Paul… I know how awful it can be when we come across the Oddball who just will not be nice. Happens in all countries and cultures.
However, I am getting tougher…and if someone attempts to brush-me-off… simply because I have asked them to speak a little slower …or asked them to use another phrase… I will NOT let it go ! I persist…(albeit with a smile and an apology) but I insist that they do, indeed, help me (with whatever).
I ask to speak with their Superior… if they themselves are unable to assist… that is a last resort, but does get results… I ask for the name and contact number… and they suddenly come over all helpful…
Having said that… this is a rare occurrence… most folk are OK and want to help. I guess they are stressed and over-worked and, perhaps, I am just the last straw