking customers in particular, I would have written the signs in both English and Spanish. It would never, never have occurred to me to single out the Spanish-speaking customers for special, targeted admonishment, when I knew my customers might be from anywhere and speak any language.

          Imagine being in a fourth-grade classroom today in the city where I live. Around you, you would see books in English and Spanish, a bulletin board celebrating the Navratras holidays, Asian children playing mancala, the child of a Norwegian oil worker learning about Columbus Day. Say you saw a list of classroom rules taped on the blackboard, but you noticed it was all in Spanish, and that there was not another list of rules on the wall. What would that make you think?

          • diagoro says:

            It would make me think that all the other children already knew the rules/laws, either by direct teaching or as basic cultural norms. The ones that didn’t know, whatever the reason, needed to be taught and that was a way to reinforce this.

            In this case, it’s common retail expectation that anything you buy is both unused and unopened (especially if it’s wrapped in plastic or sealed). Most Americans understand this, simple as that.

      • ryder28910 says:

        If a specific subset of the population is statistically more inclined to do or be something, then you’d be nothing short of brainless not to target them. Ad companies don’t reach out to the 0.5% of men who might buy purses when 99.5% of buyers are women.

        Profiling is not an inherently bad thing. Blind political correctness, even when it’s obviously the stupidest possible move, is a bad thing.

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          That’s true. However, the store’s action plainly amounts to “one rule for Spanish speakers and another rule for everyone else.” If they had meant it as a warning to apply to the general customer, as opposed to singling out only the Spanish speakers for a special scolding, then they would have included English on the sign.

        • MMD says:

          Do you work for Homeland Security?

      • Dave on bass says:

        It’s not saying “You speak Spanish, therefore you are going to engage in undesirable behavior.” It’s saying “We’ve noticed those who are engaging in said behavior speak Spanish, so we’re going to appeal to those people in notifying against it.”

        Take the negativity “the ‘please don’t…’ portion” away and put a helpful sign in its place, and suddenly nobody would see it as racist. Think of all the helpful English signage scattered throughout Tokyo – is Japan being racist and profiling its English-speaking visitors or residents?

  40. chefgreg says:

    I watched an African American woman in Walmart open a tub of “Mashed Potato Salad” piercing the plastic safety seal with her long fake fingernail and stick that same fingernail into the salad to taste it. Then she covered it back up. I don’t know if she bought it or not. It freaked me out all night. I could live with a pack of Swiffers opened but not the idea of potato salad being taste tested with fingernails.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      In the words of my Black co-worker (she does not identify as “African-American”, she is an American, thank you)… “That’s messed up. My mom would have died if she saw me do something like that.”

    • snowmentality says:

      People can be gross. Race has nothing to do with it. One might be inclined to think being a Walmart shopper has more to do with it, but I’ve seen people do nasty things at other stores too, so it’s not just a “people of Walmart” thing. Work at any grocery store for a year and completely lose your faith in humanity, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, or language…

    • MMD says:

      You may have seen an African American woman do this in this instance, but I hope you’re not trying to make a larger point about African Americans in general by making a point of mentioning her race.

    • chefgreg says:

      No, my point actually had nothing to do with race of the woman who opened the salad, just to illustrate that it’s not only Latinos who do such things. I could have said it was a white woman, but it wasn’t, and in the context of the original article, I felt that distinguishing the race of the person was appropriate. I in on way meant to offend, and I do not, absolutely do not consider myself racist.

  41. BelleSade says:

    I’ve lived in Latin America nearly all my life. Opening packages, especially for cleaning supplies and such, is very common because some people… open the packages and steal what’s inside. So you open them to check if everything is actually there.

  42. BelleSade says:

    I’ve lived in Latin America nearly all my life. Opening packages, especially for cleaning supplies and such, is very common because some people… open the packages and steal what’s inside. So you open them to check if everything is actually there.

  43. BelleSade says:

    I’ve lived in Latin America nearly all my life. Opening packages, especially for cleaning supplies and such, is very common because some people… open the packages and steal what’s inside. So you open them to check if everything is actually there.

  44. physics2010 says:

    Off the top of my head I’d guess that it might be a cultural thing for Mexicans that they open the box and look at the actual item or something along those lines, and that it might not be a taboo thing. You’d have to talk to a native to find out though. Turks used to immigrate to Germany and piss off the Germans by trying to negotiate price for everything in the store. The Turks just knew where they were from you never paid the first price asked.

  45. RandomHookup says:

    Just put it up in Arabic only and we’ll see what crowd gets offended.

  46. Kibit says:

    Could it be as simple as they had two signs. One sign in Spanish and one sign in English and the English written sign fell on the floor and was swept away? It may seem too simple, but signs fall or are knocked down all the time.

    Or could they have had problems with some Spanish speaking customers opening the boxes? As in they specifically saw some of their Spanish speaking customers on more than one occasion opening the boxes and that is why they put up the sign.

    Did the OP ask why there was only a sign written only in Spanish?

    In my neighborhood when the landscapers come around to spray with pesticides the pesticide sensitive residents put out signs in Spanish asking them to not spray their area. They do this because none of the workers speak English. Many of the residents have spoken with them including a few native Spanish speakers and this is what was suggested that they do.
    Residents had put out signs in English before they found out that none of the landscapers spoke English and their areas still got sprayed.

    It is possible that there was no ill intent with the sign. The best way to find out would be to ask questions before you just take a picture and send it to a consumer web site. Quite frankly the Consumerist should have called this store to ask them about the sign before they posted the article. It’s called responsible journalism.

  47. stock2mal says:

    Designate an official language for this country and this ceases to be a problem. I don’t care if it’s Spanish, English, Klingon, Pig-Latin, etc, just do it already.

    • RandomHookup says:

      So if we designate it, people will automatically be able to speak it? Making English official won’t stop stores that have large non-English fluent customers from putting up signs in those languages — that’s simply commerce and free speech (and smart business).

  48. seanism says:

    How is this offensive? Besides the fact that this is America and everyone should speak english.

  49. common_sense84 says:

    This is not offensive. This makes perfect sense if latino customers are opening boxes.

    It’s a legitimate cultural thing. They are used to opening things and checking them out before purchase, but in america stores do not want you do this.

  50. noncomjd says:

    Would you be equally offended if it were only in English? People need to get a life.

  51. sopmodm14 says:

    well, if those are the primary culprits, then its just a coincidence i guess

  52. kompeitou says:

    Family Guy is racist too. Why is the maid Hispanic?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HBK0RN1Zy4

  53. RavenWarrior says:

    It’s not just Spanish-speaking people that need to stop opening packages, especially when the box in question is sealed and the person can’t put things back together. And then people complain when all the boxes are open… Blame yourselves, not the staff.

  54. Dr.Wang says:

    When the HUGE invasion of mexican illegals started in the Goshen, Indiana area, a trip to the local Walmart showed that when they looked at something in the store, this was their normal behavior. On the floor below every clothing rack were piles of clothes, they would look at them then toss them on the floor if they didn’t buy them. At any given time, around the entire store, 5-10% of the store inventory was on the floor. I think it is a Mexican cultural thing, that is probably why the signs are in espanol. They would open boxes, have a look, and toss them aside.

  55. Razor512 says:

    Probably through camera footage they noticed that most of the people who opened packages in store looked Hispanic. The main problem they have with opening packages is is is good as making the product used. Most people will avoid a product that looks like it has been opened before as it generally means it is either used or has something stolen from it.

    Many people open packages in stores to steal tiny things, eg a gasket for a blender, rubber caps for those rice cookers and other random stuff, It is annoying beyond words when you buy a product, you find that parts are missing because someone stole stuff from it and then when you take it back to the store, And try to convince them to accept it back when they notice a missing part (many cases they don’t because there is no way for you to prove that you didn’t take the part your self.

    It is a hassle for the business and a even bigger hassle for shoppers who end up buying those products. I have had first hand experience with this problem. Parents bought a blender, but it was missing the gasket that goes on the bottom half (some jerk unscrewed it then took the gasket then screwed it back on then put it) luckily the store accepted an exchange which we opened in front of them and after 5 tries we finally found one with the gasket still there)

    If you are going to steal crap from the store, at least steal the whole product or damage the box so other shoppers wont buy it and have to go through this crap.

    • Razor512 says:

      Also wanted to add, if you live around the ling island area, do this little test, notice how products like blenders, and other appliances, and even electronic accessories such as TV antennas and other random objects what come with parts that can easily be pocketed never seem to be in the box, but you can find those same random parts in the nearby flea markets.

      I remember back in the 90′s at kmart, the workers had to clear out an entire shelf of tv antennas and restock them with items from the back of the store because all of them had the little RF adapter stolen from the box. for those who don’t remember those, this is how they look http://i.imgur.com/NXhm7.jpg

      It will be better to enforce a rule where the item must be purchased first then the customer can then open the item in store to confirm the contents and if it is not correct then it can be swapped, then view opening the boxes before buying as you would stealing.
      This will fix many problems.

  56. almightytora says:

    What’s even more funny… If you see the picture, it says “pordutctos”. They meant “productos”. Someone doesn’t even know to type in Spanish.

  57. nocturnaljames says:

    Perhaps it’s because they had problems with spanish-speaking customers opening packages? Maybe other customers already know it’s customary not to. The facts may seem racist, but they are still facts even if you don’t want to face them.

  58. DurkaDurkaDurka says:

    Having worked in retail for six years, it’s a simple fact: Hispanics open things. Retailers in general have a problem with anyone ‘opening’ stuff because:

    1. Opening something that is brand new and FACTORY SEALED invalidates the entire concept of the item being ‘new’ and therefore the product can not be sold as new, hence they must send it off or sell it for less.
    2. Once said merchandise has been opened to be ‘inspected’ for whatever reason, more often than not people just leave it there and pick up a different box that is still sealed and purchases it. To a lesser extent the item is just left where it is.

    If this guy has a problem with this store making a short note for a group of people where language is obviously a barrier to communication, he seriously needs to consider better options of what to do with his time than complain to the Consumerist. Writing a note to communicate something easier is akin to buildings having braille on elevators for blind people to read what floor they are on or want to be on. On a side note, Kmart seems to have lowered the bar even further on hiring credentials, specifically when it comes to one’s ability to spell.

  59. ShariC says:

    In Japan, often the warnings about security or electronic surveillance that are geared toward shoplifters are often only written in English even though the foreign population of the entire country (let alone the percentage of shoplifters, many of which are elderly Japanese people who aren’t poor but simply prefer not to spend their money if they can lift stuff for “free”) is less than 2%.

    I don’t care if they can absolutely prove without a scrap of doubt that only Spanish speakers open packaging. It hurts (and costs) nothing to make the signs both in English and Spanish and avoids the racist undertones.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      It’s just the professional and sensitive thing to do. You’d THINK that people in the sales and marketing business would care about things like that.

  60. thedude says:

    Different cultural norms – the same reason that when I lived in Houston I would see billboards in Spanish reminding folks of the age of consent in the US.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      Yeah, I live in Houston too. My impression is that such a billboard implies that only native Spanish speakers need to be reminded of such a thing.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        “Reminded” is the wrong word; the age of consent is lower in Mexico than it is in the United States.

  61. DjDynasty-Webology says:

    Patrick, shut up and be happy your white for all the job opportunities and raises you will get as a white english speaker.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      Unfortunately, many jobs require bilingual workers. Which is why hispanics overwhelmingly inhabit all the office worker/receptionist jobs. And affirmative action works for hispanics as well.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      Unfortunately, many jobs require bilingual workers. Which is why hispanics overwhelmingly inhabit all the office worker/receptionist jobs. And affirmative action works for hispanics as well.

  62. pot_roast says:

    What Census year? I’ve noticed that the Hispanic population of Maryland has increased LOTS since the 2000 Census. And perhaps they have noticed a problem in that particular store with Spanish-only speakers opening products.

    I don’t see why it’s offensive. It’s no more offensive than a sign in any other language.

  63. Plasmafox says:

    This is the only one of these he saw?

    Clearly they specifically noticed spanish-speaking latinos were doing this on these specific products and they put a sign up asking them not to. That’s not racist.

    The sign still shouldn’t be in spanish.

  64. prismatist says:

    “According to census data the Hispanic/Latino is only 6.5%”

    6.5% what? 6.5% Dietary fibre? 6.5% Nitrogen? 6.5% alchohol by volume? 6.5% biodiesel? 6.5% milk fat?

    Help, I don’t understand this sentence!

    Oh wait…maybe he means that the proportion of the general population that is Hispanic/Latino is 6.5% according to census data. Something tells me that in certain locations of the country census data may not accurately reflect the true proportion of the general population that is Hispanic/Latino.

    /grammarnazi

  65. jaredwilliams says:

    I worked at home depot, the only people who opened boxes were hispanic, they’d do it right in front of you or in front of anyone like it was no big deal. When you said “no” they’d act like
    “what’s the problemo meng”, and this was new hampshire. It’s true, I think it’s a culture difference, because white people won’t buy things that are open, but the Hispanics would buy the stuff that was torn open and just make sure the parts were there.

  66. gman863 says:

    No wonder K-mart closed its stores in Houston a few years ago.

    Based on the population mix, they’d have to post in Spanish, Arabic, Pakastani, Chinese (traditional and modern), Vietnamise and a few assorted African dialouges.

    English would be optional.

  67. maynurd says:

    Why does everything have to be posted in English AND Spanish now. If you are going to live in another country, at least make the effort to learn the language that is spoken there.

    • RandomHookup says:

      It’s about good business practices. If a business thinks enough of its potential customers would be more comfortable in another language, that’s up to then to decide. (As would be not insulting customers who speak another language by calling them out only in their tongue).