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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    If work is worship, aren't customers gods?

    "Customers are kings". "Customers are gods". "Work is worship". These are the most commonly found quotes in any shop. But many shops also sport a pantheon of Hindu deities. I have a problem with these shop owners who would spend 5 minutes in the morning after opening the shop, 5-10 minutes in the evening and 2 minutes at night while closing the shop, praying to this pantheon. Oh did I just say prayers? Rituals. These elaborate rituals include, switching on a hymn or singing it, lighting incense sticks, lighting lamps, lighting serial lights, offering bananas or any other fruit and then spending a relaxed amount of time worshiping and wishing. And all of this happens in peak hours as I showed with time stamps above.
    I absolutely had no time to spare and had to take 2 printouts today. The shop owner was busy with his evening puja. I called out to him. Almost a whisper. But this apparently disrupted his "penance". He glared at me and made that classic "tsch" sound. One must note I was standing in a queue at this point in his shop for five minutes already. Despite all of us patiently waiting, he still didn't come out of his worship. So like any sane person would do, I and some impatient customers, walked out of his shop to another one. This did bring him out of his meditation and he shouted at us to come back. Some did. I was already on my bike so I didn't. I rode off to the next shop. I saw from distance that this guy was swearing at me for being impatient. This, though angered me a bit, didn't matter me at all because the one who lost his customers was that shopkeeper.
    You might have expected that I got my job done in the next shop. No. That shopkeeper has his routine rituals too and he is ever so slowly doing them. This maddened me a lot. I left this shop too and finally got my job done in another shop. The whole ordeal costed me, extra money since this shop owner was costing more, petrol money and 30 minutes of my day which I wanted to use for some other important work.

    Yeah. Work is worship and customers are gods. Your religious obedience can wait for few minutes Hindu shop keepers. Muslim shopkeepers are my favorites. They show professionalism in work and even their namaaz happens in non peak hours for most part. I wish these entitled few overtly religious characters got hold of themselves and learnt professionalism.
  • #654484
    An interesting piece of narration by the author. Many shopkeepers do this as a habit and belief so it is difficult to pursue them not to do it. But at the same time the customers should not wait.

    I just remember the famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi who told that - Customer is the most important person in our premises because he does not need us but we need him for our survival.

    If we believe that then definitely the customer is to be attended as the first priority. But in our culture the tradition, faith and belief also play a crucial role and apart from a few rational people here and there most of us follow them.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #654485
    Yes Sir. There is this problem with so many shopkeepers. They always do such things during peak hours. They cause immense pain to all customers.

    Today, the competition is very tough. If a businessman does the job of irritating a customer, he has not lost one but several of them. The bad word of mouth publicity will simply eat him up. Yes, this is a big problem and should be avoided by any shopkeeper.

    The prayers and rituals are best done at home. It should never be done for more than one minute in any shop. This is one lesson that any shopkeeper has to learn. If he or she refuses to learn from his or her mistakes, that will just be the beginning of the end for their businesses. Customers always have a choice. In fact, too many of them.

  • #654492
    It is true that customers are Gods. The business is with them only. If there are no customers there is no business. All these are true. But every individual will have his own thought process. Some people will have some sentiments. We can't ask the business people to come out of their own sentiments. He may be having faith in the God if he is spending five minutes in praying, he may get a huge business. It. Is his individual thinking and nobody wil question him. If a customer goes away, he may think that GOD wil give him three more customers. This is all the beliefs these people have.
    always confident

  • #654503
    What we are comparing here is what has written down in the management books to that of the perception of a shopkeeper. In what different ways the customer is being responded is directly connected with the respondent's perception about the income or money. Possibly the shopkeeper has an understanding that only God is responsible that the customers are being diverted to their shops & therefore the primary believed entity is the God & not the customer. However the situation is different in slightly big institutes & industries wherein a separate attendees are kept to take of the concern of the customer & wherein the customer is king seems more appropriate.

  • #654508
    Yeah, the customer is a God because it is only the customer who is needed by the shopkeeper for his or her survival and to earn a livelihood.
    First priority should be given to the customer rather than doing anything else.
    A prayer should from the heart not by making others wait and worshipping.

  • #654522
    Keeping the customer waiting is not good for the business and if this continues on a regular basis, the business may be affected in a big way. People have many beliefs and follow different religions, but in the place of business customers are the priority. The case described by the author in this thread is seen in many places and this may be explained in a bit different way.

    Maybe those who are in the queue are habituated to this practice and never complained earlier. Therefore, it is continuing for a long time. If many customers like the author start to complain and leave the shop during that period I hope the shop owner may think of changing his routine to practice the rituals. Another possibility is, the shop owner might have seen that by following those rituals daily he gets good business throughout the day. So, he never thought of changing the time. Anyhow, every shopkeeper must prioritize to attend to the customers first and that is the only way to run a business successfully.


    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

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