service standards, or the lack of it.


the other day i was out shopping and passed by cotton on ( i won’t say which outlet)… they were having a massive sale so i decided to pop in. the place was packed with kiasu singaporeans all wanting to grab the last sizes but i managed to find a couple of tops i wanted to try. i saw this purple floral vintage looking top in a size M, and i knew for sure it’d be too big… in hope of getting a small size, i decided to ask one of the sales girls if she could check for sizes, this is roughly how the conversation went…

me : i really love this top but its a size M, way too large for me. would you still have a size small somewhere by any chance?

(not without even batting a lid she said)

sales girl : oh, no more already! the sizes are all outside!

me : i know they’re all outside, what about the fitting rooms? perhaps someone tried and it hasn’t been returned to the shelf?

sales girl : oh, that i’m not sure. you want you can go and find.

me : right, thanks.

it’s not like she was busy scampering around helping other customers with their needs, she was just standing there refolding the clothes. that shows just how much their customers mean to them. i personally have a thing for service standards, having been train for half a year at The Ritz Carlton and working there for over 2 years, i definitely know what service means and i get really pissed when people who are employed to serve customers simply do not do their jobs! it’s blooody annoying!

well i then decided i would try the medium anyway, cos i could do the alterations myself since i loved the top so much.

while i was queuing for the fitting room, another sales girl walked pass with the same top in her hands, it was a size XS. PERFECT! i grabbed it off her hands, but i was getting more mad because now i had the size i needed, and yet the sales girl didn’t even bother checking for me.

if that’s not bad enough, when i got closer to my turn, i saw yet another of the same top hanging on the fitting room door. i thought to myself, if that is a size small, that sales girl is seriously screwed. and what do you know? that was the very fitting room i went into when it came to my turn and the top was a size small. WOW.

when i was done trying the pieces i picked out, i went straight to another sales girl and asked for the manager or in charge. trust me, i was FUMING. so i told her about what a help her staff was and that i was seriously disappointed. but all she had to say was, “oh cos we’re also having a sale now so most of them are busy and they are not supposed to leave their stations unless i give them permission to”

for god’s sake, don’t tell me about leaving stations, and don’t tell me about being busy, thus having no time to attend to a customer’s needs. i’ve been there and done all that and gained lots of merits to boot.

the conclusion?

the service standards in singapore are just not there. really, it’s sad! people who do not have the passion to serve should never join the service industry. be it f & b or retail. cause apart from being a total grouch at work, you’re just gonna upset all the customers who expect you to do what you’re actually paid to do.


otherwise, just sit yourself behind a desk and deal with boring paper work. cause if you ask me, the service industry is where the real fun is.

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