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Author Topic: When in Rome, do as the Romans do  (Read 24203 times)

Jace

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #50 on: 12 Sep 2013, 17:41 »

I'm still not sure what the deal with tipping tattoo artists is. You are quoting me a price that ends up being somewhere around $25-35/hr and then I am supposed to add another $20-$40 on top of that? Why

Also I'm paying you in cash so its not even like you have to wait to get paid.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #51 on: 12 Sep 2013, 17:56 »

US tipping culture is just incredibly fucking weird and problematic.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #52 on: 12 Sep 2013, 20:23 »

It really is...we tip practically everyone. Pretty much every service job. Can't come up with one off the top of my head that you're not supposed to tip.

I painted faces a few weeks back and was offered tips. Kind of surprised me, but who am I to complain? :-P
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Jace

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #53 on: 12 Sep 2013, 21:34 »

Especially since there's signs and stuff in shops that encourage tipping and its just so weird to me.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #54 on: 12 Sep 2013, 22:09 »

I'm still waiting for somebody to tip the IT guy.

Mtn Dew / RedBull / Reese's candy are BRIBES, not tips.

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #55 on: 12 Sep 2013, 22:22 »

Tips are for service. 

Bribes are for people who have power over you. 


Come too think of it, hairdressers, servers, taxi drivers... all have power over you.  This isn't a tip culture, it's a bribery scheme! 
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #56 on: 12 Sep 2013, 23:56 »

lepetitfromage - Do Americans tip shop staff though?

Shoe shops come to mind as a high service shop retail environment. You'll be asking the staff to run back and forth from the stock area with various shoes in your size. They may make recommendations and in sports shoe shops will possibly even make an assessment of your foot/movement style That seems like potentially a lot more effort than waitressing at a chain diner. However, to the best of my knowledge, people don't tip shoe sales people. If you've ever done anything more than just pick a pair of shoes off the shelf and buy them, do you know how much your shoes sales person makes per hour? You can translate this to any number of shop staff situations.

I also find the notion of tipping a percentage of the cost of the food quite bizzare. Order a burger and a coke for $5 and you're tipping 75c to $1, order something off the specials menu with a juice and a side for $10 and you're tipping $1.50 to $2. Yet the waiter is doing almost exactly the same amount of work for you, so why are you paying more/less because of what you want to eat?
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #57 on: 13 Sep 2013, 00:00 »

We don't tip sales people, but the staff for high service items are usually paid on commission.  (In department stores that would be shoes, jewelry, cosmetics and men's suits)
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #58 on: 13 Sep 2013, 05:43 »

If you've ever done anything more than just pick a pair of shoes off the shelf and buy them, do you know how much your shoes sales person makes per hour?

I used to work at a shoe store, and made $8.50/hr. Not exactly the best paying job I've ever had  :-P
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #59 on: 13 Sep 2013, 06:26 »

I don't think I've seen a full service shoe store in years... most of them have them all out and a bench or two for you to try them on yourself.  the counter people will go in the back to look if you can't find something, then come back shaking their head...

Self service, the bane of service employment everywhere. 
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #60 on: 13 Sep 2013, 12:01 »

Since practically nobody other than old people and junkies use anything else than debit cards in Norway (we don't get any benefits from using credit cards, which you USians apparently do (so strange)), the tip jar is becoming less and less common. I mean, it's still there, but most people don't have anything to put in. You just tip when you pay with your card, by entering what you're going to pay in the terminal before you enter your pin.

Still, I think most people don't do any maths, but just round up to the nearest 100 NOK (<17 USD, <13 EUR), as that's what you used to to back when they paid cash - the notes are 100s, 200s and 500s, so tipping also involved the practicality of not having to bother with too many coins.


This got me thinking - I know that payment culture is very different in different countries. As I said, pretty much everyone pays by debit card here (it doubles as legal ID (I could vote with only that, although it would take a bit longer)), but I know this is not the case in the US - from what I've picked up, people generally use cash or credit cards and have separate IDs. What's the situation where everyone else is from?

Using credit cards is often seen as irresponsible here - you take up an intermediate debt instead of actually paying, which means that you're not limited by the amount of money you actually have. Similarly, nobody would ever admit to taking up a loan for anything other than a house, a car or student loans. I would feel really weird if I went grocery shopping and paid with a credit card.
« Last Edit: 13 Sep 2013, 12:08 by snalin »
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #61 on: 13 Sep 2013, 14:32 »

In Norn' Ireland, not too sure about the Republic or Great Britain, we have separate ID and debit/credit cards.

When I first tried to get a debit card, when I was seventeen, I was told I wasn't allowed because I was under eighteen. However I could have a credit card. I'm fairly sure the bank just saw a young person and didn't expect me to have the sense to only want to spend money that I actually had. Although in theory as long as my card was linked to a current account with money in it, I could have effectively used it as a debit card. I still said no to be safe.

I don't think I've seen a full service shoe store in years...

The only ones I know of are sports stores, where shoes are their main thing but there's also a lot of other stock on the floor. There's usually one or two walls of example shoes and you need to ask someone to bring you one in the relevant size. Although getting someone's attention can be a pain in a culture where coughing quietly is rude because how dare you draw any attention to yourself.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #62 on: 13 Sep 2013, 14:50 »

Germans generally don't use credit cards except where (American Internet...) companies require it. You pay with cash for mostly anything. For bigger purchases (say, >100 Euro) you use your debit card for the convenience of not having so much cash on your person (although you can use cash as well). Obviously, some shops don't accept big notes on small purchases, and with some, you can only pay with debit card if your purchase exceeds a certain amount (usually 5 or 10 Euro). I think the reason for that is that they pay transaction costs.

You pay by debit card either by entering a 4 digit PIN or by signing the receipt (it seems to be somewhat random what you will be asked to do).

Usually only shops have debit card readers (but you cannot really rely on them having any). Bars and restaurants rarely do (depending on size of course), kiosks and food takeouts almost certainly don't. You can also use your debit card as ID at cigarette vending machines.

For the really big purchases, you can authorize the creditor to withdraw money from your bank account, or you can pay via bank transfer yourself.

Basically, you use cash for everyday purchases, debit card for the slightly bigger purchases and bank transfers for the really big stuff.

Regarding ID: you must have an "official ID" with you at all times (although nobody really checks if you do, but you'd be in trouble if you have to present one for some reason and don't have it with you). This can be, for example, your regular ID, your driving license, or an ID like the police have. Student IDs don't count as such, but will usually be accepted by bouncers and ticket inspectors as proof of age and identity (if they have a picture on them, of course).
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Akima

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #63 on: 13 Sep 2013, 19:19 »

I only know one squattie in the UK, which an acquaintance of mine installed for herself on principle (there's a normal bowl next to it in the same room).
There are "dual mode" toilets available here, which are designed to sit above the floor and connect to standard "throne toilet" plumbing, but I don't know if you can get them in the UK. Another alternative is to use a "squat stool", like this for example.

I don't think I've seen a full service shoe store in years...
In Australia, it is still normal for shoe-shops to have assistants who measure your feet, bring you the shoes etc. The only places where you buy shoes self-service are Target, K-Mart etc., and hardware stores for rubber boots, work-boots etc.

Australians don't pay for things in one dominant way. Cash payment is still common (and often the quickest), or you can use a debit-card (often called an "eftposs-card" here from Electronic Funds-Transfer Point-Of-Sale) or a credit-card. Many people have a single card that can be used as either, and you select which function you want to use at the payment terminal, or on older systems, the check-out person will ask: "cheque or credit?" and select it on their terminal before swiping your card. If you pay by eftpos you enter your PIN, if by credit you will get the option to validate the transaction either with a PIN, or by signing the docket which older people sometimes prefer. The electronic signature pads on supermarket "bag your own" check-outs are notoriously unreliable, and I haven't seen anyone use one for ages.

There is no social stigma associated with paying by credit-card here, and the banks of course positively encourage it with all sorts of discount schemes, fee-rebates, frequent-flyer points etc. Retailers are not always so keen on the cut that the banks take, and (since 2003 when the law was changed to prevent credit-card companies from writing contracts prohibiting the practice) some shops add a surcharge to the bill if you pay by credit-card. Unsurprisingly, the surcharge is always well above the fee that the credit-card companies actually charge. It is normal for retailers to point to the fees charged by Diners Club in justification (though the surcharges comfortably exceed even those), when the mass-market Mastercard and Visa have much lower fees. As always, let the buyer beware. I regard credit-cards as being like power-saws; very useful but potentially dangerous; you have to take care to keep your fingers away from the blades.

No bank-issued card is acceptable for ID purposes in Australia, even where it carries a photo, which most do not. Your driver's licence, or an equivalent "undrivers license" photo-card with the same security features, issued by the state-government motor-registry is the standard thing.

When I first had to refuel a car in the USA, the "pay first, then pump" system confused me thoroughly. Here, you normally pump first, then pay at the counter. Some servos have POS-terminals built into the pump, where you "pre-authorise" the maximum amount of money you expect to spend. If you pump fuel to a lower value, you only pay the lower amount, but the bank charges the total pre-authorised amount to your account immediately, and then pays you back the difference between what you bought and what you pre-authorised. The system has a not-so-good reputation for hassles and delays in the repayments. Personally I never use [email protected], mainly because the terminals cannot process supermarket "loyalty cards" so I'd miss out on the discounted fuel price "earned" by my grocery shopping. The terminals can't process "fleet cards" either, making them useless for a lot of professional drivers, tradesmen etc.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #64 on: 13 Sep 2013, 19:25 »

Cash is still the usual general form of payment in stores and restaraunts down here, though you can use Debit Cards or Credit Cards.  Cash can, and is, be used for purchases up to around $2000, but cash payments like that are less common - it's more likely to be for lesser amounts in stores and restaraunts.  Debit Cards can be used to pay for things in shops too, including takaways (just used it myself to pay for a $2.80 scoop of Fries).

Credit Cards here are generally the preserve of those who can afford them.  Banks here charge a high rate of interest (anything from 15 -19% depending on the bank and the deal you get when you apply for your card).

Interestingly, Cheques are still used down here, but their use is becoming less and less prevalant, and for large purchases (say, a car or some such big ticket item) it's usually handled either by a Bank Cheque or, more and more common, a direct monetary transfer between vendor and seller.)

*Edit*  Thank you Akima, I almost forgot about EFTPOS, which we also use down here    My own card is an ATM/EFTPOS/Debit Card */Edit*
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #65 on: 13 Sep 2013, 19:27 »

I miss the days when you could pump gas before paying.  Some of you may have extrapolated this from my post in the "Dreams" thread.

It's like nobody trusts each other anymore.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #66 on: 13 Sep 2013, 20:18 »

Too many drive-offs when the prices skyrocketed a few years ago. 

It's like I tell my students about cheating - "It's not that I don't trust you, it's that I can't trust anybody!"
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #67 on: 13 Sep 2013, 23:28 »

The discussion of gas stations reminds me how weird toilet payments are here at those gas stations which are located along our famous Autobahnen. (They also sell food for thrice the normal price, of course).

Most have a system installed which has you pay 1 Euro for entering the toilets, then you get a voucher worth 50ct in return and can use it at any gas station which uses the system. Of course, most people forget to do so.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #68 on: 14 Sep 2013, 02:22 »

Oh I remember those toilet vouchers, I think! Weird.

I haven't been with someone filling up with petrol in the UK for years, but last time I was (probably two or three years ago) you could still "pump then pay" as you sweetly call it (we don't use the verb pump for filling up with petrol - it is a lot quicker, I have to admit). I found it odd that I had to pre-pay when I was driving in America, I'd never heard of that before.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #69 on: 14 Sep 2013, 04:07 »

1. Akima, the system in the US is known more or less as "credit/debit" cards. The major card companies (Visa/Mastercard, American Express and Discover) all have them; my bank uses Mastercard. Retaliers say "Credit or debit" when you pull out a card to pay. While cash is good for most transactions, checks (or "cheques" as you Brits/Canucks call them) require ID for purchases - where they're accepted. As for the chip-in-a-card thing: most cards in the US only have magnetic stripes. I do have one card (by Amex) that had a chip embedded at one point - they've since done away with it.

2. Up here in Wisconsin, our ATM cards are sometimes called (by those of us old enough to remember them) "Tyme" cards. The acronym (Take Your Money Everywhere) was started by a consortium of banks in the state in the 1970's and 1980's, with the idea you could get cash from your bank account anywhere. Some banks with older machines, or in out-of-the-way places, still have the TYME logo on them.

3. I hate the fact that my younger self decided to get into credit card debt. I'm still paying on several cards, but I'm a lot less in the hole than I used to be.

4. Pay toilets never worked in the US. Too many people got around the coin slot mechanism by "crawling under" the door. Cash for things like that aren't seen as "value" for Americans; there are people who gripe at Aldi's having quarter slots on their carts.

5. Pre-paying for gas isn't universal in the states, but the drive-offs have made it rather ubiquitous. I use gas cards exclusively for fueling up, and pay for them in full when the bill comes at the end of the billing period.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #70 on: 14 Sep 2013, 04:36 »

I use my debit card pretty much everywhere I can, regardless of what amount I'm paying. I mostly do this because I somehow feel uncomfortable using cash where I don't need to, because that could leave me without cash further down the road, when I might need to pay something/someone who doesn't take debit cards. Also, I rarely carry more than 30€ in cash around with me, unless I expect of going somewhere where I won't be able to use my debit card for a while (like music festivals).
I don't even own a credit card, as I have no use for it. Most online shops that might require a credit card also offer paying by PayPal, so I'm all set.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #71 on: 14 Sep 2013, 04:46 »

I don't have a credit card and hope never to get one. I can't really think of any reason why I would have to, to be honest, but perhaps someone can enlighten me.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #72 on: 14 Sep 2013, 05:01 »

Buying entertainment products from the UK (or even the US) saves me around 30% compared to what I'd be paying in my own currency, and that often requires a credit card. These days I use my credit card almost exclusively for either Amazon or websites that use Amazon as a payment system, such as the Humble Bundle. The rest of the time, it doesn't even leave its hiding place. I prefer to use it over Paypal due to their questionable business practices. It has a limit of €1000, but the highest monthly charge I've ever had to pay was less than €50, and I pay about 3 euros per six months for the card, so I'm happy with it. It's nice to have it as an option.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #73 on: 14 Sep 2013, 05:15 »

I don't have a credit card and hope never to get one. I can't really think of any reason why I would have to, to be honest, but perhaps someone can enlighten me.

My parents have a credit card that they use only for buying things that could conceivably go sour (mostly online stuff, really). There's an extra layer of protection when you can call on the card provider to fight battles for you as well.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #74 on: 14 Sep 2013, 05:20 »

I use a debit card exclusively compared to a credit card (actually it's a Visa Check Card, which can be used in both ways, and used any where a Visa is accepted). It is provided free by my financial institution (along with my actual credit card, which I carry as an "Oh fuck" back up). I have not had a balance to be paid on my actual credit card in roughly two years. I vastly prefer paying with plastic over cash though. As long as you stay on top of your financials you don't over spend, it's fast and simple, and you don't have to regularly visit a bank or ATM.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #75 on: 14 Sep 2013, 05:47 »

I use very little cash and use a credit card for most purchases, paying it off monthly. I used to have a $5 lower limit, but with the ubiquity of card readers at fast-food places, I've dropped that to $2 or so. When I drive from MI to AZ, stay a couple of months and drive home, I take maybe $200 in cash, and typically come back with $150. My credit card puts miles on my American Airlines frequent flyer account. I looked last night: 374k.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #76 on: 14 Sep 2013, 08:34 »

In Germany that's the nonverbal way of saying that you've finished eating. Having the cutlery crossed on the plate means that you want to continue eating.
Here in the US, leaving the cutlery on the plate at all signifies that you've finished eating any dishes that require that cutlery, whereas placing it on the table signifies that you want to continue eating.

Especially since there's signs and stuff in shops that encourage tipping and its just so weird to me.
In my area, a local barbecue chain actually has signs saying "tipping is for cows" - they prohibit tips. They've also got excellent (counter) service and food.

Also, regarding US payment processing, because some of this works differently between different countries... jwhouk already covered this but I'll elaborate.

US payment cards have a magstripe that has all of the card info, and some of the info embossed on the front. (This allows payment networks to differentiate between a manually entered transaction and a card-present swipe transaction, which are billed at different rates due to the fraud risk.) Chip-and-PIN isn't a thing here, the few cards that have it are marketed towards people who travel to Europe, where (as I understand) magstripe transactions are now almost unheard of.

When you swipe the card, if it's a debit card, you're often given a choice between having the card processed as credit (through a credit card transaction network, and the merchant pays the fees) or debit (through a different debit transaction network, and your bank pays the fees I believe). Businesses that accept tips always ring it up as credit, however.

Credit's main security measure is that the merchant is required to get a signature for most transactions that are $25+ (exceptions are card-not-present transactions (online primarily), and pay-at-the-pump fuel purchases), so that if there's a question, the merchant is required to present their copy of the receipt with signature. How this works in a restaurant workflow... the card is swiped, total is entered, the terminal verifies that the transaction is approved, a hold is placed on the card for that amount, and the receipt is printed. Then, you're given the receipt, and write the tip amount, new total, sign it, and leave. I think the receipts are then entered back into the terminal with the tip amount, then, and the funds taken with the addition for the tip, but I've not actually worked with that end of things.

Debit requires PIN entry (so it's a "stripe-and-PIN" system, although with no crypto whatsoever), and no signature. You can also choose to get cash back with a debit transaction, in many places. (Obviously, this doesn't work for businesses to accept tips, because the tip is collected after the authorization has already been made, and they don't want to do a second transaction to get the tip.)

As far as charging different rates for credit/debit/cash, the credit card providers don't allow charging more than the advertised price for using credit, but you are allowed to charge LESS than the advertised price for using cash.

Also, debit/credit card usage is extremely widespread in the US. As has been mentioned, many credit cards have rewards for using them, and some debit cards do as well.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #77 on: 14 Sep 2013, 08:40 »

I don't have a credit card and hope never to get one. I can't really think of any reason why I would have to, to be honest, but perhaps someone can enlighten me.

If I'm going to other countries, I use a credit card for restaurants and such. If someone overcharges me (by say adding a zero to the end of the bill), I can cancel the payment later on by contacting my bank. I'm not so much worried about that here at home, because I could just go report it to the police and get it fixed.

Chip-and-PIN isn't a thing here, the few cards that have it are marketed towards people who travel to Europe, where (as I understand) magstripe transactions are now almost unheard of.

Here, cards still have the stripe, but the chip is used everywhere. If the chip is failing for some reason, you can use the stripe.

I think all of the cards that only had a strip is outdated and useless now. I'm happy with the chips - the magnets had a tendency to fail if they were exposed to other magnet sources, and not very strong ones either. Although with chips, cutting the card in two pieces to destroy it no longer really works, so that might be a problem.
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Barmymoo

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #78 on: 14 Sep 2013, 09:25 »

When I travel I don't use my cards! I get charged every time I use them, plus a percentage of the transaction amount, so I either take cash or a travel card that I believe basically functions the same way as whatever the standard method in that country is (in the US I had one of these and I could use it as credit or debit in the way people have been describing, but I didn't know what the difference was).
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #79 on: 14 Sep 2013, 09:32 »

Americans can correct me on this, but someone I know once came back from America and said that basically, where she went they didn't have manners in the traditional sense - like, for service staff, you just ask for what you want instead of requesting it. In the UK you say 'can I have a beer please?' and in the US, or this state/town, you say 'Give me a beer.'

This led to the following exchange:
'Can I please have another martini?'
*barman slams hand on the bar*
*extremely friendly, but incredibly loudly* 'OF COURSE you can have another martini, this is AMERICA, THE LAND OF THE FREE!'

Barmymoo

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #80 on: 14 Sep 2013, 09:39 »

Something I noticed in the US was that people said please very seldom, but thank you very frequently. I found that to be true of the culture overall. In Britain it's more the reverse.
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GarandMarine

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #81 on: 14 Sep 2013, 11:06 »

I think they might have just been screwing with her to some extent. Especially that bartender.

Other then that it varies person to person and location to location. At bars "Pitcher of X" sometimes I throw please on there, but usually not, the bartender is busy. I am going to be direct, then when the task is complete and I receive my pitcher of boozey happiness I will thank them for their efforts. Wait staff at a nice restaurant such as the perennial mecca of American fine dining, The Olive Garden then requests are more common. Unless you're an ass.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #82 on: 14 Sep 2013, 11:12 »

That is one thing that drives me absolutely crazy about a lot of people here. My parents brought me up to have good manners- not just towards specific people- but to EVERYONE. Saying please, thank you and you're welcome is NOT hard. Another one? Excuse me! I can't even tell you how many times I was practically ran over by someone walking past me without a word. It's just two words, people....come on.

Manners go hand in hand with being a nice person- it's not hard to be nice, it's not hard to have manners. I get that sometimes we all have "off" days, but in general? What do you really have to lose by saying "Please"?
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Barmymoo

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #83 on: 14 Sep 2013, 12:02 »

No bartender is ever too busy to hear the word please tagged onto the end of the phrase "a pint of lager" or whatever. You shouldn't be more polite to someone just because they get paid more, that's a ridiculous differentiator.
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GarandMarine

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #84 on: 14 Sep 2013, 12:59 »

It's not their level of pay (I'd bet good money the bartenders are making more then most of the waiters) it's the setting and circumstance that dictate behavior.

Bar: "Can I get a pint of bitter?" *receives* "Thanks mate" *tips a dollar*

Restaurant: "I'd like a bottle of your 73' Pinot Noir if you could" *booze returns, hopefully with waiter/wine steward) "thank you"

Neither request for booze is less polite then the other in their natural setting.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #85 on: 14 Sep 2013, 13:07 »

True, different levels of formality.  Most bartenders actually ask you what they can get you if they're not too busy! 

I do that at the beer store, too.  "What can I get you today?"



Some of them actually have to think about it, despite buying the same beer several times a week for the last 10, 20 or 30 years...

or maybe because of it. 
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #86 on: 14 Sep 2013, 13:16 »

It's not a criticism (although if you were to say "Give me a beer!" I'd consider that was rude!), just an observation about different cultures. Obviously it's kind of a blanket statement, there are plenty of people in the UK who don't say please all the time but I noticed that in the USA, people are lot more effusive in saying thank you but not as self-abasing in requesting things as in the UK.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #87 on: 14 Sep 2013, 15:07 »

Chip-and-PIN isn't a thing here, the few cards that have it are marketed towards people who travel to Europe, where (as I understand) magstripe transactions are now almost unheard of.

Here, cards still have the stripe, but the chip is used everywhere. If the chip is failing for some reason, you can use the stripe.

I think all of the cards that only had a strip is outdated and useless now. I'm happy with the chips - the magnets had a tendency to fail if they were exposed to other magnet sources, and not very strong ones either. Although with chips, cutting the card in two pieces to destroy it no longer really works, so that might be a problem.
i love using RFID payments. About half the establishments here support it. And most people have no idea what the hell just happened.

Now if only I could get Google wallet up and running in my phone, then i could really fuck with the ignorant.
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Welu

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #88 on: 14 Sep 2013, 15:32 »

Another one? Excuse me! I can't even tell you how many times I was practically ran over by someone walking past me without a word. It's just two words, people....come on.

A peeve of mine I'm not looking forward to when I return to college is people standing or even sitting in the middle of the hallway, I say, "Excuse me." to get by and they just stay in the way. I've had people look at me after I've said, "Excuse me." and not make any effort to move.  :x

How chatty are shop workers in the USA? In the shop I work in we've actually been told things like, "Be polite and friendly but don't get Americanised with your service." Referring to the, "What can I get you? Would you like anything else? Is everything okay? Thanks for shopping here. Have a great day!" eagerness people think is done. I know on an individual level it would differ but in general.
« Last Edit: 14 Sep 2013, 16:00 by Welu »
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #89 on: 14 Sep 2013, 15:57 »

A fun story from when I was in college: the one day the cafeteria did one of the specials they do once or twice a semester where the food is actually good. Whenever that happens there are always really long lines. So I was trying to enter the cafeteria, but the line for one of the serving stations was blocking the entrance, and nobody would let me though when I politely asked "Excuse me." So I backed up a few steps, and then tackled one of the people who wouldn't get out of my way. The crazy thing that I didn't know at the time was the college's new football coach was right behind me at the time. He (jokingly) offered me a position on the offensive line.  :roll:
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lepetitfromage

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #90 on: 14 Sep 2013, 16:00 »

When I used to work retail, I was often afraid to bother people too much- usually the initial interaction was the hardest. But- I found that some customers liked to chat, so I based my chattiness on that. I had no problem holding a conversation for a few minutes if they wanted to.


When I'm shopping, I generally get "Hi, can I help you find anything? No? Ok, just let me know if you need something." And then while checking out, it's common to get "Did you find everything ok? Have a nice day!"






Cesium.....that is awesome.
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Method of Madness

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #91 on: 14 Sep 2013, 17:01 »

In Germany that's the nonverbal way of saying that you've finished eating. Having the cutlery crossed on the plate means that you want to continue eating.
Here in the US, leaving the cutlery on the plate at all signifies that you've finished eating any dishes that require that cutlery, whereas placing it on the table signifies that you want to continue eating.
Wait, what? Why? I always leave my cutlery on the plate between because why would I put my cutlery directly on the table?
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #92 on: 14 Sep 2013, 17:07 »

Putting your napkin on your plate signifies that you are done.
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Method of Madness

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #93 on: 14 Sep 2013, 17:27 »

See, that I can get behind. As for tipping, I'll usually tip 20% if service is solid, and next to nothing if it's atrocious (this has almost never happened). I don't really mind, since I just consider it another (technically optional) tax. I have picked food up from a restaurant rather than eating there to save the money I would've spent on tips, though.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #94 on: 14 Sep 2013, 20:27 »

In Germany putting your used cutlery on the table is considered rude. While it is a common sight that somebody has the cutlery ”leaned” on to the plate with the handle on the table, it's considered good behaviour especially at formal occasions to never let the cutlery touch the tablecloth anymore after you've started using it. In general, the German ”Knigge” is a good source of information on stuff like that.

I've got another topic regarding cultural differences I'd like to talk about, but I need to sleep first. That one might take some time to explain. If somebody cares, it'll be about German ”Studentenverbindungen”, a topic I learnt a lot about today, as I met with a friend this evening who joined one a few weeks ago.
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mtmerrick

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #95 on: 14 Sep 2013, 21:27 »

i haven't even SEEN a tablecloth in a long time...
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Carl-E

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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #96 on: 15 Sep 2013, 00:17 »

Eatin' at the fancy places, I see! 
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #97 on: 15 Sep 2013, 01:47 »

In Germany putting your used cutlery on the table is considered rude.

I haven't seen them used for a long time; but "knife rests" used to be a solution to that.  I always thought of them as somewhat French, and knew them as "cutlery dogs" - but Google doesn't have any evidence of that name (it's not the only thing I know that Google has never heard of!).  They may be metal, crystal or plastic, plain or fancy, and are quite often in the shape of sausage dogs:





I had a set of plastic sausage dog ones which occasionally came out for dinner parties (they went with my first wife).  Here's some history, from a company that sells nothing else!
« Last Edit: 15 Sep 2013, 01:52 by pwhodges »
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #98 on: 15 Sep 2013, 05:16 »

They had similar stuff for the chopsticks at the sushi place I was at recently.

I've had people look at me after I've said, "Excuse me." and not make any effort to move.  :x
...to be fair, the sentence "excuse me" alone is not exactly unambiguous.
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Re: When in Rome, do as the Romans do
« Reply #99 on: 15 Sep 2013, 05:19 »

I'll note that it's generally best to place the fork and knife on the napkin, so the tablecloth or table surface doesn't get dirty, but still, it's pretty damn close to being on the table. And, maybe that's more regional, and there might be some class differences as well, but here in Ohio and most places I've been, it's unambiguous that utensils off the plate don't get taken, on the plate do. (If you're present when the waitstaff comes to take plates, the utensils are on the plate, and you've not eaten much, they may ask if you still need them, but that's not that common.)
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