Canadian Identity

The reason why people in the service professions adore me is that I lived in Canada for several years. And in Canada, being rude or superior towards waiters and store attendants is considered the worst thing ever. I remember how back at the Commencement ceremony at McGill, the Dean gave a talk about what it means to be Canadian, and the gist of the talk was that acting as a dick towards people in service jobs made you a pariah in Canada. And it’s true, treating service stuff like they are not there or like they are beneath you is simply not done.

7 thoughts on “Canadian Identity

  1. “in Canada, being rude or superior towards waiters and store attendants is considered the worst thing ever”

    What the hell has happened to my country? In the US that I remember only a few categories of people were habitually rude towards those in service positions.

    1) scum of the earth

    2) nouveau rich

    3) university professors (not just trying to be funny, ime it was very, very true)

    But then I got the hell out of Dodge before the current round of status whoring which would increase the number of nouveau riche (or those that wanted to act that way).


    1. I wouldn’t say people are rude but they often act like the service personnel is not there or is not a human being but a machine. For instance, when a waiter brings a glass of water, customers often act as if the water appeared there on its own. They don’t look the waiter in the eye and thank him. And that makes me feel very uncomfortable.


      1. Yeah, me too. I don’t think there’s a more reliable test of your character than how you act towards service industry people.


  2. My father and I have a running joke about how if the waiter in a Chinese restaurant is rude, it’s mean’s he’s FOB and that’s a sign that they cater to a mainly Chinese clientele because Chinese care more about their dinner than how they’re treated by a waiter just barely above the level of a coolie.


    1. Life is also richer and more pleasant if you connect with everybody in their capacity as human beings. One can meet some really interesting people this way.


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