At work today, I had to call the Harris County district courthouse. Harris County is the third most populous county in the US, and contains the city of Houston. Until 1848, it and the hundreds of miles surrounding it belonged to the Republic of Mexico.
Annoyed that it was taking so long to get a hold of a human--which I needed in this case--I thought I'd try in Spanish. I hang up and call back and am confronted with the menu of options: for Spanish press 7, for civil suits press 1, for press inquiries press 2, for department of records press 3, for criminal trials press 4, for family court press 5, etc... I press seven.
THE MENU IN SPANISH IS OUTLANDISHLY OFFENSIVE:
Press 1 for criminal trials
Press 2 to contact a parole officer
Press 3 for family court/child support
AND THAT IS IT.
In my best attempt at fairness to Harris County, if you are involved in a civil lawsuit in Harris County and you don't speak English, you probably have bigger problems. But even if it isn't efficient, shouldn't a court be trying to do something other than opperate efficiently? Is it difficult to furnish a Spanish speaking line in Houston?