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Old 01-09-2013, 01:19 PM
 
254 posts, read 261,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnathanc View Post
How does being more outwardly polite and more sociable with someone you don't know translate into being fake? To each their own, but I personally prefer this to the more reserved and sometimes even 'introverted' Canadian mannerisms (well, at least in Toronto).
Politeness is inherently insincere. This is especially the case with Americans.
I'd rather not know much about someone than not be sure about whether they are who they appear to be.

 
Old 01-09-2013, 04:40 PM
 
10,357 posts, read 7,983,248 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingSamme View Post
Politeness is inherently insincere. This is especially the case with Americans.
I'd rather not know much about someone than not be sure about whether they are who they appear to be.
I don't think politeness is necessarily "insincere". In Canada, it bothers me that a cashier can't be bothered greeting me before ringing up my groceries, or that as recently happened to me a clerk at a chinese takeout talked on the phone the entire time he took my order, or that clerks at Shoppers Drug Mart acted actually annoyed when I asked for something that they had to go to the back to get. It's just rude, and they're being sincere all right, sincerely thoughtless and dismissive. If I had to describe the demeanor of most Canadians in public places, it would stony-faced and grim. Maybe they're friendly to their friends, but they don't make much of an effort with strangers.
 
Old 01-10-2013, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Northern Ontario, Canada
230 posts, read 435,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
I don't think politeness is necessarily "insincere". In Canada, it bothers me that a cashier can't be bothered greeting me before ringing up my groceries, or that as recently happened to me a clerk at a chinese takeout talked on the phone the entire time he took my order, or that clerks at Shoppers Drug Mart acted actually annoyed when I asked for something that they had to go to the back to get. It's just rude, and they're being sincere all right, sincerely thoughtless and dismissive. If I had to describe the demeanor of most Canadians in public places, it would stony-faced and grim. Maybe they're friendly to their friends, but they don't make much of an effort with strangers.
I totally get that you're frustrated, and I've had my share of frustration with this too. I'm going to take a wild guess here that you live in the GTA somewhere? Remember, Canada does have a national character of inherited reservedness from the British, but it's also a country of regions. Also, I've noticed the older, more established cities and towns are very different from the GTA (the 'plastic' commuter cities are especially terrible), and you absolutely will find cashiers that are happy to cash you out and people that will greet you on the street. In more rural areas people walking on the road will even wave to you as you drive by.

If the lack of friendliness is really affecting your quality of life, do whatever you can do combat it. If you don't like how you're not greeted by a cashier, ask them if there's some reason why they didn't greet you. If you get bad customer service look them right in the eyes and say "Are you this rude to all your customers?" That's my way of dealing with it.

Either that or move back to the US.
 
Old 01-10-2013, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
9,535 posts, read 9,420,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
I don't think politeness is necessarily "insincere". In Canada, it bothers me that a cashier can't be bothered greeting me before ringing up my groceries, or that as recently happened to me a clerk at a chinese takeout talked on the phone the entire time he took my order.
Unfortunately, that has happened to me more than once locally. And I'm supposed to live in "The Hospitality State"!
 
Old 01-10-2013, 02:22 PM
 
254 posts, read 261,511 times
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Why should the cashier greet you?
Self checkout's better anyway.
 
Old 01-10-2013, 06:24 PM
 
10,357 posts, read 7,983,248 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingSamme View Post
Why should the cashier greet you?
Self checkout's better anyway.

I guess they're not required to. It's such a contrast to where I have lived most of my adult life, in the southern U.S., where I got to know many of the cashiers at the grocery store I frequented, and we chatted about our families or pets. It just makes for a better experience.
 
Old 01-10-2013, 06:42 PM
 
18,282 posts, read 10,383,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
I guess they're not required to. It's such a contrast to where I have lived most of my adult life, in the southern U.S., where I got to know many of the cashiers at the grocery store I frequented, and we chatted about our families or pets. It just makes for a better experience.

Well. I'll wade in with a hearty endorsement for this feature of southern living but to be fair the very best examples involving supermarket check-outs and baggers is the PUBLIX chain of grocery stores here in Central Florida.

Walking the aisles with list in hand will often ellicit "can I help you find something" from a shelf stocker.

Arriving at check out you are greeted with: "Good day, how are you? Did you find everything you needed?"

The baggers who are often in their 70's ask: "may I help you to your car with your groceries" and they are not allowed to accept tips as I made the mistake of attempting to tip one of them.

Here's the kicker: the chain was founded by George Jenkins in the 50's and every employee is a shareholder
 
Old 01-10-2013, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Toronto
482 posts, read 646,285 times
Reputation: 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
I guess they're not required to. It's such a contrast to where I have lived most of my adult life, in the southern U.S., where I got to know many of the cashiers at the grocery store I frequented, and we chatted about our families or pets. It just makes for a better experience.
I hear what your saying.
Depends on what you're used to.
I'm used to the "unfriendly" GTA (and possibly all of Canada) way.
I don't want to be "friends" with the cashiers, just take my money and don't short change me

Given the choice I would choose self checkout everytime.

Lately at my bank, every teller says stuff like "What are you planning on doing tonight?"
or "What did you do this weekend?" ....I'm thinking, none of your business
Yes, they actually say stuff like this, at a Canadian bank!, everytime!, I figure they must be
told to do so by management.


Whenever I can I use the ATM
 
Old 01-10-2013, 08:16 PM
 
1,723 posts, read 5,142,745 times
Reputation: 1351
Where I live, most of the cashiers and other store employees are really polite and helpful. I'm in the Niagara Region.

Of course, the customer service is slightly better on the U.S. side, probably due to greater competition. I still would rather live here, where the government is less corrupt and more of the tax dollars are spent on beneficial programs rather than wasted on war and prisons. It's also a far superior environment for children. The school teachers and administrators treat them with more dignity and respect than in the U.S.
 
Old 01-10-2013, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Both coasts
1,582 posts, read 4,291,769 times
Reputation: 1447
i spent alot of time in Canada when I was in a relationship with a Canadian. There most certainly is a reservedness in the people, I also assume from some form of British influence or something.
The one thing I find is that they do NOT look at each other in the eye when walking past each other...they look away or look down. This is in Vancouver, but I noticed it in Toronto too. However, they are for the most part very polite. At least they are generally civil and tolerant to people who are DIFFERENT (whether race, religion, etc etc)- cant say the same about many Americans.
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