Rena-Lime (rena_lime) wrote in linguaphiles,

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Questions and some thoughts... ?

Hi there!

I've been wondering this a lot lately:

I work as a coordinator at a Taxi-business - meaning I'm responsible to answer the phone and forward the orders to the drivers among other things.
Lately, there's been an increase of (native) English speakers calling.

The interesting thing is that when I answer the phone with the standard German sentence, about 90% directly cut me off going "I want a taxi to [insert address]. How long will it take?" or something along the lines.
Nobody ever seems to bother stopping for an "Excuse me, do you speak English?" - or even remotely trying to say something in German.

Is it really that common to expect anyone speaking English on the phone in a foreign country?
Or is it, dare I say, that special kind of arrogance I've been warned about. (Well, yes, they speak a world-language, so they expect to be understood anywhere?)

I wonder because most of my colleagues struggle a lot with those customers. They don't speak enough English to figure out more than the street - and even that is an obstacle if it's badly pronounced.
Even worse is the fact that most of theses customers get angry really fast if they encounter someone who doesn't understand them. It mostly ends up in an angry shouting match of repeating the streets' name over and over again and then - upon not making progress - simply hanging up mid-sentence. (I observed some of those calls. XD)

Other than that, is there another smooth, short translation for "Warten Sie draußen oder sollen wir klingeln?"

I usually go with "Will you be waiting outside or shall we ring the doorbell?" - but that's a mouthful and order-calling is always about being as short and precise as possible.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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