When Good Service Is A Tragedy

What does the following sandwich have in common with my mobile phone?

Half a Croque Bolognese, from Symmetry on North Bridge Road.

Half a Croque Bolognese, from Symmetry on North Bridge Road.

It’s sometimes nice to have a cafe lunch instead of the usual hawker fare, and Symmetry is within comfy walking distance of my office on non-humid days. Anne and I ordered this sandwich to share, and it arrived not just sliced in two – but served on two separate platters, with the sides neatly divided into two portions and presented nicely with each half.

I was really impressed because it’s not often that you get such attention to detail at F&B places here. When I Instagrammed this photo and called out the excellent service, my favourite cousin made a good observation:

“This thing about halving of portions, wonder whether it’s any tragedy of sorts that it’s a service standard we marvel at in sg…”

And you know what, she’s quite right. We’ve just been conditioned to expect less, even when eating for 3 to 5 times the price of a hawker meal.

The following week, my iPhone mysteriously screwed up on me – the microphone simply wouldn’t detect any sound during a call. So I screwed my courage to the sticking point and dragged James down to the M1 service centre in Paragon.

Based on our prior experience with telcos – well, let’s just say that both of us brought our iPads and wore warm sweaters/jacketsĀ in anticipation of being stuck there for a long time. So imagine my surprise when our queue number was called within 3 minutes. A service technician confirmed the hardware fault within 5 minutes, and spent the next 15 minutes facilitating a 1-to-1 equipment exchange. (I didn’t have the phone receipt with me, which is apparently required, but she didn’t make an issue out of it because there were digital records.) All in, we were in and out of the service centre in under 30 minutes.

As with the sandwich story, it’s really a bit sad that I was so impressed at M1’s efficient and helpful service. Once again, it’s entirely because I expected to get screwed around, from my past instances of waiting in a line that never moves and getting ‘assisted’ by a technician that doesn’t know his/her job well enough to actually render useful assistance.

But until this country actually gets to the point where prompt and empathetic service is the norm, I’ll have to continue being amazed by positive experiences like these.

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3 Comments

  1. Jem - February 25, 2013

    Hooray for Camp Orange!

  2. lene* - March 11, 2013

    Yay I’m quoted :P
    However, I’m more intrigued by the amount you and Anne can survive on for lunch………….

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