Sunday, 10 June 2007

You pay me ----> I respect u..

Oh guess what? It seems that when you pay someone money, he has got to respect you. While living 23 years in Jordan, I always thought its the total opposite.

By entering a restaurant in Tokyo, I feel like a king entering my kingdom because of all the respect I get. The waiters never stop saying thank you, thank you very much all the time. After eating dinner at a restaurant, finishing at about 12:00am, I couldnt believe how much respect we had from the waiter. I would totally accept to have the worst food quality in a change for such respect, but guess what? the food was extremely perfect! I may have been shot with a shotgun if I entered a restaurant after 11pm in Amman and I complained about the low quality of food.

One time, I asked the Egyption worker to change the falafel for a hotter one. I believe his reaction would have been more respectful if I told him that I killed his father. And that all happened while the owner of the restaurant was looking at us. For seconds, I thought its me who doesnt deserve respect. But after seeing the same reaction from him to another 3 or 4 customers, I figured the policy in such resturants.

In 23 years, I thought when you pay someone, that means you need them. So that gives them the right to be rude, disrespectful and take advantage of you. Just like when taxi drivers dont accept to take you where you want. You pay them, so you have to respect them. Just like when you ask the bus control for the change. You pay him, you HAVE to respect him. The same goes shawerma workers, you pay them, so dont you dare to ask for more pickles in your sandwitch. Well ofcourse, you have to thank them because they are letting you pay them :)

Oh.. It turned out I was wrong. The truth is, when you pay someone, he HAS to respect you, because you are the source of his income. You are the reason why he lives and your are his way to provide for his kids and family. In Tokyo, you get respect in resturants, streets, trains, university, shops, and everywhere you interact with another human being.

So, attention Jordanians, its You pay me ---> I respect you. Not the other way around :)


Summer said...

Very well said!
the concept of good customer service is unheard of in most of the middle east and europe...although sometimes depends on where you go! but very true about what you said how things go by in Jordan regarding treating customers.

Anonymous said...

I second summer..very well said.

Once I was in Amman..We felt hungry so decided to have Italian food…it was about 10:45 pm…the restaurant was so fancy…but the waiter was about to kill us.

Samer said...

K-s once said it best (paraphrased): "if Arabs are very well known for their hospitality, then why is customer service so bad?"..

If it's not for kindness or hospitality's sake, shop keepers and clerks need to be taught a thing or two about capitalism.

Kanji_chan said...

mattaku hontou ni,the concept of quality service is still not well grapsed here! But yea again still depends on where you go. Some places here are truely good regarding customer service...but they are not THAT much to generalize and say Jordan has a "good customer service" .. :(
Mentality of most people here needs to be changed! i wonder how many generations would this take.Maybe we should send those people to Japan to learn how to be good citizens lol

SimSim said...

my brother once had a fight with a guy in kfc and talked to the manager about it .... yes they r rude

nyallak :D

Dar said...

Agree ! u had a good pint there , but do u know it is not they wana be rude its a cultural behaviour , u find it 3end all taxi drivers and passengers !!!!


Anonymous said...

in japan, on the price board of Macdonald's, there is a price for a "smile". it's really written, "Smile ¥0".
yes, sales clerks, they are very friendly, because we are customer.
But, if i meet them on the street and ask them a help, they might be very cold, because I am just a stranger for them.
it is nice in Jordan, people had never ignored me, when i ask them something on the street. sometimes, they invited me for tea!
Aad i think it is nice in Jordan, you respect hajji and hajja, without any reason.
and also it was nice that i had never stood in the bus, you gave me always a seat.
…itoito desune.


Kanji_chan said...

LOL very nice! well maybe in Jordan u might even need to PAY people to make them smile! :D
demo mochiron,dokoni mo,ii hito mo warui hito mo imasu!;)

subzero said...

This is very true. K-s im sad to tell you that only happened to you because you are a tourist.

But what I noticed in Japanese restaurants, they treat customers like this despite the nationality or the looks.

kanji-chan, Am I supposed to pay triple the price so I can get a good customer service? without knowing the restaurants you talk about, im sure they r that expensive.

Samer san, thats for sharing the quote. very very true and a question needs to be answered!

Summer san, true. Totally agree.

Gardenia san, maybe that happened coz u didnt show the waiter the 100$ bill. How sad!

Kanji_chan said...

Ofcourse they are. I didnt say they are not expensive. Unfortunately this is the way it works here :( u pay for the simplest rights that u deserve!

Kanji_chan said...

...and i guess u mis-understood my previous comment!(o_O) It was supposed to be like : "i agree on wut u said".plz read it again.

ukyou said...

I love many things about customer service in Jordan and in Japan.

In jordan you get "ziyaddet Il bayya3" for example and in Japan you get good customer and after sale service. The thing is i feel both cultures have their perks and challenges.

Japan has had a VERY VERY long merchant history and the concept of customer service is rooted in Japan's past. I think the current trend of not so good customer service in Jordan is due to a relatively short exposure to the dynamics of marketing on a large scale. When things were on a smaller scale, you had the nice Hajji at the counter and cool stuff like that. Give it time. merchants will get the need to provide good service even on a large scale.
The need for good customer service is starting to appear on the market.

The customer also has to demand this right. If you feel someplace is not so customer friendly then we can excersie the right to not go there again :D you have the POWER

I think lots of new buisnesses, especially with young talented people are doing something to do right with the customer, so i hope for the best in Jordan.

subzero said...

Kanji chan I understood what you mean. My sentence above was agreeing with you in an indirect way :)

Samer said...

Sanad-san, excuse me but I think you're being unfair towards Jordan. We all know there's an attitude-slash-mentality problem in the country and it doesn't need a visit to Japan or any western country to figure out what's wrong. But I'm afraid with this attitude your dislike will only grow and God knows how you'll feel about Jordan when you return. But, why don't we look at the real problem and solve it starting with ourselves? do we smile and greet while walking or driving, for example?!

I think it's a mistake to generalize like that, there are many good shops and restaurants in Jordan, and as Ukyou said, you can give them feedback by choosing where to go or not to go. But saying that they're only kind to tourists or foreigners.. there's truth in that, but refering to K-s's example, I almost never saw a lady enter a bus without someone giving her his seat, whether she's a local or a foreigner.

I also think your analysis about the reason isn't correct. bad service and treatment is price-agnostic; I've seen bad treatment in junk food restaurants AND in fancy pricey restaurants.

Also, as you said in Japan or any other country, you are treated kindly because you're gonna pay, not because they like you or think you're a fine person. I think that this is a good thing of-course, but as K-s said, would you expect the same kindness from the waiter if you meet him on the street? From what I know and heard of Tokyo pedestrians, I'm of the impression that he will not be as kind. Whilst in Jordan, if you find that 'good' shop, you will be given geniune smiles and might even socialize and become friends.

Now, I'm not saying this doesn't happen in Japan. That would be committing the same crime ;)

Let's not generalize and lets acknowledge both the good and the bad of both countries and cultures. 'Japan yay, Jordan bah' is quickly becoming an underlying theme in your writings.

subzero said...

Samer san thanx for ur comment, but I have to disagree.

I tried to be on the safe side by saying high price restaurants provide high quality service. But since u r saying that even those provide bad treatment, then that proves nothing but how corrupted the service system in Jordan.
Unelss you know some cheap restaurants yet have the best customer care service, in this case, they are very few and I living there for 23 years sill didnt find them :)

Samer san, yes Japanese are nice because Im gonna pay I agree. But please look at the title of this post. YOU PAY ME ---> I RESPECT YOU. I am not talking about how people should be nice in the streets. I am talking about how even when you are paying someone, they are not nice at all and lack the customer service they should have. I mentioned the examples of restaurants and public transportation.

And yes K-s was treated like this because she was a foreigner. Simply, I never had a car in Jordan and also for 15 years I used the public transportation system. I can tell you the days in which the driver of the bus or the control had a smile are very very few. Most of the time fighting with other drivers and saying the least appropriate words. And dont you dare, you customer, to be slow while going on or off the bus. Plus, dont forget that someone has to give up his place to the lady only because the driver and the control broke the law by carrying more than the load allowed!!!!! (talking about 22-person buses here).

Finally if Im being unfair to anyone its the people in Jordan not Jordan itself, I am a Jordanian and I love Jordan and Ill always be fair to the country.

Samer said...

hmmmm, it seems that we don't go to the same places.. maybe you should come with me for a drive ;)

I also wonder what's the difference between 'unfair to the people in Jordan' and 'unfair to Jordan'. Isn't a country made of land, people and government? Take one out and you won't have a country.

subzero said...

Samer san, I would be honored :)

Exactly, land, people and government. Im only criticizing the people. I am sure, even with the no source of income Jordan has, if you put the Japanese people to live there, they will find a way to make it very rich..

Samer said...

Don't you think its too simplistic to say that replacing Jordanians with Japanese will solve the problem?

You're throwing away countless differences such as political, social, economic, geographic and historical factors..

Japan is a very old country compared to Jordan, and it went through A LOT of dark periods to become what it has become now.. from a closed border feudal system to imperialism to tragic defeat in world war 2.

Even so, Jordan (and by Jordan I mean it's people too) has many things that Japan doesn't and I think it is quite sad if we can't see this and if the only things we miss in Jordan are good weather, food and friends..


ukyou said...

Samer san's view point is interesting.

When looking at a certain situautin, the context of which that situation occured is sometimes more important than the situation itself.

Understanding the context (causes) will help to objectively analyize the situation at hand.

The ultimate goal here is to exercise constructive thinking and find new insights on how to improve ourselves. This is what I hope to bring back from my experience here.

The Japanese experience is an excellent experience to study and so is the Jordanian one in my opinion.

Khaireddin said...

Actully you can find this kind of respect in jordan just when you visit a resturant that will cost you more than 15 JD for one person meal, like hotels or fancy frensh/italian resturants...but DAAHH 15 jd for the meal !

Kanji_chan said...

ukyou sensei,sameru san,subzero san,

Well its an obvious fact that Japan is much ahead of Jordan in many fields. Yet,ukyou sensei has mentioned an important point about the differences in the factors and situations that affected both countries(thus affecting people).

Now if we want to make the comparison fair,we need to remember the natural limitations Jordan has and take them into consideration.
You might think i drifted away from our main subject,but i am sure that natural resources affect every aspect of life in any society in a way or another.

subzero san had a point regrading that in Japan,no matter how simple was the place you go to,u can "always" get respect and faces smiling infront of you.While here,its "not always" the case in those simple places.Sometimes good and most times really bad.(maybe depends wheather if u go often to that place or not!)

even with the given limitations, the change is there. There is a change process going on in Jordan towards the better.It's obvious,and i'm glad i can see it.

Sami said...


sure yes , He HAS to

The Professor taught us wondered why they treat customers like this in Jordan

I think he should blame himself for coming to Jordan :)

In Jordan , "Ka2ennak moo dafe3 belmarra , bey7amlook jamayel la youm eljamayel 3a eshi esmoh "SERVICE" :S "

Come on !!!!!!!!!!!!!