Call-centre operators, apparently, if Erik Granered, author of Global Call Cents, is to be believed. Pp. 155–156:
It may be tempting to just skip Canada and say that its culture is similar to American culture…. Canada is slightly more feminine than the United States, as exemplified by more progressive social policies.
Canadians are also very secure in their identity.
Red Rose tea comes shooting out of nose at this point, but we continue.
A recent beer commercial depicts a young man on stage going on in a frantic monologue about how he is Canadian, not an American. The popularity of this commercial might make you think this would indicate a certain level of identity crisis. On the contrary – because Canadians are so clear about their own identity, they are frustrated with the rest of the world not being able to differentiate them from their neighbor to the south.
So what is this Canadian identity, and what makes it different from the pervasive American culture that is also part of their everyday live ? The astute visitor to Canadian cities can sense a difference in atmosphere. The electricity and danger of “anything is possible” that one feels in New York or Detroit is gone. It is replaced with a much more casual stride combined with a certain flair and ease – not just in French-speaking cities of Québec and Montreal, but also in Toronto and elsewhere. […]
Canadians… know that they are different and they want you to know that they are different. Perhaps the best way to do this is to acknowledge your awareness of the customer being Canadian as opposed to American. Instruct agents to simply say “I see you are located in Vancouver, Canada. Very nice!” That will suffice as recognition that you know Vancouver is not a suburb of Seattle
but also that you don’t know that we absolutely loathe being referred to by city and country. Ignorant Americans do that, and it drives us nuts. You have to name the province or territory, never the country, and for big cities never either.