The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Open Thread 3

What’s on your mind ?

Here’s another chance to have a rant (politely please), start a discussion, ask a question or tell us what you are up to.


  1. George
    September 19, 2008    

    To all the readers….

    I live in Greece as a Foreigner (Ksenos), and although I know that—I feel offended constantly being reminded by Greeks of that.

    For example, when calling a small private bank I do business at, I ask to speak to Mrs. Maria, and the person who answers the phone lays the phone down, and then says in a whisper “Mrs Maria, it’s a “KSENOS” for you.

    I got upset and told MRS Maria that I am not a “KSENOS”. I am a client, customer, or gentleman, but KSENOS is offensive. I said would the clerk have said, “It’s a GREEK” on the phone for you? She then said for me not to take it like that, and that they don’t deal with that many foreigners etc..

    I didn’t press the issue after that because I Felt I was dealing with an insensitive person.

    Does anyone else experience that? If so, do you find it is discrimination? Can anything be done about it?

    Or am I just overreacting. I’ll be glad to hear any opinion, as long as it’s a fair analysis and not just “copy and paste” “GREEK is great, you are not” stuff..

  2. Xenos
    September 19, 2008    

    Yes, we all have this same shit from the Greeks. I insisted on returning a pair of toothbrushes to a supermarket called M****opoulos about 6 months ago, on the grounds that their own-brand :Skliros” toothbrush was softer than any known toothbrush in the universe (and therefore completely pointless). The idiot who manages the place, told me that I had opened the packet so it could not be returned. She also denied that there is any law about consumer rights or false labelling in Greece: returns, in her view, are made only through the charity of the supermarket.

    After 30 minutes of shouting at her, she gave in. When I went to collect a refund, the cashier asked another assistant what was wrong with the packet of toothbrushes. She shrugged (clearly, they had no interest in hearing complaints; or maybe they cannot tell the difference between soft and hard) and said: “Den xerw: xenos einai…”.

    The clear implication is that xenoi are irrational, hopeless creatures and Greeks just have to put up with their foolish ideas. I nearly lost my temper with this, but decided to walk out before wasting more time and energy on malakes.

  3. George
    September 20, 2008    

    Xenos, if you had paid with credit card, (at least with US based credit cards) you dispute the charge with your issuer, and that way at least you’ll get your money back. I’ve done that a few times, where they have tried to charge me an extra “handling” fee for using AMEX, and I don’t argue. I just pay the extra fee, contact AMEX immediately upon returning home and because this is against the rules, AMEX gives me my money back. That’s what I call satisfaction, and the only downside is that I won’t get to see the clerk’s face when they realize they got charged back the “extra fee” they tried to swindle me out of.

    September 20, 2008    

    unfortunately we have to live with each other
    SO GRIN and BEAR IT ,
    and react naturally . as you would ..AT home.!
    PERSONALLY i’ve been on both ends of the stick
    ive been dealt as a greek in the U.S.
    and ive been dealt as an american in greece.
    in greece the absence of consumer rights, consumer education ,
    and a consumer history , is commonpractice .
    i think a very small percentage of greek citizens
    would be able to explain what a AMEX IS….or
    …how ..u.s based credit cards work for that matter.

    xenos …think if you pulled a stunt like returning opened toothbrushes
    ………….at wallmart or kmart or wallgreens or any other store youd get your consumer rights satisfied ,,,??
    please ,,,,,,,,,,,.!!!!!!!!!!
    and the ksenos hurt your feelings ,,? this particular example on your part
    for the very first time ive been reading your “academic” comments
    was very lame on your part .
    you can do much ,,much better.

    AND WOULD everyone take the chip off their shoulder
    and stop overeacting .
    and BE PROUD for what we all can contribute to each other
    as to why my dear george the young lass on the other end of the
    telephone thought that your accent constitutes that youll be
    wanting to ask for services or deal in ways that she probably
    has no social background to answer you correctly ,,
    truly can put greeks on ther defensive,,
    or send you down the line to the next employee,,,,
    anyways BE PROUD youre ” XENOI”.
    the timing isnt right ,,,YET. =Z=

  5. George
    September 21, 2008    

    Zardoz, Ok, your answer was fair. I’ll try to keep that in mind. However, I just wish she would have said “A customer, or a gentleman etc” was on the phone. OH well…

  6. Xenos
    September 21, 2008    

    Zardoz: this was a “rant”. not an academic comment. However, I have always returned defective goods to stores in whatever country I live in. That is the law, and people should respect it. Of course, you have to open a packet to find out if the contents are defective: this was what annoyed me most about the response of the supermarket. There is a bureaucratic mentality in the great majority of Greek people. You can express it in the following. “This is the rule, and you cannot change it: by the way, these rules don’t apply to me!”

    What makes my blood boil, is that in the great majority of cases the “rule” is not the law and is often even illegal. Then, to have the stigma of being labelled “xenos” for asking them to obey the law, or to show a little intelligence about how to interpret rules… (I don’t agree, Zardoz, that it is a simple description: it is a way of explaining why somone is “odd”, or “irrational” in terms of Greek values.)

    By the way, I lost my Amex card through the illegal bureaucracy of Greece. The Syntagma office refused to accept Greek drachmas for payment of my account, saying it was “forbidden” by the Bank of Greece. I demanded this in writing, they failed to provide it, and eventually Amex threatened to sue me. They refused to believe that my cash payment was rejected by the Greek branch, and I lost my card.

    So: rant continues:-)

    September 21, 2008    

    >What makes my blood boil, is that in the great majority of cases the “rule” is not the law and is often even illegal. Then, to have the stigma of being labelled “xenos” for asking them to obey the law, or to show a little intelligence about how to interpret rules…
    .FROM the above quote which i agree fully ,,
    AND INSERT the word……..”VLAXOS”
    …………………………..OR …………………”PONTIOS”
    …………..OR …CRETCONG
    …………………………………….OR “ENAS MALAK_S”
    XENOS if it was a barbecue pit or tile or even a steak ,,,, your meaning
    would have been caught on .!
    the toothbrush was a terrible example , tostate something correctly.=Z=

  8. Xenos
    September 21, 2008    

    Haha, OK. I agree with the last comments:-))