Friday, August 8

A Salam to Oblige

I usually go to HSB Fast Food on non-working days for breakfast after a flying visit to monkey prince. They have quite an arrangement for 2 wheeler parking and almost everyone goes by it.

There are security personnel outside (usually 2) which arbitrate vehicle parked our waiting for a while to make it easy for all. But there is this one guy who ticks me off. When I come to park my vehicle he behaves as if trying to help (holding the bike while I park it actually makes me uncomfortable).

And then a salam :). Now none if the other such people do that. I'd normally appreciate such an act , so I thought the first time.

But when I leave he moves the vehicles on both side of mine even though I can comfortably take my vehicle out. I even tell him please leave the vehicle and he still does it. Wish he left it at that. He would also hold the back (not-sturdy) of my vehicle as it pull it in reverse down the ramp. I've said time and again to just leave it and I can pull the vehicle out myself. He doesn't listen.

And then he comes stands upfront and puts another "salam" *uuugh*. I've observed many a time that such an act (in India at least) implies that he expects to be paid. I did feel obliged but I resisted it and moved on. He was a very able man who is employed and is doing such a thing.

Some of you might ask me - What are you gonna loose by giving the guy a couple of bucks. True, I probably wouldn't loose anything. But why should I pay for a service I didn't ask for and in fact didn't want? Coz the guy's idea was to make the person feel obliged for something he did!

Definitely smart, to offer an service not asked of and then to make the person feel obliged to pay something. Now thats NOT a value add. Nor do I like people who are servile.

And this is not just with this guy. I see a lot many people do such a thing.

On a counter e.g. Ammu, the little girl from whome I buy tender-coconut everyday its different. If she sees me coming at a distance she'd have the coconut chopped and ready to serve. Now that is a value add :). Everytime I go to her shop on the platform we greet each other with a nice smile (no salam or any servile behaviour) and we exchange a few words. Frankly if she'd ask me for an extra amount I would give it heartily. B she'd instead give me an extra tender-coconut and deny my paying for that and she said - just take it anna. I'd definitely gift her something someday because "I want to" (not coz I feel obliged) for all the value add, perks she has given me as a regular customer :). She sure is making profit and yet connecting with the customers, at least regular ones like me.

Yesterday I was so pleased to realize that she speaks tamil :). All this while out of habbituation I spoke with her in my crappy hindi although she spoke it pretty well. And she thought I was a northie #-o, ha ha. Now she knows I hail from the curd-rice clan :p.

I don't know if this Salam that people put to make other feels obliged only happens in India or south eastern countries. I've only seen em in movies at the hotel's entrance :p.



At Sunday, August 10, 2008 4:54:00 AM, Blogger Madhu said...

he he i have had such experiences too...its kind of irritating. Like u say there are both kinds. Worst part is when u dont acknowledge them they murmur obscenities before leaving. I guess u get used to this.
Think this happens mainly in India. Havent seen it in Singapore or even in Bangkok. Though Bangkok does have its share of tricksters.

At Sunday, August 10, 2008 7:56:00 PM, Blogger SamY said...

** its kind of irritating

egjactly! I've been fortunate as yet not to hear em murmur obscenities. I gt give that much to him.

Now am sorta getting used to it.


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