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  #41  
Old 04.11.2010, 17:18
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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I don't think it's anything to do with manual workers or low salary, and maybe everything to do with coming accross like you can't be arsed to communicate in the local language.



This post says a little more about your attitude though, if someone isn't fawning over you, the service is bad right.
thanks papa goose (i like that name lol), your post was helpful but I'm afraid your inference seems flawed (sorry i think you tried to read too much detail). i am not snobbish and assy. What i meant to say (using watch example) was that the attitudes are immediately reversed when they know you've got money to spend (again as i said, its the same everywhere in the world).
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  #42  
Old 04.11.2010, 17:20
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

My latest trick it to just speak French. Don't know a word? Then make it up as you go along.

Je want un ticketer pour Lausanne s'il vous plait. (I know better French than that, but it's just an example)

They will eventually just speak English or find someone who does speak English.
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  #43  
Old 04.11.2010, 17:20
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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This post says a little more about your attitude though, if someone isn't fawning over you, the service is bad right.
Fawning isn't good service. A good salesperson knows when to stand back and when to intervene. It's more the cheaper shops in the USA that I hate where I get besieged by well meaning salespeople who want to sell me what they think I ought to buy rather than what I actually want. I prefer a disniterested salesperson to an annoying one.
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  #44  
Old 04.11.2010, 17:20
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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Perhaps she was struck with a profound sense of shame that the Amazonian rain forests were being decimated for the sake of cheap yuppy furniture
Those poor chipboard trees!

Anyway ... although Ikea shopping isn't exactly fun, the staff in the Basel (well, ok, Pratteln) branch are extremely friendly and helpful. In English.
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  #45  
Old 04.11.2010, 17:22
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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My latest trick it to just speak French. Don't know a word? Then make it up as you go along.

Je want un ticketer pour Lausanne s'il vous plait. (I know better French than that, but it's just an example)

They will eventually just speak English or find someone who does speak English.
Haha awesome!
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  #46  
Old 04.11.2010, 17:24
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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Maybe there is some sort of social stigma attached to language?[Spanish]
I'm sure that's the case in the US, but I don't think it is here in Europe.
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  #47  
Old 04.11.2010, 17:26
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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thanks papa goose (i like that name lol), your post was helpful but I'm afraid your inference seems flawed (sorry i think you tried to read too much detail in my last reply). i am not snobbish and assy. What i meant to say (using watch example) was that the attitudes are immediately reversed when they know you've got money to spend (again as i said, its the same everywhere in the world).
If that is how you choose to view it, but TBH whether in expensive or cheap shops, staff AND customers should be treated respectfully. I'm pretty sure if I walked into Dietlikon Ikea, or any shop for that matter, and it was in some way implied to the person I interrupted that they should speak English... I'd probably get ignored to

Last edited by Papa Goose; 05.11.2010 at 08:32.
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  #48  
Old 04.11.2010, 17:26
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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I prefer a disniterested salesperson to an annoying one.

I once, as a customer, freaked out a shopclerk in the states.. she was greeting everyone that came into the shop with the same droll sound bite
"hi, welcome to XYZ* today , how are you?"

I replied simply "thank you I'm fine, how are you?"

she stammered... didn't know what to say, because she hadn't imagined actually having to deal with someone , while her manager standing behind actually laughed.
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  #49  
Old 04.11.2010, 17:27
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

Agree with everyone who's been taking a piss at the OP for not making an attempt to speak the local language. But I am sure all of you realize that when you come into CH you have to significantly lower your Customer Service expectations.

Almost all of us have been shocked one time or another in CH for the sheer lack of Customer Service with the Service Establishments such as Cell Phone companies, Restaurants, Hotels etc etc.. I think no one told them about that the Customer is King or the Customer is always right BS that we are used to outside of CH.

Of course there are exceptions on either side in CH or outside CH. But the sheer lack of expectation of Customer Service from the locals almost always blows me away. My theory is the protectionist economy, the avoid confrontation at all cost Swiss Behavior and the nature of all Swiss to think - If a guy who works there is telling me, it is possibly the rule of the establishment so why question it.

So in summary - In my humble opinion:

1) Cut the OP some slack because he is a CH Virgin.
2) OP should put the effort when interacting with the likes of Ikea Reps.
3) OP should reduce is expectation of service if he expects to survive here

(Stig goes back to taking a nap hanging upside down)
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  #50  
Old 04.11.2010, 18:08
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

Salespeople at our local IKEA here have flags on their name badge, this way customers can easily spot somebody who can communicate with them in their language of choice. That's pretty helpful! Not sure if that's common in all IKEA shops, though.

Said so, I'm sorry you were unlucky, but try and put things into perspective: you were in a French-speaking place, so you were the one at fault because you could not communicate and you put no effort to at least greet them in the local language.

Remember a local who can speak a language you understand is a courtesy, not a requirement. Take into account these salespeople are only human and their main jobs is not even to be fluent in 3-4 different languages (bear in mind that they maybe have studied German and/or Italian to be able to communicate with their Swiss customers)... you can't really expect them to speak also English.

Also, learning English is often not a priority for French-speakers (in Suisse Romande but also in France), while in German-speaking Switzerland you will find more people who believe English is a good passepartout language (even for communicating with other Swiss).

I don't think they meant to be rude to you (maybe I am naive, but I usually assume good faith when things like this happen) I think they were just as frustrated as you at the linguistic barriers... for some reason the guy wasn't comfortable speaking English, yet he did, but you still weren't happy. Maybe he felt you were being a bit confrontational.

Or maybe he was really an asshole, who knows?

But whenever staying in a foreign place I do think it helps to spend a few minutes to learn at least the local greetings. It's a great way to make conversations start with the right foot.
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  #51  
Old 04.11.2010, 18:13
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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I would recommend you memorise this very simple phrase, most people will accept your good grace and try and help as best they can.

"Je suis désolé, mais je ne parle pas bien le français" (I'm sorry but I don't speak much French)
Memorise this in English "If I see the side of your head again, I'm going to punch it". It proves to be a great test of English comprehension as well as Swiss cultural inertia.
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  #52  
Old 04.11.2010, 20:10
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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Perhaps she was struck with a profound sense of shame that the Amazonian rain forests were being decimated for the sake of cheap yuppy furniture
Oh Castro I should've groaned at you for that , since when is IKEA stuff made of wood ?
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  #53  
Old 04.11.2010, 20:14
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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Maybe Ms. Rodriguez thought you were insulting her level of German? Just a possibility. I'm not justifying her reaction to you though, that's uncalled for.
Errr no...I was insulting MY level of German which is non-existent and was trying to talk to a guy whose English was even probably worse than my German when she interrupted us.
I was a bit shocked and forgot about the situation but it got me thinking WTF?? BTW I am 99% of the times very polite unless of course you are actually asking for a piece of me
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  #54  
Old 04.11.2010, 20:23
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

I have to say I have experienced similar in UK, France and the US .....
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Old 04.11.2010, 20:27
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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Errr no...I was insulting MY level of German which is non-existent and was trying to talk to a guy whose English was even probably worse than my German when she interrupted us.
I was a bit shocked and forgot about the situation but it got me thinking WTF?? BTW I am 99% of the times very polite unless of course you are actually asking for a piece of me
Which I will never ever ask for! I am telling ya people, that girl is someone you don't mess with. I am trully scared...
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  #56  
Old 04.11.2010, 20:29
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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I have to say I have experienced similar in UK, France and the US .....
US? Let me be surprised! The place were you can get fired for not being smilling, nice and cute and happy and welcome and buzzy like a flower on a great summer afternoon?

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  #57  
Old 04.11.2010, 20:41
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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Oh Castro I should've groaned at you for that , since when is IKEA stuff made of wood ?
you're right. It's the McIkea of fastwood
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Old 05.11.2010, 08:12
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Which I will never ever ask for! I am telling ya people, that girl is someone you don't mess with. I am trully scared...
LOL no I'm not, I am nice
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  #59  
Old 05.11.2010, 08:35
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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The incident goes as follows:
Sales agent: Bonjour,
Me: Hi hello,
Sales agent: Bonjour,
Me: Hi
Sales agent: Bonjour
Me: - sorry, do you understand english?
Sales agent: dosent reply, ignores and looks into the PC
Me: I ask again, hi sorry, do you understand english?
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but to be honest, you sound a little snotty even in writing - god knows what you sounded like irl to the Ikea employee.
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  #60  
Old 05.11.2010, 09:54
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

Wherever I've been in Europe, I've always found it useful to memorise the local greeting, a phrase that means "Do you speak English?" in the local language, and the local version of "Thank you" before setting out. Those three phrases, that show (in the mind of the small-minded) that you have "made an effort" work wonders, and you'll be amazed at the number of people who do speak English, after all.

It also helps if you can offer another language, even one that is probably useless in that situation (like Greek, when you're in a bar in Belgium, for example!), as it shows some kind of linguistic willing.

Foreigners are capricious creatures, and must be dealt with carefully if you want to get anything from them. A sensible traveller must be prepared to manipulate their pride to his own ends.
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