The Asian Response?

At work (Valet Driving at Ballys Park Place in Atlantic City) we employees must go through a certain spiel with our employees:

“Good morning/afternoon/evening, ma’am/sir, I’m Enola Straight…and you are?..well, is there anything else I can do for you tonight?..thank you for coming to Ballys…hope you enjoyed your stay.”

Something I’ve notice about Asian customers…who don’t speak english all that well…is the response: When I ask “and you are?”, instead of telling me their name after I told them mine, they often say “Yeah!”


I also deliver cars to Hispanic and non-english speaking European foreign nationals, and they do not reply “Yeah”.

Maybe they aren’t familiar with that way of asking for a name? (And why do you need their name?)

My guess would be that they don’t understand the question, but they consider it impolite to say nothing, so they reply with a meaningless “yeah.”

Why don’t non-English speakers from elsewhere do that? Maybe it’s a cultural thing, a taboo which is stronger in Asia than elsewhere not to remain silent after being addressed.

This is just a WAG, of course.

It’s often taboo in certain Asian cultures to say “no” outright. Being confronted with something they don’t understand but is obviously a question, the most acceptable answer is to say “yeah!”

Did you find everything that you need? - Yeah!
You want fries with that? - Yeah!
For here or to go? - Yeah!
And you are? - Yeah!

Working with my Japanese counterparts at one of our partially-owned subsidiaries is frustrating to no end. “Yes” is always the response. It’s of utmost importance to not finish a conversation with “Do you understand all that?” because the answer will always be “yes.” It’s much, much better to ask them to paraphrase the entire conversation so that you can confirm that they do understand.

It’s part of achieving Quality with our Behaviors: We ask the customer for their name so we an address them personally, i.e. Mr. Jones is more intimate and memorable than just “sir”. Also We must be friendly and helpful, as well as anticipate customer needs : Is there anything else I can do for you?

How 'bout a hand job?

“Yeah!” :eek:

No disrespect to you, Enola, but I’ll say it’s “intimate and memorable.” I’d probably never go back someplace that every time I turned around someone was asking me to identify myself. Two, maybe three, "And you are"s into my experience, I’d be ready to snap someone in half.


Well, I doubt enola came up with the “and you are…?” policy.

The thought occurs to me that if you introduce yourself as Enola Straight to a Japanese tourist, the mind makes a not-too-obscure connection to a certain historic event, and…

Could explain a lot!

I deal with tons of customers who barely understand English - Mexicans, Phillipinos, Koreans, and lots of other Asians. They often just smile and nod, or say “Yes” when I ask a question.

“Would you like matches or a lighter with the cigarettes?”


“Which, matches or a lighter?”


“Never mind…”



I just snorted a bit of water out of my nose… :smiley:

When I have stayed at very nice places, the valet asked my name when I first arrived. After that, every damned valet remembered my name! :eek: It was kind of freaky…

This is meant as no disrespect to the OP (as it might well just be a personal thing of mine), but I find “And you are?” has something snotty about it, a bit like “Your point being?” I’d only use “And you are?” in a potentially adversarial situation when a stranger has butted in and started telling me how to do my job, etc. I imagine a touch of snark behind it.

It’s also an unusual word formation for a non-native speaker. I think I’d just go with, “I’m sorry. I don’t know your name.”

Yeah, it’s weird - but also very clever. My mother said she went to a very upscale bar with a small group, and when she went back the next day with the same group, the bartender placed everybody’s drinks in front of them on the left or right depending on his (perfect) memory of whether they were left or right handed.

I, of course, use my real name instead of my screenname.

Maybe they’ve studied Descartes ands think you’re asking them if they exist. “And you are?”, “Why yes, yes I am.”

On British construction sites we have huge numbers of East Europeans workers and we have the same problem,however as the construction industry has the greatest number of deaths per industry it is not a minor matter and it is exacerbated by the migrant workers usually looking exactly like the homegrown variety and the sometimes few words of English that they have learned by ear being pronounced in our local accent.

One Pole I came across on site only knew “Yeah mate” in a totally convincing
Cockney accent with which he answered any person who spoke English to him.

He was only laid off after being discovered smoking in the area of a suspected gas leak,a manager had told him to leave the area and received the expected answer only to return and find this bloke not only still there but having a smoko.

I find this an odd phrase to ask for someone’s name, and can easily see why a person with limited familiarity with English would not understand.

I tend to agree that “and you are?” doesn’t strike me as the most polite method of asking for someone’s name. But if that’s what they told you to say then…
Anyway, I agree it’s probably a language issue but also that in certain Asian cultures you only address those subordinate to you by name and your superiors (older, higher rank, etc) are usually addressed by their rank/title/position, or their name in conjunction them. Names aren’t something you casually toss around to anyone.