Wednesday 24 December 2014

I'm new to these parts, can you help me please?

Why is this such a difficult concept for people to grasp?

It's not just about being in another country, assuming things will be done the same as back home, it's simple things like visiting a new coffee shop and approaching the counter to place an order and being told rather firmly that you need to sit at a table and they'll come to you.

It's the assumption made by the people that you ask for help from, that YOU know what you are doing, in my opinion based on the fact that they have little or no knowledge that things might work differently elsewhere. My mistake is to make my own assumption that I might not be the only person who is on their first visit and that when I explain that they may actually help me.

Yesterday I went to a coffee shop near the hotel in Dubai, there were tables and chairs outside and two, what I assumed to be waiters, dressed in a distinctive uniform stood in the area, so I ask if I just take a seat, they say yes, so I then asked if they could bring me a latte, to which one replied 'it's self service' on approaching the counter I'm asked for my order then told to take a seat and they'll bring it to me.

It isn't just a miscommunication or understanding of language spoken, it's happened in the UK. We were in Nandos in November in the UK, we had booked a table, were shown to it, given a menu and when my mum and I ordered coffee, we were told by the waitress to order and pay at the counter. Now I know I  have to do this for example in Whetherspoons, because I've tried booking a table for 20 in the past and told I couldn't. So I naturally assume that because I've booked a table, because the waitress has shown me to it and given me a menu, that I can actually order from her.

I just don't understand why people have to be so rude about it, dismissive, to the point of sometimes taking the mick, a little snigger and a funny look.

The thing is, I know a lot about a lot of stuff that maybe you don't know and when employed as a child welfare officer I assumed that when you came to me for help and support it was because you needed my assistance, that why you came to me. exactly the same applies if I go into a shop, cafe, restaurant, bank, municipality and ask. 'Please can you help me? I new to these parts'

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