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  #161  
Old 14.07.2011, 16:53
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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mixed race couple
You mean she ain't your cousin?

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  #162  
Old 14.07.2011, 16:54
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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OK, as a mixed race couple, if we were to visit friends in Meridian, Mississippi, would we be likely to encounter difficulties? (Obviously, not from our friends...).

It's that issue that puts me off visiting the South.
I don't think it could be any worse than any guffaws you've received from Swiss people because you're an immigrant and not properly bundling your recyclables.
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  #163  
Old 14.07.2011, 16:54
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

But the "bar" is also the place where you go get coffee.

(Starbucks should also have adding a shot of sambucca as an option!)

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Why do they call them "baristas"?

"Barista" is Italian for bartender!

Tom
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  #164  
Old 14.07.2011, 16:57
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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But the "bar" is also the place where you go get coffee.
And beer, wine, etc.

Actually, when I stop at a bar for a coffee, I usually order a red wine, prosecco, or beer with it.

Does Starbucks serve alcohol?

Tom
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  #165  
Old 14.07.2011, 16:59
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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And beer, wine, etc.

Actually, when I stop at a bar for a coffee, I usually order a red wine, prosecco, or beer with it.

Does Starbucks serve alcohol?

Tom

Omg y'all a bunch of alkies.
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  #166  
Old 14.07.2011, 17:01
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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Omg y'all a bunch of alkies.
May I suggest that my friend, Bruce, can help out?

http://recovery101.podomatic.com/
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  #167  
Old 14.07.2011, 17:02
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

No, no alcohol at Starbucks. It is only a shadow of the Italian bars that inspired the franchise.

I fully support your Prosecco habit. I often roll my afternoon coffee into aperitivo time.

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And beer, wine, etc.

Actually, when I stop at a bar for a coffee, I usually order a red wine, prosecco, or beer with it.

Does Starbucks serve alcohol?

Tom
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  #168  
Old 14.07.2011, 17:02
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I wish a bit of customer service wage was tip dependent here, though. There is a huge difference between Starbux in the US and here, where tips are already included in the sky high prices..I don't feel tiping a sourpuss person, who does not even greet me and throws a poorly made 8fr frapuccino at me, carrying on loud conversation about last night adventures with their buddies. So, it's nice to keep warm, charitable attitude, but just for sake of having it and feeling good about myself, makes zero sense. We need more competition, lower prices, maybe lower wages in service industry here, or simply better managers who hire the right staff, who knows.
Ultimately isn't the customer at fault for always demanding the lowest possible prices. If you want decent service you need experienced service personnel and they will only come if you pay them decent wages. A good waiter can advise you on the subtelties of different types of wine and knows what the house can and cannot do (no pathetic going to the chef to ask if he can do x, y or z). Some kid out of college cannot do that. So even if he breathes down your neck and fusses over you in a phoney way hoping that you'll mistake that for good service and tip him accordingly, that's not what I expect good service to be. Good service can only come from the right people and it's the manager's job to hire them and make sure they make enough money that they want to stay.

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Does Starbucks serve alcohol?
It's called a hip flask and you bring it yourself.
If they won't serve you alcohol they have no grounds on which they can stop you putting a shot of it in your coffee.

When challenged I tell them it's my medicine.

Last edited by MusicChick; 14.07.2011 at 17:11. Reason: Merging consecutive posts.
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  #169  
Old 14.07.2011, 17:06
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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OK, as a mixed race couple, if we were to visit friends in Meridian, Mississippi, would we be likely to encounter difficulties? (Obviously, not from our friends...).

It's that issue that puts me off visiting the South.
I don't think that your status as a bi-racial couple would turn many heads these days. I think it's common enough.

Wait, here's an article from the New York Times about it:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/us...pagewanted=all

Last edited by tearley; 14.07.2011 at 17:11. Reason: added NYT link
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  #170  
Old 14.07.2011, 17:09
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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Just to clarify, I'm talking about tipping at the U.S. Starbucks, not the Swiss one.

Maybe this should be a separate thread, but I do wonder about the economic and cultural factors that make the customer service experience so different in Switzerland.

You wonder what would make people feel more invested in their work here. I think that's the problem in the end.
Yeah. Culturally, difficult to say. Economics, definitely. Here, if you are not even financiallly penalized when you screw up, majorly, people are not worried about noticing customers, at all (some, that is, I just bought a book from the grumpiest Payot wench on earth, yuck).

When I lived in the US, what I found weird was that one was expected to tip, inrrespectively of quality of the service, since those folks were living on peanuts and everybody knew it. I find that...yes, charitable, but that's about it. Sneaky to the point of pushing people not really awarding good work with money the provider deserves, often, it was just merely the general push for customers paying wages, not the owner of the business. And should you not have tipped, then you felt like a complete immoral bastid.

Charitable is fine and dandy, but when it comes to manipulating the customers into being some kind of social service without them having much choice (should they want to avoid spit in food) then it is not really charity, but survival. So, people tip, feel good about themselves, that they improved that poor waiter's life, without really thinking they shold avoid eating out in a place that does not pay their staff normally..

Two extremes. One place that uses customer's tipping instead of a proper wage, another one that strips customer of money on high prices but the quality of service declines.

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  #171  
Old 14.07.2011, 17:16
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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Two extremes. One place that uses customer's tipping instead of a proper wage, another one that strips customer of money on high prices but the quality of service declines.
Does the quality of service really decline. I often find that being friendly myself improves the quality of service I get back. In the US that's probably the same only you measure friendliness in $$$ rather than smiles.

Maybe I haven't been to the right places yet, but in the USA I have never experienced "the grappa's on the house" type of extra that they do to say thank you. Maybe that's because the waiter is paying for the grappa out of their own money rather than out of the company's?
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  #172  
Old 14.07.2011, 17:18
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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Good service can only come from the right people and it's the manager's job to hire them and make sure they make enough money that they want to stay.
I agree, it's the hiring process that should be upped, me thinks. But if the hiring manager does not feel the repercussion of a lousy hiring job and is super sure of his/her position for ever and ever, then....we are where we were with customer service not having quality control and probably financial incentives playing a role, penalties, etc. There is a whole lot of sophistication missing, I sometimes wish I hadn't worked in retail, with customers, etc. Makes me naggy and expect more from such a fine culture here.

I think lower prices are not only pushed by clients, but also shops and services themselves, wanting to be able to compete. Not only customers' fault.
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  #173  
Old 14.07.2011, 17:18
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

Can some one summarize where this thread is at this point? I felt like responding to the OP remarks, but am not sure if it has been covered. I don't know if I have the energy to get all offended thru 7 plus pages of what might be very tasty stuff.

Some one help me with this truly worthy charitable request...
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  #174  
Old 14.07.2011, 17:20
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

I fully agree that you should not tip disregarding quality. What I meant to say is that tipping employees at Starbucks is an appropriate gesture, provided that the service was a good one.

I think in Switzerland you see the other side of the coin. Labor is so powerful here, that it becomes difficult to penalize or fire employees who aren't doing their jobs.

I agree with you that American workers should be paid a living wage directly by their employers. The fact that tipping jars are showing up everywhere in the U.S. points to the fact that the problem is systemic.

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Yeah. Culturally, difficult to say. Economics, definitely. Here, if you are not even financiallly penalized when you screw up, majorly, people are not worried about noticing customers, at all (some, that is, I just bought a book from the grumpiest Payot wench on earth, yuck).

When I lived in the US, what I found weird was that one was expected to tip, inrrespectively of quality of the service, since those folks were living on peanuts and everybody knew it. I find that...yes, charitable, but that's about it. Sneaky to the point of pushing people not really awarding good work with money the provider deserves, often, it was just merely the general push for customers paying wages, not the owner of the business. And should you not have tipped, then you felt like a complete immoral bastid.

Charitable is fine and dandy, but when it comes to manipulating the customers into being some kind of social service without them having much choice (should they want to avoid spit in food) then it is not really charity, but survival. So, people tip, feel good about themselves, that they improved that poor waiter's life, without really thinking they shold avoid eating out in a place that does not pay their staff normally..

Two extremes. One place that uses customer's tipping instead of a proper wage, another one that strips customer of money on high prices but the quality of service declines.

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  #175  
Old 14.07.2011, 17:22
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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I fully agree that you should not tip disregarding quality. What I meant to say is that tipping employees at Starbucks is an appropriate gesture, provided that the service was a good one.

I think in Switzerland you see the other side of the coin. Labor is so powerful here, that it becomes difficult to penalize or fire employees who aren't doing their jobs.

I agree with you that American workers should be paid a living wage directly by their employers. The fact that tipping jars are showing up everywhere in the U.S. points to the fact that the problem is systemic.
See this is what I am talking about...
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Old 14.07.2011, 17:27
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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See this is what I am talking about...
Someone asked about tipping while traveling to visit the American South and then we began to debate the appropriateness of tipping in certain situations.

EDIT: There is no north vs. south element to the tipping discussion

Last edited by tearley; 14.07.2011 at 17:31. Reason: Confloozed can't be bothered to read 7 pages of stuff.
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  #177  
Old 14.07.2011, 17:28
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

What's the whole general theme though? Tipping goes up 5% once you cross the Mason Dixie Line?
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  #178  
Old 14.07.2011, 17:30
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

It seems out of place, but all this moral duty to tip and other over the top duties I felt a lot stronger in South. North, it was more about individuality, not giving in pushes (sometimes very silly counterculture crap, true that, another extreme, especially in marketed lifestyles, artists), showing traditionalists where to go, proverbially, but I only had an outsider's perspective and influenced by growing up in Europe, and commie one that is...still miss the warmth. Not the mob "morality" push. I wonder it people down South happen to be more religious.
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  #179  
Old 14.07.2011, 17:35
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

Honestly, I think this "social justice" spin to my view on tipping would be more at home in urban places in the U.S. The southerners at the Cracker Barrel where I worked were horrible tippers. The northern tourists were much better. But that's probably local vs. vacation too. But there is a religious mob mentality in the south--just not about tipping.

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It seems out of place, but all this moral duty to tip and other over the top duties I felt a lot stronger in South. North, it was more about individuality, not giving in pushes (sometimes very silly counterculture crap, true that, another extreme, especially in marketed lifestyles, artists), showing traditionalists where to go, but I only had an outsider's perspective and influenced by growing up in Europe, and commie one that is...still miss the warmth. Not the mob "morality" push. I wonder it people down South happen to be more religious.
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  #180  
Old 14.07.2011, 17:36
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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I wonder it people down South happen to be more religious.
..just a taaaaaaad bit.
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