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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.

Stevie77 Sat 15-Feb-14 16:51:33

As others mentioned, I don't mind the Dutch directness (probably because I'm from rude Israel ha ha) so much, and in a way find it better than the British way.

However, how has the Dutch extreme stinginess not come up yet? Friends tell me of shop and cafés not letting people use toilets, even if the person needing to use the toilet is a small child or pregnant woman and of some odd present-giving customs.

Hoppinggreen Fri 14-Feb-14 20:57:48

Rudest shop assistants I have ever found were in Spanish supermarkets ( and yes I do speak pretty good Spanish).
We go to one area several times a year and there are 3 supermarkets n town and 1 hypermarket a few miles away. The checkout staff in all of them are always rude. The only exceptions are the male ones, really odd!!!!

HavantGuard Wed 12-Feb-14 19:57:59

I found it difficult but after a while I got it. People are harder to get to know but once you do they are proper friends. The customer service takes some getting used to grin

robertasmith66 Wed 12-Feb-14 19:48:04

Dear initial poster.

You are spot on. It not just being horrible . Its outright racism.
You will note the Dutch -- DO NOT speak to each other in such a way- If you aint Dutch - they despise you. Your neighbors will speak to you one day - blank you the next. And will nearly runaway if there are other Dutchies around. been here 4 years kids and I speak Dutch. So no its not in your head - its the whole country that are backward - reminds of Salem story to be honest - and about the posters here denying this and ''NEVER came across that behaviour before ''- that pure BS - and they know it - they are probably part of the Dutch government PR machine - u know we r all European together etc etc ... Here is a fact of all the people in the international organizations working here --from over 60 countries --not one says they ever want to come back [and these are some of the smartest people/nicest families in the world!!]

robertasmith66 Wed 12-Feb-14 19:38:49

reanimating thread test

drjohnsonscat Fri 11-Jan-13 13:21:01

jessje all it means is that some people aren't very good at making friends. Honestly that is all it means. You have probably already spotted that the British version of politeness in a lift is to ignore everybody (so we can all preserve our illusion of personal space) whereas the French version is to say Bonjour to everybody in the lift! British people are naturally quite reserved on the whole but it doesn't "mean" anything.

I have Dutch relatives so am a little aware of the nature of Dutchness and it's not that different to the nature of Britishness (apart from the directness issue). Keep plugging away and you will find someone to break the ice with. I had this issue at the school my children go to for a few months - then something happened that forced me into close proximity with someone, we ended up laughing at each other's jokes and hey presto, ice broken. It turns out everyone thinks everyone else has loads of friends and is really cool when actually noone does or is.

HelpOneAnother Fri 11-Jan-13 11:40:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jessje Fri 11-Jan-13 11:21:50

Now I'm really laughing... I'm Dutch and just moved recently to UK from another European country. We have been here 5 months now and believe me I'm craving for some Dutch SINCERE kindness.. Yes, here in UK people in the shops say "Dear" to you and expressions as "Here you are love" etc. Sounds very nice.. but is it meant? I have lived in many different countries and have never felt so unwelcome. My children are both in local schools and I'm trying my best to make social contact with other mums. Even helping out at school etc. But still I keep being ignored! Please explain because I'm very home sick for a good cup of coffee with some kind people.

VBisme Sun 06-Jan-13 19:02:46

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

Sorry Crunchbag, that is the English way of saying that you're rude.

In a business sense if someone calls you "brave" then they mean your idea is stupid and possibly career limiting.

Salbertina Sun 06-Jan-13 18:53:28

I think you're in culture shock... Been there also but not V the Dutch. It gets better, best not to compare ti UK if possible

DolomitesDonkey Sun 06-Jan-13 05:05:50

I'm still not gettingall your complaints - I think I've become assimilated.

Our estate agent (makelaar) went above and beyond - only slightly odd thing was when he pointed and said "that's my Mercedes" rather than just "I've parked over there". Ziggo, Tele2, Vodafone, you name it - when I talk to people they help. Any of you use Glossybox? Wow! I cannot tell you how helpful the owner/admin were when I ballsed up my credit cards.

Worse "service" I've seen here is the fulfillment of a basic prescription - all chemists in town are as lousy as each other - 5 people visible and not one can serve? Total inefficiency and times will change and they'll be bitten on the arse. Generally you're in the chemist to get something you need, not just a general passing time. You want it, you want out and to bed.

Mind you I got my own back when they tried to charge me 160 euros for a Mirena coil. I said I wasn't paying that much and that they could send it back. I think that's still being talked about in their staff room!

I think I'm pretty much used to the directness now, and I really do appreciate the lack of faff - the Brits (I find now) dance around the issue rather than just saying "no". I've gained a lot of professional confidence here, I've watched my colleagues tear up their proposed pay increases and throw them back at the boss - in the UK we'd never do that unless we wanted our P45!

I've had a few comments along the lines of "you've put on a lot of weight" - but like the "dead father" thing, rudeness I don''t think is an attribute of race, some people are just rude. The guy that said that to me is given a wide berth by many... I told him that his comments were inappropriate and give him his dues, he's not said anything since.

Exactly Bonsoir grin

I've even been corrected by the weed dealers at the train station. Imagine a country so uptight that even the stoners are pedants

I might be slowly losing my will to live here

Takver Sat 05-Jan-13 20:25:37

I guess it varies, Mu1berry - I guess people in rural Devon aren't like those in Swindon

<<desperately trys to remember how far it is from Almería to Elche other than a long way down the motorway >>

Or maybe the good people of Sorbas (outs self) are just particularly charming and you should all take your holidays there grin

Mu1berryBush Sat 05-Jan-13 17:47:01

and the one with the waggly finger was in Elche!

Mu1berryBush Sat 05-Jan-13 17:45:40

Takver, I was in Elche. I travelled between Elche where I worked and santa pola at the weekends.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 05-Jan-13 17:35:21

Oh yes, customer service here is really bad (i find the American 'friendly' style pushy and intrusive but at least an effort is made and help there if wanted). So if Brits think service is bad, it must be!

LineRunner Sat 05-Jan-13 17:31:05

Mu1berrybush All hotels in Israel are kosher. Which is why when you are in the dairy section, you expect milk to be available. There weren't even non-dairy creamers offered (which there should have been, in case someone's recently eaten meat), just a nice big shrug for the guests.

LineRunner Sat 05-Jan-13 17:28:12

ethelb it wasn't a kosher situation. They'd just run out of milk and the barman didn't care. The bar and lobby was always dairy. The main dining room was meat.

Takver Sat 05-Jan-13 17:25:12

"I had a spanish finger waggled at me sternly while its owner said "eso no se hace" at me in fierce tones when I asked for something a little bit outside of the box."

Where were you in Spain? Because my experience of living in the south is that people will never, ever, ever say "No" to you directly - they beat the British hands down at politeness.

You just have to figure out then when they mean "yes" as in 'yes, I'll do x y or z, you'll have a quote tomorrow' and when they mean "yes" as in 'no, actually I'm booked up for the next 6 months, and I really don't have time to do your job at all, but I couldn't possibly be so rude as to turn you down'

Similarly, in banks & similar I never ever had the "computer says NO' attitude you get here in the UK - it was always 'right, how do we work our way around the system to sort out what you need doing'

Apart from my family being here, I miss Spain!!!

lljkk Sat 05-Jan-13 16:39:07

I have been living in England for 15 years and I still get it wrong at times.

ditto, only I am American, and it's 22 years for me. We are the favourite target for foreigners bashing anyway.

As an American, must say I find customer service in a lot of British shops to be appalling. Kinda amusing.

bemybebe Sat 05-Jan-13 16:34:15

lol at klootzak smile
service is dreadful in most shops/services, that i agree with. don't even mention estate agents, what is shocking here is norm over there
but I do like the dutch, hey I am married to one

Bonsoir Sat 05-Jan-13 16:29:28

dreamingbohemian - "Here in France, there is only one way of doing anything. If you don't abide by that, prepare to be corrected."

Indeed. France, the country where every new idea is a bad idea.

Mu1berryBush Sat 05-Jan-13 16:27:43

in a four star hotel though, it's kind of exempt or separate from the local culture. if they have won those stars they should give non kosher people milk in their coffee.

ZZZenAgain Sat 05-Jan-13 16:21:40

sounds like Brazil is more my kind of thing. Netherlands sounds tough. Have only been there on holiday and I didn't pick up on any of this

ethelb Sat 05-Jan-13 16:18:17

@linerunner it was probably not available due to kosher laws. They weren't very culturally aware.

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