Opinion and Analysis
State should learn to live within means
Posted Sunday, June 17 2012 at 13:50
A Japanese airline has instructed its passengers that flight attendants will not help them with their luggage, do not have to be polite and complaints will not be tolerated. This is not a joke, it is a true story. A social media comrade sent me the link to this story that appeared in the Telegraph’s online edition on June 7.
According to the Telegraph, Skymark airline’s eight-point “Service Concept” guidelines were introduced aboard its aircraft in mid-May and stated that cabin staff would not help passengers stow their bags, that attendants were not required to use “polite language” when talking to customers and that the crew’s primary task is not to attend to passengers but to serve as safety personnel.
I take my hats off to an organisation that can proudly state that its customer service motto is “no customer service please; sitdown, put up or shut up!” It takes some big unmentionable body parts to be this bold.
I know many organisations here in Kenya that already exercise the same mentality but have never really had the guts to tell customers to go to hell but leave their money with the cashier.
But it’s not just organisations that are guilty of this behaviour.
I’ve seen professionals at it more than once. I’ll give a recent example of a visit to a well-known hospital at the ungodly hour of 4am last week.
My daughter was feeling poorly and was lying in the bed in the casualty cubicle when the doctor — a young, well put together gentleman — poked his head and half his torso through the curtain.
“Mumble, mumble, mumble” was the greeting followed by some solicitation about what had brought us to the hospital. The other half of his body remained behind the curtain, for all intents and purposes we could have been dealing with a centaur.
At some point I was convinced that either my child or myself was carrying the Ebola virus in a luminous pinkbag hanging off our necks.
Realising quite reluctantly that he would have to poke, prod and do all manner of physical exertions required to make a proper diagnosis, he peeled himself off the curtain and came to the bedside to do what needed to be done.
Oh, by the way, the volume level was still at mumble decibels so we had to guess exactly what was being said, asked and suggested.
He had, in summary, the bedside manner of a three-day-old corpse in a doctor’s coat.
The sad thing is, many of the doctors that I have experienced in this particular hospital’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) department have similar dispositions.
Don’t get me wrong.
I’ve figured that having a polite, calm and relaxing bedside manner is conversely related to the number of years in practice.
Most of the senior doctors from this hospital are absolutely wonderful and go out of their way to put you at ease. Must be experience that teaches them that anervous patient is a difficult patient.