I have lived in the Czech Republic for more than 13-years now and I have to say that it is an unfriendly country in the main. Czech’s are – generally speaking – morose, rude and jealous people. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here but occasionally, you have to get away to experience good customer service and people who are happy in life….
Case in point was last week when visiting Prague to see my brother and sister in law who were visiting this country for the first – and probably last – time. Before I met with them they had already been subjected to pure rudeness, lack of basic manners (hello, please, thank you etc.) and treated as unwanted tourists – ten a penny in Prague and a never ending supply so why be nice?
I stayed at their hotel – a tourist place called The Prague Superior Center Hotel – a place to avoid…
On checking out of the place, I made the mistake of telling the receptionist that she was being rude. No please, thank you or any manners – just orders barked in a loud voice (just in case we were deaf?). Of course, this was my mistake as I got rudeness back and told her that she was being rude again. What followed was simply bizarre and straight out of Fawlty Towers….
She called her colleague while pretending to deal with us and give this colleague a running commentary in Czech about us – “idiot tourists, don’t wish to deal with f**ing tourists, wish they would all F off and leave us alone” sort of thing. My daughter and I listened in amazement and eventually, my 12 year old Czech daughter told her in Czech – we do understand you! I think this was the moment in which this woman decided to subject us to pure hatred as we had you see embarrassed her.
She put the phone down flushed and looking shocked before announcing that she ‘didn’t care anyway’. I was then given a PIN box to enter my PIN to pay for parking downstairs. Each time I tried to enter the PIN, one of the keys didn’t work and so I was told that my card was bad and she would contact the police if I couldn’t pay! Despite trying to tell her the keypad wouldn’t work, she just talked over me so I tossed the PIN pad back on the desk saying – here you try then! I was of course then accused of throwing this at her despite the fact it had about 10 inches of wire and therefore couldn’t travel far whatever I did. Eventually I managed to pay and we left leaving my car for later pick up. I did call her a bitch at that point – who wouldn’t?
A few hours later, we come back to collect the car and she appeared with a colleague and refused to allow us to leave (ie provide exit ticket for car park) while she made calls to the manager – ‘they are back,’ she says…. manager didn’t appear interested despite me saying ‘yes – I’d like to meet the manager!’
At this point, she started talking Czech again accusing us of having three people in the room and saying that we must pay more for the extra person (I booked a room on booking at a room rate btw). We told her there was just the two of us. But she was adamant until my Sister in Law understood what was going on and pointed out she and her husband were staying in another room. ‘Prove it!’ she said which we duly did. No apology – she just got madder.
I asked if we were to be detained there against our will all day to which the response was ‘Let me give you some advice – go back to your own country’. I pointed out that my daughter is Czech and I am a permanent resident with as much right to be there as she did. However, we were finally processed and allowed to leave.
Only later did my daughter tell me the colleague had told her she would beat my 12-year old daughter black and blue…. and I also noted that my contact details and name were written down in her and writing on a scrap of paper which no doubt is a breach of my privacy.
I have experienced some bizarre things in Central and Eastern Europe but this takes the biscuit.
No apologies….. I believe what she told me is classified as hate speech under EU law and I think she should find another job because service isn’t for her… and what her colleague told my daughter is verbal abuse of a child in anyones language…
This wasn’t a bad day. This was a person in the wrong job with inadequate training taking it out in a paying customer – unacceptable.
As we Ex Pats sometimes laughingly joke with each – Czech and service work are simply not designed for each other….