Customer Service in Jamaica

We all know that customer service in Jamaica basically sucks. Customer service reps (perhaps despite their best intentions) often do more to frustrate you than help you. They give you the rehearsed responses and never ever seem to actually want to help you when your problem cannot be addressed by something in their script.

Last week I went to the KFC on Old Hope Road for lunch. It is the closest lunch spot to my office so becomes the default lunch location when I just cannot be bothered or have a lot to do and want to get back from lunch as quickly as possible. I placed my order, paid and was waiting patiently to be served when I noticed that persons who had arrived after me had received their orders and left and I was basically the only person still waiting to be served. I was about to ask for a refund because I do not believe that I should have to make a query or a scene to get the food that I paid for especially since there are so many other restaurants nearby that I could go and spend my money. Just as I was about to approach the cashier, an employee who may have been a supervisor asked me if I was getting through to which I responded no. She took my receipt and inquired why my Zing combo was not yet ready. The person who apparently is the “Zing” person told her that it would not be ready for another 6 minutes and she was asked if she had told the customer that. It did not appear that she even answered. Long story short I changed my order and was served by the person who had inquired if I was getting through.

This whole customer service thing is really irksome because I had just spent some time in another country and on more than one occasion felt blown away by what was persons just doing their jobs, not going above and beyond, but thanks to Jamaica, that is how it felt.

My KFC experience comes on the heels of another situation where it appears that if I did not know an employee at the location I went then I would have had much difficulty exchanging an item that I was given incorrectly by another employee at another location of the same company many, many miles from the one I was now closest to.

If this was the case only when you went to other persons’ establishments it would not be so disheartening but it happens at my workplace and it makes me wonder how external people get on if this is how fellow employees are treated. There is too much personal and not enough professional. No courtesy or decency. Too much “I don’t like to…” not “I cannot because …. ” or “Let me see what I can do”.  Being courteous and decent (especially in a professional setting) has nothing to do with who the other person is and whether you like them or not. I do not like everybody I work with, in fact there is at least one person I wish would not engage me in  conversations that do not relate to the job but if that person or any other person had a problem and it was my job to fix or at least try to, I would because it is my job and has nothing to do with how I feel about a person generally. This goes to outside the workplace as well, if I can help I would.

Jamaica’s economy is in the pits, crime is out of whack and we like to say that Jamaica is just awful. If Jamaica were to have remained uninhabited and it was just the rocks and the trees and the rivers we would not have these conversations. Jamaica is its people so if we are going to be crass, vulgar and unfeeling then that how the country is going to be (read: is), so instead of sitting down and doing nothing – be the change you wish to see.

(Note that some people will be more than okay with crass and vulgar but they are in the minority so do not let them win.)





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