I was a bad Canadian today
Everyone knows the few stereotypes about Canadians, most of which are false:
- We say “aboot” not “about” — This is false unless you go to certain cities or areas, much like how not everyone in the U.S. has a Southern accent
- We ride polar bears and have pet baby seals — Partly true, depends on who you ask. MWAHAHA!
- We live in igloos and it’s freezing cold all year the MINUTE you step over the border — Er.. no.
- We all speak French and English (are bilingual) — Another lie. I didn’t really learn the language until I was forced to out of necessity and greed (for more money at work).
- We say “eh” a lot — I do admit to doing this, but I don’t do it every other sentence. It just pops out once in a while, although I’ve caught plenty of Americans saying it too, so … this one is a toss-up.
- We’re really.. really… REALLY nice and are always apologizing — This one is true for the most part.
When I am in Canada, I don’t know what happens, but I feel the need to apologize a lot.
When I step in front of someone in an aisle and I block their view temporarily, I apologize.
When I accidentally bump / nudge / touch / tap someone, I apologize.
When I do ANYTHING out of the ordinary even by accident, I apologize.
(Like dropping something of mine on the ground “Oh sorry!” just comes out of my mouth, because I think it might be in the way of someone’s walking path and they could trip.)
It’s my instinct to apologize even though it isn’t necessarily my fault.
I will note that it comes and goes because this streak of apologizing was suppressed when I lived in the U.S. mostly because I didn’t get any verbal affirmations of constant apology from others around me. If no one else says “Sorry” either, my natural instinct to apologize disappears.
But there are days I am a bad Canadian. Like really bad.
Today was one of those days and I am not even sorry about it.
You walk into a store where everyone is busy with a customer except for a girl is on the phone chatting on the side at the cash register with her iPhone and the landline glued to her ear.
Good Canadian: *Thinks: Hmm she looks busy. Let’s not bother her, I’ll just wait until she’s finished with store business. No rush.*
2 minutes later, still chatting.
..all the while, she’s asking for prices and kind of ignoring me. We had ONE flash of eye contact, but she hurriedly looked the other way.
Good Canadian: Okay, this is getting kind of long, but I guess if she has to get it done, she has to get it done. I’m sure she’ll wrap it up soon.
1 minute later, STILL chatting, this time she’s laughing a lot.
Semi-Bad Canadian: *eavesdrops a little*
Turns out, she wasn’t on a business call doing STORE business, she’s planning a goddamn PARTY for herself and her parents, perhaps it could even be her WEDDING.
This is a PERSONAL call while working, and customers (myself) are being kept waiting for a PERSONAL. PARTY. CALL.
Semi-Bad Canadian: *says directly to the girl while she is on the phone*
“Wow it must be nice to be on a personal phone call planning a party or a wedding or whatever the hell you’re doing while you’re working. I wish my job let me do that.”
*no eye contact, and now she is now purposefully angling her body away from me so she doesn’t see me out of the corner of her eye*
*instant metamorphosis into a Bad Canadian*
I walked out to the middle of the store and says VERY loudly and angrily in the middle of all the customers and salespeople milling around helping them.
Bad Canadian: HELLO? Is anyone else available to help me at the cash? Apparently your employee is far too busy planning a personal party to handle customers, and I’m a little pissed off at waiting for so long.
*confused, kind of scared look from a salesperson*, who replies: “Umm there’s no one at cash?”
Bad Canadian: Oh no. Don’t get it wrong! There is someone at cash, but she’s too fricking busy planning some sort of goddamn personal party for herself, ordering DJs and salsa music right at the cash register WHILE WORKING, ignoring customers like me who have been waiting there for a while for some customer service.
*salesperson quickly scurries to the front to deal with me, and like magic or on cue, that rude salesgirl realizes she’s been outed, and disappears into the back like an embarrassed rat.*
This is just one of many stories of when I am not a nice Canadian.
I can’t say that I do this all the time but I am no passive-aggressive wallflower.
I’d call my behaviour above rude but I am one of those people who responds in the like to what I am being treated with.
If you’re rude, I’m rude too.
I did something like this once with a friend who was so shocked that her mouth was open for a good 2 minutes that I could be that direct and aggressive. Then she laughed her ass off and asked for lessons.