You Are So Finnished

, , , | Right | May 31, 2018

(The Finnish way of speaking is forward, efficient, and informal. That is why some foreigners find the English Finns a bit rude, even though we don’t mean to be. We also speak two languages — Finnish and Swedish — and some terms are the same, so we try to use those. This happens in a grocery store, not in the vicinity of common places where tourists go.)

Me: “Hei.” *sounds like “Hey” in English*

Customer: “What did you just say to me?! You can’t start with a ‘hey!'”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry; I didn’t realize you were an English speaker.”

Customer: “Do I look like a Finn to you?! And still, ‘hey’ is not a proper way to greet a paying customer.”

Me: “Well, ‘Hei’ is the way we greet in Fin—”

Customer: “Well, that is just awful! You should learn some manners and customer service.”

Me: “Okay. It will be [amount].”

Customer: “AND NO ‘THANK YOU’?!” *looks at me like a piece of s***, puts the money on the counter, which is considered one of the rudest things to do in a Finnish store.*

Me: “Thank you. And your change; you’re welcome.”

(Usually Finnish grocery store cashiers take the next customer after that, but I couldn’t help myself for being more pleasant with her.)

Me: “Hei hei och hejdå!” *common Finnish farewell greeting with a common Swedish farewell greeting*

(The disgust on this woman’s face was so worth it!)

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