Customer service is a must in The Bahamas. Like most Caribbean countries, it relies heavily on tourism, and everyone on the island is acutely aware of this. Because of this, customer service is typically very good.
I truly enjoy the people of The Bahamas. I’ve just spent the last week working in Nassau, and have had the opportunity to interact with the people there beyond the level of tourist.The people here are decent,caring, and love to laugh.This attitude spills into their work, which creates a cordial, friendly atmosphere most of the time.
Having said this, there is also an aspect of the culture that is decidedly non – customer-focused. It doesn’t rise to the surface often, but when it does, it is quite noticeable. Bahamians, in my observations, will do anything for you…
…until they are pushed.
It’s almost a passive-aggressive thing, and I got to see a prime example of it two nights ago. I was sitting in a restaurant, watching someone with a New York accent giving instructions to a waitress. He was loud, and very specific about what he would and would not accept in his order. He was, quite frankly, just plain rude.
The waitress said nothing, smiled, and when he was finished giving his order, walked toward the kitchen. I swear I could actually see time slow down as she walked away. I have never seen anyone amble quite so deliberately casually. I was pretty certain it was going to be a long time before he got his order. The funny thing is, this was the same waitress who had served me. I found her to be bright, funny, and very quick to serve me. The contrast was astonishing.
I see this same thing from time to time, when Bahamians are in a customer service role with their customers. They are very good – until someone appears to become demanding. After that, the passive-aggressive gloves come off. You can almost hear the words, “You can’t tell me what to do…”
Like I said, you really don’t see this aspect of The Bahamas very often, but when you do, it really stands out – perhaps because the rest of the time they are so darned nice.
For those of you who are following, I am here for the next couple of days, then off to Cairo, Egypt for the first time. I am looking forward to the experience! In the meantime, tomorrow I am hoping to write about my experience here in Nassau’s Conch Fritters Bar & Grill. It really was a funny experience – right out of a Seinfeld episode!