Black vs. White Service Providers

I’ve lived in the states for 2 years so far and I have noticed a strong trend. In the vast majority of times when a white person does a service job they are absolutely horrible at it. They act rude and obnoxious and it seems like maybe they cannot accept that they are doing X rather than being the president or king of some country, although that is just a guess, I don’t really know the reason at all.

With black people it is the reverse, in most cases you get good service, sometimes alright, and very rarely bad. Of course there are exceptions to all these rules but I am merely talking about the average.

Before coming here I had lived in a country with a negligible black population and all the services are awful. You’d need to wait around 40 minutes to have someone answer your call if you call any business, and you often wait for over an hour, just as an example.

I offer no theories or explanations and I doubt any of you would have any. What is your experience with this?

I’ve never noticed a correlation with regards to race and service quality.

Age, yes, I do think I am more likely to get worse service from a younger person than someone older.

Sorry, what did you say? I was Instagramming on my phone.

What part of the States are you in? Where I grew up, service can be fast but not particularly friendly, or just abyssmal. The further south you go, the friendlier and slower the service is, but I’ve not come across any truly abyssmal. My appearance indicates a primarily European ancestry. Black service providers seem to be a tad chattier and friendlier, White a bit more reserved and respectful of one’s privacy. But, really, the bell curves overlap a lot everywhere.

I have noticed more of a difference based on accent; the stronger the accent, the better the service. Multi-lingualism (is that even a word?) is a similar indicator; if the person speaks more that one language (apparently) fluently, the service is better.

My experience is that race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender, etc. have nothing to do with whether people are good at interacting with others.

When you say service, I’m not sure exactly what you mean. Customer service in general? Wait staff in restaurants? Cleaners or personal staff who be classified as servants?

I’m curious to see some examples.

But again, no, I do not find that one race or gender is better at serving another. I would be careful about forming such an opinion since it could cause you to expect certain actions or reactions from people based on outward appearances.

As with other posters, I’ve never seen a correlation between a server’s quality and their sex or race…being effective in the service industry is all about personality and connecting to the customer, whether you’re serving dinner or selling a cellphone…I have been blessed that someone else has paid for me to travel the US extensively for 30+ years, been in 48 of 50 states, and I can honestly say, whether a big city or small town, regardless of race or sex, I’ve seen some BAD service and I’ve seen GREAT service, and it’s all related to the individual and nothing to do with their heritage…it’s all about their attitude…

When I phone an 800 number I always oprime el dos, and get their bilingual service rep, lots of times I get connected faster, and very good service.

Getting chatty with service reps, in a friendly way, seems to get me a good response. Most of the people they talk to are angry with the company and take it out on the service rep, and I always try to sort of make their day.

Just where the hell are you from?

Isn’t it a bit dickish to tie up the limited number of bilingual service reps if you don’t need to speak Spanish?

I’m guessing France.

I get through quickly enough that I don’t think they spend much time “tied up”. If the menu said “Press one for a friendly operator, press two for a jerk”, do you think it would be dickish to press one and tie up the nice ones?

My experience as a foreigner when visiting the US is that low level services job or menial ones are almost exclsuively the domain of blacks or hispanics in major metrropolitan areas, like NYC or LA. Seeing a white person was a rarity. Which is another reason why second tier cities like Buffalo or Indianapolis was such a surprise. You saw whites doing menial jobs.

So then service providers who are mixed race are juuuuust right?

You should try Mexico sometimes. Go for a business meeting, the doorman outside will be native, the secretary who ushers you in will be mixed race while the bosses you are meeting will be Europeans descent.

The force of will necessary to pretend to be friendly with an obviously non-native speaker wasting their time by engaging in a dubious “hack” must be really muchas grandos.

Some people can be friendly without force of will. Some can’t, and think everyone has to pretend.

He’s right. You’ve “hacked” the system by using a resource that’s intended for someone else. Congratulations.

If he’s getting connected faster, that would seem to indicate that the Spanish-speaking service reps aren’t in short supply. ISTM he’s doing the English-only customers a favor by freeing up the English only service reps.

Generally, I’ve only found that service is better the more rural and more southern you get until you get to Texas and then things go bad again. The black or white thing I’ve never noticed. Georgia and South Carolina typically have really good service. Ohio and New York have abysmal service. I guess since you mention it I’ve noticed racially that Chinese restaurants (but not Japanese, Thai or Vietnamese, so it’s not really racial) tend to have sucky service, but I think it might just be cultural. To me, it frequently feels like the attitude is ‘Here’s your food, now get the heck out of my restaurant.’ Maybe it’s a language thing or a cultural thing, but it’s a bit off-putting.

Not sure what’s a ‘service provider’. That’s the great majority of jobs in the US if the alternatives are manufacturing, mining, agriculture etc. Some posts seemed to interpret it as ‘low level service job’. I assume $1,000/hr lawyer isn’t what was meant, but I’m not sure it’s excluding for example a ‘tech’ that comes to your house to repair something.

And the thread seems, like most here, to very heavily emphasize blacks v whites in ‘race’ issues but nationally in the US non-black, non-white people outnumber blacks and very heavily in some areas. Here in the NY area the ‘original’ (ie from immigration waves prior to the current one) culture is well known as ‘direct’, sometimes known as impolite or nasty to NY haters in the rest of the US, though I don’t agree with that. But in any case recent immigrants from Latin countries are often from places where the norm is to act more warmly to people you just met than is standard in the native born NY culture. And many basic service jobs in this area are done by newcomers from those countries. Right where I live that’s far more common than native born African Americans filling those jobs.

I do see some correlation between people’s cultural background and how they deal with strangers. I don’t think it’s the particular job so much. And no, my experience has not been that whites are particularly bad at (again relatively low level personal, I assume OP means) service jobs. Although in places where eg. the maids at a motel are likely to be white, true in a lot of the US geographically speaking, it’s a different local culture to begin with than NY where people in those jobs are highly unlikely to be white.