Why are the Poms so unhappy?
THE HARD WORD | Having lived in the UK for some time now, I’m constantly amazed at how rude people are here. It’s quite an anomaly though, because the Brits are actually incredibly nice people. So Britons, why the sad face?
WHATEVER happened to good old fashioned customer service. Whatever happened to a bit of general chit-chat, a bit of politeness, a bit of courtesy.
London is infamous for being, well, not very good at it.
One of the biggest cities in the world is rather more famous for being so bloody busy.
At any time of the day in any part of this city chaos abounds. The streets are manic at the best of the times, with everyone always in a desperate hurry to reach their destination. And that is why I love it.
But I desperately miss speaking to people in public.
I arrived here after spending six weeks in America, arguably the home of ‘niceness’. Friends of mine mistook this for arrogance, but they are incredibly nice people, in their unique American way.
Waiters treat you like kings because, well, they have to. The service is prompt and reliable in the most expensive restaurants and the cheapest. And while I don’t condone people being paid bugger all to carry out their work, this scribe found that there is a sense in the country that the Americans are generally happy to speak/deal with foreigners.
But having lived in the UK for some time now, I’m constantly amazed at how rude people are here, which confuses me because the Brits are actually incredibly nice people. They are just more shy than their Atlantic neighbours, and frankly, similar to Australians.
I’m not asking for a five-minute conversation with the guy who makes my coffee every day. I don’t need to be asked how my life is progressing when I buy my papers, nor do I need to be questioned about the ins and outs of my day when I buy a train ticket.
All I’m asking for is a simple ‘hello’. Why is it so hard? Why is it so much to ask that when I do anything in this city, that actually requires someone to say something to me, no one ever does. Ever. That’s after I’ve already said hello to them.
Whinging? Whining? Perhaps.
We are in so many ways comparably similar to our Commonwealth ‘friends’. But are they really that miserable?
The 2012 World Happiness Report found the UK in a measly 18th position of the world’s happiest nations. Australia sits in ninth. Despite a general link between a country’s wealth and its mood, economist and author of the World Happiness Report, Jeffrey Sachs, said the two factors were not inherently linked. So that would seem to indicate that a double-dip recession is not necessarily cause for a nations misery.
Is it the weather? A mightily depressing English summer could be to blame, a lack of vitamin D possibly. It can’t be the state of the country’s sporting prowess, because, maybe for the first time ever, Brits have something to crow about. Unlike us Aussies, who are currently suffering through a turgid state of Australian sport. Yes the standard of living is undoubtedly better Down Under, but having lived there all my life, I’m not convinced it’s as bad here as some will have you believe.
This is an adorable country full of history, mystique and glorious countryside. And it also happens to find itself alongside the continent, that other majestic wonderland full of endless possibilities.
So Britain I’m confused. Why the sad face?
Why do you think the Poms are unhappy? Or do you not agree? Tell us below: