How About Doing Your Bit, Human?

by | Jun 9, 1998 | Commitment, Responsibility

It is often observed that we tend to be more careful about what is expected of others than what are we required to do in a given situation !

Further, at times our obsession with this tendency rises to such a level that the very purpose or objective of the activity is overlooked !

Acting many a times as guardians of others behaviour, we conveniently forget our own contribution to the process & very ironically end up blaming each other for the ensuing inaction and failure !

Some thing similar happened this morning at the service centre of “Popular Electronics”, a shop dealing in electronic equipment’s. One of the oldest shops around, it had earned a good name for itself through rendering excellent quality services to the customers.

It was a pleasant Sunday morning , the time should have been close to 10.00 AM. It had rained all night and may be as a result of that most of the shops hadn’t opened as yet.

There were very few customers in the service centre , still fewer in the main shop ! Though there was no formal “Queue” , I felt that each one of us sort of knew , when is his or her turn and so we waited for the Service Boys to be free to attend to our queries and complaints !

Things were fine ! All customers were being attended one after the other till a gentleman , the hero of our story, call him Hurman ! ( Name derived from “A man in hurry” ) entered the shop holding an old VCR !

Unmindful of the others present in the service centre Hurman headed straight to the counter and this is what followed :

Hurman said in a demanding voice : ” Hay ! Can you repair this VCR !”

Shop boy continued to fill in the service card of the customer he was attending to with his head down. Perhaps , he was about to respond, when Hurman took off again !

” Hay ! Ain’t you listening , I am asking you !” Gesturing towards the Shop Boy ” Can you attend to this VCR ? “

Shop boy: ” Yes Sir ! But I am afraid you will have to wait. I am attending to a customer ! “

Hurman : ” How long will I have to wait ? “

Shop boy: ” There are a few customers waiting before you. I shall attend to them and soon be with you , Sir !”

Hurman : ” I don’t have that much time ! Can some one else have a look at it ? “

Shop boy: ” Yes, sure Sir, but could you kindly wait till we are through with those who have been here before you.”

As Hurman was about to ask his next question, the Shop Boy very politely gestured him to the waiting area ” Kindly be seated Sir ! Some one shall soon be attending to your complaint.”

Hurman, in a very unexpected move, picked up his VCR , leaned over the counter and almost shouted at the Shop Boy “You don’t know the value of a customer’s time. I can’t wait till you finish with all your customers. You should arrange for more service counters. Employ more men. I would rather look for some other shop. I realise , it was a mistake to have come here.” Hurman left the place in a huff.

It all happened in just a few seconds leaving very little scope for the onlookers even to react to the situation.

Hurman’s hurried entry & exit from the scene left me wondering !

Why did a business transaction fail to deliver, despite having all required basic components !

Well, We had a customer with a need to be fulfilled, a service support to meet the requirement, a market place where the meeting took place, and both were more than willing and eager to take the transaction to the desired end.

Being a bystander, I was able to view clearly that there was a big gap between Hurman’s service expectancy level and the price he was willing to pay for it.

Hurman seemed so obsessed with his desired efficiency level that any deviation from it was just not acceptable to him.

Further, blinded by his own needs & expectancy level, he could not appreciate that there were many others like him in the centre who had an entitlement to avail of the services before him.

Hurman could not appreciate the fact that he should have waited for his turn like others did and that the other customer’s need for services was as urgent as his own need if not any better.

I felt sorry for Hurman, as his indifference to the fellow customers, the situation , environment and above all to his own needs had coasted him the services of one of the best establishments in the town.

If only Hurman had been in touch with himself and his surroundings, been in tune with his requirements, all of us, including Hurman could have still been enjoying a pleasant Sunday morning ! Isn’t it !

In gratitude,

Nitin Kulkarni


How About Doing Your Bit, Human?