Friday, February 23, 2024
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My apologies

A time comes in everyone’s life when admitting one’s wrong, accepting one’s truth and acknowledging one’s shortcomings becomes of paramount importance and moving forward requires some soul-searching and acceptance.

To quote the soca bard Skinny Banton, ‘big man is big man’, and the time has come for my soul-searching and acceptance.

Customer service and general service in public institutions and spaces carry with them some anticipation and expectation of courtesy and deportment enshrined in the definition of the words customer and service in combination.

One would not be considered unfair nor lofty in expectancies to anticipate that an individual whose livelihood depends on service to customers would express a modicum of courtesy to said customers.

The seemingly mundane rituals of ‘good morning’, ‘good afternoon’, ‘good evening’, ‘can I help’, ‘yes please’ and ‘thank you’, all seem to have been removed from the new customer service handbook. And have been replaced with stares, ignoring of customer, avoiding of customer and personal electronic device time.

That new handbook somehow did not make its way to my desk nor was it delivered into my email inbox, so for the past several months, poor me, was operating under the old rules, with the same old expectations, steeped in values handed down from solid parenting and selfless Teachers.

So now I have come to my epiphany, my moment of soul-searching and acceptance. And as ah big man I must apologize. So, to all the cashiers, secretaries, administrative assistants, waitresses and others who I might have chastised because of what I might have considered inadequate service, please accept my humblest apologies. Under the news rules how do I dare expect you to end your facetime or WhatsApp chat to attend to my food order or query about an appointment I have with a manager at your place of employment.

Please forgive me for not knowing that “What you want”, has replaced “How may I help”, how absent-minded of me not to keep up with the changing times.

“We doh have that”, is a perfect retort when I am not prophetic enough to know what is and is not on the menu, shame on me for having to bother you.

Times have changed and a simple “hello”, I should know, is more than enough of a greeting when I am trying to reach a place of business by phone – after all my intrusive phone call might be interrupting you on your personal call as your make lunch plans or maybe I committed the cardinal sin of calling to close to the bewitching 4pm deadline.

Again, to all those of whom I had expectations without realizing the rules of the customer service game have changed, my sincerest apologies. I now know I might be better off patronizing another establishment than lowering my well-entrenched standards. To those in customer service that must be welcome news, you now have more time to carry-on your personal interests and me standing my ground can be expected to be met with a snort of derision and the “new customer service” classic line, “ah doh have the time and the patience today”.

Dexter Mitchell 


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