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 17:09:36

Sounds a right charmer, well done for not letting him upset you, especially on such an important day ! I would have been furious ! ( and am a bit for you ) Hope your Dad is ok ? xx

specialknickers Wed 02-Jan-13 17:10:44

I lived in Amsterdam for 3 years and the service in shops / bars etc was great. Never had a problem, but then I always spoke English, maybe that had something to do with it? I really liked the infamous Dutch directness as well, in fact I really miss it. Now we're back home in blighty I don't really have the patience for British pussyfooting around and I probably come across as a but rude sometimes as a result... Horses for courses I suppose.

That said, people making out that they knew what they were talking about when they plainly knew nada? Infuriating.

I do prefer the Dutch style of parenting small children though - load em all up on the bakfiets and let em play.... Wish I was a bit like that (am health and safety bore). Can't help thinking ds would have a better, healthier life if we still lived there.

Sorry you're not enjoying it op. Are you in for the long haul.

notMarlene Wed 02-Jan-13 17:12:51

NaokHoHoHo - If it's any consolation I love your country!

I've been here 10 years, have 2 dutch DC (they're bilingual but it'd be idiocy to claim they were bi-cultural) and a dutch DP. I speak dutch and TBH people usually only twig that I'm foreign when I speak to the DC, even then there's often an 'hmm are you dutch or not' moment. That helps a lot when it comes to being treated normally I think.

Mind you, there is a bit of a dislike of exclusiveness of the expat community and if I'm honest I understand that. Quite a few of my friends are ^expats^, as opposed to people-from-other-countries-who-happen-to-live-here nice people in their own right but they can be cringemakingly demonstrative in their ex-patty-ness when they get together. My dutch freinds find the combo of extreme politeness and this pretty damn weird!

lottiegarbanzo Wed 02-Jan-13 17:15:14

What do you think nappy is short for? Napkin is an old-fashioned term for any sanitary pad.

hygienequeen Wed 02-Jan-13 17:21:22

btw i do love it here too, as do my 3 kids, youngest born here and never been ex-pt anywhere else and in it for the long haul ... but can i ask notMarlene ( not being arsey here, genuinely want to know) is it just Brit ex-pats that are cringemakingly demonstrative in your Dutch friends opinion or all nationalities ? I ask because i now have friends from all over the World ( who have always been super polite imo), we all get together because of the school and kids, etc ... but i tend to also have dinner with a Brit group and wondered which would be seen as more irritating ? If that makes sense ?

notMarlene Wed 02-Jan-13 17:28:02

Nah, the ex-pats I know (and have known) have been from all over the place, absolutely not just brits. It's just a part of the expat culture that can rub the natives up the wrong way (IME), but I don't think it's something that just happens here. Culture clashes are part of the human condition, surely?

hygienequeen Wed 02-Jan-13 17:40:33

agreed !

SentimentalKat Wed 02-Jan-13 17:47:12

How long have you been abroad, OP?
It sounds to me as if you are suffering from culture shock.
Does your work offer expat integration / culture shock awareness courses at all?

natation Wed 02-Jan-13 18:36:21

Someone has obviously had a bad day!
Sorry but I think Belgians can be equally rude. However, when we're in the Netherlands, the Dutch outshine the Belgians every single time in their rudeness in supermarket queues, ie no queuing, just push forward.

Mu1berryBush Wed 02-Jan-13 18:39:02

I can't believe they're worse than the french! I have friends who are french but when you GO to France they seem to hold foreigners in contempt.

Santastic Wed 02-Jan-13 18:48:07

I love the Dutch - met a delightful lady yesterday who told me why they love the English; the English are polite, funny and know how to queue! Might have that on my headstone!

LineRunner Wed 02-Jan-13 18:52:29

This not queuing business, just pushing your way in or forward.

I saw this when I worked in Israel. Even going to buy a stamp was like a visit to a wrestling match.

People in coffee shops chatting screaming their heads off at other over a piece of cake.

newgirl Wed 02-Jan-13 19:10:01

I have 2 Dutch friends who live in uk and are married to Brits. They are both very direct - makes them good fun in a pub but you've got to be in the mood for it!

natation Wed 02-Jan-13 19:20:19

Well where I used to work, every time we saw an Israeli coming, we knew we were in for a "how rude with they be" contest, it was very rare indeed to find a polite Israeli. And before anyone jumps on me, that's life, it's not being racist, it's simply an observation. To balance the comment, the stupidist nationality? = USA. The nationality most likely to lie? = bit of competition between Somalia, Albania (usually pretending to be Kosovan) and the odd Nigerian. The nationality most likely to be drunk? = UK or Netherlands. The nationality most likely to be surprised to have to show their proof of identity ? = France (why is a driving licence not acceptable? well because it shows someone thought you worthy of driving, not worthy of being French). The nationality most likely to go on and on and on about the EU? UK.

dikkertjedap Wed 02-Jan-13 20:15:31

Thanks for all the replies, interesting to hear the different experiences. I have dual nationality. Children are trilingual so go to Dutch school. Have been on Holiday to the Netherlands many times, but that is very different from actually living here.

Just discussed the general rudeness with some of my Dutch friends. It seems they have the same bad experience with shop assistants and also had some bad experiences with faulty goods. It seems that there is virtually no consumer protection.

This afternoon I had another brilliant afternoon. I just bought a TV and paid for it to be installed. It does not work. The installation/delivery people told me that it was okay when it left the shop so there is nothing they can do and that in all likelihood it is my cable provider (my old TV connected to this cable works). Apparently I should now become a member of some consumer organisation in order to deal with this shoddy TV company.

I may well suffer from culture shock, I do think that service in the UK is 100 times better.

I live near a small shopping centre where the local youth gathers to drink before going on a proper drinking spree. They are loud, very loud, make a lot of mess and personally I find them quite threatening. Neighbours call the police virtually every night, but seem to have no effect at all.

Hopefully it will get better.

natation Wed 02-Jan-13 20:33:08

Oh loudest nationality when drunk were definitely the Dutch and I will never forget a coach of drunk Dutch who thought it fit to put their hands up my skirt and try and squeeze my breasts when I walked down the aisle, the most unpleasant coach I boarded out of 1000s over a 14 year period. Until that moment, I thought the Brits had a monopoly in out of order behaviour when drunk.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 02-Jan-13 20:46:08

This is not the NL I recognise.

Children not belted in? Feral? Where on earth are you?

Aggressive yoofs? We always joke we can walk home at 3 totally safe and that the teens are more likely to offer to carry my shopping than threaten or abuse.

Customer service leaves a lot to be desired otoh I am so over the Brits wanting Armani at primark prices and then whining about "consumer rights" when you get what you pay for.

I live on Limburg, or as some people call it - the 1950's.

digerd Wed 02-Jan-13 20:56:10

I remember a test of honesty by different nation groups on holiday on TV.
The groups were UK, French, german, japanese, and 2 or 3 others, can't remember now. The test was a set up at the bar in the hotel, when barman said he had to go away for 15 mins to do something.
A "plant" said, " let's help ourselves to free drinks while he is gone". Which nations declined as against their decent principles? In fact they were disgusted at the suggestion - the GERMANS and JAPANESE. All the others did steal a drink.

ripsishere Thu 03-Jan-13 04:33:07

I would have to take issue with the rudest people being Dutch. That accolade goes to the German speaking Swiss. Small minded, xenophobic, rule and money obsessed bigots IME.

higgyjig Thu 03-Jan-13 04:46:29

All German-speaking Swiss people are small-minded? Are you even aware of the irony?

Hmm let me read the relationship board. Wow...I conclude all British people are cheating, abusive pigs. Oh, it doesn't work like that? You can't take a tiny sample and conclude about a whole nationality based on what some people of those nationality have done? Well blow me down.

ripsishere Thu 03-Jan-13 05:39:20

Absolutely ever single one of them. Except the nice ones we met. I did say in my experience. That is just what my post was based on my experience.

sleepywombat Thu 03-Jan-13 05:54:25

The nicest men I know are Dutch (apart from dh). So polite, charming, gentlemanly...

My Swiss-German neighbour has just been round with a bottle to wish us a Happy New Year, and to invite us onto their Carnival wagon for Fasnacht this year. We had anonymous Christmas cookies in our mailbox, obviously from another Swiss German neighbour last week.

I will place it next to my beautiful poinsettia given to me on my birthday last week by my lovely Swiss German team at work.

What was that post about Swiss Germans again???

This has made me laugh…loooong forgotten memories!
Have to say its a close call between the dutch and french.
At least the dutch have the honesty to look at you in the eye.
I still much prefer the bluntness of the dutch to the contempt of the french.

kakapo Thu 03-Jan-13 15:06:56

I'm in German speaking Switzerland, in a small village. Nothing but politeness here either.

Interesting OP. I went to Amsterdam on holiday a few weeks ago and two shop assistants, in different shops, were extremely rude to us. Both times I left without buying anything. But they were unquestionably rude, not just direct, and I assumed it was bad luck!

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