We’d like to think that we live in a civilised society, where everyone knows how to treat another well, irrespective of regardless of race, language or religion. However, one person — a father at that — recently tarnished this image due to his alleged atrociously bad customer behavior in restaurant, right here in Singapore.
“F*** off back to China”
Image source: iStock
Apparently, a Singaporean dad, accompanied by his family, shouted at a Mainland Chinese cleaner to fly back home – even hurling expletives at the service staff – when the cleaner had politely reminded his son to not eat pork at a Halal restaurant.
One witness, Darren Tan, posted the incident on Facebook (the post has since been removed), revealing that it happened in Ya Kun Kaya Toast at Paragon mall.
“This family here really showed me the ugly side of Singaporeans,” says Tan. He was eating a meal at the eatery. Suddenly, a middle-aged man began shouting expletives towards the cleaner. He describes the scenario:
“So i was sitting at paragon’s yakun, drinking coffee and what not. All of a sudden, this uncle behind us started hurling vulgarities at the cleaner, asking her to f*** off back to China and to be appreciative because its our people that is enabling her to even work in Singapore. The best part was that his entire family joined in on the insult.”
Tan continues, saying that the cleaner replied, unflustered, and then left the area. However, the man’s rampage did not stop. He continued to yell, saying that the cleaner gave him attitude when he wanted her to clean the tables. In Tan’s words:
“The cleaner very calmly told him to call her manager to complain and then walked away. The uncle, being the unreasonable barbarian that he is, decided to start shouting to anyone that would listen that she showed them her black face when all he requested was for her to clean the tables.”
Bad Customer behavior in restaurant: Exactly what happened?
Image source: iStock
Out of sheer curiosity, Tan says he went up to the cleaner. He asked why the man was so angry and what the commotion was all about.
The cleaner apparently explained that the man became agitated when she left his son a gentle reminder: to avoid eating pork they purchased at another food establishment in Ya Kun, since Ya Kun was a pro-Halal restaurant:
“Being the kaypoh ji that I am, I decided to ask the cleaner what exactly happened. Apparently, their son was eating Tori Q pork skewers at the table and the cleaner merely reminded them that Ya-Kun is a no pork no lard place and that they should not consume pork there lah.”
Mr Tan stressed that it was wrong to blame the cleaner for being a bad worker when the problem was something else all along. He also looked down upon the man’s elitist attitude, saying that:
“But no, this idiot here, decides to insult her job as a cleaner, her nationality as a Chinese and worse, saying we’re the #1 nationality that is enabling jobs for foreigners.”
Mr Tan did mention that the man would have made a fair argument had he pointed out that he couldn’t see the Halal sign. However, he could not tolerate the middle-aged man’s elitist attitude, saying that:
“Today, I feel seriously ashamed to be sharing the same nationality as these people. Does not matter if you’re our freaking founding father or what. No one should ever be this self entitled to shame another person’s job or nationality. No one. Piece of shit.”
Foreign staff already have it tough in Singapore, so don’t make things worse for them, parents. | Image Source: Stock Photo
Good customer etiquette should not be hard
Being able to treat service staff well is an indicator of character. As one article in The Guardian puts it, bad customer behavior in restaurant isn’t a sign that you’re high-class or sophisticated. Rather, it shows that you’re “over-privileged, unfeeling and rude.
Maybe it’s because of recessionary times, so people think they can demand more from restaurants who need them. Or perhaps it’s the fall of manners, and the rise of customer sovereignty.
Whatever the case, bad customer behavior only adds to extra struggles foreign staff already have. Often more than not, life isn’t easy for them. Low pay, long hours and not to mention that foreigners have to travel all the way to Singapore in search for a better life. It takes a lot of sacrifice and courage to get here.
Furthermore, other than the struggles of being unable to speak English well, it’s very likely they have other issues, too. A bad boss, rent, multiple commitments and responsibilities, loved ones to care for: who’s to say?
And parents, do remember that if you’re your bringing your child along to a restaurant, they will learn from you – you’re their role model, after all. Brattiness and self-entitlement doesn’t take a person very far.
So the next time you do encounter service staff, do remember that a smile and some gratitude, no matter who the staff is, goes a long a way – for everyone. Even if it’s just a small tip or a “thank you”, it could make someone’s day better.
References: Independent.sg, The Guardian, Singapore Uncensored
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