Thursday, November 18, 2010

Service Næ

For the month and a half of living in Sri Lanka, most of my daily interactions are with people in the service industry.  Pretty much those who sell stuff – cashiers, sales ladies and men, waiters and even the Bajaj drivers (argh!).  Blame that on home decorating, home office shopping, regular grocery shopping and general eating and dining.  Recent experience pushed me to rant about their service – or lack thereof.  I’m NOT saying this for all, but this goes for most interactions in my 1.5 months experience.

What is it like? 

They are not mean or anything.  In fact they are very friendly and courteous.  But these are very different from SERVICE.

Bajaj drivers (50% of them and I noticed the more stocky ones) will rip you off.  Say plus 50% of the usual fare.  Even if they don’t know where you’re going and you have to be the one to point the directions…  Seriously?

The guy whom I was going to buy printer from didn’t want me to test the damn thing.  Again, seriously???  I suppose that’s the way it goes because the next store I went to has the same policy.  What made me buy from this other guy was the assurance of warranty.  But then, he had the gall to ask me if I really wanted to check the contents of the pack since it has warranty anyways.  Well, hello???  I’m already in the store right now and you’re getting the stuff out of the box anyway!

Why was it such a pain buying you? :-(

The office is set! Printer working a-ok! Frustration worth it!

Concierge at Mount Lavinia hotel was not really living up to his role because when asked where a certain famous nearby resto is, his attitude was cocky and didn’t really offer any help – at all.  And you call yourself a concierge? 

Even the church was not spared!  Hubby and I wanted to have our flat blessed and we asked the parish office for a priest.  They took note of our details but never got back to us.  When I went back and followed up, the lady in the office knew nothing and told us that the priests were in retreat upto Saturday.  That information could have been supplied earlier right???

Water delivery service only delivers on the day they want.  I didn’t have empties on their self-imposed delivery date and asked them to come back the next day.  They said they will come back a week after.  I called to ask for delivery and the sales guy said that is not possible and asked me to call his manager!!!  SERIOUSLY???

Building guard didn’t want to have our huge furnitures up the elevator because by the looks of it he’s saying it won’t fit.  He was right, but my issue was he didn’t even try.  He just said no and was all negative about the alternative that I wanted – take it up 13 floors up via stairs.  It still won’t fit because of the sheer size of the thing but even if how impossible the task may seem, for me it doesn’t matter if you arrive at a solution.  But it really ticks me off if you don’t try to solve the problem.

How to deal? 

I get angry.  Tell them what I think.  And tell them what to do.  Somehow most of them won’t go beyond the obvious.  And is seemingly too lazy to think.  So I do the thinking for them.  Does it work?  Sometimes.  Other times it is just wise to accept the situation.  And maybe blame it on the language barrier.  Don’t get me wrong, they speak English well.  But the comprehension is still a challenge!  Or maybe it’s my accent?  I don’t know.  If all else fails, I look to those who can provide a better service.

First our trusty driver.  He is an amazingly friendly person (as in he will honk in the middle of the street because he saw a friend! Oh hello!).  Very concerned about our welfare… like choose papaya for me in the supermarket, buy me king coconut because he wants me to try it and gets worried if it’s already late and I haven’t sent him off to pick up hubby.  “How about sir?  Office?”  He is an exception.  Even if his English is limited he tries to understand.  And he tries hard.  And that makes a whole lot of difference.

Second the sales lady in Arpico (a local hypermarket).  I was looking for electrical tape and apparently they have a different term here.  So describe away I did.  Somehow she got what I was saying.  It wasn’t on display but she went to the backroom to get it.  With energy.  Way to go sister!

Third the waiter at Gallery Café.  Hubby asked for lemon juice of sorts.  Which I couldn’t understand what he was asking for really.  The waiter though understood him and brought him exactly what he wanted.

It’s a hit or miss really but the fact remains that the service industry still has a lot of customer orientation training to do.  I do hope I won’t get too riled up when this happens again.  Which it will.  Because it takes a hot fudge sundae and large fries to soothe my soul and that is not good for the belly and the heart!  So I vow to do three things: approach the situation without high expectations, simplify questions and requests/instructions (learn more Sinhala if needed) and muster all self control to soothe the frustration with a happy yummy sinful treat! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...