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Old 04-07-2013, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
64,636 posts, read 53,976,421 times
Reputation: 95340

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Quote:
Originally Posted by travellingmeena View Post
wow..After reading the whole list here comes my comment.
The US is not a country for everybody and Im probably going to receive a lot of negative responses after what Im going to say. I agree with the author in several of his points and I kinda identify myself with him.
No one likes generalizations, and as the author repeteadly said the blog was based on his experiences only. In MY EXPERIENCE with americans I had positive experiences and bad experiences. I have been working in the service industry for several years now, going from 3 stars hotels to luxurios 5 stars, and as much as I hate to generalize, the most demanding and difficult guests have been americans. I can not re-call the amount of times where an american guest called the manager to complain that, the valet attendant is rude because he didn't smile enough, they need a refund because they just changed their mind last minute about a tour and will dispute the charges with their bank if not given, or just put a complain so they can get a complimentary breakfast or dinner or something because we didnt meet their expectation and our job should be to pamper them.
Rarely we have encounter problems with asian guests for example who know what they pay for and know what they get. Or Europeans who we have rarely dealt with a complain about part of the stuff being rude for not smiling enough. Now I'm not saying ALL american guests are like these but just FYI. We also notice whenever someone wants to compliment a very well service is usually the american guest who goes all the way writting emails about how great their experience was and that, that specific employee should be rewarded for the great job he does.
I believe part of the mentality comes from the tipping culture. Since you are a child you are used to going to restaurants having waiters and waitresses going all out of their ways to satisfy you, expecting to get a GREAT AMOUNT OF TIP from you. So most americans are used to everyone acting like their waiter or waitress who would do anything for a tip so they expect the rest of the world to do so. NOW THIS IS NOT ALL AMERICANS BUT A GOOD GROUP DOES ACT LIKE THAT. I rememember the first time I got a cab in New York City, It was my first time in America, and the taxi driver was nice and friendly and asked me several questionS to why my stay in New York, I was thinking what a nice guy! when it came the time to pay, I handed my credit card marked an x on the tip part and payed my taxi fare. the guy saw that I didnt include a tip and gave me a stink eye kinda saying you cheap tourist!!!.
LOL, I enjoyed reading your post and your perspective is interesting! I actually agree with a lot of it, and after all, you're relating your own experiences, so how could I NOT agree with it? Anyway, you sound like a patient, observant, kindhearted person so I wish you great success whether you choose the service industry or something else.

Quote:
so I wonder do I really like someone being nice to me just for my money? or do I prefer someone who is genuanely nice because that's their nature? I actually prefer the second.
To me, the answer to this lies totally in what the context is of the particular situation.

In friends and bosses and coworkers and business partners - I prefer option number 2. When it comes to the general public and my interactions with them, I really don't care whether they're genuinely nice or not - as long as they treat me with the same level of respect I give them, and pay me when they're supposed to and as they are supposed to.

In the US, we have very clearly defined societal norms regarding tipping. Any tour guide book will give a visitor to our country very clear advice and guidelines. "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." When visiting the US, follow our tipping customs. When we're in your country, we'll do our best to follow YOUR tipping customs.

IF everyone would try to show more respect for the cultures of the places they visit, things would go a lot better for everyone involved.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:06 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,120 posts, read 6,236,284 times
Reputation: 4532
I the true American spirit, I don't get "mad" at people who voice an opinion. It was interesting to read his perspective.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Ypsilanti
389 posts, read 449,303 times
Reputation: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I wonder how much of your avoidance of criticism is a southern thing — I tend to prefer bluntness within reason. Is the update (scroll down a bit) in this article a good illustration:

What I Grew Up Not Talking About | The American Conservative
I'm much the same way, I prefer straightforward honesty/bluntness. When I met some British folk, they can be brutally honest, but I liked it. Some of my friends are real with you, whether it's good or bad. With that said I'm so terrible at being brutally honest, it's become natural for me to disagree very subtlety.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
64,636 posts, read 53,976,421 times
Reputation: 95340
Just a note - it's entirely possible to be honest without being brutally honest, or even "blunt." But to each his own. Personally, if I can be honest without offending someone, I choose that route.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Ypsilanti
389 posts, read 449,303 times
Reputation: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Just a note - it's entirely possible to be honest without being brutally honest, or even "blunt." But to each his own. Personally, if I can be honest without offending someone, I choose that route.
True, but sometimes people do need a reality check, like some of the people who go on American Idol and can't sing, but have been told they can by others. You think it would have been better to find out earlier than in front of millions...

Say something is on your face one day, you are talking to someone close and they say nothing and you walk to the bathroom and think why couldn't they say anything, there are many examples of times when you can be straightforward to get to the point without hurting feelings.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
64,636 posts, read 53,976,421 times
Reputation: 95340
Quote:
Originally Posted by weteath View Post
True, but sometimes people do need a reality check, like some of the people who go on American Idol and can't sing, but have been told they can by others. You think it would have been better to find out earlier than in front of millions...

Say something is on your face one day, you are talking to someone close and they say nothing and you walk to the bathroom and think why couldn't they say anything, there are many examples of times when you can be straightforward to get to the point without hurting feelings.
Well, of course.

My point is that when we are guests in another country, it's probably not necessary to spout off to the natives about all the stuff we don't like about their country.

Say that someone visits you and stays in your home for a week. After they leave, they write on their blog about all the things they disliked so much about your home, that they would NEVER lower themself to actually LIVE there - but hey, they'll be back to stay with you again!

1. I really hate the room my host put me in - it had a ceiling fan and that seems like such a waste of energy! I mean, what's the point? It's not like he ever turned off the air conditioning. Am I supposed to run the air conditioning AND the ceiling fan? I don't get it!

2. I hated the alarm clock in the room - what an irritating display it had! I don't use alarm clocks anyway, so really - what's the point of even having it in there? I had to cover up the numbers in order to get to sleep at night!

3. Breakfast - don't even get me started. I mean, what's with all that bacon? It's not even the kind of bacon I like but I don't want bacon for breakfast anyway - I want a smoothie.

4. My host doesn't have an ecologically friendly toilet! IT USES HUGE AMOUNTS OF WATER. Such a waste. He's so ignorant - it doesn't cost very much to replace a toilet. It would pay for itself in six months.

5. Neighbors - what a pain! My gosh, they were over the top friendly. One of them even came over with a plate of brownies when they found out I was visiting from out of town! I could tell they were fake friendly though. I hate that.

6. Tags on extension cords. Look, dude, after you buy the extension cord, you really can cut the tags off. I mean, it's a law that the seller has to put those on there, but you don't have to leave them on there. Tacky.

7. Cold tile floors in the bathroom. Where I come from, we have heated bathroom floors. I nearly died of pneumonia stepping out of the shower onto that cold tile. It's the 21st century - get a heated floor.

8. Pesticides used on the lawn. For real? You know those are poisons, right? Can't you just light a citronella candle or something?

9. One ply toilet paper. I really hate that stuff. Do you think you're saving money? You have to use twice as much.

10. Basic cable only. What's up with that! Where are all the movie channels? I had to watch some commercials when I was at your house, and you know I hate that. You could at least spring for HBO if you're going to have guests for any length of time.

11. Eggs from chickens that were raised in a big chicken house. Animal cruelty! Why don't you buy cage free eggs instead? It's just not that difficult! If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything, right?

12. Granite countertops. Sheeze, dude - you've been watching too much HGTV. Granite is so nouveau riche. It's so yesterday. I was almost embarrassed for you every time I walked into the kitchen.

13. No bookshelves anywhere. Man, don't you ever read anything? Oh, I get it - you get all your info from the Mainstream Media. No wonder you're so shallow. I couldn't even find a decent book or magazine to read while I was sitting on your inefficient toilet!

14. Huge portions of BBQ. Look, we've evolved - we're not cavemen anymore. When you have a cookout, you really don't have to serve so much meat. The least you could do is grill a few vegetables for those of us who actually care about our health.

15. Going to see the afternoon matinee rather than the evening movie. Sheeze, I HATE coming out of a theater when it's still light outside! That's just TOO weird. I'm all about saving money, but come on - it's just a couple of dollars' difference. If you would buy a toilet that cuts your water bill down, you could afford to go see movies in the evening.

16. Cotton sheets. How long have we known each other? We were roommates in college together for pete's sake! You KNOW I prefer flannel sheets!

17. Fake friendly hosting. I know you mean well, but honestly - your perpetual smile and peppy attitude really got to me after a week. I was really hoping you'd get drunk at least one time, break down, open up, and cry about, I don't know - SOMETHING. You can't HONESTLY be this happy! Lord knows I'm not.

There - I got that off my chest. That being said, I really did enjoy taking your boat out on the lake (wow, gas really is expensive, isn't it - thanks, bro!), and going to the club with you (wow, I was surprised they didn't take my American Express card - I owe ya, buddy!), and meeting your pretty cousin (Hmmmmm, I'd like to get to know her better...). So - I'LL BE BACK, DON'T YOU WORRY! We'll have fun IN SPITE of the things I mentioned. Still - glad I'm me and you're you - I'd hate to live in your situation, but I don't mind visiting!

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 04-08-2013 at 10:52 AM..
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:30 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
24,923 posts, read 25,502,115 times
Reputation: 21965
Quote:
Originally Posted by travellingmeena View Post
No one likes generalizations, and as the author repeteadly said the blog was based on his experiences only. In MY EXPERIENCE with americans I had positive experiences and bad experiences. I have been working in the service industry for several years now, going from 3 stars hotels to luxurios 5 stars, and as much as I hate to generalize, the most demanding and difficult guests have been americans. I can not re-call the amount of times where an american guest called the manager to complain that, the valet attendant is rude because he didn't smile enough, they need a refund because they just changed their mind last minute about a tour and will dispute the charges with their bank if not given, or just put a complain so they can get a complimentary breakfast or dinner or something because we didnt meet their expectation and our job should be to pamper them.
Rarely we have encounter problems with asian guests for example who know what they pay for and know what they get. Or Europeans who we have rarely dealt with a complain about part of the stuff being rude for not smiling enough. Now I'm not saying ALL american guests are like these but just FYI. We also notice whenever someone wants to compliment a very well service is usually the american guest who goes all the way writting emails about how great their experience was and that, that specific employee should be rewarded for the great job he does.
I believe part of the mentality comes from the tipping culture. Since you are a child you are used to going to restaurants having waiters and waitresses going all out of their ways to satisfy you, expecting to get a GREAT AMOUNT OF TIP from you. So most americans are used to everyone acting like their waiter or waitress who would do anything for a tip so they expect the rest of the world to do so. NOW THIS IS NOT ALL AMERICANS BUT A GOOD GROUP DOES ACT LIKE THAT. I rememember the first time I got a cab in New York City, It was my first time in America, and the taxi driver was nice and friendly and asked me several questionS to why my stay in New York, I was thinking what a nice guy! when it came the time to pay, I handed my credit card marked an x on the tip part and payed my taxi fare. the guy saw that I didnt include a tip and gave me a stink eye kinda saying you cheap tourist!!!. so I wonder do I really like someone being nice to me just for my money? or do I prefer someone who is genuanely nice because that's their nature? I actually prefer the second.
It is not just about the tipping culture. A well-known saying in the U.S. is that "the customer is king." No matter what business you're in, customer service is a vitally important (perhaps even a decisive) part of it. This means going out of your way to help the customer and make sure he or she is happy. It is pervasive in American society.

This is probably the main reason why when many Americans travel to foreign countries, they bring those expectations with them. But not all countries have the same customer service standards as are common in the U.S. So, those of us who travel internationally a lot and know better adjust our expectations accordingly. :-)

Last edited by BigCityDreamer; 04-08-2013 at 10:41 AM..
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
64,636 posts, read 53,976,421 times
Reputation: 95340
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
It is not just about the tipping culture. A well-known saying in the U.S. is that "the customer is king." No matter what business you're in, customer service is a vitally important (perhaps even a decisive) part of it. This means going out of your way to help the customer and make sure he or she is happy. It is pervasive in American society.

This is probably the main reason why when many Americans travel to foreign countries, they bring those expectations with them. But not all countries have the same customer service standards as are common in the U.S. So, those of us who travel internationally a lot and know better adjust our expectations accordingly. :-)
Right. Generally that means adjusting our expectations about customer service DOWN.

But that's OK - at least we're getting to see castles and Roman ruins and all sorts of other things we don't have in the US!
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:03 AM
 
376 posts, read 623,218 times
Reputation: 460
As American, I found the article some true, some funny and some not true!
I hate hate hate USA for its lack of public transit in most areas...everything is done by car! I've met so many Americans that buy these huge 30,000.00 suv's and only make under that a year!!!!
For a first world country its extremely underdeveloped...poor infrastructure...its pathetic!
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
64,636 posts, read 53,976,421 times
Reputation: 95340
Quote:
Originally Posted by helloimage View Post
As American, I found the article some true, some funny and some not true!
I hate hate hate USA for its lack of public transit in most areas...everything is done by car! I've met so many Americans that buy these huge 30,000.00 suv's and only make under that a year!!!!
For a first world country its extremely underdeveloped...poor infrastructure...its pathetic!
In our defense, most of the western world has at least a thousand year jump on us when it comes to developing an infrastructure.

And frankly, I wouldn't trade our wide open spaces for their public transit. Give me my own car and a wide open highway any day!
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