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Elizabeth Harlington
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My Whacky World

10 January 2014, 13:46
Service - It's something that makes the world a happier or unhappier place. But does it still exist? Take supermarkets cashiers– after dragging their heads off their arms you're greeted, in a low gruff monotone voice - 'ullo, Discount card? Bags?'. Their little limp wrists are barely able to scan your goods with any type of speed, other than very slow, and have you noticed that they sigh an awful lot? They don't even tell you what the total of your purchases are anymore. Their half open eyes flicker slightly towards the till screen as they wait for your cash or card. At least they hide the ones with bad service away in the offices – I think they call them managers. But is every business able to provide this level of service?

Let's look at the insurance companies. They're in a league of their own actually - their service is exceptional. They're genuinely interested in you as a person and enjoy looking after you. They phone you on a regular basis and when you're suicidal and at the lowest in your miserable life they're the first people to pop in for a cup of tea and a chat. You blurt out your problems and tell them you just don't know what to do anymore. Luckily for you, they have a policy to cover each of them. I've heard people say Insurance salesman are sharks but none of them I've met have ugly teeth. I think people are just being bitchy.

The ones that really annoy me are the lawyers. Your neighbour is suing you because your dog accidentally ate her seventeen year old cat. It was her best friend and companion. Your neighbour is actually schizophrenic and neither of 'her' has a cat but you feel sorry for her anyway and offer to buy her a 'new'one. She says she'd rather have money. You can't afford to pay the fifty thousand she's demanding so off you trudge to find a lawyer. He tells you the whole thing is ridiculous and suggests you offer R10 000 on top of the cat. You agree – what other option do you have? Luckily both your neighbours agree too. You write out a cheque and the case is settled – that is until the next day when you receive a summons from the same neighbour claiming a latent defect in the cat. Apparently it doesn't bark. Your lawyer suggests paying another R10 000. This time you tell him to get lost. You'd rather buy his mother another new cat. Never once has he suggested you have a nice day – his service sucks.

Take prostitutes – lots of men will tell you their service is going down. I didn't really believe it but I asked a few men and they confirmed it. Maybe these prostitutes are depressed. They need to get up, dust themselves off and start looking at the world from a different angle - jobs are scarce. I think the problem is that a lot of prostitutes are just too young and experienced. They're smart and know how to make money - but too much of a good thing always leads to burnout. By the time they're ready for marriage, they've had enough of being in the service industry. I think they're responsible for a lot of divorces.

So, as you can see – some services are really good and others have gone down. I do believe though, that any profession within the service industry should be of a high quality. Sadly it looks like there isn't much of it around anymore. In fact, we are all getting used to the fact of poor or non existent service. People need to use the proper resources. Managers should perhaps start reading the '1 Minute Manager' book and Prostitutes should learn to read. They both should watch Dr Phil – that way, they may amount to something in life. But whatever industry it may be – wouldn't it be nice if people made an effort to give service with a smile - just a little bit to brighten one's day.

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