Monday, September 16, 2013
Customer service, capitalism, used car salesmen and lawyers.
The problem isn't that I have these newfound viewpoints of Australians, the problem is that I can state them so venomously.
Put in another context, I could probably turn them into a fairly good comedy routine. (And honestly, it's something I'm considering.)
C'mon. If you're really honest with yourselves, "fuck it," is a pretty good interpretation! How may of you REALLY believe "Jamaica, no problem!" MEANS no problem! Same thing, right?! Same thing, only most people don't appreciate laughing at themselves as much as they enjoy laughing at others.
"No worries, mates" is the general state of customer service here. It sucks. This is fine, it sucked in Germany too. But all in different ways. And, yes, I was raised in the most customer-service oriented country in the world. Capitalism is so misunderstood by socialists. It only works if you...well, work, quite frankly. And then you work for the customers, not because Americans inherently love their customers more than Australians do, but because we have been taught to do so. We learn it without knowing it but the fact behind it is that serving the customer brings in more money in the long run than telling them that they are wrong and worth shit (which is the German way) or chatting with them about their lovely family but then entirely ignoring the work you were supposed to be doing for them (the Queensland way.)
People here aren't going to work for you as hard as Americans, but they are going to be a hell of a lot nicer to you while they aren't doing what you ask than Americans are. It isn't that Americans aren't nice, they are often just too busy working to take the time to be nice. It isn't that Australians CAN'T work, they just haven't ever really had a need to. Life is really really good here. And it really doesn't usually matter that things aren't getting done on time, or properly, or at all really. And they are used to this - they really DON'T worry about it, mates, and no, you might not get what you asked for, or when you asked for it and most likely it won't work when you get it or will break down fairly quickly and need to be replaced, but damn, if they aren't nice to talk to all those times you are together not dealing with what you really should be dealing with. Americans are so darn busy getting it done, they miss a lot of good social time doing it right the first time. Of course, they don't have the social services Australians have to rely on when their business goes bust due to lack of a business plan, accounting skills, budgeting, short term planning, long term goals and customer service.
Oh shit. Am I saying that hardships exist in order for us to become better people? Friggin' evolutionist.
On closer reflection (oh no, REALLY?,you've thought MORE about this?!), people have more commonalities than differences.
I made a list of the people I have been having issues with. (Yes, I DO these things. Yes, I know this isn't normal.)
1. Used car salesmen.
2. Real estate agents.
4. Damon's old boss.
5. ONE school principal.
To make the list truly universal, I would have to add lawyers, but I've always gotten along with lawyers. I understand lawyers. My guess is lawyers dissect things as much as I do. And make lists. They try to solve a puzzle, they try to win an argument through reasoning, logical or otherwise. They try to win a game by playing with the rules. This is all infinitely cool to me: understand the ins and outs of the rules and then play with them to suit your own purpose. The rest of the world just misunderstands what being a lawyer is all about and expects justice and fairness to play into it.
The rest of the list is another comedy routine.
It beats being vituperative any day!