Sunday, 18 January 2009

Australian Directness, or Rudeness?

More than 3 years with my husband and 2 years Down Under and I still don't understand the sense of humour. I don't remember it being quite the same in NZ, but I still wind up thinking people are being rude to me when they are joking here. I still feel offended, and I don't really get how it can be a joke, but I just have to go with it sometimes. Two examples from today:
  1. Getting ice cream at Brighton Beach today, I asked for rum raisin. I saw him going to scoop some that was in front of the berry flavour, so I said "Um, I wanted rum raisin." so he continued to scoop and said "This is rum raisin." and when he gave me the ice cream said in a completely dry tone..."See the raisins."
  2. Rang up a furniture store that we wanted to stop by on the way home, to make sure they were open on Sundays and until what time. The response: "We're open until 5...just like everyone else."

5 comments:

elsja said...

I vote for rude.

Ernie said...

I also vote for rude. But this is typical. Australian employees routinely talk to customers in a way that would get them fired in the U.S.

Suzer said...

Well hubs thinks it's funny and totally Australian, so he says not to take it as rude, but just the Aussie brand of directness. Will definitely take some getting used to though! And they say there are no cultural differences...

G'day Y'all.. said...

I vote with hubby. ;)

Anonymous said...

I thought the rum raisins was funny, but the guy on the phone could have been more polite. I live in the US but am from Down Under originally. Mostly, Aussies are direct in relationships due to a desire not to be seen to be disingenuous or evasive. It is true that the US expects a different kind of customer service. I work for a community church where my boss tells me "you need to be more pastoral" (i.e. don't be so direct)...sometimes man I'd just like to shear some of the sheep mate. :).