Sunday, May 4, 2008

To be flexible

Yesterday I went to buy some train tickets at the local ticket selling office. I really like the ticket selling woman as she understands me perfectly and always praise my Chinese language skills (something that doesn’t happen too often, so this is simply a –kinda pathetic but still- way for me to boost my confidence) and yesterday I got another reason to like her: she’s so flexible! I ordered loads of ticket (the line behind me growing steadily) and when it came to pay time I realised I didn’t have enough cash in my wallet! And the ticket selling office did not accept cards. So what can do you do? I looked at her helplessly, asking if I could run down to the ATM… Sure she said with a smile, you just go ahead but come straight back!

Turns out the ATM downstairs was broken so I had to jump on my bike to go to the neighbourhood centre. Still, when I came back 20 min later, panting slightly, she was all smiles and happily handed over my tix, adding that ‘it really wasn’t a problem it had taken me so long’.

To do something like this in my native Sweden would definitely have caused some serious irritation and nasty comments from the person behind the counter, so I’m quite baffled with how flexible this lady was. Normally when you ask for a service ‘outside the box’ of Chinese people’s working habits, you get a straight ‘no’ and it feels like they are not even listening to you. At least if you try in English. But what can I say? Life in China is indeed getting a lot better the more Chinese I learn!


Anonymous said...

Great blogs. I am looking forward to readying it everyday. Thanks!

Lullun said...

Vilken härlig dam! Ja, kan också tro att servicen blir bättre och bättre med växande språkkunskaper. Samma ser jag till viss del här. :-)