February 12, 2008

On Bad Customers to Good Service

Filed under: Doodles, Blabs and Rants — didee @ 7:53 pm

We’ve all had our share of bad customer service. From salesladies who follow you like a shadow in the department stores (especially if you’re just in your staple jeans and shirt), to useless customer service representatives who talks in circles and are of no help. I am not generalizing, but hey, we have come across them at least once right?

So as I was saying, we all have our share of bad customer service, but what about bad customers?

Last night, I went to Orchard here in Singapore for my monthly remittance. There was a medium sized queue, where around 8 person were in line.

Standing maybe 2 or 3 person away from me is a short lady who is practically stomping her feet, heavily shifting her weight from one foot to the other. I don’t know if I’ve described it aptly, but imagine an irritated person nga dili mahimutang. We will call her Ms.Tikya

A lady from the Remittance center was asking us if we have everything we needed (i.e ID, authorization letter) or if all of us are members already. She’s a plump old lady with a kind and warm smile. Then when she got to asking Ms.Tikya, she got a heated answer “Napagutusan lang ako. Ba’t ba tanong ng tanong.” With matching stomping of feet and rolling of eyes. And she looked at all of us as if saying “you’re as irritated as I am right?“. Get a grip lady.

Everyone else in the line started looking at each other and shake our heads at Ms.Tikya.

When Ms.Tikya got her turn in the counter, she handed over her authorization letter and the ID of the member. The lady behind the counter asked her for her own ID, Ms. Tikya again answered rudely, “Ayan oh nasa harap mo, bulag ka ba?!”

The teller was a taken aback by this very rude lady, and asked her again politely for her ID because the ID she was holding was the member’s ID and not of Ms.Tikya.

“Ayan na nga eh, yang nasa photocopy. Titigan mong mabuti, ako yan!”, came Ms.Tikya’s answer.

The rest of the people inside the small remittance center stood in silence while trying to control ourselves from hanging this little mean lady upside down.

The teller went about with her job as if unaffected by this out of line outburst from Ms.Tikya. She deserves a good pat in the back and a statue of sainthood for her patience.

Ms.Tikya ended her hoo-ha with a series of cursing in Tagalog which we all obviously understood. This is one mean lady. Lami blockingan.

Bad customers deserves the worst customer service there is.

Smiling and Thank You’s

In the office, there is this one nice auntie (older woman) who is in charge of emptying the trash and wiping the desks in our department. She would do her errands silently , and some won’t even notice that she’s there.

When I was still new here, still shy of being friendly with the rest of the people, auntie has been my booster. I would smile at her and say my thank you for cleaning my desk or emptying my trash bin, and she would smile back shyly. A Smile really is the universal language.

These exchange of silent smiles turned into tidbits of conversation whenever I see her in the restroom refilling the toilet papers or cleaning the sink. She’d ask me shyly how my day was, if I’d had lunch or if I already have a boyfriend! Really such a sweet auntie.

Until one day she caught me by surprise and I was the one smiling shyly when she said Thank you to me. I asked her what for, and she said, “because you smile always and you said thank you.”

I Appreciate You

I think what we all need and what we need to be is be more appreciative. To appreciate a person for who he/she is, from there would spring all other millions of possibilities,wonderful possibilities. From there comes respect, love, trust , loyalty and everything else which are essential if we are to really enjoy and appreciate the gift of life.

It’s good to know that one is appreciated, its the next best thing to being convinced that one is much loved. But one cannot love without first appreciating the other person in his/her wholeness. Not just loving a person in pieces, but loving them mind, body, soul, intellect, good, bad and ugly. It’s a process but it all starts with appreciating that person’s place in our life.

But as they say, one cannot give, what one doesn’t have. We need to appreciate ourselves a little bit more, because more often than not we are most hardest on ourself right?

There are a lot of great little things inside us that makes us uniquely us. We are made up of little great things 🙂

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well” ~Voltaire



  1. How rude naman of ms. tikya.. but..
    balance is found because nice people like you exist.
    the boat aint sikin’.. 🙂

    Comment by isza — February 13, 2008 @ 11:52 am

  2. yay, i love this entry, but not ms tikya! hahaha. yes, a smile can brighten not only a room but someone else’s day. it can cure sadness, and wash away bitterness. miss u oi, u haven’t been writing often. haha.

    Comment by kaith — February 13, 2008 @ 12:50 pm

  3. good read. smile a lot. will remember that.

    Comment by konsuy — February 13, 2008 @ 4:06 pm

  4. Hi mai,

    So rude indeed, the teller lady really deserves a monument for not lashing back at Ms.Tikya. 🙂

    Comment by didee — February 13, 2008 @ 5:38 pm

  5. Hi Kaith!

    And your smile my dear can stop traffic and make ppip go gaga. Hehe.

    Miss you too… as in… hehe i couldn’t finish a single post lately, good thing nahuman ni siya.

    Comment by didee — February 13, 2008 @ 5:40 pm

  6. Konsuy…. can’t wait for March! 🙂 See you soon!

    Comment by didee — February 13, 2008 @ 5:40 pm

  7. very nice entry as usual… though ms. tikya needs some good kicking 🙂

    in countries like singapore and japan, it seems that the older people do the blue-collared jobs like cleaning out trash or cleaning the bathrooms. they are essential jobs, but it breaks my heart just a little bit whenever i see someone who is about my granny’s age do those kind of tasks. in my mind, i picture out what if my granny was in their place. di naman sa di marangal, i just think that its about time they lay down and rest their weary backs and let the young’ns do the back breaking for a change. i guess in first world countries like that, people want to feel needed and wanted still in a fast-paced society. i guess compelled sila to work still.

    i always remember to say thank you to people who have done an act of kindness towards me, no matter how small. they might not notice it, but at least you made it a point to appreciate those things that people might take for granted.

    send my regards to auntie 🙂 God bless her soul.

    Comment by Seleria — February 13, 2008 @ 8:35 pm

  8. Hi Aby 🙂

    hmm you’re getting to be a regular here… hehehe.. and I am so happy to have you.

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this. Yes you’re right, “older” people here, like our lolo’s and lola’s, usually do the cleaning of tables in Food courts or taking out the trash and other menial jobs. It is a very honorable job, but it is also heartbreaking seeing them do such tasks, especially if we are so used to seeing old people in our country taking care of their apo’s at home or busy with their crafts.

    In the foodcourt, I usually put my glass and spoon/fork in my plate and wipe the table with a tissue, that way at least we could make their work a little bit easier.

    Some taxi drivers here are actually retired attorneys or managers of companies who still want to earn their keep even when they should be resting at home and enjoying their time with their families.

    Will give your regards to auntie, and thank you for dropping 🙂

    Comment by didee — February 14, 2008 @ 1:12 am

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