Image originally from Leisure Times.
Walk into a place and nobody even smile at you. Unless you know somebody. Walk into anywhere as a generic customer and people behind the counter just ignore you. I’m in Laugfs in a sarong, trying to get some razors. Nobody there and three people at the registers, but nobody even looks up. I need to open the case but the employees just continue their conversation, forcing me to interrupt. Looking peeved, guy unlocks the case and goes back to his chat. Same thing everywhere. Service staff either follows you around like a thief or ignores you like a leper.
Any grocery store is pretty bad. If you ask where something is they won’t know, or they’ll tell you it isn’t there (even if it is). If I walk into any store I have to know that a friend successfully bought X product here and insist on getting that product until the staff caves.
Mechanics are the fucking worst. I used to go to Mag City but they’re just horrible. They never listen and they always fix something else. Go to adjust the suspension and they drop something and break the windshield. Replace the windshield, but the damn rear view mirror falls off. Tell them to fix that. They wash the car and put the rear view in the glove compartment. Assholes. Talked to a guy there. Said they need to bring in like 20 lakhs total each month, 5 lakhs apiece. Something.
Other places with consistently bad service – any laundromat, any store in MC or Unity, any government office (ye Gods), etc. Kinda baffling cause Sri Lankans are naturally hospitable. If you’re a muckety muck or get a reference through a friend the experience is fantastic. Also, service at street places like Pilawoos, petty kades, etc is perfunctory and good. It’s like you put Sri Lankans in a building and they get surly and bored. The worst worst is all the clothing shops where people just follow you around and stare at you. Half of the country must be just standing around at any given time. Government parasites, security guards, parking attendants, tea boys, peons, etc.
But it’s really simple. I’ve worked in customer service since I was 14. If you just smile at somebody as they walk into the door that makes all the difference. And if you just transfer that hospitable instinct to work it’s above and beyond. I don’t get why most Sri Lankan stores can’t do it, but I guess they do pay fuck all. Meh.
PS. I had an older series of rants on shoddy customer service called Gadjits