Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

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Miro
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Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Miro » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:22 am

I've been frequenting our local clinic a lot lately (see my posts about spider bites) and have therefore had the misfortune of dealing with the miserable reception staff regularly to make appointments, who have always, for no apparent reason, been very surly and rude towards me. It's one of those places where, like Hacienda in Málaga, I've always felt like a despised guiri, but don't know why.
Then the other day, while I was waiting to be seen, a big fat Brit on a mobility scooter went up to the desk, thrust his health card at the receptionist and said "I need an appointment". Presumably understanding the gist of it, the receptionist asked "¿con el médico, o la enfemera?" His response was "Ulcers!" There was a brief discourse between the receptionist and her colleague, and then she asked again - médico o enfermera? To which fat guiri said "Ulcers! Appointment!"
I jumped up and offered to help, explaining to fat Brit that all she wanted to know was whether he needed to see his GP, or a nurse, to which he glared at me and said "I've already told her three times!"
I slunk off and sat down with an apologetic look towards the staff. I wanted to ask him who the hell he thought he was, and tell him that it's ignorant tw*ts like him that give the rest of us a bad name. But maybe he would have just told me the miserable sods are always rude & surly towards him just because he's a guiri.
So which came first?
:?
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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Lyric » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:12 am

In my opinion, for what it's worth, it is the "English (or German) loudly" approach that is the problem. I speak little Spanish, due to injury induced learning problems I never will, but I try, I print phrases and pictures to help and try. Everywhere, practically without exception, I am treated with a pleasant demeanour and patience, but I always try to start in Spanish, atrocious though it may be.
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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Wicksey » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:43 am

Miro, I think if the staff have to deal with people you describe day in, day out, then that will p*ss them off. I hate it when someone just walks into a local shop and starts speaking English without even the courtesy of asking 'hablas ingles?' first.

Until more recently, not many Spanish around here spoke English anyway as there were more Germans, and so we had to always speak Spanish to get by. Sometimes there's now a staff member in our local PO that starts to speak in English to me and I am really disappointed as I really need to practice my Spanish wherever possible.

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Gasman » Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:17 am

We have a similar situation in our Centro Salud but it does seem to be NOT just us who get the glares and stares and glum shrugs from the reception staff. I have come to think that it may have more to do with the crisis in the health service as even in deepest Huelva where, when we first arrived nearly ten years ago most staff were cheerful and helpful (we had bu-ger-all spanish then!!), things have gone downhill, especially in the last couple of years. Staff are rushed, there are fewer on duty to cope with the usual queues, but then queues are longer and waiting times for referral appointments to specialists are much longer ... I wonder if the staff are just suffering the Blues in general and not just to the pesky foreigners.
Of course we do it all in spanish now but dont get any thanks for that either!! We generally manage to bring them round to a grin (or is it a smirk) before we toddle off with a cheerful "'sta luego"
We do find it amazing that there are still a few Brits who cannot manage even the most basic greetings and "manners" in spanish when they have lived in our rural, spanish-speaking pueblo for far longer than us!! HOW do they do it - why doesnt even "Buenas" rub off on them? When everybody else in the shop etc says that same greeting as they step inside?

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Miro » Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:39 am

Thanks for the replies so far, it's interesting to know others' thoughts.
I have a feeling the reception staff at our clinic are particularly grumpy because they have a horrible boss (who was rude and unpleasant to us even 10 years ago - and we always spoke Spanish from day one going there). Maybe they are also just frustrated wannabe doctors or nurses! Hacienda - well, I guess nobody enjoys being a tax collector! But I have encountered this bad attitude to foreigners in so many other situations as well. For example, a few years ago, against my better judgement, I stopped at one of the touristy bars in town for a quick caña, ordering in Spanish, but the waiter brought me one of their overpriced litre jars of beer. When I said I only wanted a caña, he simply said "that's a caña". I argued the point, he wouldn't budge, so I just left without touching the beer or paying for it. Contrast that to recently in Germany, when I ordered a couple of coffees in broken German, and for some reason got three. When I said I only wanted two, the waitress just laughed and took one away, saying "no problem", and didn't charge for the extra one. I just can't remember ever coming up against such surly attitudes when visiting other countries. Having said that, and not wanting to make this sound like a rage against Spain, I've also witnessed far too many ignorant and arrogant Brits (and other nationalities) here doing their very best to p*ss off the locals, so it's certainly swings & roundabouts.
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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby jhonie99 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:16 pm

It's people like you that are the problem.......always apologising for being British (or foreigner). The "fat Brit" had the right idea and knows full well that he was despised before he even opened his mouth. It's nothing to do with language!!

The Spanish hate foreigners and particularly the Brits. It has always been like that and will get considerably more obvious when Brexit happens.

Now, there are other elements.
The Spanish don't even like each other. They hate other peoples' success. They hate other peoples' happiness, etc. It's just the way they are. If I can't have the cake, you're not having it either.

More importantly, they hate dealing with the public. A Spaniard at work wants to retreat to a backoffice, lock door and wait to go home. They usually detest their work colleagues and will try anything to get others in trouble.

They show arrogance to cover up their insecurity.

Most of my knowledge comes from the fact that my partner is Spanish and a Funcionario, therefore I pickup on what's going on in the very public environment of a Social Security office.

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Miro » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:34 pm

Wow! :lol: I never apologise for being foreign, but wherever I go in the world I do try to show respect for the local culture and customs, and even try to speak a bit of the language. I was trying not to sound prejudiced, but I do agree with what you say!
Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Free at Last » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:49 pm

If all Spaniards hate foreigners then I can only say that the ones I've dealt with over the last 13 years both in public offices, shops and other businesses and neighbours, do a very good job of hiding it. Of course some are more smiley and pleasant than others, but that's true of humans everywhere. I have never been treated badly by any of the staff at the Town Hall, Hacienda, Centro de Salud, Extranjeria, Endesa etc. and staff in businesses often really go out of their way to help. This morning we've been to get some new passport photographs for my husband and of course they are different to the standard Spanish size. The man in the photographer's studio messed about for ages to get them exactly right, with very good humour, for the grand total of €6, and I thanked him for his patience. Even before I could speak Spanish properly I always tried, from day one, to communicate in Spanish even if I made a lot of mistakes and my pronunciation was rubbish, and I think that's appreciated. In the early days I would write down what I wanted with the help of a phrasebook and a dictionary.

Gasman, It amazes me too that sometimes people can have lived in Spain for many years and can't or won't manage even a few words of Spanish. If I had a job which obliged me to struggle to communicate with such people day in, day out I think it would try my patience too.

A few weeks ago I took an Australian lady who is in the process of moving here to the Exranjeria in Torre del Mar to help her obtain an NIE. Unprompted, she commented on how polite and pleasant the staff were in comparison to those in Australian immigration offices (she has had wide experience of dealing with them on behalf of clients in her job).

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Pamela1 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:06 pm

Well i never haha..good posts....in my experience i'd say there are faults on both sides...Yes i'd agree there are alot of surely people in Spain but also here in the Uk.....I once asked for a roll of camera film in a shop in Fuengirola and the middle age big fat male shop owner or assistant slammed it down in front of me on the counter with a bad attitude...i picked it up and slammed it back down and told him he could stick it....He then gave me a load of abuse and there lies the problem i've since learnt..its usually the upper age people who i have found to be surely...yet at the same time many are nice..

If anything gets to me it's customer service in Spain...it's slow and rubbish...None of the staff seem to be on the same page...I was in the local builders merchant trying to buy tiles and was told by one staff member it would take 2 weeks to deliver...I could see he couldn't be bothered as many cant..I approached another member of staff and was told we could have them in 2 days...It's crazy at times and you have to have lot's of patients...Banks annoy the hell out of me...most of the staff are sat around on computers while there is one counter staff dealing with a very long que..then low and behold her friend calls for a casual chat while we all stand and wait...Spain needs a big kick up it's a---e then its economy might start to move....Hubby agrees and he's Spanish....

As for Spanish hating us Brits? Well how do many behave while they are there? it's embarrassing to say the least...I have never encountered hate or hostility but then Spanish are good at being nice to your face and gossip like hell behind your back..but they do that with anyone regardless of whether they are Spanish or who they are...but Brits do that too....

Yes, there is an awful lot of Jealousy amongst some people in Spain...I've seen it and i've also seen best friends report one another to the police...reminds me of Franco days and the snitches...

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Wicksey » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:21 pm

Pamela1 wrote:Yes, there is an awful lot of Jealousy amongst some people in Spain...I've seen it and i've also seen best friends report one another to the police...reminds me of Franco days and the snitches...


Maybe that's what some of it relates to between the Spanish. Dreadful things went on locally during the civil war and I'm sure that families do not forget who supported which side. Most of my neighbouring landowners are inter-related but it's clear that some branches of the family do not talk to, or even acknowledge, the others.

I find our Spanish neighbours friendly and have helped us out in a crisis. I really do not get the impression that we, as foreigners, are hated here. When we have travelled about Spain and visited other regions like Galicia, or even cities like Madrid, we have found people we have spoken to friendly and have gone out of their way to be helpful.

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Paulinmalaga » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:27 pm

Pamela1 what are "surely" people? What relevance was it that he was both "fat" or "middle aged"?
Also I'm saddened to say it is not just the Spanish who report one another, Brits equally if not more so.

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby chrissiehope » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:40 pm

I would imagine she meant 'surly' ;-)
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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Pamela1 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:45 pm

Funny!!..you could have asked Miro the same question about the fat Brit guy and what relevance it had....as for Surely? blame spell checker..haha...I was reciting a story from many years ago....when i was very young..and as a 21yr old you do see very large people who are over 40 as being fat and middle aged...Sorry if it offends..

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Paulinmalaga » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:53 pm

Miro's was in context, yours was not. No, spell check cannot be blamed in this instance....surly is surly surely? But we all love a "very long que".

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Pamela1 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:05 pm

No spell check can be blamed in this instance!!. :lol: :lol: :lol: back to the forum being an English A level exam!!.. Oh so Miro's was in context and mine wasn't? so that makes Miro's ok!...Go ahead and keep picking on what I've contributed...what did you contribute?

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby gerryh » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:54 pm

Christmas is, allegedly, a time of peace and goodwill to all men and women, before I get accused of being sexist.
So please don't anybody start a slanging match. :thumbup: :wave:
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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Free at Last » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:22 pm

The man Miro overheard in the Centro de Salud should get someone to show him how to make an appointment online. It's the easiest and most convenient way of arranging medical appointments I've ever experienced and works extremely well.

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby flyeogh » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:45 pm

Well at Christmas time. good will to all men, I was surprised to find this and with so many talking about bad experiences.

I'm part of an entirely Spanish family here and while being a fully paid up guiri I have no trouble with the vast majority of individual spaniards. Be they family, friends, neighbours, and/or people selling me services.

Of course people who work for the authorities in Spain are generally under paid, under educated, do not understand what they are doing, and couldn't care less. But then the people who run the country are largely all those things and worse so you cannot blame the workers. It comes from the top down :evil:

Of course strong statements need to be backed up so just from the last few months:

I was driven to get married in Gibraltar due to the authorities stupidity here in Cadiz. We went as directed to a building 5 kilometers out of town, We were told they couldn't talk to us until we had a number from reception. We got one. They said you need to go to the townhall. We explained they they sent us to them, ... loop forever until you get bored.
My step-daughter cannot find out how to manage IVA when importing money to Spain. A UK company wants to give her money. She cannot get clear advise on how to receive it. This UK company has no problems dealing with suppliers in other EU countries - only in Spain.
My wife, Spanish of course, registered with the local doctor when we moved from Asturias to Cadiz. She was basically told in a curt and rude manner that she was a hypercondriac. She changed to another doctor and three months later is well underway to being fully fit taking up Taichi and Yoga once again. The locals confirm that the first doctor is like that with everyone.

I could go on :wink:

Basically I believe, and I make no excuse for using the term, that Spain is a third world country. It is no surprise it has mass unemployment, open corruption at all levels of life, and is bust. But if you except that there are many plus points.

So while I was quite shocked to see the above experiences and comments, as I say in the season of good will, I must say all those on the receiving end have my sympathies.

To balance I have no sympathy with Brits who do not try to speak as much Spanish as they can. It's taken me 30 years to learn and I've had the chance to be isolated in a spanish only world for many years so I take my hat off to those of you who learn from the outside as it were. But to not try :(

But all enjoy your grapes and hopefully, although I doubt it, things will get better in the new year :mrgreen:
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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Pamela1 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:47 pm

Gerry....you are right in what you have said... :(

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby maureenscot » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:40 pm

This thread is a right laugh though, has me chuckling. Surely surly can be surely and surely can be surly


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