8 May 2006

Plastic smile

Colgate has a phenomenal presence in the tooth paste market. We all know that. Yet, whom did I find knocking my door a week ago? A sales person trying to convince me that Colgate is good for my teeth.

Salesperson: Sir, do you want to buy Colgate sir?
Me: Sorry, no.
Salesperson: You will get a special discount… You won’t find that in shops.
Me: We already have enough. Thanks.
Salesperson: Ok sir, then can I have your name, phone number, address and other details.
Me: Huh. (*BANG. Slams the door shut.*)

That’s right, that’s the safest thing to do. Slam the door shut. Because you never know whether these people are genuine or not. There have been various reports in the past of people spying on the house (before attempting burglary) by posing as a sales person.

No, I am not a moron. I do hate to be in their position, but as such, I believe it’s a part and parcel of their job.

All people who work in the so called ‘service sector’ have to put up with such behaviour from people. You have to wear a plastic smile all day. Tired? Angry? Sad? Worried? Keep smiling. That’s what you are paid for.

Yet it is very frustating when you enter some government offices and find yourself at the mercy of the staff, who are paragons of customer self-service. Sometimes you just start wondering if you had switched roles.

No wonder there is so much resistance to privatisation and outsourcing of government jobs. The private sector would not put up long with such an attitude, because the private companies aim for profit. The government agencies, on the other hand, work for the welfare of the people. Welfare I can do without.

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