Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Service with self control

If anything good has come out of working in customer service, it has to be learning not to treat service staff like they aren't worth shit.

I do not need this fucking $7 an hour job. I don't need to be treated like dirt either.

For example, when I'm burning my weekend watching carefree shoppers strut by on Orchard Road while I struggle to keep up appearances, smile and keep a steady hand handling a customer's mobile phone, I don't need to be screamed at for a tiny mistake I made.

Sure, that mistake cost you half an hour of waiting time, and I'd be pissed as hell if I were you. But I sure wouldn't have screamed for 10 minutes about the same thing over and over again such that all eyes from NYDC to Old Chang Kee turned to face you and raise their eyebrows. Sure, I'd learn my lesson, but the fool is really you.

While I'm fighting drowsiness and an aching back while opening a customer's k750i, I don't need her to loudly shush her husband a meter away and proclaim loudly "Don't talk to me lah! I want to make sure she doesn't spoil my phone! (glares at me)" KNS YOU STUPID BITCH you asked me to take the sim card out for you what, you scared you bloody take it out yourself CHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEB..........

While I'm breaking a real sweat in the humid tentage and trying not to think about my aching feet, I don't need to listen to a young ang moh in Oakleys tell me that he wants the gift even though he'd made his purchase elsewhere, and then when told that he wasn't eligible for it, get flipped the middle finger.

Fuck, I don't need this shit. None of us do. Everyone in the service industry gets flak from people for human mistakes that anyone could make, especially from spoilt brats who do not understand what you go through.

How can this country honestly say we've advanced our service industry if we still look down on our workers like that?

I've been discouraged from taking up a part time job by my parents, wanting me to relax and enjoy student life before I got out and work proper, since they can provide fully the comfortable life I live.

But I believe everyone should try such things if not for the money, then for the things you learn. It is easy to be unreasonable and think of a person working in customer service as someone who has to be perfect at his job and meet your every impatient demand.

If you were in Australia for example, a typical Singaporean comment (that I have received graciously a few times) like "YOU are the promoter and you're not sure, how can you be a promoter? Tsk tsk tsk... (insert obnoxious finger wag)" would have you told off by the staff. Service staff have rights and everyone is entitled room for error and improvement. Unreasonable remarks may not seem unreasonable to the average Singaporean, but you'll never understand until you've worked in this line.

If anything good has come out of this, is that I've softened my once quick temper, nurtured patience from my otherwise reckless nature and imbibed a sense of respect towards people who slave in our service industry.

And if I were the impatient, quick tempered me a few years ago, I'd have flipped my middle finger back at that jerk and told him to fucking get the hell out of my face.


@BEL said...

Welcome to my (usher) world, where the customer is almost always "right". Hope you'll be kind to me next time you see me...

kungfubunny said...

but i'm always kind to you what. O.o

h.dawg said...

FLEE THE SAVAGE BUNNY! (if you know what's good for you)

i have known her wrath.

It's not pretty.

kungfubunny said...

O.O it can be .. pretty.. erh.

joyce said...

nobody deserves to be treated like that no matter what. i always try to be nice to sales people because i know the job sucks ass and some people just don't have the intelligence to treat others nicely.