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08 May, 2006

Flow of conversation

"Good afternoon sir, how are you today?"

Hotel staff in Dubai are known for their excellent service and friendly manner. Generally, it's all fine and good.

Except in the above instance, when the guest in question was standing at a urinal in mid-flow.



Blogger BarfUser said...

Sure, but in the Philippines, more than once, bathroom attendants sought to give me a shoulder massage.

For some reason, I found it challenging to continue to concentrate on what I was doing....

08 May, 2006 07:26  
Blogger samuraisam said...

I'd be alarmed if that happened to me.

08 May, 2006 07:51  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

I HATE the way they interpret customer service here. They seem to think it means they have to hassle you every five seconds.

For instance, when at the breakfast buffet, my hand will be an inch from the cornflakes dispenser when some dickhead will fun up and say:

"Cornflakes, sir?"

And I will reply:

"I know they're cornflakes you stupid fuckwit!!! I was trying to get some to eat before you intervened with your inane commentary on everything I am doing!! Now, fuck off!!!"

And then there's the people who want to stop you doing something or going somewhere, who come up and say:

"Can I help you, sir?"

And I reply:

"No you fucking can't! Do I look as though I need help??!! I'm trying to walk into your pool area, and I seemed to be doing rather well, using my own legs and everything, until you came and asked the most stupid fucking question I've ever been asked!! If you want to stop me going there, then tell me I can't go there, but DO NOT fucking stop and ask me if I want help when all you are doing is getting in my fucking way. No fuck off!!"

Sorry. It's a sensitive subject.

08 May, 2006 08:36  
Blogger unJane said...

Haha - I'm with you, TN, but I rarely have to balls to speak my mind so succinctly!
Of course, if I'm feeling PC I do feel sorry for those guys and wish I could strangle the training manager.

08 May, 2006 08:42  
Blogger terranova said...

anyobody notice how overstaffed the electronics section at Carrefour is. I can barely step in there before somebody with barely any knowledge about TV's except for the screen size jumps on me..

me: "so is this TV HDMI ready?"
salesman: "yes sir, this is 29 inch model. made in japan"

08 May, 2006 09:10  
Blogger Lehihamra said...

The new(ish) Noodle House in Deira City Centre suffers from this. The food is good, and it is near MacGrudys so the idea of a pleasant hour eating yummy Chinese food reading a good new book is really appealing. However, this is hampered by the seeming 10:1 waiter/customer ratio and the fact that they cannot leave you in peace for more than 2 minutes without coming up and refilling the 2 mm of water you just drank, or rearranging the pots and bottles on the table that you had put within easy reach or enquiring about the quality of the food!

Maybe I should adopt the Tim Newman style:

"How is your meal, sir?"

"Hmmm...It tastes a bit like old socks."

Mind you, this would probably just get a "very good" followed by a 30 second break before the next interruption. I know these places are overstaffed and I know the poor sods are probably bored out of their minds and "helping" the customers stops them from going insane with the tedium of it all, but still.

08 May, 2006 09:52  
Blogger grapeshisha said...

At least they didn't say: "Can I help you, Sir?" or "How's it hanging?"

08 May, 2006 10:54  
Blogger archer14 said...

"Good afternoon sir, how are you today?"
Haha - I'm with you, TN, but I rarely have to balls to speak my mind....
@ unJane, WOW!
ROFLMAO! There couldn't be a better answer than that when you're taking a leak. Bang on!

A better response would be...I'm suffering from Parkinsons...oops sorry to splash you like that. oops..oh dear....

08 May, 2006 11:50  
Blogger hannibal said...

contrast that level of 'customer service' to that of some banks.

after trying to settle my credit card o/s through auto payment, the system refuses and i'm transfered to a Customer service assistant.

me: hello, i've been trying to settle my credit card o/s from my current account, but the transaction is'nt going through.

customer service ass-itant (although the -itant is redundant)
sir do you have enough credit in your account?

me : of course i do, i can pay my o/s 10 times over.

CSA : sorry sir, you'll only be able to pay x amount, if you're account has sufficient funds

me : I know that, and i have sufficent funds...

CSA : then press '3' to pay sir.

me : i did that and it refuses ( losing my temper now)

CSA : thats probably because of insufficent funds sir.

me : ..err... i've just told you that i have...

csa : can i help you with anything else sir?

me : #$&*@#$*%$

08 May, 2006 12:07  
Blogger Lou said...

Hey, at least you get some service.

UK + service = a big fat no no.

On a good day, you're lucky if you get a grunt!

I know which i'd rather :)

08 May, 2006 12:08  
Blogger al-republican said...

Customer Service is always irritating. Even in the US it got irritating with how FAKE these cashier girls et al were!

Here is a good story inline with "flow of conversation":

My neighbor in Indiana (a white dude) once decided to break theice between us and indulge in some chit-chat. This was after 9/11 so while talking to me he goes:

Neighbor: So... are you, like, a Mozlem or an Izlamic?? (And he was trying to look very smart about it.)

Me: ummmm... what's the difference?

Neighbor: So, like, Mozlems are like the good people and Izlamics are the terrorists :D

That statement put a lid on my "flow of conversation".

08 May, 2006 14:18  
Blogger dubaibaggie said...

Just be grateful he didn't want to shake hands.

08 May, 2006 14:44  
Blogger sh kamal said...

In dubaiii, we have this best service and excellent award scheme…the person must have had his sight on this for sure.

Yaani…. We have to be the best

08 May, 2006 15:40  
Blogger za said...

Try going to Chilies at Burjuman u sit down and the waiter there gives u long speech on how they are different from other Chilies and then apologies for giving u the speech. It sound like as if she is reading something from a book.

08 May, 2006 15:56  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Neighbor: So, like, Mozlems are like the good people and Izlamics are the terrorists :D

I suppose it's something at least that he made a distinction. At least there is awareness among some Americans that there are "normal" muslims out there.

08 May, 2006 16:44  
Blogger SIN said...

I am not a racist, and I hate even thinking it, but I have the worst customer service issues with people from the Philippines. Here’s a regular conversation:

Me: Hello, I need to complain about a product I bought from your company.
Philly: Hello ma’am…how can I help you ma’am.
Me: My name is SIN and I purchased a phone from your company last week and it’s stopped working. I need to return it.
Philly: Yes ma’am, of course ma’am.
Me: Do you understand what I am saying?
Philly: Yes, Yes.
Me: What did I say?
Philly: (long pause) I don’t know ma’am

Or here’s another one:

Me: Hi, could you tell me what’s vegetarian on the menu?
Philly: Ma’am, noooo…we have Chicken, beef, pork —
Me: No…vegetarian.
Philly: Ma’am here…lamb, chicken –
Philly: We have Chicken and vegetable salad…
Me: For God’s sake! Vegetarian means no meat, chicken, beef or fish. Do you understand what I mean?
Philly: Yes, Yes
Me: What did I say?
Philly: (long pause, laughs and calls someone else with whom I can start the process all over again)

08 May, 2006 17:04  
Blogger dubaiproperties said...

"Hotel staff in Dubai are known for their excellent service and friendly manner. Generally, it's all fine and good."

Perhaps this statement doesnt apply to DOUBLE DECKER at the MUROOJ ROTANA - a hotel in Dubai -where they are also known to be RACIST.

I was stopped entry to the Double Decker last week by the security at the door and told to be with a couple. That is all fine as I understand that is standard practice - and since i was with a few female freinds anyways - i decided to wait outside till they arrive.

However, while I waited I saw at least 15 single white guys go in.

But if that wasnt racist enough - the guy also refused me entry when my female freinds arrived and I went with them - saying "I allow whoever I chose to let in".

Interestingly enough they call themselves the greatest hotel group in the world! I have since discussed this with other people and found that the same place is quite known to be racist.

08 May, 2006 18:22  
Blogger Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Well, rude waitors sound appealing now. lol

08 May, 2006 19:09  
Blogger samuraisam said...

seems like there are two ends to the spectrum- too much customer service, or too little, no middle ground.

lol @ tim newman

08 May, 2006 19:55  
Blogger aussie70 said...

Stop complaining !! and as Karl Pilkington says " GET ON WITH IT " that is the problem with the expats here especially the trailer park trash (and they are alot of them here ) so what if the hotel staff asked you if you needed any help while taking a slash. you probably looked gay and he was interested !!!

09 May, 2006 00:28  
Blogger LazyOwl said...

Way to go Mr. Tim Newman.You are a true gentelman.

Those poor fuckwits deserve it.

Keep up the good work,Sir!

And "SIN" I do belive you have a dictionary.Pls. check the definition of "Racism".

No offence!

09 May, 2006 02:24  
Blogger SIN said...

Yessirr Lazyowl! :)

09 May, 2006 09:17  
Blogger (((dXb))) said...

Hi SIN! I'm from the Philippines... sorry I don't understand what you are saying. =)

Many Filipinos in Dubai do not have perfect English (or have very poor English). I do encounter problems with CS guys because of communication gap... accross all kinds of nationalities. Even with some Filipino CS guys I would say, but not with communication, cause I could switch to Tagalog, but with their attitude.

Anyway, do you always ask people during conversations if they understand what you say?

09 May, 2006 09:32  
Blogger One Nine Seven One said...

Sometimes basic politeness can be annoying, when it serves no purpose but I always try to be polite back.

Whenever I hear people (especially expats) behaving like Mr Newman.. i tend to feel sick to my stomach and trust me, trust me, if i ever heared anyone spill of their tongue that level of expletives and rudeness to a staff member just doing his job, I will be sure to give it back to that person double, cause I know they will never behave like that back in their home country.

09 May, 2006 10:13  
Blogger archer14 said...

What I don't understand is this big fuss about too much customer service? Yes, a waiter asked you more times than he should have, but wouldn't it be far easier to simply smile and explain that you will call him if you need more help? I can understand bad customer service, but again, your anger mustn't be pointed at these low paid workers. Blame their management for hiring them and not giving them the perfunctory orientation, especially when the customers here are so diverse.

All they are looking for is a tip, and if you are white, there's always a 50% more chance of them receiving something more than their 3 figure salary.

09 May, 2006 10:22  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Whenever I hear people (especially expats) behaving like Mr Newman.. i tend to feel sick to my stomach ... I know they will never behave like that back in their home country.

Of course! In Manchester, we doffed our bowler hats to each other as we passed on the street, and if we were to get a trifle annoyed with our fellow countryman, we'd say:

"I say, sir, do you mind awfully? That is a very cavalier attitude to have, likened to playing cricket without covering ones shins, eh what? Especially as there are ladies present, you cad, you. Now, have at thee sir, you blaggard, sir!"

Usually a few cuffs on the side of the head in accordance with the Marquess of Queensbury rules was enough to send a ruffian on his way.

09 May, 2006 13:24  
Blogger One Nine Seven One said...

Oh well that explains it. You scouser hating motherfcukers have no culture anyway and abusing the local paki cornershop owner who only asked if you wanted any help, is all part of days work for you...

...before you find your next mistress, knock a brick over her head and drag her home by the hair to make ten more babies who will only grow up to achieve nothing but a weekly welfare cheque. Ahh yes, Manchester..what a fun place to come from.

just playin ;-)

09 May, 2006 15:12  
Blogger Your Man in Dubai said...

sd think you might like this site

Shelley The Republican

09 May, 2006 15:21  
Blogger SIN said...

Hey (((Dxb)))...
Actually, i only ask do you understand what i mean when i see that the expression is one that seems patronising or puzzled rather than comprehending.

If it's a phone conversation, and if i feel that i may have not been clear enough or there could have been a cultural or language barrier that may have confused matters, i prefer to check - especially when it concerns things like phone banking or ordering food, etc. It is certainly not asked in a condecending manner - rather to clarify, which saves us both grief if either one of us hasn't been clear enough.

I sincerely apologize if i hurt or upset yours or anyone else's sentiments here - i honestly don't mean or want to...

09 May, 2006 15:22  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Hey, you've been to Manchester?!!That's a pretty accurate assessment!

But why do you say we hate scousers like it's a bad thing?

09 May, 2006 15:24  
Blogger SIN said...

On a slightly different note (and sorry to hijack the post here SD) but another glaring example of women and the laws of this country... Read page 2 of Emirates Toady:
A 16-year-old gets raped when a fellow poses as a cop and asks for her help to nab a drug dealer. He gets imprisoned for 5 years for the rape and posing as a cop... optimistically assuming here that the 3 years are for the rape and two for falsely posing as a cop.
But then the last line of the story takes the cake: “The man was also further sentenced to a month in jail and deportation for the consumption of alcohol.”
So he gets deported for drinking but not for brutally attacking, threatening to kill, ruining, and psychologically traumatizing this poor 16 year old — who will probably carry the memory of this one incident for the rest of her life!

09 May, 2006 15:34  
Blogger (((dXb))) said...

Ei sin, no worries... no apologies needed. I didn't think you were generalising, rather, just being specific. I did put a smiley...

Thanks for replying to my question... that clears things up.

09 May, 2006 15:45  
Blogger Minkey Chief said...

Hmmm... now would I rather be in jail for five years, or would I rather be deported? Okay, so I would go through the airport in handcuffs (probably a good thing - no impulse purchases in Duty Free) but finally I'm being sent home.

09 May, 2006 21:46  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Your man in Dubai - wasn't that the site that was outed on Popbitch as a hoax recently? It had some ludicrous thing on Linux being evil and anti-American.

09 May, 2006 21:59  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

barfuser, what sort of establishment were you in?

My friends call me Snow White. Because I drifted.

09 May, 2006 22:19  
Blogger Your Man in Dubai said...

if you read the "meaning & purpose" section at the bottom it tells you what it is all about.

10 May, 2006 08:25  
Blogger BarfUser said...

Dr. Chilton: Respectable, sir, respectable!

Well... MOSTLY respectable.

Ummmm... Okay, not respectable at all. But not THAT way.

13 May, 2006 06:19  
Blogger kingfisher said...

at least he didn't ask you if he could help!

17 May, 2006 09:28  

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