Wednesday, June 27, 2007

customer's care

Making some one cry is so easy; isnt it? On the other hand, to make people laugh isnt all that easy. At Toastmasters International, being one of the new members, I tried my hand at a couple of competetions & managed to scrape through the humorous speech & table topics. The latter one was my favourite, the reasons being a few like: u have to speak for only 3 minutes, the topic is given on the spot. The nervousness i had was my adrenaline. At the area level, i goofed up royally & was out of table topics. Still there was the "humorous" through which i managed to stay in the competetion.The task was daunting. I had to make people laugh. I used the same speech at club level & area level. My "humour" wouldnt sound funny a third time, i was warned. I could always take a hint...
My first speech was about me & my phenomenal absentmindedness. Getting people to laugh at oneself wasnt anyways too difficult.This was my lead and i decided to do it a third time. .I was competing at the division level.I needed a different topic. The different topic again was me, but me on a different day...

It was back in 94, when my career started, the way i didnt want it to start. How is it for a below average looking, skinny Indian male to be in the shoes of a guest relations officer? A position usually adorned by pretty young things with long legs & eye lashes. There was I, in the lobby, like a fly in the custard...& they treated me like one too..
I put on my best(?)big toothed grin & mumbled "gud morning sir" to everyone. Some looked backed and mumbled something. Some looked at me like I was a social disease. THe worst part was when someone looked back & didnt seem to notice me. Guys, the biggest male ego buster in the world is this: ie. when people ignore u completely; as if u dont exist at all...
When life was indeed miserable, my GM offered a breather one day: "Could u please relieve ur friend Jaison? He is on medical leave today" All I had to do was, be present in the restaurant during dinner. Any thing to get away from that lobby! I said yes.
I should have checked my horoscope before I said that...
I read this somewhere; "when everything is going on fine, those few moments are called "panic""
Walking through the busy restaurant, I didnt notice him first; that loner in the corner. But it took only a few seconds to realise that I had found my nemesis for the night. A 300 pounder with hands like sledgehammers, blood shot eyes, munching masala peanuts. He was drunk like a fish..
The steward's first concern was the bill, which I got signed from him, risking my life. But our guest soon gave us our next set of concerns.
When u r drunk, u may go thru strange feelings & illusions. For eg: u may feel that u r the most popular human being on earth & others r just dying to meet u. Our man was going thru atleast 1 such illusion. He started to visit all the privileged guests we had for the night; shaking hands with everyone. He was also generous to offer some masala peanuts to a few women!
Illusion number 2:U r world's best dancer. He went up to the live band & "performed" Our guests werent really amused by his talent.
Hallucination number 3 got every steward running. Our man was overflowing with love all of a sudden & promptly started a hugging/kissing session with all stewards. This time one of the stewards came forward & told me that it was my call & I had to do something about it. "Please stop him, sir" What did he want me to do? Go stand in front of that drunk walrus & get steamrolled?
And then it happened. He spotted me. I was standing behind one steward who was bigger than me.It didnt work. The next thing i knew was that I was in a bear hug & "splotch"...he landed a big wet kiss on my cheek...I heard the muffled laughter from the stewards standing behind me.
How many of u have been kissed by drunk men who smelled of whiskey, peanuts & bad breath?
Thank god, there werent any mobile cameras in '94; other wise I would have been an internet sensation on youtube the nxt day itself!
Our guest had now seated.But other guests had got up from their seats & were complaining. I had to get this creature out of the house. By now I had concluded on one thing; it cant get any worse than this.So I decided to approach him inspite of his "love" for me. Once the worst has happened to u, u r no more afraid.
I went up to him & told him (from a safe distance) that our GM wanted to meet him & he was waiting with another guest in his room.I think he was too drunk to verify my lie. But still,he couldnt get up from his chair. I decided to help & gripped his hand. Have u ever seen anyone trying to save a beached whale all by himself? I guess my stewards saw it that night; & I heard that muffled laughter once again.

Finally that man was in his room. I went back to my lobby. The night was over.
I narrated this incident at the toastmasters & a few laughed. It must have been funny. But hey,it must have been funnier for those stewards..!

The Covariation model