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Old 01-10-2013, 08:48 PM
 
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Canadians are more reserved compared to Americans, though this pertains more to their Anglophone provinces and not Quebec. That's why Vancouver fell out of favor with me while living in Seattle. There's this British civility in interactions that I'm not accustomed to.

Believe me, they stereotype Americans. Surprisingly, one of the dumbest stereotypes or comments, and it was an isolated case, was heard in Montreal. One person, upon learning I was American, started doing a mock "Texan" accent. I told him that's not how we talk in California.

 
Old 01-10-2013, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Pittman Center, Tennessee
306 posts, read 632,690 times
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Arrive at the Calgary Airport and you'll receive a "Welcome to Calgary" from a friendly lady at the gate. This is probably only on the international concourse...but it meant a lot.
 
Old 01-10-2013, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
2,166 posts, read 1,750,098 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 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.
There is a lot to this post. I agree that typically, you aren't greeted by cashiers. You get what you want, and they're doing their job, and that's what it's all about, isn't it? Next!

At least, that's what I thought, after years of living in Toronto. It wasn't until I started travelling and exploring my own country, that I discovered things weren't like that everywhere. I was greeted in Halifax, asked how I was doing in Vancouver, and high-fived (for no apparent reason) when I walked in to a bar in Sudbury, Ontario. Where I am now in Alberta, it is unusual to not be greeted somehow when you walk into a store.

It has taken me a little getting used to. In Toronto, you avoid eye contact, you look away when somebody approaches, you do everything to avoid having to deal with strangers. If somebody greets you, it is because they want something: spare change, a willingness to be saved by Jesus, a donation to Krishna, and so on. Like many Torontonians, I shut them out; and I would not be at all surprised if the attitude (on both sides of the cash desk) is, "Leave me alone, just let me buy/sell what I want, do not talk to me about Jesus/Krishna/the environment/Conservatives/Liberals/US politics, etc. etc. etc." That's how I recall my days in Toronto and environs: I'm walkin' here, just leave me alone!

In my first days here in Alberta, I was surprised that people said hello, without any obligation whatsoever. They weren't soliciting anything, nor were they selling anything; they were just being friendly. I'm used to it now, but in the beginning--phew! Way outside my experience as a Torontonian.
 
Old 01-10-2013, 09:53 PM
 
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Can't speak for the rest of Canada but here in Toronto, just as stated above, we look down/away when walking past people. Me and surely some Torontonians would love to greet passerbys but its hard in a city so accustomed to not doing so. I tried last week and it was mad akward. The lady had a "wtf did this guy just greet me?" face, then said "oh... hey, u too". she said that like 10 seconds aater when i was already way past her so i barely heard her lol. But i can tell u we definetely aint rude. if u ask for help/questions/directions etc, Torontonians will respond in such a caring manner, hospitable and southerly sorta, shocking considering we look down/away lol.

And i can see many ppl tying in this shyness with the Brits. I thought so too till some British lady here on CD complained bout missing random hellos and cashier greetings back in the UK, and she was living in Alberta too!
 
Old 01-10-2013, 10:25 PM
 
10,357 posts, read 7,975,443 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruSan View Post
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
That's the type of grocery store I'm used to in the U.S. also. Staff go out of their way to be friendly and helpful. The funny thing is that folks working in grocery stores in the U.S. usually make far less in wages than those in Canada.
 
Old 01-10-2013, 10:51 PM
 
254 posts, read 261,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastyork View Post
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
Tell me about it.
Always hated going to the barber's, they always seem to be more interested in chatting than cutting my hair.
Workers should be like good prostitutes: shut up and do their job.
 
Old 01-11-2013, 12:39 AM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
2,166 posts, read 1,750,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
That's the type of grocery store I'm used to in the U.S. also. Staff go out of their way to be friendly and helpful.
For what it's worth, the last time I tried to buy cigarettes at a supermarket in the US (Denver, CO), I had to show ID. When I proffered my Canadian passport, I was told, "I don't know if we can accept this. Its foreign."

WTF? A passport is an international identity document. It identifies the bearer as a national of the issuing government. Its information can be checked, and as a passport, will be found to be true. The US government recognized it on my entry to the US, and allowed me into the US on its basis. The state of Colorado obviously had other ideas.

Apparently, I can be admitted to the US on the basis of my Canadian passport, but because I'm not American, I cannot buy smokes in Colorado. Because Colorado does not accept Canada as a proper independent (though foreign) entity. I can understand that average Coloradans have never heard of Ontario or Alberta; but certainly, they have heard of Canada. Apparently not; even at Mile High Stadium, where I was attending a Broncos game, my passport carried no weight at the beer stand because it "wasn't American."
,
It was a good game, but I could not have a beer during it, because I am not American.

In the end, I went back to my hotel's bar, and celebrated with local fans. Go Broncos!
 
Old 01-11-2013, 12:59 AM
 
Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
11,265 posts, read 13,152,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevySpoons View Post
For what it's worth, the last time I tried to buy cigarettes at a supermarket in the US (Denver, CO), I had to show ID. When I proffered my Canadian passport, I was told, "I don't know if we can accept this. Its foreign."

WTF? A passport is an international identity document. It identifies the bearer as a national of the issuing government. Its information can be checked, and as a passport, will be found to be true. The US government recognized it on my entry to the US, and allowed me into the US on its basis. The state of Colorado obviously had other ideas.

Apparently, I can be admitted to the US on the basis of my Canadian passport, but because I'm not American, I cannot buy smokes in Colorado. Because Colorado does not accept Canada as a proper independent (though foreign) entity. I can understand that average Coloradans have never heard of Ontario or Alberta; but certainly, they have heard of Canada. Apparently not; even at Mile High Stadium, where I was attending a Broncos game, my passport carried no weight at the beer stand because it "wasn't American."
,
It was a good game, but I could not have a beer during it, because I am not American.

In the end, I went back to my hotel's bar, and celebrated with local fans. Go Broncos!

Maybe they thought your age was in metric? lol


About the grocery /corner store people being rude, I really don't find that too often here in Windsor. Here and there, yeah. But I almost always get a "hello", or "did you find everything you were looking for?"

I can't say we walk around with our heads down, avoiding eye contact with one another either.

Hmm. Maybe it's a "big city" thing.
 
Old 01-11-2013, 01:55 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 12,303,845 times
Reputation: 10014
If Torontonians don't make eye contact with strangers much, that would be more a big city thing than a Canadian thing. Let's make sure not to confuse nationalistic factors with basic human factors. Many of my (US) countrypeople go to Paris and find the French very rude. Hello: it's a city of what, 12 million? You'd expect Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver to share some qualities based on size. Vancouver is not Quesnel, Toronto isn't Thunder Bay and I'm pretty sure Montréal isn't Val d'Or. Well, Denver isn't Grand Junction, Miami isn't Ocoee, and Kansas City, Kansas isn't Salina.
 
Old 01-11-2013, 06:25 AM
 
2,096 posts, read 3,848,843 times
Reputation: 1214
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevySpoons View Post
I was greeted in Halifax, asked how I was doing in Vancouver, and high-fived (for no apparent reason) when I walked in to a bar in Sudbury, Ontario. Where I am now in Alberta, it is unusual to not be greeted somehow when you walk into a store.
Is that a typical Northern Ontario thing? When I first met a friend from Northern Ontario, who is a pretty well known singer in Canada, she high-fived me even though she didn't know me. I thought it was really cool but is that just how people are in that part of Canada?
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