Lately I have been witnessing a barrage of inappropriate behaviors from people in the least expected circumstances. Th last instance just threw me of balance, I couldn’t fathom the depth in which the etiquette of people in modern times have fallen. One should not forget that your communication is the scorer in certain situations, like a sales pitch, a job application etc.
I recently was contacted by a person from ICICI bank. This guy portrayed himself to be a manager, and started the conversation telling me how his tele-caller has contacted me in March ( mind you he called me in September). Then he went on asking me about my family details, with questions like, Are you married? Where are you staying? Is your husband in the same city? etc etc. And in spite of me asking him to call me later as I was at work and in the middle of a task, he was going on and on. At last I had to raise my voice and ask what was the purpose of the call. He said he wanted to talk about some investment options (no surprise there). After wasting a good 10 minutes of my time he finally hung up. I thought this weird event was over, but I was so wrong. The very next day he started sending those annoying random texts ‘Good Morning’ ‘Have a nice day’ Good evening’ etc. I was furious. But these messages were no reason enough for me scold him, so I had to cool myself down. But then he went ahead and sent me message on Whatsapp ‘Nice display pic. Is that your husband?’ There, that was it. That was the button for me. When I called and scolded him for crossing the line and for being unprofessional, he gave me the lamest excuse in the text book ‘I just texted you as I had your number on my phone’. Like hell. So if you have the number of the state chief minister, don’t hesitate even a minute, just send all sort of random texts, its totally allowed!!! Although blocking him from whats-app wasn’t enough for me, and I wanted to report him to his officials, I didn’t do so as per my husband’s advice.
That guy never realized that because of his unprofessional approach towards his prospective client, he lost business. Me and my husband were looking out for investment opportunities, but after this episode ICICI is definitely out of the picture.
And this is not the only experience.
We went to Big Bazaar to buy our monthly supplies. I was looking for dark chocolate as I wanted to make a Chocolate cake. I went to the salesman standing at the confectionery counter and asked him where can I find dark chocolate. He first bent down checking his stall, then asked ‘What chocolate do you want Maam?’. I wonder what he was looking down there all this while. Anyways I told him ‘Dark chocolate’. He said ‘Ohh that’ (suddenly realising what I was talking about) and motioned me to follow him. I went behind him walking across more than three aisles, and that’s when he handed me a packet of ‘Bounty’ which basically is coconut stuffed chocolate.
My problem is not that he didn’t know, although not knowing the product he is selling is a question on his credibility, but I was more baffled by how he was making me walk around aimlessly with him, when he should be asking someone who had a clue about it. And when is super saw me asking him, saying he knew where dark chocolate is placed , he came up to us and made a scene of scolding the poor guy (here the fault isn’t of the salesman alone, if isn’t able to provide proper service or lacks product knowledge, he is just poorly trained! ). And then with pride he brought me to the aisle where all chocolates from Cadbury were displayed. Still no trace of Dark chocolate. I don’t know why he was scolding the salesman when he himself didn’t have a clue about what I was asking. I finally had to settle for Bournville, which was placed on a different aisle.
This makes me wonder if people even take their jobs seriously anymore. A sales guy with no clue about his product, a customer service guy with no normal etiquette whatsoever. Is this where we have come? Even if you look outside people now seem to have forgotten the basics of social etiquette.
I happen to work in a Special Economic Zone, the place is booming with big shot tech companies. The workforce is highly qualified and well educated. Yet one will come across a lot of bloopers. You will see people bumping into each other on doors, every one wants to get out first. Weren’t you taught some chivalry in school, on how you let a lady or an elderly out first? Weren’t you told that you should hold the swing door for the person just behind you, and not let door bang on his/her face? Haven’t you been told that you should park you vehicle in your parking spot properly so that adjacent spots are available for others to use? Every day I have complains about wrongly parked bikes, covering more space that what they should. I think the question here is ‘Do you really want someone to tell you all this?’ Its amazing how people are becoming more aware of the environment around then and of latest technologies but are losing touch with the very basic requirements. They know how to get a job, but not how to perform it with elan. They know how to flirt with a girl/guy but not how to respect another individual they meet. Unless its someone they know of, they aren’t bothered about social etiquette. They know all about latest gadgets but not how to hold the door for a lady. People jealous of the Men in uniform of how they always get the ladies. They fail to understand is, apart from the very brave jobs they have its their chivalry that makes them so desirable.
I just hope people go back a bit to the basics..Soon. This way of life is really weird. Its not about the branded shirt you put on or the expensive cologne you use or the amount of makeup you apply, it all boils down to how you conduct yourself. A company might hire you for your technological prowess, but how long do you think you can go, if you don’t know how to behave properly a business setting!