I've had a eureka moment: Americans and Australians both feel entitled, but in different settings (and get a bit annoyed by how entitled the other feels in the opposite one). Americans feel entitled as customers (big surprise), whereas Australians feel entitled as employees. Americans (tend to, overall, I find) expect to have to give, give, give at work with recognition only when they go exceptionally above and beyond. Australians (tend to, overall, I find), on the other hand, keep track of every minute in lieu, whine excessively if asked to do an inch more than is typically required of them and step out the door the minute they're off the clock. Americans thus see the Australians as lazy and entitled at work. The reverse is (roughly) true, though, as Australians obverse Americans shop and demand their money back if not completely satisfied, write scathing letters of complaint and push to speak to the manager if an issue is not resolved to their liking. Australians then think of Americans as pushy consumers.
bottom line seems to be: Americans work hard at work and expect that,
when they encounter others at work, they better be working hard too.
Australians (despite thinking they're the hardest working people on the
planet -- a myth requiring entirely another blog post to deal with)
don't work as hard, but also don't expect others they encounter to be
working quite as hard, either.
I'm afraid there might be a bit of a backlash to that last sentence. I don't mean, obviously,
all Australians. Many Australians work harder than many Americans.
However, overall, I still think the points stands that Americans are
entitled customers, and Australians entitled employees.