Sunday 4 May 2014

It seems Angus is right about French customer service

Apologies to those readers who do not follow Bob and Sophie's French Adventure. (But really, why don't you? It's brilliant).

For several years now, Gail and I have been hooked on transplanted Scotsman Angus's account of life in rural France and the antics of his Polish lowland sheepdogs, but I have to confess, we have occasionally wondered if Angus was being a bit unfair in his implied criticisms of the local attitude to customer service.

Now, ever since she returned from her Jura holiday, Gail has been going on and on and on about what a wonderful time she had in France, especially when she met up with Bicontinental Dachshund Tootsie (my doggy godmother) and her family.

But yesterday, she let slip that there was one incident of slight unpleasantness, amusing in retrospect, but which supports the impression given by Angus's blog.

So Gail and Tootsie and her Mom and Dachshund Daddy had arrived at their accommodation in Mouthe, 'Le Chalet de la Source du Doubs' mid afternoon on Good Friday. By then the weather has turned quite nasty. On entering the chalet they were promptly pushed back out into the cold by a cross young woman telling them not to wake the baby. After a short while, Dachshund Daddy, a fluent French speaker, braved re-entry only to be ushered outside again the proprietress who grumpily pointed to a chalkboard by the front door and said: "You speak the language. So read the sign!"

And yes indeed, there it was, a sign giving instructions for new arrivals.

But how hard would it have been to say a few words of welcome to the guests and tell them which bedrooms they were in?

You know, my adorable godmother Tootsie has quite short furs, and it upsets me to think she was forced to wait around in the chilly weather by this not so friendly person.

Tootsie, if you came to visit me in Scotland, you would be embraced with open arms. And paws.


  1. Manners seem to be a thing of the past.....

    XXXOOO Bella & Roxy

  2. Grrrr bad manners really make us mad. Have a serene Sunday and enjoy some big easy today.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. My goodness - that was just plain rude....there would of been no controlling our dad if that happened to us - being the typical obnoxious American he would of left with some nasty words and dragged us off to find accommodation elsewhere

  4. Hari OM
    Bertie I back you up - the welcome here is warm as toast... making up for the not so warm weathers! I will confess now that the French are not up on my top 10 list of fave folks, for exactly this reason. I am sure there are exceptions....... Hope you are having a snuggly Sunday with Gail. Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  5. On my trip to France, I was braced for a less than friendly attitude as that was what was rumored. I was very pleasantly surprised that from Paris all the way to Nice, I met no one that wasn't helpful and friendly.

  6. That was not only RUDE it was MEAN.
    Butt we don't know if it was because the lady was French or just naturally... CROSS.

    1. Wearing our tolerant and understanding hats, Gail and I are thinking perhaps a touch of post-natal depression (French style!)

  7. Bertie my peeps had an unfriendly encounter at Charles

  8. There is always one unfriendly encounter on a trip. Glad it didn't ruin things though!

  9. continued!! MOL
    de Gaulle airport. In September 8, 2001 my peeps flew through CdG airport from Budapest. Some very unfriendly airport personnel in one terminal purposely direct my peeps to another terminal for their connecting flight (there was a very small window of opportunity too).
    Once at the other terminal SOME VERY VERY NICE AND FRIENDLY CdG personnel apologized profusely telling my peeps they had been misdirected. They got my peeps on a express tram back to the terminal. They made their connection....thanks to these nice folks.
    My peeps quickly learned it only takes one bad apple to spoil a barrel...
    Hugs madi your bfff

  10. It's been a while since my mom's six-year stay in France; but she tells me she remembers very clearly the feeling of often walking on eggs, not knowing whether she would encounter kind or rude at any time. Her conclusion is that it all balanced it does most places. But I'm sorry Gail and her companions had to stay out in the nasty cold!

    Wirey love,

    Just Harry

  11. How terrible, putting a little baby before Tootsie! Hmm, I agree, Aberdeen would be a lot friendlier than France, judging on this story! Do you think Tootsie will ever come over here?
    Your illustrations are superb, as well.
    Pippa :)

  12. I have had some laughable encounters while traveling through France. This comment space isn't big enough to tell all the tales. But, it all makes me smile and we certainly have our share of characters on this side of the pond! Wyatt's Mom

  13. Ive never been to France but I have heard the stories. I like the cartoon a lot

    retro rover

  14. Well Bertie my only thought on this is they eventually were allowed in. They didn't tell them no room in the inn and to use the stable out back.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

  15. Sadly customer service is sometimes more an alien concept im France, I know. We made that experience too as we looked for a hotel. After an odyssey we landed in a HOWLtel, but at least there dogs were allowed. If you come to France with Tootsie the next time, you can stay in my crib, we have NO rules :o)