I have just returned from dinner at the newly opened, Happy Days Diner located in USJ, Taipan. The entrance at the restaurant is impressive with a RM 70K classic car hanging in mid-air giving it an aura of the old Fonzie days. Food served here is typically American with sections of entrees, pastas, burgers etc. Portioning of food is NOT fantastic as price clearly does not commensurate value. Chips as an accompaniment is plentiful, to enhance the space of the over sized serving plates. The service was kind of IRRITATING as the staff was eagerly trying hard to impress. Every twenty seconds or so, I was constantly being harassed with, "Sir, can I take your orders?" I was not even given a chance to look at the offerings and had to practically tell them, to LEAVE ME ALONE to call them when I was ready.
When I was working part time, to support my expenses as a student abroad, I was taught to always check with my customers, to ensure that their dining experience was PLEASANT. I have always had a passion with food and beverage hospitality. I never dreamt that I was going to be a doctor like how every parent would envision their children to be when they grew up. While abroad, I have tried my hands grilling burger patties, waiting on tables in Oriental restaurants and also as a petrol pump attendant. Unlike here in Malaysia, TIPPING is almost mandatory in restaurants where I was studying overseas. Those days, I had to constantly go, "I hope everything is pleasant, please call me if I can do anything better"; that is said to the diners every fifteen minutes or so, by me deliberately 'walking pass' their tables. The reason is; I am inadvertently reminding them to leave me a tip. During their dining experience, if they did not call me at anytime means that all has been well. If all is well, LEAVE ME A TIP. Tips accumulated in a four day work week is able to feed me my meals and also pay my bus fares to college and around town. I always ensured tip-topped service.
When tipping is 'mandatory', it certainly does not mean a right to bad service? How about services that do not require tipping? My twitter account www.twitter.com/9w2wil was 'spammed' by twits of Nuffnang's Timothy Tiah yesterday. He purchased a ticket on Firefly for Penang to depart at 11.40am. In today's Star, Firefly apologised 'nationwide' for their delay yesterday attributing it to one of their aircraft's being temporarily out of service. And because of that, it caused a domino effect on all scheduled flights, resulting in multiple delays. The flight to Penang finally departed at 7.40pm. After eight hours, for crying out loud! If Timothy had driven, he would have arrived Penang, made a turn-around and could also be back in Kuala Lumpur in that time. Operating a BUDGET airline like Firefly, does that mean a right to 'COMPROMISED' service because as the maxim goes, 'You pay peanuts, you get monkeys'?
Gone are those days when you would see individuals saying grace before their meals. I still do till today. I still thank 'My Father' for providing food on the table for me and asking for HIS blessings for the nourishment of my body. But these days, there is another NEW 'religion' that has emerged. A 'religion' where they actually SWEEP their cameras out and start snapping pictures of their food before partaking them. This 'religion' is called the 'VIRAL EFFECTS' of the social media. I seriously took pity on Firefly yesterday. The worst thing that can happen to any bad service providers these days, is when a dissatisfied customer takes a mobile phone and 'social media out' the news fast about their experience. Once that is out, service providers have no choice but to learn their lessons hard. It takes a long while to rebuild a customer's EMOTIONAL BONDING all over again. With Timothy's, #fu*kfirefly on Twitter yesterday, I could only think that Firefly has further reinforced the branding of Air Asia.
'DON'T PLAY-PLAY' with the power of the Social Media. And to the 'TEH TARIK GROUP'; please get real and understand, in order to be effective and competitive globally, we must be able to stand tall and accept all sorts of criticisms, be they good or bad. Our infamous, NAMEWEE is at it again. The previous time, I could not agree with his 'Negarakuku' controversy as I am a proud Malaysian. However this time, I am in full agreement with his latest CURSINGS on TNB. Why should we be sympathetic with bad service providers? This is a REAL world. Consumers expects nothing less than the best for what we pay for. So, Mr. Exco Member, 'Rise Yet Steam', don't overreact by saying that the 'Teh Tarik Group' would examine NameWee's doing of poking fun at TNB. 'PUNISHING' him would not change things when it came to TNB's bad services.
"DON'T BE SO EMO-LAH!"