Service quality is certainly not a notion one readily associates with China. Honestly, I’m quite surprised, but very impressed with what I’ve observed on two separate occasions, so I’d like to say to naysayers, there indeed is service quality here in Shanghai that I have not encountered yet in Singapore. And where it matters too, not some lackadaisical “sumimasen” at restaurants.
Today, I was in a fairly long taxi queue at one very busy public transport interchange (metro/bus/taxi). The taxis were slow in coming so the queue built up quite quickly. When one finally came again, a fine gentleman who was just hanging around out of the queue didn’t hesitate at all to jump into it. The taxi was taking off, but promptly stopped by a lady “security” who must have chided the man and got him off the cab. I was first in line for this cab, and thought such service level highly commendable because my NUMBER ONE pet peeve is people cutting my queue. In Singapore, we would have been left to fend for ourselves, and ended up frustrated and cursing at everyone in sight.
The second incident, I’ve almost forgotten since it happened one late night in November. Parting with a visiting friend from Singapore after some drinks at the pubs, I hopped onto a taxi back to the hotel where I was putting up prior to finding a suitable apartment. We were pretty close to the hotel already when the taxi driver accidentally made a wrong turn, meaning he had to go the roundabout way to get me to the hotel, and that would rake up the fare. He immediately apologized profusely and turned off the meter. Can you remember how many times in Singapore the taxi driver took you on a round-the-island tour by his own mistake but YOU have to pay for it?
So to people who still think China represents everything sneaky, dirty and underhanded, think again. The sneaky, dirty and underhanded exists in EVERY society. And there are some very righteous, honest and decent folk here that you don’t find anywhere else.