Service, shaving & what we can learn from India

November 17, 2013

shave longer viewWe’re a self-service country, so it’s interesting to see that in India, people engage others to do such daily tasks as laundry (see my post on the huge outdoor laundry in Mumbai)  and…a shave. As we drive through the countryside, I’ve seen these scenes all over India. Yesterday, I saw four barber shops in a row, each barber giving a man a careful shave. The bus sped by so fast I couldn’t get a shot in.

shaveThis service industry is especially interesting because so many people live among dirt, dust and squalor. And yet, a man’s gotta shave and pays for someone to do it. Or maybe it’s barter, I don’t know.

help you

Sign at Taj Mahal

There is a culture of service here–it’s impeccable–and seems genuine. The Indian waiters and hotel staff are anxious to satisfy customers and will go above and beyond in ways we are unaccustomed to. They seem to take customer service personally —and considering the surly service we see in the U.S.,  it’s been hard to get used it.

Hotel housekeeping staff Agra

Hotel housekeeping staff Agra–what’s not to like?

I do know that our society’s the worse for its self-service orientation, which is mostly done to increase profits for–you name it–banks, grocery stores, whatever. There is no doubt that Indians have a hard life and the living conditions are horrific. Despite this, the Indian people aim to please.

We could learn something from it, as the concept of providing personal service in the U.S. has gone by the wayside. Such a shame.




5 comments on “Service, shaving & what we can learn from India
  1. Ryder Ziebarth says:

    Note on service outside of this country: Sad to say, but when I need a job done, I rarely find (or seek)an American to do it. Portuguese are fabulous with an iron, People from Costa Rico love tidy gardens and work hard to keep them as such….
    Note on shaving: Aren’t those little pop up stores interesting? The size of a large closet, each offering a service-shaving, Ironing, washing. But yes, the men regard themselves highly-most things in India, with the exception of giving orders are done by the women. “Women’s work”, beneath the fathers and husbands includes mixing cement, collecting and carrying bush for firewood, shoveling sand for said cement,and transporting it via head top or animal back-Plus the cook, clean and raise children,all while their men-folk stand by and “think” big thoughts and smoke cigarettes.At least in this country, they aren’t shoving it in our face by sitting and watching us, instead they go play golf!

  2. Ryder Ziebarth says:

    ps-note on laundry-
    I wondered why my whites were returning to me “pink”, until I saw the hotel staff laying all the sheets, etc. on the clay dirt to dry.

  3. A very good and condensed analysis of service between here and there, with photos! Thank you!

  4. Azedine says:

    Shaving is an art so maybe that’s why they like to go to the barber. Sometimes we don’t have enough time to do it so it’s all depends.

    Thanks for sharing

  5. Daniel says:

    There is a big difference between services here in there. Thanks for the photos!

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