Excuse Me, Could You Please Serve Me According to The Queue?
When I first returned to Jakarta, there were two things I tried to get accustomed to – the traffic jam and the queue for services.
Let’s focus on the queue for services.
Have you had the experience of queueing up to be served where people stood not behind but beside you?
Or the person in the other queue line switched over to yours, cut in front and take over your position when you are about to be served next.
Or being interrupted by another person when you were in the midst of inquiring about a product or service?
I had, numerous times.
However, what I would like to share is not the rude behavior of those people. What I would like to bring up is what happens next.
Often in such a situation, the service counter staff would somehow attend to these indiscipline people first.
This happened at any business or non-business establishments.
One of the worst situations which I had encountered was at a multinational fast-food chain. As soon as the customer in front of me left the service counter, a father with young children in the another queue line switched over to my service counter, cut me off and placed his order.
Believe it or not, the service counter staff actually was ready to take the order from that jump-the-line-father. I immediately and firmly expressed my displeasure.
It created an unpleasant exchange between that same unruly customer and me. In the midst of our heated exchange, I stopped, and turned to the service counter staff and told her that because of her unprofessional service attitude, that unnecessary commotion could otherwise have been avoided.
That fast food company should train its service counter staff to handle situations as described above.
Despite the fact that the customer had behaved badly, the service counter staff should firmly put customers who jumped queue on hold, and serve the customers according to the queue line. The customers should NOT be the ones fighting to gain her attention because of her poor service judgement.
Paying customers should NOT be served poorly just because it serves fast food.
Paying customers should NOT be served poorly just because they usually do not voice out their displeasure.
Paying customers should NOT be served poorly because nowadays there are many more fast-food choices.
Paying customers should NOT tolerate poor service because they should enjoy their meal after a hard day’s work.
In short, Paying customers should NOT be served poorly at all - because they are the ones who pay your salary, including the kitchen staff, the manager on duty, and all the way up to the management.
When I was shopping at a department store in Los Angeles, the salesperson who was attending to me said to another customer who had interrupted our conversation: “Excuse me, ma’am, please give me a minute, I will attend to you as soon as I am done with this customer.”
I am sure the salesperson was aware that she could have lost the sales from the other customer. But on the other hand, she also understood that she could have lost my business if she had not put the other customer on hold and attended to me first.
Most impressive, she strived for good quality and good judgement in her service without being asked. Yes, my shopping bag was full of purchases, more than I intended to buy.
Now, regarding the traffic jam, all we need is a little discipline from the road warriors – especially the drivers of motorbikes and public transportation – the jaywalking pedestrians and the street vendors.