Tuesday, November 04, 2008


As a Malaysian, it is expected when you go to the public / government sector handled by public servants, the quality of service is among the 'top' in this planet. It is the mentality which will curse Malaysia as the 3rd world country forever if nothing is changed. However, since everyone is expecting it, we are very well prepared to digest whatever they throw at us when we go to their counters to seek service.

Possible irritating situations:
1. Reach there only 3 out of 20 counters are opened, the rest of the 17 shows NEXT COUNTER PLEASE signs. It is the reason I close all my bank accounts which are forced to be opened in CIMB (then Bumiputera Bank) and EON Bank. After that, I only go to Public Bank (many counters, many customers but 10 ten times furiously fast!), foreign banks and Singaporean banks
2. You see many counters closed and the staffs having tea break behind there, chit chatting casually when the queue formed is as long as the perimeter of the building. They still laughing and smiling there while we look at them in full frustration
3. You see many counters or all with the sign TECHNICAL PROBLEM or COMPUTER BREAKDOWN (Malaysian passport application counters)
4. You go there and many counters are closed because they are taking a break elsewhere (Malaysian passport, identification card application counters)
5. You go there and they handle one people for 20 minutes, taking things slowly with no urgency while the queue formed is as long as the perimeter of the building

In normal circumstances, you are having bad luck in the queue if:
1. It is your turn on the queue when suddenly they run out of receipt issuing papers and they need to change it
2. The person in front of you is purchasing something which the bar code scanner cannot detect and they staff needs to go to grab it or call someone else. The cashier keys in manually, it still will not work (lousy local barcode printers - this happens in Giant Malaysia mostly)
3. You go to a queue with a staff performing 10 times slower than your neighbouring queues at different counters
4. The credit card the person in front of you is using creates a lot of problem for the machine to detect, dial and approve
5. The automatic counter breaks down just before you or when it is your turn
6. They run out of small change and require to go to other counters to make exchanges
7. They are changing shifts right when it is your turn and you have to wait for the new staff to get the stuffs ready before serving you
8. You are in a queue when the person in front of you take centuries to finish his matters, this is especially for ATM / cash deposit / cheque deposit machines
9. The person in front of you is representing another person to queue and when it is the person's turn, the person who suppose to bring an item or two over has not reach yet, forcing the cashier and everyone else in the queue to wait. Sometimes the person want to exchange things because of getting the wrong brands with quite similar packaging or the item is spoilt
10. The person in front of you has someone else who is still shopping and when it is the person's turn, the someone else return with ten times more items
11. The person in front of you is buying more things allowed for the Express Counter which only allow 8-10 items. The person can pretend he/she does not notice it or buying 8-10 types of items in bulk is fine or just doesn't care and act tough so the cashier does not dare to question
12. The person in front of you have thousands of friends who come later and cut into the queue, adding in front of the person and that means you are further down the queue and require to wait longer

I had a serious bad encounter of this from AirAsia check-in counter. There was a family who was in front of us (there was another couple right in front of us after that family) checking in as a group when a person behind us went towards them to request for help to check in together. They feared their luggages may be overweight since they carried a lot of luggages. The father of the family agreed without expecting how many of them were actually checking in together.

To our horror, they were like a group of students with at least 10-15 people! Imagine the horror when 10-15 people with heavy luggages overtake the queue and go in front of you to check in so many luggages at the same time. Of course people who suppose to be in front of them in the queue are not happy with it but they are just insensitive, ignoring us. The couple right in front of us were more direct and complained loudly behind them. They heard it but pretended that nothing had happened. AirAsia staffs saw this and luckily there was an empty counter right beside us which they had to open to cool down the crowd. If not for that extra counter, I wonder what will happen.

Feel free to share your experience and add to the list!


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