Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Toilet Stories

As I walked into one of the world-class toilets in Singapore today, I was shocked to see a notice plastered on the wall: “You are being served by Mr XXX (Name of the toilet cleaner)”. The notice even contained the photo of the toilet cleaner.

I turned around and saw the toilet cleaner just inches away from me. I was shocked. Though I understood the intent of the message, which was to elevate up service quality and professional image of the toilet cleaners, to many other users of the toilets who have been accustomed to the mantra or notion of traditional customer service rendered by waiters or waitress or shop assistants, the message can be misleading.

Imagine a Man A with such a mindset seeing the toilet notice as he enters the toilet. Looking around, he saw the toilet cleaner and asked him how is he going to serve him? How would the toilet cleaner answer? Logically the answer would be that the toilet cleaner helps serve the man by keeping the toilet clean for his use, and nothing else like helping the man to pee.

Hence the sign or notice is not really appriopriate inside the toilets. A more suitable and simple sign would be that "This toilet is maintained by xxx". This scenario is akin to nurses bidding a discharged patient: "See you again!"

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