The Waiting Game.

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Government offices and their employees, mostly those working in the customer service departments, often bear the brunt of irate and impatient customers and are subjected to verbal abuse. They are almost always on the receiving end of a telephone call with a customer whose product never arrived.

Why do we subject these poor individuals to such horrific treatment? What have they ever done to us that they deserved this? While there are no direct answers to these questions, I only have a hypothesis or two to support this notion.

Perhaps, the company that they are working for have such a lackadaisical attitude towards quality products and timely services, that they don’t bother providing their customers with better-made items, efficient and effective services, and consistent follow-ups. I believe that once a product or service has left a company, the matter of what happens after that is left to the hands of the customers. So when someone receives a defect after having paid a hefty sum to acquire said item, that person will most certainly not be a happy-hopping bunny. He or she will want to get to the bottom of this matter as soon as possible. After all, the person did pay a lot for it and would like to get his or her money’s worth.

While I have had my share of terrible customer service, I will admit that there were times when I also received equally outstanding treatment from a customer service executive or an employee in the government sector.

Today bore proof that not everyone in the government sector is such a bitch.

I had three places to visit today, all three being government offices that handled our income taxes, postal delivery, and wireless internet connection for my home. At first, I thought I didn’t have an income tax file! Well, the kind-hearted and soft-spoken income tax department employee put my mind at ease and explained that I already have an income tax file when I bought my first home, and that she will stamp my documents as ‘URGENT!‘ so that the next person to handle the case will know that this matter should be settled as soon as possible. She did everything in a matter of minutes and voila, I was out the door sooner than expected. I was amazed. I thought I was going to have to wait a long time for my turn after taking a number. But I didn’t.

My next destination was the local post office near my residential condo. Parking was free, thank goodness for that, and the queues were… bearable. The lady wasn’t as smiley as the one at the income tax department but she was nice enough to explain certain terms and practices that I needed to do before she could post my parcels for me. Again, I left with a smile on my face. And again, I thought I was going to have to wait awhile for my turn after taking a number. But I didn’t.

The last stop on my to-do list was the telecommunications office for wireless connectivity and home telephone lines. For some reason, despite having moved out of my rented place almost a year ago, I was still receiving outstanding payments that kept reminding me to pay up or risk having the service terminated. So I decided to visit the office and put a stop to this madness. Turns out that the technician had already terminated the wireless connection but didn’t do the same for my old telephone line. So I had to submit a request to terminate it immediately so I don’t have to pay anymore fees. The executive at the counter processed my request and within minutes, I were out the door, pleased as punch. Pleased that I didn’t have to wait and wasn’t made to wait.

Time to go home and get a good rest. A good rest, I did get, followed by a simple meal for dinner and a nice cold shower to ease the stress of a productive day.

I hope everyone had a great day too!

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