Today I grabbed a quick healthy lunch at Delifrance in One Utama. I was pleasantly greeted with merry greetings of 'Bonjour!' when I first entered and reacted accordingly - smiled at them. Then I had my order taken - when I was in the midst of ordering orange juice and asking if the RM7.90 price was for freshly squeezed juice, the server told me 'Botol'. I had to gather myself for a minute cos I am sure you guys out there know it's not easy to swivel from French to English to Bahasa Malaysia. I genuinely thought though at that point that, 'Ok, he just doesn't pronounce properly'.
My juice came first - in a little plastic glass 2.5 inches high - yup for RM7.90 orange juice from a bottle - and it ain't even the WHOLE bottle! Fine, I then asked the guy if I could still get the Free Soda with any order of a Main Course or Pasta between 12 noon to 2pm. He gestured for me to wait. Another server came. I asked him the same question, while pointing to the section that mentioned the offer. He nodded.
Yeay - so for basically RM7.90, I get 2 drinks lah, ok lah. Whatever.
Then another couple came and sat down close to me, and my waiter took their order too. To my utmost surprise, the poor guy didn't speak a word of English! After several failed attempts to order and ask questions in English, the couple had to resort to BM to match the server's language responses. Following that, I hear several snippets of workers' conversations that took place in BM. I was just flabbergasted - here I am in a French restaurant (haha), was appropriately greeted in French and no one at the place could speak English! There were only 2 servers on duty and only 1 who could understand English and speak BM. The other one, when faced with a request for ketchup - just walked away scratching his head and asked his one and only other colleague to serve the customer!
Now I know there are lots of Malaysians nowadays who complain about the recruitment of foreign workers - thinking them difficult to manage, untrustworthy, difficult to communicate with. Well, what do you say when 2 Chinese youths, who look like they just graduated Form 5 or Form 6, working part time in Delifrance cannot speak English? This is our future!