Monday, July 21, 2008

It is not possible.

They don’t like us very much in Europe. I’m not sure exactly what it is—the fact that they hate our president so much and infer his stupidity to our own, or that they are sick and tired of hearing about Brangelina and the twins, or the jealousy stemming from the fact that it took them an extra year to get the Iphone over here—the truth is that there is a not so subtle dislike for Americans and an attempt to make their stay as uncomfortable as possible.

Can I get a side of bacon with that?
It is not possible.

Could you add my frequent flyer number to my ticket?
It is not possible.

Can you tell us where we can get some pizza?
It is not possible.

May I have some ice in my drink?
It is not possible.

Can you tell me if the bank is this way?
It is not possible.

Will you change my seat so that I can sit with my friend on the flight?
It is not possible.

Do you know the correct way to dial the phone number here if someone is calling from the states?
It is not possible.

is this the line to check in for Stockholm?
It is not possible.

Can I have nonfat milk in my latte?
It is not possible.

I kid you not, this whole list was compiled from my interactions just yesterday! Whatever the question is, the answer always seems to be IT IS NOT POSSIBLE, regardless if that particular response answers the question that was asked. They are not in the business of being helpful, especially if you open your mouth and spit out an American accent. I realize that in many ways Americans are partly to blame for some of this behavior. As a people, we can be exasperating at times. We expect everyone to speak English and then get annoyed when in fact they do not. We like things done our way and can’t understand why anyone would do it differently. But the majority of us still have manners. I still try to ask with a smile on my face and a pleasant tone to my voice. Somehow a memo has been passed around informing people on this continent to reply to any American with the same standard response, as if the requests we come up with our simply outrageous. And are all employees involved in the customer service industry chosen primarily for their unwillingness to want to help?! Sure seems that way. In this day and age, with the ability to set up house on the moon, pause live television, start your car with a push of a button, keep a collection of 80,000 songs on your hip, speak to your appliances and have them respond accordingly, use lasers to fix your eyesight, and the myriad of other things we are able to do without giving it a second thought, don’t insult my intelligence by claiming that it is not possible to have ice cubes in my coke!




***Of course I know plenty of nice and pleasant Europeans and I will vouch that most of you are the kindest people around. You just don’t happen to work at hotels, airports, and restaurants.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

And considering that 99% of those technologies the entire world now enjoy were developed in the United States you would think they would have a little respect.

I think some of it is jealousy that we are citizens of the world's only superpower and can pretty much make any country bend to our will. That combined with the arrogance and boneheadedness of Mr. Bush make it easy to dislike us. Do they work for tips over there? I know I got the worst service of my life consistently in Australia because they don't work for tips.

Anonymous said...

The majority of our attitudes when we travel are the reason most of the world will smile in our face, take our money, and talk about us as soon as we walk out the door—or better yet talk about us while we are in front of them in a different language. Problem is now our money is not worth half of what it use to, so why even pretend to be nice anymore. The majority of the world disliked us way before Bush II came into office, because of the reasons you stated. I’d say go back 20 years. Unfortunately, Western Europe jumped on the band wagon during the Bush II administration as if we made them go to war. I spent a long night in Scottish Pub having a long discussion with some royal navy service guys, who wanted to bash Americans about the war. Well after a few beers and me telling them to blame Blair not Bush… We were all good. You can’t blame the world for how they feel about us because they get a censored story like we get a censored story from our media. Keep traveling and being nice. A person will tell a good story 10 times, but a bad one a 100 (customer service 101 u know). Funny thing is the industries you named deal with American Tourist the most: hotels, airports, and restaurants.

t.v. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
t.v. said...

LOL @ at you for bad mouthing us and then putting in that disclaimer at the end to even out the score. *smh @ u"

Some Americans have an attitude problem when it comes to the rest of the world. They think because they Americans that they should be treated a certain way.
It's stereo typing to treat all American a certain way because of bad experiences, but can you blame them. You guys can be annoying at time. lol..
No offense.

Anyway, dialing from the US to anywhere in Europe can be a bit tricky. I usually tell my American friends to dial + or 011 to exit the US and then drop the zero before the country code. In some, if not all, European countries there will be a zero before the area code. If so then that should be dropped too.

anonymousnupe said...

How you gonna sit there at your keyboard and chide ferners for their utter disregard towards us ("It is not possible") when you just wrote "I can't..." in your previous post (yeah I'm still livid over that; see my better-late-than never rant over it in the comments)?! "I can't" and "It is not possible." Same difference!

(You still my appa-scrappa, but I ain't lettin' you get away with that one. What's the point of Paul's letter to the Philippians if you're just gonna dis 4:13 like that?!)

jameil1922 said...

hahahahahaha. DUDE! "May I have some ice in my drink?" KILLED me the entire time i was over there!! in the netherlands and austria i was handed ice cream when i requested ice. what???? hilarity.

t.v. said...

LOL @ jameil. However I do need to defend my country (The Netherlands) on the ice thing.

The Dutch word for ice cream is "ijs", which is more or less pronounced the same as "ice" depending on your accent. So it's totally understandable that they would hand you ice cream when you asked for ice. :)

Eb the Celeb said...

daaaaaaaannng... its like that for real for real...

T.R.E.N.T. said...

it is not possible... HA... yea its really like that. you have to pretty much be rude as possible to get things done or to be taken seriously... if not, they beat you to the punch.