What is the best response when Germans are unreasonably rude to you? Or reasonably rude?

188 posts in this topic

Concrete example.

I went to a real-estate agent. Apparently he wanted that I come with my wife together, and he went on and on about why I could possibly think it was ok to come alone.

Later, we progress with the deal, and he tells me he needs Schufa for both me and my wife. I ask him if he could just do with my Schufa since my wife doesn't work and she is very new in Germany, hence there can't be much in the Schufa report anyways.

 

He goes: "I need BOTH. If you want to rather save 30 EUR, the apartment will go nowhere"

 

Like, there is no reason to be pissy. In any other country I've been, people would say something like "Sorry we need both" and be done with it. Here it appears many people react pissy for very little reasons.

 

How is one supposed to react in such situations? So far I've been trying to hit back since I don't want them to walk all over me, but this isn't very pleasant for me for obvious reasons. Do you just ignore? What is the best way to deal with this?

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I am sorry to say that you are going to get used to it. Most of the expats whom I know told me to they have experienced similar kinds of treatment. If you have the option and the opportunity, try to find another real estate agent. People with this kind of negative attitude won't get ahead in life. Even if they do, they won't be happy as they tend to have some sort of an inner fighter (a fight within themselves).

If you are fluent in German, you can try arguing with him.

 

Also, you should factor in the fact that an expat is more self-conscious in a foreign country just because he is foreign. Feeling and communication in a foreign language is whole another thing. But this should not make it look less important that some people are inherently rude and you can't really change them. Try find another driving school, another teacher, another real restate agency, another shop, another repairman etc.

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19 minutes ago, dampstew said:

Like, there is no reason to be pissy.

 

I guess from the realtor's point of view, you're the one who was unreasonable pissy First you want to come alone, then you don't want to present the Schufa of your wife...  

 

Quote

In any other country I've been,

 

But you're not in any other country now. When in Rome ...

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When did you last buy a car in the UK? You are dealing with salespeople, they don't give a shit about you or what you are buying, they just want to make sure that they have both decision makers there so one can't then say they weren't involved and won't go ahead with it. As for the extra Schufa it's belts and braces for them. They know you want the apartment /house and that you are obviously at the point of signing an agreement and so very unlikely to back out. He wants to make the deal ASAP to show his boss so that he has something on the board because at the end of the month he doesn't want to be bottom of the sales chart.

 

Which part of the UK do you come from? Think you need to harden up and learn that you are in a position of strength really and that he should realise that you could walk away and get nothing. I'm afraid who blinks first loses.

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4 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

I guess from the realtor's point of view, you're the one who was unreasonable pissy First you want to come alone, then you don't want to present the Schufa of your wife...  

 

 

But you're not in any other country now. When in Rome ...

But if Dampstew is going to be the only named purchaser, it really isnt fuck all to do with the Makler..

 

He probably is just trying to cover his arse and squeeze that extra ounce of cuntishness out of the situation!

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I don't have issue with the realtor wanting two Schufa or thinking I'm a complete idiot. What I don't understand is a) why the extra abrasiveness and more importantly (b) what are you supposed to do? Do I try to out-cunt the German? Do they then start being friendly like the Irish or something?

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21 minutes ago, International Student said:

I am sorry to say that you are going to get used to it. Most of the expats whom I know told me to they have experienced similar kinds of treatment. If you have the option and the opportunity, try to find another real estate agent. People with this kind of negative attitude won't get ahead in life. Even if they do, they won't be happy as they tend to have some sort of an inner fighter (a fight within themselves).

If you are fluent in German, you can try arguing with him.

 

Also, you should factor in the fact that an expat is more self-conscious in a foreign country just because he is foreign. Feeling and communication in a foreign language is whole another thing. But this should not make it look less important that some people are inherently rude and you can't really change them. Try find another driving school, another teacher, another real restate agency, another shop, another repairman etc.

 

Wish I could - it seems to be so ubiquitous that it's practically impossible to avoid these people.

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1 minute ago, someonesdaughter said:

Americans consider their exuberant courtesy the measure of all things. Most Germans would find that strange.

Not only Germans find that strange :D

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13 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

Americans consider their exuberant courtesy the measure of all things. Most Germans would find that strange. When Americans shout "I'm so sorry" in the supermarket from a distance of three meters, because perhaps the paths of the shopping carts could cross, this is just strange for Germans (or Swiss). But that's their way.

Uh. Have you ever been in the US at all? Not to mention that it would be "Excuse me", not "I'm so sorry" there.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, JCrichton said:

Uh. Have you ever been in the US at all? Not to mention that it would be "Excuse me", not "I'm so sorry" there.

 

Yes - and the exaggerated friendliness annoyed me. But I was there just there as a guest and did not expect the Americans to become like the inhabitants of other countries...

 

And before you continue to criticize my mistakes in a language that is not my mother tongue, I have here a nice piece in English for you: 

 

"WHY AMERICAN CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE WORST

 

(...) I am lying prostrate on a sun lounger, warm waves lapping the white sand of the pristine beach mere metres from my feet. The sky is blue overhead, the beating sun made bearable by a huge white parasol covering me in pleasant shade. I have a book, a view and a selection of snacks. In short, I should be as relaxed as it’s possible for a person to be.

 

But this is America, so I’m not.

 

The US is infamous for its cheesy, overtly friendly customer service. It is quite possibly the antithesis of the British way: loud instead of reserved, brash instead of discreet, overly familiar instead of polite. I can handle it in small doses – at restaurants, in shops, during drinks – but surrounded by it 24/7 at my upmarket Florida hotel is simply too much for the uptight Englishwoman in me. (...)

 

Several times, despite my assertion that, no, I don’t require any water (I brought my own in a flask), I am brought water anyway. There’s overzealous and then there’s a level of keenness bordering on rude.

 

Moving onto dinner in the hotel restaurant, things go from tense to tenser. I am eating alone, which is fine – I have my book, I have many gorgeous dishes to consume at leisure, I have a beautiful view of the ocean. But again, what should be a relaxing activity becomes fraught with anxiety. I talk more than if I was dining with a friend. I am asked every two minutes or so how my food is by seemingly every employee in the restaurant. And always, always, when I’ve just taken a bite and have to do that embarrassing mumble and nod of the head to indicate that, yes, my dinner is still tasty. Just as it was five minutes ago. And the five minutes before that. (...)

 

At the end of the day, what makes US customer service so hard for a cynical Brit to stomach is its fakery. (...)"

 

Full text: https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/americas/american-customer-service-friendly-hotels-usa-holidays-travel-a7774936.html 

 

 

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Many Spanish friends of my ex-Spanish wife in London (and including my ex-wife ) used to moan when British people said " sorry " at the drop of a hat there. They found it superficial....I don´t but anyway...

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1 hour ago, dampstew said:

Do I try to out-cunt the German?

 

There are acquaintances I actively try to avoid because of this question - if they find their abrasive and rude behaviour normal, then how do I respond? By going along with it, or challenging it, or what? 

 

Teaching groups of elderly mostly-Germans has shown me that it is not at all a majority trait - but in each group there is one bossy/abrasive customer and generally everyone else finds it just as hard as I do. Once or twice there have been two in a group, and they clash badly. I have no idea if this is specifically a German thing, but then when you see how pushy dominant behaviour is expected in schools, you begin to wonder. 

 

Avoidance works best for me, apart from when I am supposed to be teaching them, and then it is about trying hard not to mirror the behaviour and yet also not be walked all over.

 

The 'sorry' thing is so true, and the American over-familiarity, but none of that is particularly relevant when we, with our sensitivities, feel like we have entered a battle ground when we expected a simple transaction. But then that's the point of TT so that we know we are not alone, and can whinge to our heart's content about it all. ...:D

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6 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

Fine - it doesn't match your taste.  But calling it "fakery" is just...not really capturing what's going on. 

 

That's what the British author called it, not me.

 

I only quoted the text so that JChrichton can read something that is not distorted by my linguistic errors. 

 

But the message should be clear: People in different countries are different - and that also applies to the different expectations in dealing with each other. 

 

11 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

It's different.  Leave it at that.

 

My speech. 

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Just now, someonesdaughter said:

 

That's what the British author called it, not me.

 

I only quoted the text so that JChrichton can read something that is not distorted by my linguistic errors. 

 

But the message should be clear: People in different countries are different - and that also applies to the different expectations in dealing with each other. 

 

 

My speech. 

 

nono - I'm sorry I wasn't more clear.  I wasn't attributing that to you.  It is a very good counter reflection of the German bashing and I think it illustrated the point very well. 

 

I was running with the fact that it IS annoying as hell to hear oversimplified nonsense like this

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Just now, lisa13 said:

 

nono - I'm sorry I wasn't more clear.  I wasn't attributing that to you.  It is a very good counter reflection of the German bashing and I think it illustrated the point very well. 

 

Thanks Lisa. :) 

 

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1 hour ago, john g. said:

Service, lisa? Not in the UK!:D

http://www.thefawltytowersguide.co.uk/fawltytowersquotes.htm

Ok, old series but there´s a moment an American guest ( couldn´t find the exact scene on Google ) takes back his order for a fruit salad because he´d been waiting too long and Basil´s wife ( I think ) says she can´t because the chef had already opened the can!:)

 

That's the Waldorf salad episode!  The scene with the fruit salad is Cybil and two posh English ladies.. :-)

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4 hours ago, someonesdaughter said:

Yes - and the exaggerated friendliness annoyed me. But I was there just there as a guest and did not expect the Americans to become like the inhabitants of other countries...

The word you're looking for is not "friendliness" but "politeness".

 

4 hours ago, someonesdaughter said:

And before you continue to criticize my mistakes in a language that is not my mother tongue, I have here a nice piece in English for you: 

I'm simply pointing out some severe inconsistencies in your description which is rather far from reality. I lived in the US, whatever The Independent is talking about is a huge exaggeration from a person with sever problems in his social skills department if a simple question such as “How are you, Ms Coffey?” makes him uncomfortable. The article is complaining for the sake of complaining, nothing else.

 

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