Don’t Be This Guy: “Biggest Douchebag In Shanghai” Orders From Sherpa’s

So, the Blue Frog in Sanlitun Village has closed, packed its shit up and moved two doors down (to the old Spirit & Spice venue) to make way for the arrival of Pizza Express, a UK chain that does Italian food.

That’s good news. Pizza Express does solid pizza, yer classic mid-range date night kinda joint: guessing a set lunch for 88 yuan, soup and a pizza plus glass of wine? That’s my bet.

More good news, though, is that the vague Frog connection gives us a peg, however tenuous, on which to hang this classic recording from 2008, which had inexplicably disappeared from the interwebs.

First published on the old Danwei under the headline “RMB 3 million foreign douche bag in Shanghai” — aged mp3 link newly restored! — the tape is a genuine recording from Sherpa’s from a freewheeling customer who really likes comped hamburgers and isn’t afraid to show it (City Weekend analysis here). At one point the brutal laowai tells the Sherpa’s operator, who gives her name as Sunny, that she doesn’t have a “sunny disposition” and chastises her on lacking a “sunny attitude.”

He adds almost immediately: “You’re a fucking bitch, you know that?”

Takeaways: one, some wankers out there, but they’re hopefully in the minority. Second, if you want to enjoy that Monday 2-4-1 deal, best hustle your lazy behind to the Frog in person.

UPDATE, Ed’s note, 4/14, 4:52 pm: Transcribing this conversation, I noticed how incredibly lonely our multimillionaire foreigner seems to be. Money can buy a lot of things, but someone on the phone to talk to — a Sherpa’s operator, for instance — is so precious as to elude the dirty dollar.

Anyway, for the love of God, we hope that our operator (named either Sophie or Sunny, though it’s likely both are fake work names) got a huge bonus for putting up for this d-bag — and, incidentally, for being the greatest customer service operator we’ve ever encountered.

The full transcript of the conversation:

Operator: This is [Sophie?], how can I help you?

Foreigner: Okay, ahem, I have a question for you. I order food from Sherpa’s very often, many times, okay? So let me ask you, so from Blue Frog — okay? — Blue Frog…

Operator: Yeah?

Foreigner: …restaurant Blue Frog?

Operator: What’s wrong?

Foreigner: My question is, on Monday nights, on Mondays it’s Burger Night, so you buy one hamburger you get one free, so if I order from Sherpa’s, it’s the same thing?

Operator: Uh, no.

Foreigner: No? OK. Then, see, that policy, because then you will lose business because instead of ordering from Sherpa’s from now on I’ll just go to Blue Frog on Mondays.

Operator: Okay, that’s fine.

Foreigner: Heh. “Okay, that’s fine”? I’m not sure your bosses… See, that’s a very bad attitude for you actually. See… you’re what, Chinese? You’re very… you don’t know how to do business, okay? Your boss I’m sure will be very upset with you to know that you said, “Okay, that’s fine.” Never say that to a customer, okay? I have 2,000 people below me in my company, I don’t… Let me teach you how to do business: never say that. Never say, “Okay, that’s fine.” You could lose your job. If I talked to your boss you could lose your job right now.

Operator: No. Thank you for teaching me.

Foreigner: What is your name and what is your ID number?

Operator: ID number?

Foreigner: Yeah. Give me your name. I’d like to talk to your manager actually.

Operator: Okay. Sunny. [Five seconds elapse] Hello?

Foreigner: Yes?

Operator: Hello? Can you hear me?

Foreigner: Yes? …I’m waiting to talk to your manager.

Operator: Okay.

Foreigner: What is your name?

Operator: Sunny.

Foreigner: What?

Operator: Sunny.

Foreigner: How do you spell that?

Operator: S-U-N-N-Y.

Foreigner: Sunny? Okay. Well you certainly don’t have a sunny disposition.

Operator: Sunny what?

Foreigner: You don’t have a sunny disposition.

Operator: Sunny disposition? What do you mean?

Foreigner: Attitude. You don’t have a sunny attitude.

Operator: Oh, God [mutters]…

Foreigner: So let me speak to your manager. You’re a fucking bitch, you know that? Let me speak to your manager. You have a very bad attitude.

Operator: Hello, sir. I just want, uh…

Foreigner: No! To a loyal customer — okay? — you should never speak to a customer with your attitude. I told you, I’m a big boss, I have 2,000 people under me, I would never… if any of my employees ever spoke to a customer the way you’ve spoken to me, they’d be fired so fast they can’t even collect their things. Your attitude is very bad. Do you understand?

Operator: I understand.

Foreigner: Do you want to apologize to me or should I take it up with your manager and maybe people even further up?

Operator: Before you will what?

Foreigner: Do you want to apologize to me for having a bad attitude?

Operator: Okay, I will try it. You give me the chance [unintelligible]. But, uh… yeah… I can apologize to you and I will say sorry to you but I don’t understand because you said…

Foreigner: You have… listen to me! Okay, you deal with foreigners, okay, you don’t deal with Chinese people. I know Chinese people are very rude, okay? In the whole world Chinese people are very rude, it’s a fact everyone knows, but you deal with foreigners, you have to be more polite, you cannot say things like that, what you said to me in the beginning. “Okay, go ahead.” You cannot say things like that to people, your customers. Okay? If your managers are not training you, not teaching you properly, then I will teach you, because I don’t want to listen to your bad attitude when I pay good money to your business, do you understand?

Operator: Yeah.

Foreigner: Do you understand?

Operator: Yeah I understand.

Foreigner: Okay, so… in lieu — which means in place of — me speaking to your manager I’m willing to accept for you to say, “Okay, I’m sorry, maybe I was a little bit rude, but in the future I will do better.” If you can say that then that’s fine.

Operator: Yeah, in the future I can do better.

Foreigner: Okay, no problem. Thank you very much.

Operator: [begins to say something]

Foreigners: And uh, that’s the thing, China there’s one way, but if you have to work with us, with Americans, with Europeans, with foreigners, you have to learn our manners, okay? And I know it takes time, but I think you’ve made one step today and I hope you learn more and I hope you do very well, okay?

Operator: Well thank you for being a very passion and good teacher.

Foreigner: And it’s just advice, it’s just friendly advice, okay? I mean, okay, I… I make 3 million RMB a year and I’m only 30 years old, there’s a reason. I work hard and I treat clients well, I’m never rude to clients, okay? Because… you work for Sherpa’s, without me — I’m the client — without me, there’s no Sherpa’s; with no Sherpa’s, you have no job. So, the point is, always be nice to the customer no matter what they say, okay?

Operator: Okay.

Foreigner: That’s it. Thank you very much. Okay, bye-bye.

    7 Responses to “Don’t Be This Guy: “Biggest Douchebag In Shanghai” Orders From Sherpa’s”

    1. mike

      This guy is probably a nice guy back home, but when you get stared at and taunted on a daily basis, it makes you extremely irritable. China will drive you insane and is not recommended for human consumption. Maybe in 20-30 years the staring and “老外!” taunting from across the street will stop.

      Maybe. But anyway, this recording is a few years old. By now the new Chinese regulations have swept wealthy foreigners like this out of the country. ;)

      • Kristen Hall

        Fuck me.. yeah… someone looked at him on the street so he should a complete dick to a young girl just trying to do her job.

        This man is a moron i cannot believe you could think otherwise.

        Are you just trying to elicit a response?

        • mike

          “someone looked at him on the street”

          the key words here are ‘daily’ and ‘stared’. Not looked at once. ;)

          Why do you think delivery service exists! So laowai don’t have to put up with bad Chinese customer service in the restaurant!

    2. Gar

      taunted? im in the sticks and ppl get used to you very quick in the area – “oh, there’s that laowai again”, so the ‘staring’ shouldn’t be an issue. Especially in Shanghai! He’s hardly the only foreigner. Plus, if he doesn’t like being “stared at”, being a foreigner isn’t really a good career move!

      No, m’lord, what we have here is a simple case of douche-itis. You see it in BJ too, tossers who think they’re something special, but are in fact a mediocre fish in a small pond. Y’know, the sort of ppl they write for and about in the beijinger

    3. thoreaupoe

      I actually think this has more to do with class than race/culture. This kind of guy is legion stateside and they would have either condescendingly “man-splained” the ‘customer is always right’ trope to the low-level service employee or verbally berated them in a petulant show of force for some perceived minor slight.

      Asking for the manager is such a BS move, it delegitmizes the employee as nothing like a child, only the manager is the adult who can be talked to as an equal.

      I guarantee you this guy would have said the same things back in the states (or Oz or Canada or UK or whatever Anglo country he’s from) to bolster his fragile snowflake of an ego.

      The 3 million RMB comment is hilarious, for its content and that he thinks it makes him tough shit. All it made me think of was GOB from Arrested Development.


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