If there is a group of Employees that suffer silently, it is the Barmaids in our small watering holes.
The young and not-so-young women are truly between the deep sea and the hard-steep cliff.
When drunkards down one bottle too many they lose not only their oral breaks but throw decency and judgment through the window and what follows is uncontrolled urge to touch and whisper in the ears of the unfortunate maids.
Whereas some Maids seem to tolerate and even encourage such uncouth behaviour, others cannot stand it.
Woe to those that tell off drunkards because they are accused of lacking “Customer care” and it is the commonest and surest way for dismissal from the position of barmaid.
The other day one of our “members” emptied a couple of beer bottles and ended up grabbing and fondling one of the new and better looking of the barmaids.
The young woman did not take it lying down and told off the man who went straight to the owner of the bar and accused the young woman of “poor customer care”.
The owner was unhappy and accused the woman of trying to scare away her customers. If you do not change your behaviour in the shortest time possible you will be on your way out of here before you chase away my customers”.
My dearest Datiliva was not amused and confronted the bar owner.
She warned that Barmaids have human rights like any other person and she would not be watching as any of the women’s rights to dignity of person are trampled.
“If that man touches her again I will call the Police here and now.
The fact that a woman is a barmaid does not make her less human,” she warned. The Bar owner was not amused and warned my dearest to mind her business.
“This bar is mine and I sustain it through treating my customers well. She will go away if she does not want to treat my clients well.
Who will pay rent for me?” the bar owner asked at the top of her voice and rising from her seat behind the counter for emphasis.
It is at that time that one of the patrons said something about misunderstanding customer care. “Does customer care mean one thing to one person and different to others?” he asked.
Gatabazi, one of the patrons, said there is no definite definition for customer care. “No wonder in the whole Rwanda there was not any one individual or group of persons to carry out RDB’s customer care campaign, the millions of Francs involved notwithstanding.
What would you teach a nation of people with a culture dating centuries if not millennia of welcoming and courtesy to visitors and foreigners? ” he asked.
Mbarushimana whose penchant for arguments has often made him rub the wrong side of fellow patrons said that the campaign to teach Rwandans customer care is not called for; instead consumers should be encouraged to shun mediocrity.
“Does anyone need to be told to attend to people who have brought him money for a service? Do we need to be told that we are customers of someone somewhere?
If you offer lukewarm service in your restaurant chances are that you dislike the way nurses mind their hair or gossip at the clinic when your head is throbbing or when people at Rwanda Revenue Authority take all their time yet you have a deadline to beat.”
Ndayambaje who has not missed his daily dose of booze arrived and dived into the debate. He said that according to RDB, in the first phase of the pre-campaign customer care crusade 200 exhibitors were trained in the concluded 2009 Expo.
A customer hand book in Kinyarwanda has been launched so Rwandans should brace themselves for pampering in the new customer care blitz that is going to follow the publishing of the book.
Almost everyone laughed at the mention of the book with Gasatura wondering how many Rwandans read books and whether people who have the means to hire stands and who have the means to exhibit in the expo are the people who need training in customer care most.
“Who will teach our very leaders and bosses that there are internal customers, the very employees that drive the company or country forward?”
It becomes ridiculous when some “important” people in the country shout themselves hoarse about customer care when they should be behind bars for mistreating their employees.”
My dearest said she did not care who was trained in customer care and why they had to get it.
“If you people do not learn to respect people you employe not matter how lowly their jobs or how much they are paid I will not hesitate to pay the coin in purse to return the dignity these women have been denied.
If you touch, kiss or grab the behind or bust of a barmaid remember she is a mother, daughter, sister and/or wife,” she said with finality before ordering that we go home.