Service, not servitude

By Daniel Otero Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/10 5:03:40

I am proud to say that I come from a working class background back in the US, which means my family worked in the service industry.

My uncle worked as a maintenance man and contractor for over 40 years. My aunt retired a couple of years ago after being a secretary/executive assistant for 27 years.

I have educated family members, but I also have relatives who are beauticians, janitors, cashiers and police. I'm the first member of my family to graduate from university, something that fills me with deep pride.

I learned to treat those in the service sector with respect from an early age and understood what it meant to do an honest day's work for an honest day's pay.

I was taught good manners like saying please and thank you to those who serve you, but grew up to see millennials like Kendall Jenner rudely throwing money at people's faces.

When I came to China, it didn't happen often. But I have noticed how people in the service industry are treated. Why are people in the customer service sector treated so badly? I've seen people yell and use vulgar to downright nasty words toward service workers.

A kid in Shaoxing, Zhejiang  Province hurled obscene words at a waitress. In other parts of China, I've seen janitors and customer service people treated no better than dogs.

China has become one of the most prosperous countries in the world in the last few decades. The standard of living for many Chinese has increased dramatically over the years, with many being lifted out of poverty. But this is not an excuse to treat those who serve you with disrespect.

Service doesn't mean servitude. We're all equal because we're all human. When we talk to people, we ought to use proper language, courtesy and care.

When I see customers disrespecting service workers, it breaks my heart. I can understand if the person was rude to you; then it is okay to get a little mouthy. But having more money and a better quality of life than those serving you does not mean you should treat them like crap!

Let's be more courteous when dealing with others and stop making social class distinctions.

China has come very far in both economic and social development. Let's keep moving forward.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.


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