"Susan's observation is accurate. I've seen those same scenes too. Stick around in France long enough and you'll witness likewise. They do want to make you cringe, and quickly turn away."
The two most recent examples I saw:
Sitting at my favorite cafe on Ile St Louis, there is a young woman who sells Berthilon ice cream from a stand at this cafe... we've become friends and she is incredibly warm, friendly, nice... An American women came right up to her face and yelled very loudly and very slowly in English, enunciating every syllable: WHERE IS THE F-L-O-W-E-R... M-A-R-K-E-T?? I cringed and watched the young woman's response... she just looked at the American woman and had no response (she did not speak English). The American woman repeated herself a couple times then just walked away, probably annoyed she did not get an answer.
Another experience: I was behind 3 well dressed American women, in their early 60's, at a Metro station window. They were talking loudly in American and asking the man how to get somewhere... They never said hello, never said please, they just barked one question after another at him in English...the French man behind the window was very nice and very patient and answered their questions politely in English. He went to get a book and looked up the route, trains, etc for them and sold them the tickets they needed. It took about 20 min. These women, still talking loudly to each other, then just walked away. They never thanked him for his help!! I was so angry and so embarrassed. I went up to the man, spoke French to him, and told him how nice he was and how rude they were and I apologized to him for their horrible behavior. He smiled and shrugged his shoulders... and said, in French, "oh well, I don't let it bother me."
These are just two examples, but I see it often and that's why I believe most, if not all, Americans who say the French are rude were actually the rude ones to begin with.