Customer Care


Photo Courtesy: http://www.layman.org/

I write this letter with deep pain in my heart that no doctor, no psychiatrist, no psychologist can cure. I am not the same person I was one year ago and never will I be ever again. I write this letter so that the whole world can know my story. So that the whole world can know the plain truth…the truth that I am no terrorist…to know that Islam has never encouraged terrorism…

 I remember how I walked in the international airport of the foreign land. I was happy like never before. This was my opportunity to raise myself from scratch and I was going to help my mother get her treatment at last. When I just arrived, I took my mother to her room and let her rest before going to meet the ones who had requested my coming to this beautiful new land. The old men had big dreams and they wanted me to be the fulfiller of those dreams. I readily accepted, after all, that was what I came for….
We started a large project of building the biggest masjid, library and madrassa in that entire land. We had big dreams of educating the muslim children that never had the chance to know their religion well. We made big progress in few months and we had people of all sorts getting attracted to our library that had all sorts of books. I soon started teaching the youngsters in the madrassa and we grew very first. We had accomplished what we wanted. People were now flowing in and out of the library and we were requested to increase the opening hours. In few more months we had people converting to Islam…

I finally took my mother for the treatment of the blood cancer she had. I was pleased with myself for I had achieved what I always wanted. During my free time, I did what I loved most-taking pictures of the nature and architectural buildings for that was what I had studied in my home land. Everything went on well and after one complete year, we started having public peace conferences about Islam. We moved to different states of the continent and our name was heard all over…we were spiritually conquering the hearts of the people.

That one night, everything changed and my life was completely destroyed. I was seated with my mother having dinner in our house when the door bell rang. I stood to open the door and there, in front of me were more than five policemen. I stood still for a moment waiting for them to start talking.

“Is this Sheikh Ahmad’s residence?”One of them asked.

“Yes, how may I help you?” but before any one of them could answer, three of the police officers pushed me aside and broke in the house.

“What is happening here?” I quickly asked but there was no answer. The three policemen ransacked the house, breaking everything around.

“Ahmad, what do these people want from you?” my mum hurried to me, fear all over her face.

“You can’t do this. What have I done?” my voice rose up.

“Here’s a search warrant. May you shut up while we do our work!?” one of them snapped.

I stood there helplessly as they threw down all the furniture, books, everything they got hold of. Then one of them suddenly held the Quran and was about to throw it down when my mother, without thinking twice, gave him a hefty slap on the face. The policeman stood up, red with anger and pushed my old mother to the farthest end. Everything happened so fast and my mother was now lying down, very still.

I rushed to my mother and blood was oozing from her head.

“What have you done?! What have you done!?” I shouted loudly.

“Sir, we got them. Here they are,” another policeman said, coming from my room. I raised my eyes to see him holding the pictures of the buildings that I had taken.

The one, who seemed to be the head came to me and boldly said,

“You are under arrest. May you follow us to the station right now.”

“But what have I done?”I asked, panicking.

“You will know everything once we get there,” he said as he handcuffed me.

“But what about my mother? She’s still unconscious.”

“We’ll take care of her. Hey! Call the ambulance,” he said to another policeman. They then took me into their car and I was taken to the station. I was interrogated for hours-why had I taken those pictures from the beginning. It w ent on and on until I finally realized why I was being held. I was a suspect of terrorism. It went from being hours to days and I never was given the chance to rest. I was electrocuted, kept in the darkest of places, denied food and more and more. They were never going to let me go unless I said that I was guilty of having terroristic plans.

Then one day, one of the interrogators came and announced,

“I guess you were surviving until now for the sake of your mother. She is dead now. She died last night in the hospital. You can now speak up.”

The news came as a blow to me and I felt so shattered. Things didn’t get any better in the following months. After some terrible time, I overheard two police officers talking about my case.

“The man is so lucky. This is the fourth day since the people started the demonstrations for his release. I guess he won’t stay any longer. The people have refused to stop the demonstrations…” I didn’t hear the end of that conversation but soon enough, I was released by the court of law after finding me innocent.

I was once more a free man but that didn’t help me at all. My life was completely shattered. I was so weak, so much afraid and I could no longer be the same eloquent man. It is now one year later but I still couldn’t recover my old self and I don’t think I ever will.

So that’s why I am writing this letter to the world. So that they can realize that I never was a terrorist and never has my religion-Islam, ever encouraged any kind of violence. I hope my letter will make things clear- that Islam is a peaceful religion and will always be….

Photo Courtesy: https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/

Every beginning of a day means new drama for the people dealing with customer care. As much as we all complain how awful customer care is in most offices in Kenya, there is always the other side of the story.

Talking of how miserable Kenyan customer care is, there are times you go to the same office often and you always find the one at the front desk grumpy and snapping at you whenever you ask a question especially at the airport and immigration offices. After you’ve had to stand for a long time in a long queue, the last thing one would want is to have an encounter with a too serious, frowning face that can’t even force a fake smile for you. Some purposely make you wait and wait and wait for hours as they take their sweet time doing the services for you. It can actually ruin your entire day’s mood by how they talk to you and even when you try to be friendly, all you will get is an ungrateful glare. All this, chances are, maybe they just didn’t have a good start or they missed breakfast or rather, the boss had the wrong start with them but then, in the end of the day, as a front desk clerk, your sole aim is to attract customers to make them come again tomorrow not to chase them away.

When you work as a customer attendant in an office where you have to deal with different people everyday, you might as well end up having tough headaches, migraines or even depression. Every person has a different character and ironically speaking, the person would expect the one behind the desk to talk in the same way as they do. One needs to be very patient especially when arguments get to the boiling points and you can’t take it anymore.

Out of the curiosity of capturing the other side of the story, my friend who works in one of the Samsung offices at the front desk made me stay around for almost one and half an hour just to see how the conversations go like in their office. Every person who came by came with a different tone; the friendly ones, the very impatient ones, the ones who must create a scene, the ones who would ask gently, the ones who would create so much tension even to the boss himself, the ones who always had something to whine about repeating the same things again and again, the ones who would loudly insult your products and services and how bogus you all are, and by the time I was leaving the office I just had to ask my friend ‘and how do you survive this everyday?!’ I bet they carry paracetamols and hedexs in their wallets and eat them like sweets daily.

I’ve ever seen groups of ladies go to boutiques or stalls selling jewellery or watches and they would keenly ask the seller to remove the stuff so that they may see them clearly. They would wear them and each would ensure they have a taste of the bracelet or watch on their hands. At this you can imagine maybe it is a group of five to six young girls, clearly coming to just have fun. They would make the seller remove almost all what is on the shelves and by the end of it all, they would not buy one single thing. Obviously, anyone would be pissed by such tendencies and it is always the next customer who walks in that pays the price of the attendants being angry and grumpy.

Customers are mostly drawn to the offices that have a lounge room, where one will be offered tea or coffee and sometimes even biscuits to go along with the drink but then, this can only happens in well established companies which apparently, know very well how to win their customers.

As much as you, as the attendant, may be having a bad day, your emotions shouldn’t be reflected in how you treat your customers. Many people end up not buying things or even buying unnecessary things just due to how friendly, gently they are handled or the vice versa. Patience should be a main characteristic amongst the attendants at the front desks but still, even we as customers need to be considerate on how we make our demands. Just as we are in a hurry to get proper quality attention, they also need a peace of mind from all the tension we create for them!