March 19, 2018 by Kgalalelo
I went to a courier outlet to collect an overnight parcel a friend of mine in Pretoria had sent me. She had lovingly sent me perfume to try on from her heart and gave me a tracking number for collection. I knew that I couldn’t go pick up the parcel until I had received a text message from the branch informing me that my parcel had arrived and ready for collection and so I waited. The message only came two days later and I gladly went to the branch for collection, gave the teller my identity document and the tracking number and she went to the storeroom at the back of the store to fetch the package.
She soon returned and placed the package on the counter and then handed it to me with the invoice to sign and when I picked it up, it was ridiculously light and I doubted that it could be a bottle of perfume inside. I lifted it up and informed the teller that it felt too light to be what I was expecting and so scrutinised the invoice. There were two invoices attached on the package and so I took the liberty of opening the parcel there and then and inside was a pamphlet with spiritual content and a small box and I knew that that was not my parcel. I informed the lady that they had made a mistake and given me someone else’s parcel and then called the sender to let her know too.
I handed both invoices and the parcel back to the teller and told her that there was a mix up to which she responded that they received the package as it was from Pretoria and that the correct parcel could have been misrouted. I was advised to request the sender to go back to the branch she posted the parcel at and report the matter and I called immediately. My beloved friend was surprised at the news but promised to return to her branch and report the matter and so I left the store with nothing. The next day I received a call from the store’s head office in Cape Town apologising for the misrouting and that the parcel would be found and redirected to me.
I called my associate again and told her about the call I received and she said that she posted another package in the meantime while the courier company was trying to locate the initial one. Two days later, I received another text notification to collect the parcel at the same branch and I hurried, called my companion again at the branch and she asked me to open it and describe the package to her just to make sure. It appeared to be the second parcel and the first parcel was therefore still in transit. I left the branch with jubilation and eager to try the new brand of perfume and hoped that the initial package would be found and sent back to the sender. Three days later, I received the third text notification that a parcel was awaiting collection at the store and I knew that it was the very first one that was sent. I rushed again to collect it and followed the same routine; handed my identity document and the tracking number to the teller.
I waited at the counters again while the lady that was assisting me went to the storeroom at the back to retrieve my parcel but when she came back she just shook her head and said the parcel could not be found. She looked at the batch of parcels that had just arrived and placed next to the counter but there was nothing for me. She asked another teller to recheck on the system and she confirmed that my name was on the system including their internal tracking number but the physical package could not be located. The first teller decided to go back to the storeroom to check again and while she was there, I called my companion to inform her that I was at the store because I had received the notification to collect the initial parcel, however, it seemed as if there was a problem again. While on the phone, the teller showed up from the storeroom empty-handed and I conveyed the message on the phone that the parcel had disappeared yet again. As I was still talking on the phone the lady gave me a look of contempt and told me that such things happen.
At that point, I advised her that her attitude was unprofessional and but showed no remorse and kept on talking sounding like someone who didn’t care. I went on to give her a customer service course 101 as she carried on. I knew for sure that had the store owner been there, she wouldn’t have responded in such a manner nor sounded like she implied that losing packages was a natural occurrence in the store. I had to ensure that she understood how she had to relate to customers and I observed that she was a very young lady who still had a long way to go. I assumed that it could have been her first job, I don’t know, but clearly, she didn’t understand the motto that ‘the customer is king’. She certainly needed a refresher course in customer care and needed mentoring as she was frontline staff and because she was working at a franchise, the franchisee wouldn’t have been happy to know that the package of the customer was lost twice and on top of that on enquiring the attitude was unpalatable.
I left the store upset and with nothing in my hands again and what was displeasing the most was that I had received a clear notification to collect the parcel that was not there. I went to the car while thinking about the attitude I was given by this young lady until I reached my destination. I then felt calmness in my spirit that somehow this was a lesson to me and to all others who are serving. All of us are serving in one capacity or another and how we serve is vital. It is a reflection of who we are as human beings. I sat in the car for a while and decided to report the matter to the head office of the company in order to correct the behaviour and enhance the service in the store. I realised that feedback is always important as those who ran the organisation could use the experience in order to improve their own systems to be able to serve the communities better. Feedback also assists in gauging where you are as a person and as an organisation. You might be sitting somewhere thinking that everything is going right only to find that things are actually going south.
Negative staff behaviour affects the business and the turnover when customers are dissatisfied. Keeping customers happy is key to a successful and lucrative business and there’s nothing like good customer experience. I remember last month when my daughter was turning eleven, we had taken her to a nearby restaurant for dinner and the waiter had served us excellently. His name was Karabo meaning answer. I believe that he was a true answer in that restaurant because of the attitude he displayed and his level of professionalism. He had a great personality, bubbly, enjoyed what he was doing, checking up on us genuinely to see if his customers were happy. We were all happy with the kind of service he was giving us including my daughters and when we left, we gave him a handsome tip. As we went out the door, his colleagues opened the door for us and I said to them ‘your friend Karabo is really a nice guy’, and they all nodded saying ‘that’s who he is and how he is with all the customers’. I would like to be served by him the next time I go to that restaurant again and surely the tip would be good again if he serves me because of the experience I had with him.
I felt that the Holy Spirit was ministering to me after the incident as I was calm in no time, under normal circumstances, it would have taken me a long while to gather myself together but this time I felt at peace. I then called a guy that I was supposed to render a service to as well to give him feedback that I was still at it and haven’t forgotten about him. I felt good as I knew that everything in life has a ripple effect. Providing good customer service is a sign of love towards our neighbours. Jesus said “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). This message was clear in my consciousness that as I provide a good service to another, I would be rewarded; this would be done unto me again. I am depositing in my spiritual bank account. It was not that I had rendered a bad service to anyone but I knew that the message had to come across for many as the state of our organisations and businesses across the globe needs a touch of love and true service.
I am also taught the same lessons through my own writing. I experience sometimes the things I have to teach about or that the Holy Spirit would like to remind the masses about. God uses my very own experiences to reach the masses. The Bible says in Colossians 3:23-24: “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving”. We need to develop a new meaning of service and look at God as our employer and not man because with God, there is always an incentive for what we do whereas with men you can easily be disappointed. We can go before the Lord and ask Him to teach us to relate to others in a loving way and to serve with all our hearts without complaining or always looking for something from others.
Your work is never in vain or go unnoticed where God is concerned. He will give you something for your labour. He rewards us in many ways and sometimes not even the ways equalling our service, He gives more. He knows what we need and the Bible says that He gives us even more than we ask for or can even fathom (Ephesians 3:20). When we read the Bible further in Hebrews 6:10 it says that “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them”. We all miss the mark every now and then and this scripture should be a constant reminder to all of us that God doesn’t overlook the work that we do. He sees every action whether you serve in the temple, at your workplace or any other place and therefore we should serve one another humbly in love (Galatians 5:13).
As we serve, we should hold into cognisance the things that God has done for us, in that way, we are filled with gratitude in every act that we do for others. Gratitude draws to itself because as you give thanks to God for what He has done for you, more things are revealed for you to thank God for and you begin to notice that you actually have many things in your life. As you realise this, depression disappears and goes out the window. We need to serve not expecting anything from each other as your colleagues, associates, family and friends may not return the favour but God will. You therefore save yourself a lot of distress when you don’t look to people for anything knowing that God indeed sees and will multiply the fruits of your labour.
We need to give and serve the way that God served us as well. He gave us His only Begotten Son that we may receive salvation. It was the highest act of service unto humanity for us to receive eternal life. Joshua reminded sons and daughters of Israel saying “But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Joshua 22:5). As an act of gratitude, I truly thank the Lord for the experience I had at that store, which looked like a very unfortunate circumstance as it revealed His intricacies. He sends angels to us to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14). There are acts of service all around the world and Jesus gave us a perfect example when He washed the feet of His disciples in John 13: 1-17. He said to them, now that I have washed your feet, wash each other’s feet as well.
Footnote: Scriptures taken from the The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982: Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc. &
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Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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