8

Let me describe the scenario first so you can get the nuance better. I was looking for a new apartment from several agents. An agent "A" to which I will refer for the following explanation provided me with services such as searching for several apartments that conforms to my budget, bringing me to look at the apartments, etc. It was on Friday. As no apartments satisfied me, the staff will provide me with other options in the next Monday.

As I have no time to wait, I go to other agents and I found an apartment on Saturday. Sunday afternoon, there was a call from the agent A saying, when you will come tomorrow? My reply is as follows:

大変申し訳ありません。新しいアパートを見つけてしまいましたので・・・

And his respond is

オッケーです

Question

How polite is おっけーです when it is said by the shop staff to a customer?

Is there any feel of disappointment in this context?

  • The stuff of agent A seems so impolite. You chose the proper one I think. – Wataru 'Watson' Subridge Mar 6 '17 at 5:46
  • While I wouldn't say I got to know the real estate agents I have dealt with well, I think we spent enough time together that I wouldn't mind dropping to a less formal register. I would much rather prefer an agent that got to know me to try to get me the best place over a strictly formal by-the-numbers type. When we did find a place, it was hard for us to tell him that we found a place through another agency, but that happens all the time. I find the default "formal" setting too stuffy for someone who is going to go the lengths to travel with me and show me many houses. – user1906358 Mar 6 '17 at 16:23
9

オッケーです on its own does not have a feel of disappointment. It's just "I understood" or "okay," which can be said with or without disappointment. (But writing it with hiragana (おっけーです) is only acceptable in a chat with your close friends. You heard it, right?)

オッケーです is relatively colloquial and casual. It's definitely inappropriate if this is said by a receptionist of a luxury hotel you visit for the first time. But some experts like real estate agents and physicians tend to drop keigo (at least very formal ones) fairly quickly once you are familiar with them. Saying オッケーです with a smile is not necessarily a bad word choice.

Another possibility is that he just tried to speak in easy Japanese. We all know keigo is difficult. Depending on how fluent you are, people may avoid using difficult keigo like 承知致しました even in a business setting.

  • Would you really respond like that when a customer says '大変申し訳ありません。新しいアパートを見つけてしまいましたので・・・'? If you say yes, I would be averse to your business. – Wataru 'Watson' Subridge Mar 6 '17 at 11:27
  • 1
    If the customer was a native speaker and speaking that politely, it would be a little bit off to reply with OKです。I still don't think it would be offensive to people who aren't easily offended. Given the described situation though, OP is not a customer anymore, and has inconvenienced the business. I wouldn't expect them to be impolite, but they really have no obligation to bend over backwards to be formally polite. – UltraBob Mar 7 '17 at 2:31
  • 本当に流暢かつ丁寧にお断りしている人に対して「オッケーです」は軽すぎだろ、ということですよね。うーん、もちろん「やけに軽いノリの人だな」という違和感を受けることもあるかもしれませんが、逆にフレンドリーな言葉遣いには「全然怒ったりしてないよ!そんな恐縮しなくていいよ!」と安心させる効果もあります。キャラと関係と言い方次第ですね。 – naruto Mar 7 '17 at 6:01
4

It is not overly formal, but it is not impolite. I'd say it is on the friendly side. So unless there was some hint in the way they said it to indicate that they were disappointed, I'd not think twice about it.

It would be inappropriate if the setting called for very formal language, but I've never found interactions with real estate agents to be that way. They are trying to build rapport with you in general, so it is usually a much less formal setting than customer interactions where no relationship is required.

0

To my disappointment, the agent A is not polite at all to you provided that you and him/her is not so close and you spoke to him in exact keigo your dialogue shows.

I would reply 'あぁ、そうでしたか。そうしましたら、またご縁があれば私どもを是非ご利用くださいませ。blah blah.

If I were his/her boss and saw he/she speaking in such inadequate wording to customers, I might well fire him/her.

オッケーです。is kind of okay to say to close coworkers, or subordinates but never to customers or guests.

Of course it hinges on context or situation, basically I do not want to hear オッケー in business situations because it easily conveys some ambiguity to the listeners.

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