Posted by Srividya Ram
It was almost lunch time and there were still five people waiting in the queue…It was a hot afternoon and all were hoping that the lady in the post office(PO) counter will attend to all of us within her lunch time, which was just another 15 minutes away.
I have always seen the PO women to be very efficient and active…..very short and small built (typical of a middle class Indian women) with specs which is way too big for her small face. As far as I have witnessed during my monthly post office visits, I found that she is the most computer literate in the entire office….I have seen her handling the most busiest counter on all days and in parallel handling cash transactions and also helping her colleagues on their doubts. While on one side, I admire her as the most efficient women, I am also equally wary of her sudden bursts of anger. I have seen her snapping at customers in high voice, making statements like “I have only two hands!! Wait!!” Nevertheless, I still viewed her as the most efficient person and the most dedicated.
On that afternoon, I could see that all her colleagues in the other counters have already closed down their counters and started their lunch break. This lady is still counting money and looking into her terminal. A man rushed in and stood at the end of the queue…the lady sees it and screams “Sir, time aagithe (time over). You come tomorrow. I have five people in the queue already and I should go for lunch”. I was also surprised – given that it is still another 15 minutes, she has a likely possibility of servicing him also. But she was very determined . I felt that this lady is stressed out and is screaming at everyone.
She turns her focus and continues in the same voice to the next customer in line – a middle aged women in front of me – a very well dressed fashionable women at her fifties…the type you may see in those high class boutiques. The PO lady says – “madam..illi sign maadi!”. The customer seem to have understood the instruction and started signing on the document. The PO women jumps from her seat and with a total irritated mood says “madam, alli illa, sign her, madam!…on the dotted line”. The customer was embarrassed and told in a low voice “see, I do not have my reading glasses and I cannot see well”. Immediately, the PO women goes cool….”same problem for me also madam, I cannot see well if I take the glasses” and takes her specs and extends to the customer and said “no problem madam, use my specs”. While the customer hesitated, the PO women insisted it and again said “no problem madam, i can see well with these glasses, it will help you to see and sign correctly”. The customer was so thankful and accepted the offer and signed off.
I was amazed by the PO women and her social skills – I can never imagine this happening in any so called customer friendly foreign banks or even in other shop counters….in the same situation, they would have made the customer feel even more uncomfortable for not able to sign off…..
Kudos, Madam!….You are so very natural, true to yourself, efficient, screaming at issues and in the same whiff, helping the customer getting their work done. I am sure I am going to ignore her short outbursts and enjoy witnessing her social skills in my next visits!!