So I went to the hairdresser-place-thingy on Saturday, and they were too busy. Fair enough. Made an appointment for Sunday, 12 o’clock, nice little free slot in the middle of the day that I figured I could rope in some shopping around. Come Sunday, 12 o’clock, there I was and there was a single chair occupied. I was told that they were running a bit late, and if perhaps I could come back in 20 min to half an hour? Sure, why not.
Only it ended up being 1 o’clock before I got my haircut, and there was nary an apology in sight. I had to be the angry customer, which I always hate to be (because you know you look like an asshole), but 1 hour? That’s unAustralian, I tell you. And I got the blame-shift reply, because she “wasn’t the person who made the appointment, sorry.” Oh sure blame your fellow employee who isn’t there. If someone makes an appointment, they’d better make it in good faith, and a simple sorry doesn’t suffice for an hour’s lost time. These people annoy me.
Suffice to say, next time I’m up for a new barber/hairdresser/thingy.
Also, today, had to do something at the Indian Consulate, which is always going to be a marvellous experience. I know well enough that Indians rarely have the concept of customer service in their minds, but it was a bloody joke there. To start with, they only open from 9:00 to 12:30 for “accepting submissions” – given the number of people there, it’s fairly clear they need to adjust this, because in no way was the demand met. My theory goes that these people still want to live by the Indian standards for opening hours, but they’re forced to open an hour early.
The next thing was the absolutely straight-faced following of the bureaucratic process. There were people who needed to get their visas approved by Thursday because they were flying on Friday, but were told that “nothing could be done” to speed the process. There was this dull, unflinching look in the eyes of the people behind the counter that said “I do not humour people.” You know those forms that need you to fill things in just-so? These people needed you to talk to them like that. I have a sneaking suspicion that, those automated voice recognition systems that don’t recognise what you say unless it’s exactly in the tone it wants? THESE PEOPLE I TELL YOU. And then there was the people with “just a quick question” who didn’t wait for their number to appear, and invariably ended up taking 20 minutes to go through all permutations and combinations of the question. GET IN LINE, DIMWIT.
I saw more than 3 people leave in anger because the bloody stupid bureaucratic process had to be followed (extended because tomorrow and Wednesday are holidays in India – Independence Day – and the Australian consular staff also manage to get the day off. Sweet deal, getting both Indian and Australian holidays off eh?). This is not endearing these people to India, and that’s just the people who’re already set to go there. What happens when they tell their friends? More people not inclined to go through this process.
This wouldn’t annoy me half so much if it wasn’t for the people who decided they were going to have a conversation with the teller, and proceeded to do so loudly in Hindi, somehow assured they wouldn’t be understood by the general crowd, like they’d expect anywhere in Australia. Um. There’s a roomful of people waiting on this person to clear off, and 80% of them can understand they’re discussing where they grew up. If the unnecessary plasti-glass barrier wasn’t there, I’d slap ’em.
Probably why it is there, actually.