Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

This is how I feel today

My French blood is boiling. My British side tells me to breathe and take a step back. What to do? Let me explain: recently, one of the clients of the company I work for has been a bit difficult (British understatement -I mean more than a bit): they were acknowledging receipt of my messages and emails when it suited them (like, when they needed something from us), and conveniently ignoring anything else (when they were asked to settle their bills, for instance). When confronted (a notice to pay was served today), they said ‘Oh, sorry, your emails went into our Spam inbox’.

Seriously, don’t you think that it is the lamest excuse ever? 

Because as far as I know that’s not how spam filters are working. Not to mention the various phone calls I made. Come to think of it, on top of the unusual spam filter settings -yeah right..-, it seems that they are suffering from a rare condition called selective hearing too. How weird…

We French can be quite direct. I almost picked my phone up to clear matters up and shout at them once and for all, but eventually decided against it. It is never good to reply when you are angry, right? I asked the legal team to serve a notice in the end (is it my British side? I wonder).

So here is my question today: 

what do you do when you are so clearly being taken for a ride?

My British side tells me not to take it personally. They just want to see how far they can go before getting a slap on the wrist. Well, they know now. But my French side tells me the opposite: it feels bloody personal. I have always tried to be fair with them and taken good care of them. Surely they should respect me for the work I did? I am of two minds. No, in fact, I am angry.

High ground, Muriel, high ground. Well, easier said than done.

After 10 years in London I thought that I would have a little bit of what they call ‘British phlegm’ over here. As it turns out, I remain very meridional. Some things never change.

What should I do? How do I calm down? How do you manage to stop things from feeling ‘personal’? Right now I am feeling very French.

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • People all over the world try their luck! Don’t take it personally bc if it was personal then they would be your client!

  • There are bullshitters everywhere. I ignore and let them bury themselves in their own heaping pile of bullshit.

    • Good advice. That said, it isn’t nice when such things happen.

  • I really hate it when ppl take me for a ride (understatement). If it’s not too big of a loss for you / your company, I’d say go the legal route. If they are a business, I’d write negative reviews about them. (Yes, I’ve done that several times! This is the age of social media after all). To calm myself down, I chalk it up to karma. As one quote says, “When you fling enough crap into the Universe, eventually the breeze is going to blow your way”. :-))

  • Make a formal complaint – in writing. If they belong to a Trade Body or are supposed to be delivering a quality service, copy their Inspecting or audit body. Good luck with it – ubfortunatly the world is full of arseh…les!

    • So true. They ended up paying what they needed to pay.Such shame I had to serve them a notice…

  • It’s a business relationship, not a personal one. Do the professional thing (like you did). Having been served notice to pay, they should now pay.

    • They did. YAY! Such a shame it had to go this far right?

  • I would probably trawl their website, and websites for things like consumers advice, and put together a long ranty email all about how it is unprofessional to not monitor even spam intrays and to treat customers unprofessionally.

    And then have a minor crisis over whether to send it or not!