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7h
comment Will getting a refund from an ESTA scam site cause me to be blacklisted from the US?
@NeanDerThal The offered service (submitting your ESTA paperwork for you) is not one the US government actually allows businesses to do (the terms of service for the website require that submitted information be your own only). Thus, the website cannot legally perform the work they claimed to perform (even if you read the fine print), and have fraudulently indicated that they could (even if you read the fine print). So yes, "victim" is entirely appropriate even if you believe that consumers are 100% responsible for reading all fine print no matter how hidden.
Aug
4
comment How to stay comfortable in beds found in American hotels?
You make beds in hotels? Most hotels have staff that do that for you. A “long business trip” might involve an extended-stay kind of place that doesn’t, I suppose, but that wasn’t mentioned in the question.
Jul
6
comment Why are there no courier services or box-rentals near airport security?
Would have loved that, rather than spend $75 to check another bag with the $15 knife (that had sentimental value).
Jun
29
comment Are all parts of the 'Jesus trail' in Israel open and safe to hike solo?
Scorpions sting. They also pinch, and ultimately I suppose they have a mouth so they can bite, but it’s the sting you should concern yourself with.
Jun
15
comment Am I allowed to take a GPU in my carry-on luggage?
I have carried GPUs and HDDs on domestic US flights many, many times (mostly NYC to LA and vice versa). Usually there was no comment. Occasionally they wanted to look at them a little bit more, asked a few questions. Never had anything confiscated. International flights may be a different story (but doesn't seem like they should be).
Jun
7
comment What metric to imperial conversions should I know for traveling to the US?
@Jefromi It becomes much more important if you are traveling or staying with Americans, and thus conversations about the weather are occurring. Many of my co-workers come from Europe and have their phones set to Celsius, which works great for them until they want to discuss the weather with those of us who are from the US. In daily conversation, one or the other of us is doing some mental calculations to convert.
Jun
7
comment What metric to imperial conversions should I know for traveling to the US?
@DavidRicherby I only see hundreds or thousands of feet when I'm under a quarter mile; exit signs on roads I travel typically have a sign at the previous exit (with however many miles it is), a sign 2 mi. out, and then a few more signs as you get closer, at say 1 mi., 1/2 mi., 1/4 mi., and then maybe something at 1000 ft. or 800 ft. particularly if the exit comes up suddenly/isn't visible at that distance/whatever. My driving is all northeast, though. Though I will mention that the signage in New Jersey is awful (why would you ever put a sign for an exit after the exit?!).
May
21
comment How should I tip if the food is good but the service from the waiter/waitress is terrible in the USA?
@Gusdor That is sometimes how the real world works. But other times, a manager needs the work done, and has to convince someone to take on additional responsibilities – by enticing them with a promotion. And on the flip side, some managers see that the employee is already doing the work, so why promote them? And that is exactly the sort of behavior that MikeScott is promoting as “fine” for how waitstaff are compensated.
May
21
comment How should I tip if the food is good but the service from the waiter/waitress is terrible in the USA?
@Gusdor In theory, you are never supposed to work above your job description. Your boss wants you to take on more responsibilities, wants to add to your job description, then he has to promote you first, change your job so that the new job description includes new responsibilities. In practice, this sometimes happens and sometimes does not, but people who get additional responsibilities piled on them with no concomitant increase in job title and/or pay are frequently advised to take this up with management on this very site because that is not how things are supposed to work.
May
19
comment How should I tip if the food is good but the service from the waiter/waitress is terrible in the USA?
@MikeScott And again, that is how literally no other industry works. Someone who is promoted too far and cannot handle the new responsibilities may be demoted (though they usually aren’t), but for as long as those responsibilities are part of their job description, they are compensated accordingly.
May
19
comment How should I tip if the food is good but the service from the waiter/waitress is terrible in the USA?
@MikeScott In every industry I can think of, this one excluded, taking on more responsibility is something that’s supposed to get a promotion or raise up front. If there are too many customers, the server is working harder, responsible for more things – and that should mean they’re seeing more recompense. So no, it is not “fine” for them to get the same income when they have to serve more people, do more work and take more responsibility. That’d be the same as telling a salesperson their quota has gone up, but since they’ll have to sell more, they’ll get less per to make it “balance.”
May
19
awarded  Commentator
May
19
comment How should I tip if the food is good but the service from the waiter/waitress is terrible in the USA?
It is perhaps worth nothing that some places are more expensive than others: 15% is a kind of poor tip in New York City, for instance (traditionally the typical tip is twice the tax, or 17.75%, but simply 20% for typical service is becoming more common).
Feb
19
awarded  Citizen Patrol
Nov
7
comment How do you know if Americans genuinely/literally mean what they say?
@PetrPudlák No, it's acceptable to leave the nebulous non-invitation as a vague possibility (avoiding the rudeness of outright refusal) but not (or even never intending) pursuing it as a real thing. It's acceptable because there are myriad potential reasons why you are not starting that conversation, and because of how vague the invitation was, it leaves open the possibility that you cannot do so in the near future, but would like to at some point. That's generally good enough for politeness. So the other person won't be offended; they may be disappointed however.
Nov
5
comment How do you know if Americans genuinely/literally mean what they say?
This is also how Americans end up setting appointments to discuss making an appointment – "I can't make it then, would another day work?" "Oh, I'm not sure, I'd have to check..." "OK, let's both check our calendars and we'll figure it out tomorrow." Now they're both being specific – indicating genuine interest – but it's a sort of ridiculous step removed from the initial invitation.
Nov
5
comment How do you know if Americans genuinely/literally mean what they say?
I was thinking about this some more, and wanted to comment on "No, but we should meet some other time," which could be a polite refusal – it also doesn't have to be. It could simply mean that the person is interested, can't make the proposed date, and doesn't have another date to suggest. In this case, however, that person will typically prompt you for specifics ("No, I can't make that; do you have another day that would work for you?") because an American will (might) recognize that the nonspecific version could be interpreted as a polite refusal.
Nov
5
comment How do you know if Americans genuinely/literally mean what they say?
As an American, I can confirm that this is accurate, per the parenthetical. I can also confirm that plenty of Americans find it just as annoying and confusing as @Kenny does!
Sep
24
awarded  Autobiographer
Sep
17
comment Bought economy and was issued first class ticket?
@Ana As an American, the one (round-trip) time I flew with Avianca, they easily surpassed my expectations from American airlines. The food, in particular, was far better than I've ever had on a domestic flight.