Sunday, October 4, 2009

Customer is GOD

If there is one mantra driving business all over the world, then it had to be "Customer is GOD". Since the day we turn into a professional till we retire, so many times in so many situations we are bombarded with this single line phrase, that the real GOD sitting above takes a back seat.And because GOD is the super power, he can't ever go wrong, he even can't afford to and so are His so many avatars on the mother earth.'They' are always correct.

Whether we like it or not, this business model will continue until and unless someone comes up with a better idea/better slogan to run the businesses with a bigger profit margin.And this model works OK as long as we are inside the four walls of our neat and clean AC offices, some time we curse the customer, some time we make fun of them to flush out our frustration but we accept that he is the GOD and we move on.But the ugly teeth of the problem comes out even bitterly when we are out of the office, the role is reversed and now we are 'the Customer'.We start behaving as if the rest of the world is at our service, be it the restaurant we go to, the airlines we fly in and even the mere grocery shop we go to.

Basic dignity and respect towards a fellow human being is vaporized. We are all out with our 'the Customer' tag, a slight mistake on the other side make us furious (only we forget the lesson "To err is human") and we don't mind asking for his head, after all how could he make the customer unhappy.We easily forget we were nothing more of a kitten a few hours back inside that four walls, not even daring to speak. In a country where the demi Gods (read the cricketers) are often treated better than the real GOD & where money talks more than anything else, this is of no surprise at all.Incidents of human being harassing another human being in the name of not adhering to 'Customer Satisfaction' is so common that we have lost the sensitivity to even notice it.

Once I was traveling from Mumbai to Kolkata on a flight and because of traffic or whatever reason, the airplane was waiting for long on the side ways before taking off.I was feeling very hot and asked the air hostess whether the temperature inside the flight is Ok.In the same situation another discussion goes between the person sitting beside me and the air hostess as follows:
P(Passenger): Is not the AC running?
H(Air hostess): Yes sir, it is running perfectly.
P: Then am i lying? Are not you able to see the I am sweating? (How on earth an air hostess would know whether a person is sweating?Is that part of her job responsibility)
H: Sir, I am sorry, but as soon as it would be air born, the temperature would be just fine.
P: Why is it taking so long to take off? Why don't you ask the pilots?
H: Sir, I don't have any idea and because this is take off time, we are not allowed to go inside the cockpit.
P: So, then what do we do now? Wait here for eternity and sweat like pig? (This was not some dehati flying for the first time, but a suited booted executive)
H: Sir i am really sorry, we will try our best to adjust the temperature.Sorry for the inconveniences.
And as soon as the air hostess is gone, that guy starts talking to me to gain support in favor of him and as always I feel disgusted talking to such people, so just after nodding my head once I looked other way.

We copy so many things from the west and we don't forget to refer to the west when cribbing about our country but more often than not, we forget to imbibe the good qualities from them and one of them is "No job is detestable".There are better jobs and there are not so good one, there are highly paid ones and there are of low wages, too but nothing of them gives any one the right to disrespect the other fellow human being.Why are we so much self possessed about our social status that we don't waste a single opportunity to show it off?Why don't we be a little considerate in our demand (I agree that we should get the service if we are paying)?And above all, why do we forget what mental trauma we go through when humiliated by our supervisor/customer? When we are serving the customer, we wish if the customer was understanding, flexible and shows respect to us and unfortunately we forget everything when we are sitting at the other side of the table.I don't think I have ever seen a worse example of double standards...


  1. Believe me Mustaf, if it were a dehati , flying for the first time, he would be much more conscious and well behaved,..its the civilised city birds that are worst behaved. Seriously...the crappy word becoming even more crappy, coz no one understands its meaning. People think that if they are availing some service, they would make sure that no stone is left unturned , be it at the sake of putting all the so called etiquetes on fire.
    Its a great post!!Very Well thought Thanks:)

  2. we forget to imbibe the good qualities from them ...exaxctly thwe way I think:)

  3. you are so right..people forget the basic courtesy while treating a fellow human being.Once I was travelling and we were just boarding the flight. Ahead of me was a foriegner. As soon as he reached one of the cabin crew guys he greeted him and asked him hi how are you doing today.the cabin crew guy was so happy and responded back in such a warm way too.i was so touched. How many of us just stop and smile at these people and greet and ask them. be it the person who opens the door of the restaurant we go in or the guy who gets our gas cylinder or the our office security guys. A little smile from us and it really makes their day.a well thought post.

  4. very nice post eye opener i should say...and I completely agree with what butterfly thoughts has mentioned here...wo kehte hai na, thodi si cuccess kya mil gayi, log hawa me udne lagte hai...exactly the case...the same thing he wouldn't have tried in our buses or trains...but here, people are getting good services and that gets on their is very easy to walk with your head high in the air, but difficult part is to be humble...thank you for sharing :)

  5. Great thinking Mustaf and I absolutely agree! The easiest and most effective way of showing gratitude to those who provide us with service is through smile and good behaviour, but we cannot even do that much :( I believe that talent, intelligence, good looks etc are not in our hands, we've to go by what we are born with. But the one thing that is in our hands and with which we could make a difference in this world is nice attitude and behaviour with fellow human beings.

  6. i agree wid a new beginning completely...even a dehati wud hav sum courtesy....
    i think humility is amt of suitings/shirtings/ fat salaries can make u humble or courteous...very sad but damn true!
    nice post:)

  7. Thats a lovely post Mustaf. I can quite relate to it. I have been was in a client facing business till last year and have faced client ire many a times for reasons beyond my control. Even if 100 things go right the client looses it just because 1 thing went wrong. Its a thankless and stressful job!

  8. "Basic dignity and respect towards a fellow human being is vaporized."

    Very well said Mustaf! I agree with you completely... and sana has just voiced my thoughts.

    While I fully subscribe to your views, I've to add that this problem is with the elite or the upper class. It stops right there!

    In case of middle class families the story is just the opposite. Be it Bus, eateries, or for that matter petty shops, the service you have put up with is just ridiculous!

    I myself have many a time fought with shop keepers for giving sweets instead of 50 paise... (he he it may sound funny but remember Madhavan's marathi movie Dhombavi Fast?!)

    Once in the usual place where I and my colleagues have lunch I fought for filling only Sambar in all the cups, which was supposed to have rasam, sweet, side dishes and the likes... It's actually a proper limited meals for which I paid 32 Rs.

    But I didn't loose my nerve for giving me only sambar, what irked me the most was the indifferent behavior of the waiters and their supervisors... They didn't even have the courtesy to come and tell they were waiting for other dishes to be prepared...

    Believe me, if they have just said that to me, I'd have kept quiet. But what I saw was their Cleverness of deceiving customers...and many people did eat that and kept quiet. In living in a densely populated city like Chennai...I've many such worse experiences and funny stories.

    But wherever it may be, such incidents happen because we forget one reason, which you have wonderfully said: "Basic dignity and respect towards a fellow human being is vaporized."

    Your post is well thought out, and superbly written; I loved your sarcasm too :-)

  9. BTW, I want to know what Dehati exactly mean?

  10. I agree with Sana. In situations like these, it is mostly, the so called 'english speaking elite' who lose their cool. I once happened to witness a similar situation at a five star hotel where a lady began shouting at the receptionist beacuse her check-in was delayed due to negligence of the housekeeping staff. The receptionist took it all with a smile. She, who was not to be blamed. I felt sorry for her.

    A very good post Mustaf. Keep up the good work! :)

  11. that was really rude from his side....

    i think thats quite common these days...:(

    seriously this post is very thought must think of customers as otherwise sometime..

    keep writing :)

    u got few take them buddy

  12. A nice post with a meaningful message...if only people could adopt this in their lives, we would have a much happier world to live in!!!

  13. @Mahesh,

    AWARDS!!! Wowww....that's my first.And i dont know whether it is conincidence or GOD's intervention, but my first awards came to me on one the biggest day of life.
    I became a DAD on 9th Oct'2009, we are blessed with a baby son. Thanks a ton buddy for the award :)


    As you can easily guess, I am very busy nowadays so not getting time for blogging and guess what I am not feeling sorry for not being able to blog :P.Jokes apart, once things settle down, I will reply to each of your comments. Till then do keep visiting and leave your valuable inputs on both of my blogs. Thanks :)

  14. I think you raised a very valid point, people at both ends of the service sector are losing humility, patience and in general today society lacks gratitude, everything seems to be the birth right. They miss out on what a bright smile can do..

  15. CONGRATS!!!!! Enjoy fatherhood to the fullest!

  16. That's wonderful! Congrats Mustaf!!! I am sure you would be a great, inspiring dad :-)

    My prayers and wishes to your baby boy...May God's blessing be upon him, always !

  17. Hello, here is a badge for you

  18. The fool might have dressed in multiple layers of clothing, you get to see these nerds with jackets etc on just because they are flying.

  19. Rudeness, unfortunately, is the Indian consumer's birthright. You are correct, it IS disgusting!

  20. Busy with your son :P i dont see u around these days.. :)

  21. Such people should seriously do something to mend their ailing manners. Nice post!

  22. @A New Beginning,

    the crappy word becoming even more crappy, coz no one understands its meaning. I absolutely agree with this. And you are also right about the dehati. It is the so called "cultured" ones, who has everything except a heart and a mind in place!!


    We both very much think on the same line on many occassions :)

    @Butterfly Thoughts,

    Even I used to think the behaviors of those foreigners bit plastic without any real emotion attached. But now i have realized it is better that doing nothing.And i have also realized sometime a similing face can win you wonders beyond you can imagine. Few days back, I was going to airport and the autowala (an aged man over 60) asked 100, where the normal fare is 60. 2-3 years back I would have handled the situation a different way, but I just smiled at him and said " kya uncle, 50-60 rupeea hota hain ap 100 mang rahe ho..ap ko bhi jana hain aur mujhe bhi..thik hain chalo ap 70 lo..ap bhi khush main bhi khush." He just smiled at me and agreed without a further word!! A lot of credit for this transformation in me actually goes to my wife :)

  23. @Neha,

    Haha...the same thing he wouldn't have tried in our buses or trains I bet he would not even dare to think of that in Kolkata/Mumbai's local trains :)we should walk straight with our heads high, but more importantly we should also be grounded.


    I believe that talent, intelligence, good looks etc are not in our hands, we've to go by what we are born with. But the one thing that is in our hands and with which we could make a difference in this world is nice attitude and behaviour with fellow human beings. but the unfortunate part is we are prouder of our talent,intelligence, looks,inherited bank balance from our forefather than we are ashamed of our attitude and behavior :(

  24. @Divsi,

    Today we give more priority to the peripherals than the core and that is the problem. No matter how void we are inside, we always want to look glittering outside...

    BTW, are you first time here, sorry I dont remember if i have seen you before here:( Either way, a very warm wlecome :)


    Sometime i feel it is a chain of events.We get humiliated by our customer and so we lash out our frustration when we are customer. And this, i find quite similar with one of the reasons people give behind ragging, because we are ragged, so we will rag, but we don't realise that we are not taking the revenge as we are not ragging them who ragged us . We don't have control to an extent how the client/customer behave to us, but it is always in our control how we behave as customer. Just because your customer is rude to you, you would never practice that and people forget this in most of the time :(

    THANKS a lot for the award and the tag. I will soon take it up.Just a bit tied up nowadays with my new status of 'being a father'.

  25. @Manivannan,

    You have very well mentioned the problems we face in our day to day lives from the grocery shops,eateries,buses. But slight difference is that you are being cheated here, but not humiliated and abused. I personally feel I would be more hurt if i am humiliated/abused in public than I am cheated.And if you notice the behavior in those places, the waiter/shop keeper are doing what exactly they are being told by their boss, who has the money. The basic problem irrespective of classes/people is that if we have the money we think we are GOD and need not care a bit for others.

    And with due respect to your opinion, I would slightly disagree with you that it stops only at the upper class/elite class.Over the past decade or so, the status of Indian middle class is also changing & I would like to quote here from Neha "wo kehte hai na, thodi si cuccess kya mil gayi, log hawa me udne lagte hai ".

    BTW, I also fight for that 50 paise in the shop or for that 1-2 rupee change with the autowalas. Not that 1-2 rupee matters much to me, but to lot many people even a 1 rupee matters and most improtantly I can't compromise with ethics/principles how miniscule it is in magnitude.

    And dehati means someone from rural background, not so educated, not so civilized as we think of civilization

  26. @Destiny's Child,

    Yes, these incidents happen in front of our eyes every minute, that's why i said that sometime we even fail to notice it.


    The person who abuses the guy at the Mcdonald outlet/ the airhostess should do that job for one day and I bet he would never abuse them again in his life.

    @Amritbir Kaur,

    Welcome to my blog :)

    If only people can realize there are many more important things in life than the money you have, life would be so much easy.

  27. @Sujatadi,

    We are Gen-X so we don't have patience or we don't need to have patience, I hate that Airtel broadband add ( ) And gratitude!!what for?? I have the money, asking for the service and he is serving me.Done!! GOD knows where humanity is heading...

  28. @All,

    Thanks for all your wishes. May all your wishes come true and GOD bless us.I hope we can make him a good human being, rest will automatically be achieved...

  29. @The Holy Lama,

    We need multiple layers of clothing, because we need to hide our innerside and we are too much worried if we are exposed. If clothing could hide everything :(


    It is indeed disgusting and I loose my respect to such people then and there, no matter whose who are they!!


    After a long time, thanks for coming :)

    What worries me more is that they even don't bother whether their children are accompanying them when they are behaving like this.What are they teaching the young ones?How are we grooming our next generations? I am just scared to even think of that...


    I am just back from my vacation yesterday only, so catching up with all the pending work including blogging :) You will see me active again, but I might go little slow

  30. Thats your son's pic..i wanna see him..
    I am sure everyone ll love to :)

  31. hmmmm....I completely agree with you mustaf...humiliation in public is worse than being cheated!

    Sorry again I don't understand hindi....if it's not a problem, can u plzz share that part in English...?

    Am glad that you too fight for one-rupee and fifty paise. Yes, It's not the money that matters, but the ethics and principles.
    Thanks for the reply.

  32. @Mani,

    Are you referring to ""wo kehte hai na, thodi si cuccess kya mil gayi, log hawa me udne lagte hai ".

    It literally means you have got small success and still you are flying in the air i.e. we boast so much of our tiny little successes, too


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