We’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.
This 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.
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–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.