service momentum

Lets talk about service momentum living abroad. Apparently the Chinese don’t know what customer service is but understand the idea of service momentum. Or so I’ve been told. Regardless of what it’s called, I know what it is, I “get it” and I also understand when it is seriously lacking. Or just non-existent. Two weeks ago I was notified that our master bath is leaking into the apartment below us. No problem. I arrange my schedule so I can be available for the workers to come in and do their work as needed. Come to find out, it’s a major project. No problem. Happy to do my part to allow the work to get completed. Work commenced for a few days and I knew they needed a few days before they could start again so I thought for sure someone would contact me when they needed to return. Upon returning from the gym last week there was a man in the lobby chasing me down. Literally. “Hello, Miss, Miss?” I had no idea who he was or why he was talking to me. He knocked on my door a few minutes later and it registered that he was there to do more work. I wondered why no one had told me someone was coming. I also wondered how long he sat in the lobby waiting for me. Why didn’t anyone call? I was 15 seconds away from my apartment the entire day. Either way, no problem. Now Sunday rolls around and while hubby and I are enjoying a leisurely morning, the doorbell rings. That’s odd. It’s Sunday. The worker has mysteriously arrived once more…unannounced. Well, we were home so no problem…I guess. Why does this keep happening though. It’s so random. And it’s not really good service momentum by my own standards but I figure maybe this is just a fluke incident (x 2). So this morning just before I’m heading out, the doorbell rings again. Can you guess who it was???? Now I’m starting to get frustrated. Why is this dude showing up at my apartment at random times of the day unannounced (now x3). Not cool China. Not cool. While I want to be helpful, I had to put the kabosh on this arrangement asap. I can’t allow any man to walk in and out of my life as he pleases. It’s not good for the soul. So, I did my best in Mandarin to tell him he could come back today at 4pm. I had two appointments and was minutes from walking out the door when he showed up. What killed me was that he was STILL in the lobby at 1:00pm when I returned from my first appointment. I left at 9:30am. I’m 99% sure he was waiting for me and not there for another job. Please don’t ask how I know this. It’s a living in China quirk. You just learn how it is here and you get Shanghainese telepathic awareness. Any other expats want to back this notion up??? So, a few emails on my part and I now officially have mystery worker mans schedule…service momentum resolved.

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