Could I have the bill, mdm?

I was at Fish & Co, Tampines, having lunch with a colleague just yesterday. It was a lunch treat – a farewell treat – as I was leaving this company that I have worked for the past fifteen years and five months. Considering that I saw my first child growing up from being a two-year old girl to a sixteen-year old teenager taking her final ‘O’ level examination, it’s been really long…

Well, my family history is not what I’m dwelling into today. After all, this site is really about service excellence. So, back to this restaurant, Fish & Co., it has always been one of my favourite restaurants. It serves pretty good fish, and other seafood. Its service is also pretty good. I just like to highlight one of the fine acts of services that other restaurants could possibly emulate; that is, if such an act has not been the practice.

Lunch was over, and after some chats, we decided to pay and leave the restaurant. My colleague, a female, called for the bill. She sniggered cheekily and remarked, “Let’s see who they will serve the bill to. I bet it’s likely to be you, being the guy.” The waitress came, smiled politely, but with an enquiring eye, she presented her the bill, whereupon my colleague checked and gave her the credit card to be processed. My colleague was proven wrong. I offered, “She knows who to go to. You called for the bill, not me… ”

You see, in the world of service orientation, we need to be sensitive to the customers. We need to flow along with the customers. It was my colleague who called for the bill; so, it’s flow that the waitress should go by – to present her the bill and not me. She had an enquiring eye; she was ready to be ushered to me if she had been wrong. I applauded her for her service orientedness.

One more thought here – the waitress who served us… she was weak in her use of English. However, she understood us; she knew what we wanted. And she was pleasant with her smile. My point here – it’s unfortunate that she did not have the opportunity to master the language like we do. So, we who are comfortable with the use of this language should always show grace, pardon her for not using the language well enough, but be exceedingly gracefully for the fact that she was great in her service.


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