So you think the perfect partner is elusive?
You think a particular piece of grocery, substance or garment is tough to find?
I’ll tell you what’s even rare…
All of us know what it means. All of us know we desire it in others.
And yet, fairly often, we do not demonstrate it ourselves.
In the last few weeks, this fact has been so glaringly evident in most of my transactions. Be it at the hairdresser’s, at the mall, in company or public transport, or when I approached a colleague for assistance…
I’ve walked away fuming heatedly albeit helplessly on each of the above occasions.
And I’ve asked myself this: Is this the way customers are supposed to be treated? Is that the value that is being placed on someone who pays/justifies your salary? Do such people deserve to be employed or in business?
Unfortunately, the answer and the outcomes are poles apart.
When an auto or cab driver speaks rudely to a traveller for no reason greater than the fact that he’s ferrying the person across, it’s a shame. It’s not a favour they’re doing; they’re paid for it, and paid well, if I might add. Besides, they’re thugs who loot unassuming visitors to the city! The cheek…
Human Resources is a department that exists solely for the employees – both existing and potential. And yet, when they schedule and conduct interviews, they behave as if they’re kings and the poor candidates (the majority of whom are better qualified than them) are at their mercy! I’ve seen more than a few consultancies and corporates where applicants are shunted like prisoners and spoken to like slaves. Despite the fact that they’re the reasons why the recruiters draw their hefty incentives! The unfussy aspirants put up with their superciliousness and conceit just to land a position that they want… Grrr!
… The same story when an employee needs help with something in the HR domain – for something that they’re hired to do, the execs sure miss the mark on being dependable and approachable… and consequently likeable. I shan’t be surprised if an anonymous survey went out and 95% of the population badmouthed the one function that is created for them, of them and by them. Distasteful, ain’t it?
I went to this salon that I frequent, and I got really cheesed off when the newly hired hairstylist refused to discuss my haircut. For heaven’s sake, it’s MY hair and I WANT to know what you’re going to do with it! I may not be an expert at it myself, but I sure know how I look, how I want and how I do NOT want to look…
It gives me immense pleasure, therefore, when I come upon an extremely rare occasion when I encounter professionalism of the highest order. And it comes from the most unexpected quarters. Like jewellery stores (Kawediya in Raviwar Peth as well as Waman Hari Pethe on Laxmi Road), most Mumbai shops and ... (can’t think of a third). The one thing that they always say and embarrass me is, “Madame, don’t buy anything, but at least take a look!”
And I say this, because there have been umpteen times when I actually wanted to buy something and the seller acted pricey and arrogant causing me to walk out of the shop wrathfully and empty handed, in spite of liking the product.
I could go on and on about this. I know I am short tempered, but I am also extremely demanding when it comes to good customer service. Hell, if I’m paying you, I deserve excellent service, nothing less if nothing more. And would you blame me for it?
I make sure that anything concerning me is up to the mark – be it at work or at home, if I’ve taken up an assignment (voluntarily or involuntarily), the final result will be acceptable if not outstanding. Anything that has my name on it will be done in a way to not disgrace me. That’s my accountability and reputation at stake. And I do not take it lightly. All the more reason why I expect the same from others.
Which brings me back to my favourite topic – relationships. I know this is not exactly synonymous with professionalism. But it surely is connected to reliability and doing your best. If you expect something from your partner, ensure that you’re living up to their expectations too.
Gotta say bye before I get too meditative!!
But I’m definitely gona say this – do what you gotta do, and be good when you do it. You may not like doing it, but if you still are, give it all you got… Or quit. Don’t create a bad customer experience for anyone. If you can’t make someone’s day, at least don’t ruin it. You don’t have that right. No body does.