MAY I TAKE YOUR ORDER?


       We’ve probably all gone to a restaurant or fast food place and tried to place an order, only to have the waiter(waitress) or attendant give you attitude like you were the reason their boyfriend refused to buy that bag from Balogun or the one who snitched and made the boss scream at them. First of all, you come in, with your civil smile on your face and greet them and they don’t answer, if you’re like me, you just raise your eyebrow and let it go and then you say “ Can I please have fried rice?” and then the waitress squeezes her bleached face, rolls her eyes  and goes “ we only have jollof”. You see, the best advice I can give you in this kind of situation is; unless that’s the only place to buy food in the area, take back your greeting, turn around and leave. No one wants their food served with frustration.
       We all know how nasty customer service can be, especially in Nigeria. Its like everyone is competing for the one who can show the most people that they are frustrated with their jobs and lives. You walk into a shop at 9am in the morning and the shop attendant is snarling at you! Did something chase you in your dream??
       In my opinion, in starting and operating a business, the most important thing after capital is staffing. A businessman could have the most brilliant business idea which under normal circumstances would rake in millions for him but because he has employed staff that have been frowning from their mother’s wombs and snap and snarl at customers, he just might find himself managing a couple of thousands as income. This doesn’t only happen in shops and restaurants though; you also see this kind of animalistic behavior manifesting in some tellers in banks. At times, they are so rude and unaccommodating that you begin to wonder ‘Whose money is it again?’ In a country like Nigeria, where a quantifiable portion of the population is illiterate, I would think people in the position to provide such services would have developed the patience to handle situations where they have to explain little by little. I mean, if you know you have patience span of Christmas banger, find a job where you are not expected to relate with too many people.
        I went to Cold Stone the other day, and their customer service was wonderful. The guy that attended to me was very civil and patient. He came on with the whole ‘Welcome to Cold Stone……’.  Now you would think that they’ve been in business long enough to not have to impress their customers but all the attendants were just as nice. Yes, I was jobless enough to observe.  He was patient enough to give me the lowdown on about three of their specials till I chose the one I wanted and even when I felt like I was overbilled, they took the time to explain why it was that price. Now it’s not because I was a girl and all, I observed and that they were that way with all their customers.
          All those waitresses would sit and complain about how there are seven girls to one guy in the world and how there are no more good guys left, but how do they expect to meet the guys when they scare them off with their frowns and snarls and in direct contrast, the waiters or male attendants are busy hitting on their customers with pickup lines they dug up in the Sahara desert!
        That doesn’t mean that there aren’t crazy customers out there oh. We’ve probably also experienced a few customers going unnecessarily berserk on attendants at airports, banks, shops. They just make a scene and leave, but you see, you can’t fight with a mad person, they would bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. So I would advise you to just steer clear of those ones. If you see someone whose normalcy time bomb is about to go off, just respect yourself and dress back!    
        The moral of my rant today is that you should put a smile on your face; you’d be amazed how much you could change just by smiling. Entrepreneurs; don’t employ frustrated people or people who don’t even believe in the product they are selling, they would kill your product before it gets to your customers. My fellow customers of banks, shops, restaurants, even telecommunication services ( Uche Onise lol) , if you encounter anyone frowning or snarling at you, look straight into their eyes and say ‘ You look ugly when you frown’ and then move on to the next smiling attendant; trust me, it the cheapest way to save our planet. 
  
                                                                                                                      Nky
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