Sunday, August 8, 2010
Posted by Zek J. Evets at 11:30 AM
My job affords me a constant opportunity to peruse the myriad flavors of tourists here in San Francisco.
I've had customers from Alabama, Mississippi, Michigan, D.C., Oregon, England, Brasil, Spain, Germany, New York, Florida, Russia, Italy, and many more. They've been uber-religious Mormonites to avid football/soccer fans to families "on holiday" to tour buses full of senior citizens. They all had quirks. They all had some sort of style. Some were really nice... and some were very mean.
But perhaps the worst and most hypocritical of all my customers are those from France.
I ask my European readers (meaning you Mira!) to give me their opinion on this. Are the French really rude? Do they regularly refuse to speak the language of the country they're in? To not even make an effort at it? Do French people have some sort of extremely large stick up their ass that makes them treat even the nicest retail assistant like some unwanted pest in their quest to get high-quality items at prices that would make an Indian beggar cry?
Seriously, when I went to France I at least made the effort to speak French. I was often told it's polite to attempt to know the language, learn a few phrases so you don't seem like this tourist that must be pandered to. More importantly, I was told -- by other French people I know -- that the French in particular have a thing about that.
And yet at my work they speak no English! They can't even say "I don't understand". They don't even speak Spanish (which is just strange since it's a pretty common language too). However, I have my suspicions... They understand me well enough when I ask, "No English?" And smile widely. Like that'll help.
Many of them just refuse speak English, but often enough once they decide they want something all of a sudden they're a regular fucking lexicon of perfectly accented King's English! It's as if they expect to be treated like they're on vacation in France! It makes me want to grab Froggie by the nose and douse 'em in a combination of old escargot and pigeon carcasses.
So, yeah, that's my rant about French customers, who most of my coworkers won't even try selling to because they're such d-bags to us. And because they won't speak English.
Feel free to share your experience with French people.