AirTalk for December 13, 2013

Remember to say 'please!' Are Angelenos too rude to servers and sales people?



People sit at a cafe at a crossroad on the Ile Saint Louis island in central Paris in July 2013.

Everyone can be grumpy from time to time but do you take it out people in the service industry?

Angelenos might like to think they're nicer than New Yorkers but not everyone agrees. Travel & Leisure magazine ranked LA the "rudest" city in America three years in a row. So how can we get Angelenos to be nicer when ordering a coffee or checking out at the grocery store?

One café in France got the idea to charge their customers based on their attitude when ordering. Simply asking for "a coffee" at the Le Petite Syrah cafe will cost you about $9.50 but add "please" and the price drops to 6 bucks. Throw in a friendly "hello" and you're down to a $2 bill. The cafe's owner said he hasn't had to enforce the rule yet but just having it written on the menu got people thinking about their attitude and people started smiling more.

As the holidays approach and the stress starts mounting, do you still make an effort to be friendly to strangers? If you work in the service industry, how do you deal with rude customers? Do you wish you could charge them more for being cranky?


Daryl Twerdahl, owner of the Los Angeles School of Etiquette and Protocol


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