Rude building front desk people


I’d show up at the guard station with one of those red boxes of cookies or whatever from Xindongyang or even 7-11 and be really, really sweet in really, really slow English…bet you money their attitude would change. Sometimes you have to go the extra kilometer to show them that the foreigner isn’t scary and is actually nice.

This is not aimed at deciding whether they are being assholes or not, but rather at getting what the girl wants…a little help when she needs it.


Don’t understand why anyone would be giving fruit or cookies or any kind of gifts in order to try and get someone to actually do their job, it’s not as if they’re someone sort of outside entity that she needs to entreaty to help here. They effectively work for here, monthly management fees actually do pay their wages!

Help her arrange a translator or go with her yourself @Andrew0409 to firstly confirm if they really are being rude and secondly to lay down with them what she needs. I’ve noticed concierge staff are often much less helpful to renters than they are to apartment owners, sometimes a reminder is needed that the renter is still the one paying the management fees.





How do the packages arrive? I’ve always had little slips show up in my mailbox, and then I bring the slip to the front desk to pick up the package. But I think if I just asked the front desk if there was a package for me, they’d be a bit confused about how to react.

There’s also a lot of variety in personality. Some people are just surly, but they’ll still do their job. Our “worst” front desk guy - as far as I know, the only one to be fired - was super friendly and nice, but he was incapable of putting mail in the right box.


I give presents to my door people, because they’re cool people who are always helpful. In this girl’s case she could get a coffee or some cookies for one of the door people, not to bribe them into doing their job, but just to establish a friendly connection. People are so cynical nowadays… I don’t see the problem in making a kind gesture. Small presents or tokens of gratitude are extremely common in Taiwanese culture. As a teacher I receive a few every month. That doesn’t mean I’ll give those students a better grade than I would otherwise, but it is nice and makes me see them in a better light, which in turn strengthens our connection.


Wild guess, is she from middle to upper class family?


This is a large new residential build, not an old gongwu with grandpa watching TV at the door. They are supposed to be professional concierges and are getting paid by the residents, including the OP’s friend, to be concierges. They are not doing their job, why reward them?

What do you think the OP’s friend should show gratitude for? Being ignored?

So the kids that don’t provide you with gifts don’t get to be seen in a better light? Guess the bribes are working!

It’s called 關係 here and you are much are expected to reciprocate in some way, and not just by seeing those kids in a “better light”!


This is a large new residential build, not an old gongwu with grandpa watching TV at the door. [/quote]

How do you know he’s not a “grandpa”? Have you met him?

Since we only have that third hand account to go by, I bet this is closer to a case of the doorman not knowing English and being embarrassed to interact, and not him actively ignoring her which would be extremely rude and unprofessional. Can’t imagine he’d last long as a doorman if that was how he rolled.

They aren’t. I’ve failed students that I’ve become friends with and have given me gifts. It improves a personal connection, but doesn’t alter my objectivity when it comes to their grades.

So am I a bribe monger, or am I doing reciprocation wrong? Which is it? Want to be clear where I stand.


Read the OP again, this is a large new residential building with multiple people who work the desk.

Read that third hand account again.

And yet you advocate plying him with gifts!


This is one of those things…




If you manage to keep your objectivity, good for you. Not everyone has that skill. :2cents:


normal here. Rudeness is standard in Taiwan


LOL! “professional concierges.” OMG, that’s funny. It’s also rhetorical exaggeration taken to extremes. No, they are not “concierges,” nor is their job a profession. They are security guards, paid to watch surveillance cameras and receive “gua hao” packages on behalf of residents. Some are tasked with emptying the communal garbage bins.

Be that as it may, by what standard are you judging their conduct as unprofessional? Western? I’ll remind you that you’re not in the west. If I were to ask the guards at this community for their side of the story, I bet it would include 語言不通, 沒辦法 and similar. They would say how they tried to inform her that they don’t speak English, but she kept talking. They are just trying to avoid uncomfortable situations for both sides. Then they’d scold themselves for not having better English skills.

I very much doubt that there is any intended malice in the way the foreigner is being treated. It’s a very local response to such situations.

If you think their conduct is the second coming of the kkk, ask locals how they get received by westerners when they try to communicate abroad. Incidents of impolite behaviors and racial slurs are much more prevalent.

“Professional?” These people are low paid and are often just simple folks from rural central or southern Taiwan. Consider the other side of the equation, rather than resorting to the “I’m offended; therefore, the other party is wrong” ethos.

I’ll repeat what I said: It behooves the girl to adapt to Taiwan, not the other way around.


TBH services available vary. My friend lives in a large complex in Taoyuan and the guards do not pick up packages. The only concierge like ones I have seen have been in Xinyi upscale places, and truth be told, they are more concerned about security in terms of who comes in rather than shoe blockade of emergency exits. So I guess it depends on area and how much you pay.

I have noticed a certain decline in local friendliness towards foreigners. The older generation tends to be kind but most youngsters do seem out to get you, make fun of you without knowing you. I guess they have had bad experiences here or abroad, or feel insecure themselves.


There are security guards, that’s not who I’m talking about.

There are cleaning people, that’s also not who I’m talking about.

Although I wouldn’t call them professional concierges, I guess I’m wonder wtf is their job sitting there all day then?

They are not old and there are multiple that rotate. It’s a extremely large and just finished building. It’s actually has 2 sides, one for single suites and the other side has family size ones. It’s got a large gym, cinema room, roof top pool, etc. It costs a lot for the management fees and amenities outside of rent. So I feel like they should kinda try to help her besides doing I don’t speak English I don’t want to spend a little effort in helping the foreigner.

They haven’t filled up all the rooms yet, it just finished. But I’m guessing they’re going to have many kinds of foreigners, it’s a nicer building that would probably attract foreigners who don’t want to live in the old Taiwanese buildings. As much as people should learn Chinese here to make their life easier, isn’t it their job to help the many residents in a way they can since they are paid by them?


Most of the young ones seem fairly friendly, the most unfriendly in my experience are the middle aged men and women. However, I agree the over 60 bunch are very friendly.


So if it’s a new building, maybe the current security staff are only temporary. They’re there mostly to greet and woo prospective buyers, not to spend too much time on residents, much less foreign residents. That might explain the perceived indifference. The building may swap out this lot for the service-oriented lot sometime down the road when occupancy reaches xyz.

Any chance that the building is currently staffed primarily to sell flats, not service residents?


This could be the case.


Actually, yes you are. I didn’t arrive here yesterday. Some buildings have more dressed up people than others. Regardless, they are not “professionals,” nor are they “concierges” in the western sense of the term. They are low paid attendants, you can be sure of that.

“So I feel like they should kinda try to help her besides doing I don’t speak English I don’t want to spend a little effort in helping the foreigner.”

That’s western thinking. It doesn’t fit here. You’re also trying to declare them wrong based solely on your friend’s feelings. The argument is essentially: ‘someone was offended, so someone must be wrong.’ It would be better if you and your friend stopped seeing this as a black hat/white hat good and bad dichotomy and tried to see things from all sides. It isn’t easy for these counter people to deal with someone who speaks zero local language. Your friend should concede that the problem is at least partially due to her lack of Chinese ability and deal with the issue either through proxy individuals or through language classes. If you’re in a foreign country, communication is your responsibility, not the local people’s.


I didn’t say it’s easy.

She is taking Chinese classes and she does speak some Chinese to help communicate.

She not I are expecting them to speak perfect English but just to try…try is the key word vs the I’m don’t speak English so I won’t help at all attitude.

If you’re expecting to sell hundreds of renters in 2 huge buildings that’s connected by the lobby with lots of amenities that you pay for. You can bet there will be lots of non Chinese speaking people there. So it might not be their fault they don’t know English per se, but the management should think about something like that. If I was a manager at a high end restaurant and I hire a person that don’t know what they’re doing to serve and they do a poor job. It’s not necessary the servers fault but the management for putting them in the position.


Honest question: How many non-Chinese speaking foreign residents does Taiwan have, do you think?