People treat service here differently. Think about America, you Americans. Think about the fast food and shop workers. How do they treat their own work? How many times have we had sloppy food delivered to us haphazardly as fast as humanly possible, all in the name of “fastness” and “business acumen?”
Well, it’s not that way here. I have no idea if they actually have a different attitude about service, or if it’s so ingrained from the years of propriety and polite behavior that it has spilled over into everything else.
Here’s what I mean; whenever we go to a fast food place, be it Starbucks, McDonald’s, or Subway, they make everything just so. It’s not as fast as America because the workers are so meticulous. I mean meticulous in the way they squirt mayonnaise even. At McD’s, they take your order, and if you’re eating in, they set out a tray square to the counter, and set your napkin and receipt on it under a single packet of ketchup. When the food is ready, they set it carefully on the other side of the tray, put your drink in the corner, place your straw perpendicular to it, and then hand it to you with both hands. Perfect. It might seem like a lot of ceremony, but this sort of perfection of presentation is very nice. Oh, and if you are taking your food out, be prepared, because they will put your drink in a bag too. Huh.
We found a Pizza Hut the other day and nearly cried. Of course we had to eat there. We haven’t had real pizza in a month and a half. Withdrawal. Anyway, we went in, ordered, and waited for our food. While we were waiting, I watched them bring out the other orders. I thought it was hilarious and alarmingly amazing that they stacked the boxes so perfectly, wrapped them up on all four sides with ribbon, and tucked your napkins and sauce packets on the side. Gee whiz. Is pizza that special? They obviously think so.
This is the sort of behavior you’ll find everywhere. When you get food at a convenience store, they’ll give you a straw for every drink you buy, and will heat up any food that can be heated.
I’m sure I haven’t seen many of the types of polite service perfection that are here. But let me tell you, coming from a nation where service is, well, nonexistent, it’s really a nice change to come and be treated like a valued customer.
Like I said before though, I don’t know whether it stems from a genuine respect for all consumers or if it’s one more aspect of a more polite culture in general.