Are the Dutch simply the rudest and least professional people in Europe?

(131 Posts)
dikkertjedap Wed 02-Jan-13 15:19:11

Just wondering ....

I find the treatment of customers in many shops simply shocking. Shop assistants seem to have to chew gum and are attached either to their mobile or chatting away with other cashiers or a friend and will let you wait quite happily. If you dare to say 'Excuse me ..' they will actually tell you 'I am busy, I will help you when I have time'. hmm

For many personal services you have to pay, even if you cannot make it or they cannot make it. For example, if swimming lessons fall on Christmas Day or New Year's Day, there won't be a lesson but you still have to pay. If you want to cancel because of Holidays, you still have to pay. This seems with all sports, at least where I am based. confused

If faulty goods (or no goods) are delivered then it is the customers' fault. BY DEFINITION. It is never the provider, NEVER EVER. angry

People seem to be full of themselves, think they know a lot, whereas in many cases it simply makes you cry or laugh. Many pretend to have qualifications and it turns out they don't. So you pay a premium and then find out they are fully unqualified. Clearly no inspections whatsoever. hmm

If a child falls of a climbing frame at school, it will take a considerable time for a staff member to come over, stroke the child over the head and tell it: 'So, now all okay, go and play'. No checks for bumps, no ice, no letter to parents. shock

Many parents to not seem to use car seats/booster seats (I thought it was EU law?). So at childrens' parties they are all bundled in a car, 8 on the rear seat, no seat belts, no seats. shock

Mind you, at my local Dutch Ikea store you can get tampons or sanitary towels, in case you need them, but don't forget they are called: female hygiene napkins. Don't dare to point out that this is slightly incorrect, because they will laugh in your face and tell you they are fluent English.

Not what I expected.

Rant over.

hygienequeen Wed 02-Jan-13 15:23:54

How long have you been here ? Are your kids in a Dutch school ?

Napkins is quite an international English description for sanitaryware.

Why would that wind you up? Why would you go to the trouble of correcting someone on that?

The Dutch are generally known for being direct, I work with a lot of companies/contacts from the Netherlands, and one of my managers is Dutch. However they do separate the person from the issue or the task, and for a Brit that does take some getting used to.

I take it from your post that you have recently moved there?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanitary_napkin and yes most Dutch people have excellent levels of English, but you may have to remember that it is likely to be American English.

I certainly don't critique any of there English, considering my level at other European languages. blush

there their

hygienequeen Wed 02-Jan-13 15:47:44

In all honesty, you'll get used to it ! seven years later and i'm noticing a change in Dutch customer services, in fact lately i have been smiled at and spoken to in shops ... sort of freaks me out grin
The Dutch see Brits ( or so i'm told) as ' sensitive' and sometimes 'entitled' but the majority of people i've met here have been nice and friendly and welcoming, you get some arseholes, but let's face it, you get them anywhere !
Dutch parents are 'freer' with their kids than some other nationalities, their children are allowed to pretty much do what they want, until a certain age (again, so i'm told) which explains 'rougher' children in the playground and children not being told off for rudeness/swearing ... however the teens here are politer and i've NEVER felt intimidated .... hope that helps in some way ?
Also the IKEA thing ... i don't get the issue to be honest ...

bruffin Wed 02-Jan-13 16:04:09

I have had regular holidays in the Netherland for years and have found them to be laid back but professional. Nothing has ever been a problem. Any problems usually sorted out promptly without any fuss.

Must admit some of the children do tend to run a riot sometimes, and their childrens clubs do tend to have a healthy lack of respect of H&S.
I have felt intimidated by teens on a couple of occasions when there has a been a crowd at centreparcs taken over the rapids or at Duinrell where they have descended in a crowd onto the bumpercars.

hygienequeen Wed 02-Jan-13 16:21:27

I live near Duinrell smile and yes can be bonkers there ( overexcited i guess ?) and i would say that happens anywhere ? I don't tend to feel like they are in a 'pack' in town, intimidating me, whereas i have felt that in the UK ..

Funnily enough, when we have been mistaken for tourists ( probably because of our hideous Dutch accents !) then service has been more professional, whereas when buying a car or service during non touristy months .... well, not great ! and it depends where you are Wassenaar ( very ex-pat) has really good service i find

notMarlene Wed 02-Jan-13 16:25:42

It depends a lot on if you're speaking Dutch or English to people I find.

CoteDAzur Wed 02-Jan-13 16:27:09

To answer thread title, I'd have to say: No, that award would have to go to the French. You have to live in France for a few years to see what I mean.

Dc (3 and 4) were assaulted twice by wild kids at centre parcs holland.

Never ever again.

(and I'm 1/8th Dutch?)

hygienequeen Wed 02-Jan-13 16:33:40

I agree Marlene, we always speak in Dutch until quite often they ask to do it in English as their English is better than our Nederlands grin but not usually an issue if you try i think ...

That's awful Thisisaeuphemism, really awful !

Oh being 1/8th Dutch is not so bad. Ho ho.

No it really was awful. The staff were ok - but the kids and the non existent parents were beyond terrible.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 02-Jan-13 16:38:23

I just dump my goods on the counter and walk out. Only food can't be sourced online.

HoobaubleDoobauble Wed 02-Jan-13 16:40:12

Sanitary protection in IKEA? Do you have to put it up yourself? grin

DolomitesDonkey Wed 02-Jan-13 16:42:59

You can usually pay extra and they'll send a man round to do it for you.

hygienequeen Wed 02-Jan-13 16:46:31

Thisisaeuphemism grin aww the Dutch are lovely, the kids i admit can be feral and their parents are NEVER about when something happens like that ... i've been told ( by Dutch colleagues) it's like a social experiment to have the younger children do as they will, learn by their own mistakes, etc and then when they get to big school, it gets stricter ... not sure how that'll work in the long run tbh !

arf HoobaubleDoobauble !!!

stickygingerbread Wed 02-Jan-13 16:47:06

At my sister's wedding reception I was introduced to her Dutch colleague who almost immediately said 'Your dad is very ill and going to die very soon. What do you think of that?' Then he laughed and laughed while watching me for my reaction, to add to his enjoyment.

What a charmer! What a sense of humour! Great first impression! He thought he was very clever and that I was very consternated by his surprise ambush.

Actually I only thought he was a loser not worth any time, which was the correct conclusion to draw.

So is that normal in Holland then?

Muminwestlondon Wed 02-Jan-13 16:52:10

I am half Dutch and I do agree about the rude shop assistants. The last time I visited, the one in HEMA couldn't even be arsed to take the stuff out of the basket herself. The one in Albert Hein however was more than helpful but she was of asian origin. On the other hand in small shops, people are generally chatty and friendly. When I was young we did find quite a few dishonest shop traders and there seemed to be little legal redress to ripping people off.

I do not agree about the health and safety stuff, I have always found them to be years ahead and they had rules about seatbelts and kids being restrained in the back seat long before we did.

Perhaps because I am a bit older (in my forties) I do not agree with parents being more laid back either - I always found them to be stricter than English parents - I think you get rude teenagers everywhere!

I do think Dutch people are more direct than English and sometimes that is interpreted as rude. I think they are trying to be honest and give out a lot of information which sometimes comes across as arrogant. I also find Dutch people in authority, especially males in uniform to be a bunch of arrogant tossers.

I do think English people are unusually polite - queuing for buses even in olden days was an alien concept to Dutch people. It also always seemed to be socially acceptable to make quite personal remarks about someone's appearance for example which would not generally be the case in England.

My sister thinks Dutch people communicate via criticism and while it seems odd to us, it is quite normal to them.

hygienequeen Wed 02-Jan-13 16:52:47

Not in my experience, he just sounds like a right wanker ... the Dutch are more 'forthright' but i've never had nastiness for the sake of it, and that's just plain nasty ! angry how did you not punch him in the bollocks ?

NaokHoHoHo Wed 02-Jan-13 16:55:40

Sticky I am Dutch and I assure you that is not normal shock! How horrible!

As for OP - I've typed a number of replies now and deleted them again. I've given up, I'm sorry you're not enjoying my country, but other than that I doubt I'll be able to persuade you otherwise.

hygienequeen Wed 02-Jan-13 16:56:19

MuminwestLondon, have you seen the Albert Heijn song on youtube ? hilarious !

I agree that the teens seem nice and the women are cool. But the under 7s? They are straight from lord of the flies.

stickygingerbread Wed 02-Jan-13 17:04:43

But hygienequeen he wanted to provoke a reaction from me and was so eager for it too. Was I supposed to let him destroy my enjoyment of the day for my sister? He was doomed to disappointment there.

Besides, he underestimated me. I was geared and armoured to withstand the much more serious threat our parents posed to a successfully enjoyable wedding, so he was completely inconsequential and seriously off the mark.

But I do give him all the credit his effort deserved. And it did make me wonder if he was at all typical.

crunchbag Wed 02-Jan-13 17:07:16

I am Dutch, I have never been called rude (as far as I know) but I have often been called direct and honest. But that might have been the English way of saying rude smile

The problem is that most Dutch people can speak English and are therefore expected to understand the nuances etc that English people take for granted. I have been living in England for 15 years and I still get it wrong at times.

Next time in Ikea, ask for 'maandverband'

sticky that guy was just a 'klootzak', nothing to do with being Dutch

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