My US and Canadian friends and industry colleagues frequently assert that service standards in North America are the best in the world.
My observation is that service delivery in this part of the world is a facsimile of a real service culture. Ok that is a very broad generalisation and for a lot of service providers probably unfair… but stay with me for the moment.
It seems to me that service delivery is driven by money and by fear. Turn the money off and very often service quality disappears but what is more scary is seeing fear in the eyes of servers.
The fear that comes from the consequences of a customer complaint in terms of loss of income and worst still loss of a job.
What I find distasteful is how this is reflective in the relationship between customer and server. It feels much more like a ‘master’ and ‘servant’ situation from the 17th or 18th Century where miscreants are cast in irons and transported to Australia for the smallest error.
Many servers (not all) appear to be on tenterhooks all the time, making any social interaction feel false and very artificial. A ‘have a nice day’ culture at its very worst.
So when you do meet someone who is able to engage with you naturally (or are a lot better at hiding what they are really thinking) it feels very pleasant and much more enjoyable.
I am a human being, I like to think I am a nice guy and will treat people as I would like to be treated…
So to everyone who feels the need to beat up on a server take a step back. If you have a problem it is perfectly possible to get to a resolution without you bring a complete t**t. Bring a bully is not clever, not clever at all.
I have over the years expressed a view to my children that if they observe people who are constantly complaining, getting wound up by anything and everything that these people must live terrible lives as they are satisfied by nothing. How much better to be more chilled, work on the things you can change and not worry about the things that you either can’t or are really not important at all. Believe me as someone who has been under the surgeons knife – perspective is a wonderful thing!