Friday, April 8, 2011

"why didn't you tell me before"

All of Serbia has gone to the Basil Fawlty school of customer service.

There is deep confusion amongst servers as to who is serving whom in any sort of customer-service situation.

the situation I'll describe is very, very, very common.  I try to take it in stride.  I've formulated all sorts of clever responses.  I've practised them in front of the mirror.  But, for some reason, whenever it happens, it surprises me.  I fill with rage and imagine many violent things I probably shouldn't describe here.

some variation on this:

me:  May I please have such-and-such?
....  oh...  wait a moment.  I'd like this too.

server:  (angrily) WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME BEFORE!?

Could you imagine such a scenario at a North American bank?  (or anywhere, really).

"I'd like to change this $1000 into local currency"
-she reaches for a stack of $50 bills.

me: oh,  could you please give me 20s?


Seriously...  This happens 3 times a week:  Bankers, waiters, store clerks, everyone!



  1. dude, why do you get angry with 'em??

    We have to understand that they've been living into their middle ages kind of dump and they won't shift a bit their shit because of the few of us that are exploiting their lazy ass around here Lol... the main reason why the clerks or attendants get mad at you it's because either of the following 2 reasons:

    1. You're taking their time.. away from their coffee!!. If you happen to hire any of these primates you'll understand what I mean, they consider they have the God's given right to spend most of their working hours with their coffee, cigarettes and cellphones all around them, and the remaining of the time they'll be doing a great favor to the people they're supposed to attend.

    2. If you hire them to work, lets say.. from 8 to 4, they consider that as long as they arrive within 30 minutes late per day it's just fine, and then they need to kiss good morning 'n chit chat a bit with their co-workers, and then they need to drink some coffee to "wake up", and then they'll turn on their PC and get their shit ready for the day.. and then the smoking brakes, and then the coffee breaks, and then the smoking + coffee breaks + plus all other breaks, and then around 3:15 P.M they'll get their stuff ready to pack and run away with the utmost punctuality you can ever imagine.. and that is actually a 'denigrating downgrade' for them since in good ol'communist times they were entitled to be actually at home in their pajamas with a coffee mug already by 4 P.M sharp.. wherefore, if you arrive anytime after 3:15 P.M to request their services you're entitled to be rightfully called "Jebem ti mater u picku!, jebo ti pas mater!, picko smrdljiva, popusis mi kurac krasni!, crko dabogda stoko seljacka!"

    You know what's the funny thing? That after their unabashedly laziness, they still have the nerve to ask: Zašto mi nemamo posao?, zašto Srbija nema para?, zaštooooo?... ako mi nemamo para to je zbog zapadnih zemalja u picku materinu!!!!

    1. LOL@JOHN + his coffee comment!! I don't know whats about with so much KAFA drinking. And why you can't drink KAFA while working at your desk anyway....

      John you can solve your issues easily, have them work from home and enforce a 24 hour deadline. That way they can do all that crap but it won't bother you, because you won't see it. :)

      From one business owner to another, I can tell you that whilst what you say is true - I have a lot of good workers with crazy work ethic. It's very hard to find them, but when you do, hang on to them. I reward my "american" type of serbian workers with gifts, vacations, etc because they work like crazy and I can always depend on them.

      Customer Service? What's that? :D


  2. Yeah, I agree with ya, it's very hard to find working oriented people here, but I enforce a strict western working environment at my joint, they have to be on time, no personal calls are allowed, strictly no cellphones are allowed, no smoking during working hours with exception of their breaks, no random breaks are allowed, breaks are according to western working charts (15 minutes in the morning + 45 minutes lunch + 10 minutes in the afternoon), and they have to treat the customer with the utmost respect and courtesy. In return I pay them well + some of the amenities you've mentioned, whereas I don't have an issue with the employees of mine, but anytime I go to any business, public or private (where those policies aren't enforced) they behave like monkeys ..brutal, aggressive and so extremely impolite like I had never seen anywhere else in this world ...those are the kind of places where if you arrive anytime after 3:15 p.m (when they're supposed to work until 4:00 p.m) they feel entitled to ask n'tell: zašto si tako kasno?, ne vidiš da ja moram da idem jebo ti pas mater!?, jebem ti mater u pickuuuu!!!!

    And it's always funny to hear them babbling: Zašto mi nemamo posao u srbiju brate?, reci mi zašto brate zaštooooo? ako mi nemamo para to je zbog zapadnih zemalja u picku materinuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!

  3. John, yea i hear ya... I have serb friends here who have shitty jobs, i'd never hire them to work for me though because they are lazy as hell. But they all dream of BRZA ZARADA, and big money, none of them are willing to take the extra step, or go the extra mile to make their life better, nah, but if some 'westerner' comes they do their best to try and rip them off for some brza zarada.