Posted by: johnhourihan | September 15, 2013

The Chinese are taking our jobs

Lin and I went to a Chinese restaurant the other day….. in Brunswick Maine.
The young woman who waited on us was Oriental. (You can still say Oriental, can’t you?)
Anyways, the food was great. I like Chinese food, and they had some Thai food too, so I took a déjà vu-ish trip to Thailand, a place I haven’t been for about 45 years.
Anyway, what I came away asking myself is, how come Chinese restaurants get to hire only oriental people?
I mean if Italian restaurants put out a sign that said, “Irish need not apply,” I think there might be a problem. And if only French people could get a job at a French restaurant could the ACLU be far behind?
But in Chinese restaurants – only Orientals.
It can’t be because they are the best qualified for the job: Most of them don’t even speak English, and face it, there are very few people in Brunswick, Me. ordering in Chinese.
I once looked up at a waitress in a Chinese restaurant in Connecticut and asked, “Rest room?”
“You want Pepsi?”
That was her answer. “You want Pepsi?”
Are they all related, I wondered. Is each Chinese restaurant owned and operated by one very large family. Dad owns it, mom cooks, daughters wait on tables, sons bus?
I don’t think so.
I think someone is getting underpaid. How do they beat that law that says you can’t discriminate against people because of race, religion or national origin?
That’s what national origin means, right?
So how is it that to get a job at a Chinese restaurant you have to have been born thousands of miles away?
And how do they get these people to work?
Do they live in the back of the restaurant? I’m not sure, but I don’t think there is a huge influx of Chinese people living in Brunswick, Me.
So, someone tell me, how is it OK for Chinese restaurants to only hire Oriental people?



  1. I just had a conversation about how the Chinese are taken our jobs without even leaving their country. Just by working for much much less pay and no health ins. Now this. Never thought about it before. Could it be that no non-Chinese people apply or could it be for all that money we borrowed we had to turn our backs to this? Just think if American companies didn’t have to pay for health ins. Then we would show those Chinese how to make things cheap. I have never seen a help wanted sign at any Chinese restaurant, nor in the classifieds. What I really would like to know tho is this. Why every time I type the word Chinese in small case the c capitalizes when I move to the next word? polish irish not for these two tho.

    • Neil, this is really funny


  2. I always assumed that non-Chinese people just don’t apply for the job. Being a person who has only worked in restaurants, I have no desire to work in a Chinese restaurant because I don’t know anything about that kind of food (except that I love moo-shi). Same reason I would never work in a seafood restaurant. I don’t like seafood, therefore I know nothing about it, and would be unable to guide customers towards the best entrees. Maybe it is simply assumed that someone other than a Chinese person is not welcome as an employee, which discouranges people from applying. Perhaps we are creating a stereotype that doesn’t even exist. At the Mandarin in Milford, there is a white female hostess. I recently worked with a white male bartender who had a second job bartending at a Chinese restaurant.

    • Nikki, Although there are token exceptions better than 95 percent of the workers in Chinese restaurants are Chinese. There is most likely a financial reason for it.


      • Wagers and benefits ?

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