Zero Passion Zero Service

If you have been an avid follower of MiddleMe, you’ll know that my stories are often inspired either by reading one of my follower’s post or by experiencing life itself. And you’ll know I’ve just returned from China not so long ago.

What spark this article or should I say who, is the counter check-in lady from Air Asia Kuala Lumpur. Air Asia is a budget airline operating out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and is an airline I often take because of its fabulous flight prices. To be honest, I had never had a bad service from them, mediocre service sometimes but never bad. I’m fine with mediocre service since I am very much aware the price I paid for I shouldn’t ask for sky-high service. But I didn’t pay for someone to judge me.

The counter check-in lady did not have a long day at work because she just clocked in for work and took over handling the queue a few folks in front of me. When it is my turn to check in, she took my passport, flipped it open and look at it for a good 5 minutes before asking for my visa. The thing is that I am holding a Singapore passport and Singaporeans are exempted from China visa for the first 15 days (yay!). I smiled and promptly informed her. In reply, she insisted that I need a return ticket to Malaysia. That is still not applicable to me as I again, nicely pointed out because I am not a Malaysian and I can choose to extend my stay in China easily just by walking into one of the police station and ask for an extension up to 90 days.

She refused to print out my boarding me pass if I don’t have a return ticket and advice me to go and purchase one over their counter. Strange and kinda ridiculous to me. I mean I have flew out from Singapore before without a return ticket and no one has stopped me. But lucky for her and for me as well, I actually do have a return ticket and I don’t wish to waste time by insisting on my grounds that I am right.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 6.22.30 pmI left the counter with a distaste in my mouth, no smiles, no apologies, nothing more than a frozen face who passed me my boarding pass. I have written article about how to be a good customer. I am a good customer, in fact, it is not my duty to provide information to you but I did so quickly. All I asked for is a smile.

While I understand that being a frontline warrior is tough life, but since this is a career choice you have made, show respect to the profession you have chosen, show pride in your work and show responsibility to the customers. If you struggle to do so, you’re in the wrong profession, switch jobs before you damage your reputation and your company’s.

It does amazed me at times when I see people not taking pride in the work they do and continue to time and time produce trash. It’s not that they lacked in skills or they are having a bad day (I can discount that), it is just simply they do not care. If one does not care enough of their job, they are suffering every single day for at least 8 hours each day, 40 hours each week, 160 hours each month, 1920 hours each year and is plenty of hours wasted away on something that you don’t care about.

waiting-410328_640Think about it, you spend 8 hours in bed, 8 hours at work and you are left with 8 hours of personal time. This have not included in the journey to work as well as time we used to get ready for work. So technically speaking, you are spending more that 1/3 of your daily life, wouldn’t you want to make it enjoyable?

Please do share your thoughts below and follow me at Twitter MiddleMe_net.



  1. Great post and excellent writing. There is no excuse for poor customer service. Those people are the front line between the company and their customers. Even if you’re having a bad day you must still smile and treat the customer with dignity and respect.
    Attitude is everything especially when you are in the public eye.
    The customer will remember everything and to them you are the company. After all, this may be the only time they have a transaction with the company and their impression of you as the representative is what they’ll remember so make it a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Once again, Kevin, well said. You have express my points exactly. It’s really disappointing to receive poor customer service especially when all one asked for is a basic courtesy and a smile. Thank you for reading it and dropping me a comment on your thoughts!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I worked with the public in many jobs and I’m very familiar with dealing with the public. Sometimes all you have is a smile and politeness when you can’t solve the customer’s problems. That quite often will make the difference as to whether or not they’re return customers or not.
        I’m so glad you’re back from China, you were missed. 😆

        Liked by 1 person

        • Absolutely. Most customers are not unreasonable folks. At the end of the day, we just want our problems to be resolved in a reasonable manner, not asking for the sky, the moon, the stars. Awww.. You are super duper sweet, I’m so happy to be welcome back by friends like you! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. That is so right, I recently was in a hotel for a night and saw all staff happy , helpful and they seem to really enjoy their jobs. Smiles everywhere, it makes such a difference. I have left a glowing review for the hotel and will go again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Agreed. Why bother, when you don’t care about the work? But what can one do about it? Leaving the job is not a real option ’cause one wouldn’t have taken it in the first place if they were not in some kind of crisis. Trying to make the job interesting doesn’t real work either ’cause its not usually up to you but to the organisation that you work for. The only thing that can help is make the remaining 2/3 time of your daily life interesting. So that you have something look up to when your shift ends. It can be anything ranging from a dinner with your loved ones, hanging out with friends or even reading a book or any other hobby that makes you cheer up. It doesn’t always have to be a daily thing, you can be excited about the trip that you are going to take next weeks or even waiting for a video game that is going to be released six months from now. It’s not about things that you do, it’s about changing yourself to appreciate the little things in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe there are many backend jobs available that are equally paid and asking for the same requirements as the front line jobs, the choice is up to the individual to make changes in their work life. Why would you chose to work in a job you dislike so much for a long period of time? You’ll wind up miserably and with zero prospects in your career because you won’t do well with that glumness. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thats true Kally but now a days all companies conduct refresher courses for their
    employees and make them aware about the importance of customer service. Gone are the days when customer had to beg for the service as alternate channels in all walks of life have opened up better avenues for the customers. I remember the days in Banking in India when customers used to sit outside the cabin of Branch Manager for availing any credit facility from the Bank but over the years the concept has changed and it is the Bank Manager who carries sanction letter with tailor made terms and conditions right at the door step of the customer. The customer has three sanction letters in hand and is in a better position to negotiate further reduction in interest rates and other charges.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your experience with the counter check-in lady is what I like to refer to as someone having gone mad with their moderate amount of power. Miserable people do things like this just because they can.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Work ethic seems to be failing more and more. I think it’s because nobody HAS to talk to each other anymore (because of technology) so they simply have forgotten how. I think a lot of people don’t even realize how they project themselves because they are out of practice, or never even learned. People have forgotten how to “talk” to one another. A smile and being polite definitely go a long way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agree!! Hmm.. You raised a valid point here: do we all forgot to communicate properly face to face because of technology influence? It’s scary how one day we may lose the power to pick up a pen and write on paper, talk earnestly to a human and read a newspaper without an electronic device.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry to hear that you were treated with such attitude. Perhaps it could be a new rule to show a return ticket, but really there is no reason to be rude and double check. Being sour faced will only leave the customer with a bad attitude about the service of the company. If you are positive, then chances are you will feel positive too and really it’s a win-win for all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha.. I actually checked on the rule during my return trip from China and they said it is only Malaysia airlines who are anal about it while the rest of the world doesn’t really care. As if a return ticket is going to deter me being an illegal immigrant there if I chose to do so.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. welcome home….and sad you had to have to deal with the ignorance of others…..I worked in a public situation for years….and you just have to leave your bad attitude or whatever is disturbing your day out in the parking lot when you arrive at work…hope the rest of your journey was good…kat

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You outlined the perfect reasons why it’s important for people to follow their passion. A person’s profession should be closely associated with what they naturally love to do. I developed a love for electronics before I was old enough to attend school. Now as an adult, I work in the electronics field. I have never told my employers that I would actually work as an IT Pro for free, but I would! The fact that they pay me for it is icing on the cake 🙂 It all makes a big difference in a worker’s attitude and their enthusiasm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad that you are the one of the very few I know who enjoy his work truly and is passionate about it. I would work for free if it’s something I really enjoy and could learn from it. You and I have experienced the same joy!! Hold on to it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love how you think kally! You are right! I was great at my job at T-mobile but I got tired of the stress that I began to hate it so much that I did not care. I resigned and I never want to go back to working at a call-center!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That means a call centre environment is not your cup of tea. Just opposite of you, I love call centre environment, if I were to return to workforce one day, I’ll jump into any role in the call centre because it gives such a buzz to be smack in the middle of action and being in frontline I could felt the impact I have on customers immediately instead of waiting for quarterly reports to show numbers.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on CELONA'S BLOG and commented:
    Kally Tay of “MiddleMe”.. Traveller! Real talker!! …don’t know if I am allowed to call her a great writer but one of the realistic Asian I have come across on the blogosphere.
    You did be shock with the amount of information this “baby face” has got for you..

    So I would be doing reblogs on a platform where Expressions Meet Reality with a preferred style I tagged “ink on sheet”

    Anything Creative, inspirational, Motivational, with an attitude of laying Bare truth and raw emotions is welcomed on here.
    Let stretch hands of support and love together with the language of “REAL” works of art. #Bless

    Just follow!! And we in it together 😉

    And if your preferred platform is facebook join us at #Okpere’s; Circle

    If on wordpress; Please edit this post, add ‘Celona’s Blog’ to your ‘tag list’ and share with your community.. It helps you and I build something cool together.



  12. Good post. Poor customer service is always annoying, especially in matters like this where people are too ignorant to find out the rules, which you already told her. I never thought a check-in staff could refuse to print out your boarding pass.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I just dropped in here out of curiosity and simply loved this post! Currently I’m a Team Manager at Amazon and was a frontline associate for a long time. I could relate to everything you said about customer service. We all have our own problems, but they are never excuse enough to transfer our own agitation and sadness to some other hapless customer! Hope the lady gets her comeuppance!

    Lovely post, Kelly! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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