I desire to be always generous. There are times, however, when I fail terribly. Two recent concerns irritated me so much that I reverted to getting angry, complaining and wished I had done more to change the situation. The first is related to my non-acceptance of very unprofessional and bad services in shops, supermarkets or across counters where my “custom” is being sought and where I ought to be shown due courtesy and care.
Just before Christmas, I ordered an item online for an elderly person. The promised item never arrived on the day it was promised and upon my call I was told that they had problems with sourcing the item, though their webpage clearly stated that it was available and money had already been deducted from my account. Way into January I was still waiting for my refund after about five telephone calls and three emails, not to mention the rude staff persons I spoke with.
If online may seem like a risk, visiting a shop on the high street is no different. I have lost count of the number of times those selling are unable to help, push me out of the way to stack their shelves or get something for someone else and when I do manage to purchase something to plunk into my hands my change and receipts at the same time! I know that Britain is keen to get out of the Euro but before they do so it may be a good investment to get the Europeans to teach them something about quality service and customer care. Or managers of High Street stores should take a walk down one of our busy open markets to re-discover the art of selling, conversation and charming the customer or at least to remember that the “customer is king or queen”. For many this may seem like an old fashioned idea. Or perhaps this may be why many prefer to shop online, hoping it works well!!! In any case, I have now developed the oversensitive idea of graciously walking out of a shop or a conversation if basic courtesy is not extended to me or if the service is terrible.
Then there is the small matter of the roads where I live and in my driving around. I thought Guyana had the prize for the most potholes per square mile. But I think Britain has certainly edged out most developing countries with potholes large enough to do salmon farming or bury the living. And no one seems to be protesting about anything. I am certainly learning to get worked up by this nonsense of the English “stiff upper lip”. Such long suffering has passed biblical proportions and I am now coming to grips as to why there may be no proper Protestants in this country!
Then there are the wider conversations around that feed my irritations. I can think of the use of imageries such as “fiscal cliff”, “strivers and skivers”, and the view about considering the more urgent deficit in the land, that of empathy. It may be that the January 2013 issue of The New Scientist is on to something in reporting that how a well-known professor’s research suggests that human intelligence peaked 2000 years ago and has been on a downward slope ever since. The reason for the loss of our brain power may be because we are no longer able to use our wits as our hunter-gatherer ancestors did. Now, you would understand if I suggest that this seems a plausible deduction given my shopping experience and some of the nonsense we see parading as television programmes of substance.
It may not be the whole story, however, as the same magazine highlighted some of potential technological breakthrough in 2013. There is the immersive virtual reality where a programme or game will soon be able to sense one’s emotions/feelings. And how about gesture controlled mobile phones (so be very careful how you gesticulate your fingers!). And for all my eco-warrior friends imagine buildings that will soon harness electricity from the sun. But the one that got my attention is the new mathematical formula (too long and fancy to put here) that will help us to predict and pre-empt massive crises. I am trying to get my son who is into deep and higher mathematics to help me in predicting the timings of some of the upcoming crises in the Church. He is kind enough to work out by when I should start looking for a next job. Luckily it will be at the same time that the experts are able to predict when the next financial meltdown should be – in 2024. I am already looking forward to my pension, whatever is left of it and doing what I really should have done years ago – working/tilling the land!
© january 31, 2013