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An improvement in the manners of dealing with the public is needed

Popularity 3Viewed 2110 times 2015-4-4 17:23 |System category:Life| documents, employees, expressed, regarding, RecentlyAn

Recently, I had the misfortune of dealing with individuals in the Chinese public sector when my Chinese wife and I went to notarize some documents. I was perplexed and bewildered by the manners in which the employees at the notary offices responded to her inquiries. They were shouting at her for asking questions regarding the notarization process.

I expressed my sentiment of anger and frustration to my wife. She smiled and informed me that I was overreacting. She emphasized the fact that what I saw at that moment is normal. Going back in time in my mind, I realized that that was not an isolated incident.

She explained to me that we needed them which prompted them to acquire a condescending attitude toward us. She stressed that they may be frustrated due to being underpaid along with having to deal with long working hours or facing personal problems.

She told me that I should be empathetic and sympathetic toward them. I responded by stating that their frustration at their jobs or their personal should not interfere with fulfilling the responsibilities of their positions. I added that nothing justify their impolite and rude behavior.

During my more than ten years in China, I have been adamant in defending my fellow Chinese whenever I heard my foreign colleagues whined about the poor service they received wherever they encountered Chinese individuals who deal with the public in the service sector. To illustrate their points of view, they mentioned restaurants, hotels, department stores government employees.

I used the argument that Chinese culture is different from its foreign counterparts. In addition, we needed to abide by and respect their traditions and customs. They disputed my claim by emphasizing that foreigners especially those who deal with the public offer nothing but courtesy to their customers regardless of their states of mind or their dissatisfaction with their jobs.

Chinese have succeeded in achieving remarkable accomplishments in every aspect of life. Their glorious achievement placed them at the top on the world stage However, the domain of etiquettes in dealing with the public needs improvements, especially in the tourism industry, to compete with its foreign counterparts.

The fundamental question should focus on means by which Chinese can improve their image in the eyes of the foreign tourists and residents alike.

Employers and governmental agencies should offer seminars, in dealing with the public, to their employees. The seminars could be conducted by foreign experts in the public service industry or by their Chinese counterparts.

A system of reward and punishment established by the management in every company, agency or organization may encourage employees to exert extra efforts in offering their customers the courtesy they deserve.  

Those who receive excellent evaluation from their customers could be sent to foreign nations who achieved excellence in the public service domain for workshops and seminars.

As a foreigner who loves China and hold nothing but respect toward Chinese, I hope that my article would open the doors for a forum of discussion among experts and scholars in finding means to take the public service sector to the epitome of excellence.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report LanaLiao 2015-4-4 21:28
First thanks for your love of China. As a Chinese, I have to admit that the phenomena you mentioned above are quite common in China. It's one of the age-old  social evils of China, which cannot  be rectified overnight. Yes, a strict and effective supervision mechanism should be established to  impel the condescending public servants to offer better service.
Reply Report Igo 2015-4-5 12:23
Well written!
Reply Report Dr.Bill.Shen 2015-4-5 13:15
In china, people working for public service do not understand who is actually paying them. Civil servant concept is too foreign to them. They believe they get paid by government, which is true, but they do not know where government get money from. They think people are working for government. Therefore government should tell their employees how the basic economics work first, and that will change the mentality at first order. Inertial education could be the cure.

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