Monday, October 08, 2007

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

I was at Jaya Jusco Alpha Angle last Saturday to do some grocery shopping. Bought a few bottles of carbonated drinks among other things, and placed them on the cashier counter. When the cashier moved the conveyor belt, the thing jerked a bit and caused one of my bottles to fall off. I managed to catch it before it hit the floor, so realistically, no harm was done. But it did catch me by surprise and irritated me a bit.

What irritated me more though, was the fact that the cashier didn’t say a word about it. So, when she moved the conveyor belt again about 2 seconds later, and it jerked again causing more bottles to topple (None fell down this time because I was prepared to hold it steady), I commented to her that it was so kasar. She shrugged and said “Ntah!”.

No excuse. No apology. Just that ntah hapa-hapa attitude.

Is it so hard to say she’s sorry? Granted, I know it wasn’t her fault if the conveyor belt was faulty. But as a representative of the seller, isn’t it her duty to provide a service satisfactory to all customers?

Many people think that saying sorry means accepting blame and admitting fault. This is why so many people find it difficult to say they’re sorry when they think the fault does not lie with them.

In reality, saying sorry may not mean “I’m guilty” at all. She could’ve said, “I’m sorry that happened to you” or “I’m sorry your bottles fell off” or “I’m sorry this thing is so jerky”. All of these simply means that she feels bad that all that happened. It does not imply guilt, it does not confer liability, it would just make me, as a customer, feel better, that’s all. Unless of course, if she thinks it is not part of her job to make customers feel better, in which case I would suggest she quit her job and go scrub a toilet.

It all boils down to good manners methinks. If you have it, the words ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’ and ‘Sorry’ will always be at the top of your list.

Someone I know might say that I did the same thing just this morning, refusing to apologise to someone for something which I obviously did but do not consider to be wrong. That is a different story I reckon. However, I did give an excuse which, translated loosely, could be interpreted as an apology in itself. So, that’s a helluva lot better than “Ntah!”, isn’t it ?


I’m so sorry you have to read my boring rantings today.


a babe of very little brain said...

banyak malaysian outfits do not see customer service and various trainings related to it as important. they probably think that we, the frontliners, have the trait within all of us.

Anonymous said...

with reflexes like that u should take up cricket

Belladonna said...

Sue, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to you and family. Maaf zahir batin kalau ada tersilap & terkasar bahasa :)

Typhoon Sue said...

the funny thing is, not too long ago, J.Jusco had a contest of sorts for its cashiers, where the customers get to rate them and get a chance to win RM200. The winning cashiers however, would get a helluva lot more, so imagine how hard they worked to win it. I saw a lot of smiles and so many polite cashiers then. It's all gone now.

wouldn't know cricket from rounders.

selamat hari raya to you too and maaf zahir batin.

elviza said...

Biarlah dia Sue, she just hates her job.

Thank you for the prayers for Luqman. We appreciate it.

J.T. said...

Hi Sue

I agree with Babe about "Malaysian outfits do not see customer service and various trainings related to it as important."

I find a huge difference in cashiers' attitudes whenever I return to Malaysia. It always seems like a simple smile may cost their faces to explode. What more trying to get an apology out of them on behalf of the store?

We can blame management for not training them better but at the end of the day, it falls back on an individual's attitude.

Manal said...

Maybe u can do your elton john-blue rendition to her...kinda attract people from any aisle including yours. She's so not giving a tiny rat ass kan, as in pi lantak la, wa kerja cashier bukan job protocol wa nak check conveyor belt buat hal kan.

But sue, when i was in carrefour, alamanda, the cashier replaced the koyak bag of fab kuning to me with a new (heavier one actually, i bought 3 kg, they replaced me with 5kg and i baru perasan masa nak load brg dlm boot)due to his carelessness that caused a wide slit at the bottom of the bag masa tergesel dgn some sharp end of the conveyor. He casually told me that it wasnt the 1st case for him that day apart from that fab selling like hotcake sbb ade discount.

If I were u, i would already make some noise there like, "conveyor belt rosak ke ape haa, jatuh botol2 nih sape yg rugi haa?? " and many more.....

Salam eid mubarak!

Typhoon Sue said...

glad he's ok

true. it's the individual's attitude that sd be changed

posa la wey! nak bising2 bakpe. gua dah comment camtu dah cukup. nak marah dia pun, bukan salah dia. cuma attitude dia tu kureng. it's just about manners. we can scold ppl for being rude to us but we can't scold them for not having good manners. there's a difference



yep.,...i have come across cashiers macam ni.
in my younger days, i'd give them a quick tongue-lashing sampai diorang boleh terkencing2.
but now...i'd just utter something, raise my eyebrow before walking away.

many reasons for that kind of attitude..doesn't matter what they are. the point is they shouldn't be like that when they are dealing directly with their customers.

ok-lah.enuf said. tak boleh stop nanti.

Sue, here's wishing you and your family Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir Batin!

(Go easy on the lemang and rendang!)

Pi Bani said...

Selamat Hari Raya and SORRY zahir batin... selamat bercuti seminggu and whatever kg you lost during ramadhan (if any), hope you don't gain it back on the first day of raya... :)

trueblue said...

Hello...First time here :)

Sorry isn’t really that hard to say. You just need to have a ‘bigger’ heart.

Some people are just too proud to say they're sorry. Its like nothing is ever their fault. *sheeesshh* I used to get to irritated by this but now I think "lantak diaoranglah". Tak kuasa nak sakit hati lama-lama.

taku said...

u'll luv it in Canada where they say sorry all the time. They'd even say "Sorry, but you're stepping on my foot!"

Typhoon Sue said...

Selamat hari raya to u too kak ena.

Pi Bani:
I think i already did.

same here. i don't find it necessary to make a big fuss over it, nor to dwell on it because it can really spoil your day if you do so.

really? that polite? what about criminals, do they leave notes saying they're sorry after they've robbed you?