At present, there are thousands of Trinidad and Tobago nationals seeking to apply for at least one of an estimated 2,000 vacancies within the Royal Caribbean cruise line. I wish them all the best, for quite apart from the expected long hours and occasional feelings of homesickness (and even sea-sickness), is the unique opportunity to connect and network with colleagues from different countries and cultures, as well as see the wide and wonderful world in a cost-effective manner.
Nevertheless, it is my fervent hope that, according to a very amusing post that I read on social media, that, they don't "bring their Subway or KFC attitude" with them. I had to chuckle, then, when the novelty of that suggestion wore off, I had to seriously ponder on its merits. My conclusion is that the author of that post, was generally accurate in highlighting a major business malaise that spans the spectrum of businesses in the country. How many of us have had less-than-savoury experiences when dealing with some frontline personnel such as receptionists, clerks and security guards in both the public and private service?
Truth be told, there are many who are quite appealing in their desire to be of professional help and service. On the flip side, there are those who should work behind the scenes and leave the one-on-one interaction to someone else. Why? They are rude, ill-tempered, ignorant of their responsibilities, arrogant when reminded of those responsibilities, crass, obscene and downright disgusting. As a matter of fact, some of them even behave as though the customer or other member of the public is meant to facilitate them, as opposed to the other way around!
They don't bother to greet you with the time of day, opting instead to look you in the eye and say absolutely nothing. Unless of course, they are feeling a bit more optimistic and inquire, "You need help?" or, one of my personal favourites, "You want something?" It makes one seriously ponder as to who has been training these employees, and also, to what extent has that training been sufficiently reinforced and instilled within them, even if it is not their second nature.
Don't get me wrong, when the customer service I receive is good (or even excellent), I am effusive with my praise (and, where circumstances permit, generous with my tip). Nevertheless, I wonder as to whether it is asking too much to expect such demeanour to be the prevailing norm, as opposed to the exception.
If our Caribbean region is to succeed in business beyond where we are at present, it is imperative that we have the corresponding attitude of human decency to fuel that objective. Even if it is only a mere smidgen of improvement.
Wouldn't you agree? After all, a little, truly goes a long way.
Keywords: LinkedIn Local Caribbean, customer service, attitude, business, culture