Monday, December 17, 2012

Filling Stations...Day Light Roguery!






I feel very sad that this fuel scarcity of a thing in Lagos is still on after several weeks. The amount of traffic this scarcity cause is tremendous. What makes it even more bitter for me is the fact that upon the scarcity and silly queues you end up even paying more for the fuel. You know, its like you are being cheated and you know it but not being able to do anything about it.

It occurred to me one day after buying some fuel, I asked the driver, "the fuel in the car should be more than this ah ah what happened?" He explain that he bought the fuel at N110 per litre instead of the usual N97. Meanwhile the price advertised at the filling station was N97. So I told him to buy from other filling stations that sold at N97 next time.

He got to Total filling station another day and had to pay N200 nozzle fee before the fuel was sold to him. Nozzle Fee? What is Nozzle fee? Wonders shall never end in my lovely Lagos State. So whose pocket is this nozzle fee going into?

Anyway, this morning I discovered this trend going on especially with the filling stations around me, what they do is this: those ones that sell at N97 per litre sell in the mornings a bit into the afternoon, then the rogues open in the afternoons and towards the evening when the N97 per litre ones stop selling. So basically once the N97 per litre ones are not not selling the N110 litre ones start selling. If your tank is almost empty you wouldn't have a choice but to buy from them or if you didn't have the opportunity to leave work ontime. I know that NNPC filling stations don't get involved with that dodgy deal.




Those big eyed attendants will build houses from the illegal money they are making from selling petrol at silly prices. They actually act like its their right. I challanged one lady fuel assistant the other day, she even brought out her calculator to explain to me that they sold at N110(though N97 was advertised on their board) at their own filling station and she had that kind of attitude that said "If you don't want to pay, please step aside, who is next?". I didn't have a choice but to pay, my fuel tank was almost empty and the other customers were busy saying "ah madam, thats how we buy it here o".

So, instead of fighting with fuel attendants, I target filling stations that sell at N97 per litre and don't charge nozzle fee.


How have you all been coping with the fuel scarcity?

You can also read a post I wrote a couple of years ago about my cousin's experience at a filling station here

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christian Louboutin: I don't care if my high heels hurt women



Yesterday night, while searching for something on the internet I stumbled on this contradicting piece below. This article really caught my attention maybe because I would be attending a wedding later today and plan on wearing a pair of Louboutin that I had been dying to wear since May(didn't want to waste the shoes, been waiting for the right event to wear them to).

After reading this article below, I am uncertain of how I feel about the cobler, Mr Louboutin. There is something about his attitude that seems funny.

Please read an extract from the article I found online below to further understand what I am trying to explain. I have also included some comments the article got.

Here we go...


Christian Louboutin, the shoe designer, has said it does not matter to him if women are in pain when they wear his shoes saying: "If you can't walk in them, then don't wear them."


Cobbler, Christian Louboutin Photo: Andrea Klarin

Louboutin said high heels are ''pleasure with pain'' adding that he had no sympathy for women's complain about wearing the shoes because he once saw Tina Turner perform for three hours in Madison Square Garden in New York wearing a pair.


He told Grazia magazine: ''I really have not so much sympathy. If Tina Turner and Prince's back-up band can perform on stage in them for three hours, you can't tell me they are impossible to walk in. High heels are pleasure with pain. If you can't walk in them, don't wear them.''

(I have added some comments that this article got below)

COMMENTS

darrenp

Sack the PR team! Call the medics!


Jaykay25a

If ever there was a reason not to buy this ghastly mans overrated footwear, he has just provided it.


Thomasgoodey

There's a fool born every minute, and that includes the women who buy these things


Romancitizen

I find that when I arrive to referee a rugby match, my pair of silver 4 inch stilettos always creates an impression amongst the players, especially those from Gloucester.


Songe_Marie

I knew I wasn't trippin! Louboutins hurt everyone's feet! Smh and he don't even care lol


http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG9210721/Christian-Louboutin-I-dont-care-if-my-high-heels-hurt-women.html

(END)

To be very honest, in as much as those shoes are sometimes eye catching especially because of the red soles, they are sometimes uncomfortable, I have also heard a couple of people complain about how uncomfortable Louboutin's are. But the interesting thing is that we still wear them :)

Could it be that Mr Louboutin is not interested in making efforts towards giving his customers value for money(Value in the sense of finding ways to make the shoes more comfortable since alot of women seem to be complaining, and humility in the sense that if there are no ways to make them comfortable, can he be a little more selective with his choice of words or just keep quiet)? because in my opinon, not all high heeled shoes are uncomforble, there are some that you wear that are actually fit just fine and you wouldn't need to keep taking them off when you sit down.

Anyway, I would love to see you comments. Do you own a pair of Loubutins? are they comfortable? Even if you don't own one, what do you think about Mr Louboutin's statement?


(Shoes I would be wearing later today)


Christian Louboutin is a French footwear designer whose footwear has incorporated shiny, red soles that have become his signature. A pair of Louboutin shoes cost between $500 to $5000 depending on the style.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Intimidating first impressions...



I stepped into the crowded room looking for the unfamiliar face of the hair stylist I didn't know but held on to his name as I looked around asking anyone who looked at me "please can you lead me to Mark?" They told told me to walk straight ahead that I would soon reach him. I got to another room and with a smile I asked a very unfriendly guy, " hello, please are you Mark?" He looked at me with that sort of look that simply said " yesss! and who are you?" Well , I introduced myself and told him that a colleague of his recommended him to me, he asked what I wanted to do to my hair, I told him, he looked at another guy who he nodded at, and the guy offered me a seat and started to do my hair. I was irritated by his gesture.

So Mark's assistant or apprentice started doing my hair, he was the most pleasant person. He listened to every instruction that I gave him and did everything just as I told him I wanted it done. I concluded that Fred was sent to me by God because I didn't think Mark would have been able to dance to my tune like that.



Now, this is where I would add that first impressions really matters as we tend to judge a book by its cover all the time. Just like when we see a dress that looks very decent only to wear it and it appears to be a tempting and seductive attire. That was the case of Mark the Stylist and I


Anyway back to Mark. At the end of the day Mark wasn't as bad as he portrayed himself, in fact by the time I was leaving he gave me his number and told me that I could always call him when next I needed my hair done. But trust me to have quickly built a nice relationship with Fred, he even helped me with my salon bag to my car. I gave him a little tip.

By the time I went back to style my hair the following day, I was glad that I had met Fred and given him that tip the day before. His customer service was exceptional, he got me a nice seat and even offered me a drink while I waited my turn. In my days of going to the salon I cannot remember ever meeting a stylist as nice, well except for my dear friend Abbey who is more like family now( I would write a post about Abbey my fantastic stylist soon).

Okay, to conclude my story, guess who ended up styling my hair? Yes! Fred! When he started styling my hair I was seriously keeping my fingers and even my toes crossed. "I hope I wouldn't get into an argument with this guy" I thought. It was very surprising when he started styling my hair in a nice way and listened to every instruction I gave (well not every, but almost every instruction). He did my hair very very well, I couldn't even ask for more. When he finished and I thanked him, he promised that next time he'd even be more prepared for me.

Here was I smiling and giving a guy who I thought his attitude really sucked a generous tip. I mean, this guy used alot of his energy to make sure my hair turned out good. I left the salon smiling and my hair looking beautiful, couldn't wait to show it off :) But why did he react in such a negative manner when he first met me?



First impressions really matter, have you been put off by first impressions? did you wait to see if it would have a happy ending?

Do you have a customer service experience or a review you would like to share? If so, Contact me by sending a message to spynaija@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sky Lounge....The good life!




Today I lay on my bed dreaming about Sky Lounge. My dreaming session started when my friend called my phone at 8pm and told me she was sipping on a cold glass of Kir royale (Kir Royale is a French cocktail created by mixing champagne with blackcurrant liqueur ‘Crème de Cassis’). As she spoke to me, I felt my mouth watering and could almost taste the Kir Royale she was sipping on at the other end of the phone. It took me back to the memory of my last visit to Sky for drinks…




My last visit to Sky Lounge



We arrived at Sky that evening excited as usual knowing that we couldn’t leave without having a good time. In the elevator after pressing the button that leads to the penthouse, my eyes were fixed on the little screen that displayed the floor numbers. The door opened and we walked out of the lift into the ever so wonderful and beautiful ambiance where a well trained waitress was waiting to receive us. With the piano playing and the street lights reflecting through the windows of the restaurant and lounge, there was definitely nowhere else I did rather be that very night than Sky Lounge (well, after crossing out hanging out with my dearest of course :) )


We chose our sit and sat by the bar. The bar man said hello and placed the menu and little servings of nuts in front of us as he took our orders. A few minutes later he had performed magic and the most lovely Mojito was staring at us.



The Mojito at Sky lounge is actually the best I have had in Nigeria. Wonderfully made, I suck on the straw until no liquid can flow through it, tasting the remains of the brown sugar that sits obediently beneath the glass refusing to dissolve, I sometimes make so much noise with my straw I don't even pay attention to who might be watching. While still struggling to get the last bit of sugar from the bottoms of my glass, I realised Michael Jackson’s "speechless" had been playing on the piano, total bliss!I needed a tap (as usual)to remind me that I was still in Lagos.



The customer service at Sky Lounge is always superb! No unnecessary interruptions from the waiter or bar attendant but somehow they seem to know when to ask “would you like another one of that?" As if it were free. Lol! Drinks at Sky are usually the beginning or the end of a wonderful night out and I am not talking about being drunk. It’s a lovely place anyone who likes sophistication and calmness must visit and don't forget to try the Mojito.

PS: Sky Lounge can be a bit pricey, be sure to look at the menu carefully and of course your wallet before placing your order :)

Situated at Eko Hotel & Suites Victoria Island Lagos, Nigeria


Do you have a customer service experience or a review you would like to share? If so, Contact me by sending a message to spynaija@gmail.com



Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Experience At A Bank: Can I Just Get A Welcoming Smile, woman?




I’d like to apologise to women first before I continue writing. I have nothing against women, my mum is a wonderful woman, and I have amazing sisters, friends, cousins, aunties, etc. Oh by the way I am a woman :) phwee Ok here I go:

When it comes to working environment, women are not my favourite people. There is this aggression that some of us posess that make me wonder how others cope with us at home.

I made a phone call today to a bank branch manager, she answered nicely until I told her it had to do with a service her bank provided then her voice changed (not in a nice way). I walked into her office and she looked at me with a “not welcoming” look. Though I was very well dressed and knew that my Ferragamo perfume could make anyone try to get my number or follow me home, but not this woman, it didn't make her even fake a smile, I was surprised she offered me a seat.



She took me to another lady who she said would sort me out. I don't know who was worse, whether it was the bank’s branch manager or the customer service woman. No eye contact, no smile, nothing. She was just there pretending to be attending to me when in fact she was doing something else (I saw her holding a receipt with somebody else's name). She stood up several times without even saying “excuse me” or, “I will be with you shortly”, little words make a difference sometimes especially if you are a customer service representative. Her note pad fell beside me (by the way not my fault at all) I picked it up for her and this lady couldn't even open her mouth to say thank you. At that time I could already sense her aggression and I knew for sure that my ferragammo perfume would not make her nicer if anything it would make her get more aggressive. So, I decided not to expect much from her in order not to get further disappointed, like always I made a very good decision.


She put a book infront of me to sign, and said " here, your name, signature and date, where is your ID?" What kind of a human being is this? I laughed in my head. lol!

No manners whatsoever! I couldn't blame her she obviously didn’t have that much of a person to look up to. She dropped my ID back on the table, thank God I saw it when she did, would have lost it there and I would trust her to give me great attitude if I returned to ask her for it.



She finally sorted me out. I can't remember if she accepted my thanks or not. I didn't really care. I only felt sorry for their bank and her future as a customer service manager.

Have you ever had an experience like mine with women? or are women overly percieved as aggressive at work? what are you thoughts on this?

Do you have a customer service experience or a review you would like to share? If so, Contact me by sending a message to spynaija@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pastry Land....Basic small chops..The best around





Pastry Land is sometimes the reason why I make an attempt to go for an event. A motivating factor that helps me get ready and go out to party.
It's a one man business that provides finger foods what we Nigerians call "small chops". The founder of this company surely and most definitely knows what customer service is all about. When people tell me about their party plans my number one choice for small chops provider is always Pastry Land.

These small chops taste so good it's absolutely amazing. I like the owner, Mr Taiwo, no matter where he spots me he comes to say hello with a lovely plate of small chops, and it doesn't have to be my party. He is always very respectful yet professional. Whenever you make a complaint, he quickly makes amends even if it means making a new puff puff mixture (Nigerian snack similar to doughnut).





His attitude towards his work and enthusiasm for delivering wonderful service to us makes him number 1 option amongst us his loyal customers. Many of us, his customers were gotten through referral.
He doesn't make over the top or fancy small chops like money bags etc but the basic ones he makes are always fantastic and the taste? Always consistent!




I am not sure which my best is, whether it's his signature fluffy puff puff or his succulent and absolutely tasty and juicy prawn in batter. Actually, these two are my best on his menu. The best option is to get him to fry the small chops at the venue (that way it would hit your table fresh and hot).




There is nothing as wonderful as seeing his waiters carrying a tray filled with plates of freshly made deliciously hot Puff Puff, Mosa, Samosa, Spring Rolls and Prawns in Batter, wonderful I tell you. Savouring every single bite, I mumble “bless!” under my breathe.




Mr Taiwo's attitude towards his customers is just as sweet as his small chops, always smiling and ready to dance to your tune. His waiters are also very well trained and well mannered, I like the way they listen to simple instructions and don't frown at corrections but with an apologetic smile they accept whatever they are being reprimanded for.




I have come across some rubber like small chops, over chewy and teeth wrecking ones made by other small chops “specialists” but I have never tasted small chops as good as Pastryland's....never met a small chops maker as humble and as customer oriented as Mr Taiwo.




Scrumptious!!!

You can reach Pastryland on 08033077024, 08023977445

Do you have a customer service experience or a review you would like to share? If so, Contact me by sending a message to spynaija@gmail.com

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bangkok...Love at first taste




The very first time I set foot in Bangkok, I fell deep in love. Our case was that of love at first taste. I am talking about the best Thai restaurant in Lagos.
On my way there my friend sang it in my ears several times that though the food at Bangkok was wonderful; the decor was not fancy at all compared to other places I loved to visit. I didn't really mind but she insisted that she wanted me to be prepared and not disappointed when we got there.

We got to Bangkok and I immediately saw what my friend was trying to prepare me for. The decor was not at all fancy and the ambiance wasn't anything close to marvellous or amazing.
We were welcomed by a waitress who was dressed in full Thai traditional attire down to the slippers she wore, she also had a strong Thai accent as if she came straight from her country just to receive us. That was nice.




We were directed to our seats and given the menu. My friend, who was extremely familiar with their Thai icetea, suggested that I tried it. It was the best decision. It was lovely, cold and very refreshing. I had two more glasses before we left for home.
The restaurant was not packed. In fact the other people who were there left just before we placed our order for drinks. This left only us in the place till we left.




Our starters didn't take long before they came rolling in. Piping hot they were placed on the table. Every bite of the spring roll was magical, one of the best I have ever had. They quickly disappeared from the plate and we couldn’t help but order for some more. Several days after eating those spring rolls I still dreamt about them constantly.



Our main course was amazing too, deliciously great. It was just fantastic.
The surprising thing about this place is that; their food is actually very affordable. With generous portions, amazing freshness and deliciousness, you would think that the meals would cost an arm and a leg.

I don't know how I never heard about this place (apparently its been there for a long time). Most of the people I tried to tell about the place knew the place already. I am very thankful I found it too!



We were served complimentary pineapple slices for desert but we had no space left in our stomach for them.

The waiters were very very good. The food came out very fast. It was a marvellous experience. I found myself there again a couple of days later! The food? It was still as amazing and the price very affordable.

Where have you been all my life Bangkok? Muahhh I love you!

I recommend their Pad Thai (stir fried noodles Thai style with sauce), Fried rice with jungle seafood, Thai chicken jungle curry. Their chicken spring roll is a must! Honestly my mouth waters as I type this. I would definitely be planning another trip to Bangkok in a couple of days.

N6000 -N10000 for two people plus soft drinks if you are on a budget.

Bangkok is a Thai restaurant situated at Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island. Lagos, Nigeria

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sip Lounge… too many waiters bringeth confusion!




Yesterday after a lovely afternoon learning to bake cinabuns , my friends and I started looking for a good place to have dinner and nice cocktails; we ended up at Sip Lounge. We weren’t really sure if Sip had a restaurant since what we knew Sip for was its bar and club. We enquired at the café beneath and were told that it had a restaurant. We went right up.

We were welcomed by many waiters (about 6); the restaurant/lounge was almost empty. We asked for a table for five and this brought a sort of confusion amongst the waiters putting in mind that the place was almost empty and there were manyyy vacant tables(only about 3 tables were occupied). We couldn’t understand what the problem was.

We were left there standing while they kept pacing up and down looking very confused, we asked what the problem was and a waiter said that ALL the tables were reserved, kind of surprised , we asked what time these reservations were for and were told “ between 9:30pm and 10pm”. We were even more surprised! The time was 7pm! The tables were reserved for 10:00am to 10:30pm why couldn’t we sit down, eat and help this people make some money before the people who reserved the table came.

After much talking, we asked to speak to the manager, to our disappointment he wasn’t around and there was no other person in the lounge that had problem solving skills that we could speak to. A few minutes later, the waiters changed their minds and allowed us sit down. I must say that the ambiance of the lounge was very nice this was why we probably didn’t storm out of the place angrily. It was lovely with very modern décor. A sort of place one would sit with a friend, a date or husband giggling and gossiping all evening.

After we got the menu and placed our order for drinks, I came to the conclusion that
too many idle waiters bringeth confusion”.

As we were about to conclude on our order for drinks, another waiter came from nowhere insisting that the drinks we wanted didn’t exist in their bar when indeed it existed. He wasn’t even the waiter taking our order; he didn’t know what we were talking about he only heard the last word of an order then interrupted. The lady who was taking our order explained to the intruding waiter that she understood what we wanted, they both argued for a bit and left. Their little argument went like this:

The lady: “we have it nowww what are you saying?”
The intruding waiter: “we don’t do it without alcohol”
The lady: “we do!!! That’s not the one they ordered now”
The intruding waiter: “oh ok”.

Then they carried themselves away.

By the time our drinks came, they were appalling and tasted very terrible! We asked for it to be taken away, another waiter took them away and didn’t even bother to ask what we wanted in replacement. After waiting 10 minutes with no waiter coming to ask us what we wanted to drink (they all stood by the bar chatting away), we beckoned on yet another waiter. Before we ended our night at least six waiters served us.




We ordered for replacement drinks. My drink looked very fancy but it was the case of “all that glitter is not gold” it didn’t taste the way it looked, it wasn’t nice at all. I didn’t bother complaining, I had water instead. There was no point ordering something else or asking them to re-make the drink, it was obvious that cocktails weren’t their thing, or maybe yesterday was a bad day for the bar attendant.


We ordered our food and thank God it was better than the drinks.

In conclusion,I had a fairly OK experience. Their non-alcoholic cocktails were a great disappointment, the fact that the waiters couldn’t even find us somewhere to sit or use their initiatives was irritating, and that there was no manager or supervisor/ problem solver on ground when we got there(and throughout our stay) was another disappointment and the greatest sin of all. I must not fail to mention again that the ambiance was very lovely.


Sip lounge is located at Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Prayer sessions during office hours…is this acceptable?



I know that Africans in general are known as one of the world’s most religious people. Nigerians specifically claim to be very religious. This is a good thing and would even be more marvellous if we can act as religious as we claim by first obeying simple instructions such us forming/joining queues when we need to.

I don’t have anything against religious people or people who practise their religion strictly, in fact I am a proud lover of God. The only problem I have is when people take religion too far and use it as an excuse to negatively affect the outcome of their work.

For instance, a lot of organisations in Nigeria organise morning devotions (praying and sometimes singing praises to God) before work commences for the day, which I honestly think is a fantastic idea if it can be conducted appropriately.

I walked into a pharmacy at 11am and was welcomed by the sound of people clapping and singing praises followed by prayers. At first I thought I was in the wrong place; maybe I was lost in thoughts and didn’t know when I walked into a church,i thought, but the sight of several drugs and people in white overalls reminded me that I was in the right place, a pharmacy.

As I stood there not knowing who to talk to, the security guard walked up to me and told me that the staff were having their morning devotion, I looked at my wrist watch as I tried to control the tempo of my voice and asked “devotion at 11am?” He answered “Yes” and explained that no one could attend to me until they were done with their devotion and that could take another ten to fifteen minutes. I didn’t want to commit a sin by taking out my anger on the security guard so I tried my best, politely said thank you and good bye! I ditched my favourite pharmacy and bought my cold medication from a pharmacy that probably conducts their morning devotion at a reasonable time.

Another time I asked my assistant to buy a bottle of water from a supermarket very close to our office, it was one of those days that we ran out of drinking water, he came back with no water and explained that the staff at the supermarket were having their morning devotion and was told to either wait or come back. Their Morning devotion was holding at 10am.

I honestly do not have a problem with having morning devotions at work; it’s the timing that bothers me. If you want to have morning devotion, wouldn’t it be wise to come to work a bit earlier so that the business can still open at the opening time advertised on the door? If the opening time of the store or office would change for that day due to special morning devotions, its best to put a note on the door to advise customers that the store would be opening late due to “so so and so” reason or not even open at all until the devotion is over.

The essence of the morning or prayer devotion is to thank God and ask him for more customers and good profit.
Why do they now chase away the answer to their prayers? The customers they pray to have, have now come in to patronise but these same prayer warriors don’t have time to attend to them because they are still praying and cannot recognise that the answer to their prayer is the customer who just walked in but they couldn't attend to because they were praying when they should be rendering a service(s).

It is good for business owners to get their priorities straight and stop hiding under the umbrella of religion. Heaven helps those who help themselves. Let us do the right thing at the right time.

As I mentioned earlier, I am a proud lover of God and religion but is it appropriate and professional to conduct prayer devotions during business or office hours and to also ignore customers when they walk in during that time?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dana airlines ...back so soon?




Tonight I stayed awake later than usual carried away reading several articles on how/why the Federal Government lifted the suspension placed on Dana airlines operating license.

I read different people’s comments and opinions on this matter and found it hard to stop reading or sighing.

Some people have taken it upon themselves to insult Obinna Ajuonuma, the son of Mr Levi Ajuonuma (Mr Levi Ajuonuma died in the Dana plane crash). All these insults came reigning on him because he asked people to please sign a petition to stop Dana airlines from reopening. Please note that this young man is not demanding or forcing people to sign the petition. If you want, sign and if you do not want to, do not sign. It doesn’t warrant insults or calling his dad names.

Nigerians really have big mouths “all mouth no action!” people sit in their living rooms typing all sorts of comments. Tomorrow some Nigerians would buy Dana tickets even if they knew the plane had only one wing.

Some people insulted the government for revoking the airlines license in the first place, while others congratulated the airline management and the Federal Government for a job well done (for lifting the suspension). Some people went as far as using proverbs and grammars that other people cannot understand to analyse this situation while others even spent all their time abusing and insulting each other and forgetting the real basis for their argument.

Customer service is essential whether lives are involved or not.

Tell me my dear readers, do you really think that it is appropriate for the FG to allow Dana airlines back in operation three months after the crash? When some people haven’t even buried their family member(s)(because they haven't been given their loved ones remains yet)? Is it ok for Dana airline to have the opportunity to make money when they have not compensated the families of those who died in the crash?

I heard somebody say that they haven’t compensated them because the families of the deceased have not been able to submit death certificates. Can they be talking about death certificates of corpse that have not been found?

It disturbs my mind, the whole Dana crash issue always does.

Does Dana deserve to fly again? Is it too early for them to fly? Or do you think that the crash was an accident and all those stories that were said about their plane being faulty to their knowledge were just rumours?

Below is a copy of Obinna Ajuonuma’s statement:

This is a very important message! I need your help my friends.

I need you to join me and others in signing the petition that will STOP DANA AIR FROM OPERATING AGAIN IN NIGERIA or anywhere in the world!

Dana Air crashed on the 3rd of June, killing 153 people, including Dr. Levi Ajuonuma(my father). This airline was well aware that the aircraft was faulty but still took flight that fateful day! Now, 3 months after the suspension of their license, the Federal Government has decided to lift the suspension! The wounded hearts are still bleeding and not being taken into consideration here!

Please join forces with me and the families of the faithfully departed, and sign the petition. The link is below.

Thank you for standing with us against a system that really does not care about YOU!

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/dana-air-nigeria-stop-them-from-operating-again-in-nigeria

Thank you again.

Obinna Levi Ajuonuma Jr
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Please leave a comment or two or more…

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Slapped by bad service even overseas…




Looking at my laptop today I saw this piece that I wrote when I went on holiday…. Remembering how angry I was when I wrote this post made me laugh out loud in my room. Please read on and share your experience(s) if you have had one like mine especially outside Nigeria…

Customer service doesn’t only go wrong in Nigeria, even the very United Kingdom where I learnt all about wonderful customer services has slapped me with very bad experiences which brings me to this point that sometimes an individual’s personality or attitude might/can affect the type of service they render. I wish I could proof that effective customer service training can correct a person’s bad attitude but i can't because i dont believe it can (some people have very bad attitudes that only God can correct).

Yesterday I went to TKMAXX and the lady who attended to my sister was being stylishly rude, she was doing up to three different things at a time and was also trying to attend to us, probably in a hurry to go home (making it four different things she was doing at a time). She was rolling her eyes in that sort of manner that we could not really accuse her of eyeing us because we weren’t really sure what exactly she was doing, whether she was rolling her eyes in a rude manner or had an eye problem. Her body language read “rude”. Her attitude didn’t make any sense to us because we saw no reason for that behavior (except that it was probably almost time for her to close for the day). We remained as polite as we could be and ignored her and her very bad attitude.

She continued with her bad attitude and handed us our shopping bags without even looking up or saying anything, the next word she uttered was “Next”. I shook my head; I didn’t even know what to say. I felt really bad, I had to take a picture of her face in my mind and made a mental note not to ever go to whatever till she is serving at in the future. I wouldn’t like to ever come in contact with her again.

It’s one thing to train somebody and it’s another thing for that person to really accept the training and voluntarily decide to better his/her life by using the knowledge wisely. On the other hand, some people are just plain stiff; they have terrible attitudes and don’t want to make efforts to be better people. Or do they not know they have bad attitudes? Ok now I am so upset, I am getting confused. No matter what country people live in, their personality, character and attitude are just what it is!

Bad attitude is no respecter of customer service.

So, customer service can go wrong in Nigeria and abroad. Have you had a bad customer service experience abroad?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I don’t care who you are sir, please wait your turn!




Today, while on the queue at the Lekki Toll for almost 15minutes my friend indirectly tagged me a liar because she couldn't understand/believe how my car could be number 4 on the queue for 12 minutes.

I wasn’t lying, I was actually on the same spot for 15minutes because some people didn’t see the need to queue at the back but decided to jump the queue as if the rest of us of on that queue didn’t have important places to go.

There are more and more impatient Lagosians surfacing, people who cannot join or form a proper queue. Some of these people actually look very responsible in nice cars but deliberately refuse to remember the reason the queuing system was invented.

I learnt how to queue early in life right from primary school when we had to stand in line at the assembly ground and file in a single line to our classrooms, in secondary school when we had to queue to do every single thing such as; walk to school from the boarding house, buy snacks during break and meals during lunch. This is why when I went to school in the UK I didn't have any issues with the queuing system at all. In fact I loved it because it eliminated chaos and one is certain that at some point it will be ones turn. This is probably how the phrase “taking turns” came about.

It disturbs me a lot when people act as though they cannot understand the purpose behind queuing. They want good service but are not ready to put themselves in the position to receive it. Why should one be on a queue and other people try to cheat their way through by jumping the queue. This can be very very annoying. If you want good quality service, you should get yourself ready to accept it by doing your own part.

I was on the queue at Barcelos to buy a loaf of hot bread , then came a man frowning and stylishly walking to the front and next thing I heard were people shouting " Oga (in this context, a gentleman in which one is not so acquainted with), can't you see there is a queue?" I mean, why embarrass yourself?

At the cinema on Tuesday, while we were on the queue waiting to buy a movie ticket, a lady just walked her way to the front ignoring the queue totally. I remember hearing somebody say to the cashier “excuse me please can you attend to those on the queue first?".. I can write a book on different scenarios of people jumping queues and yes! on several occasions I have joined to either give them a “don’t even try it” look or just sarcastically say “there is a queue please”. It annoys me.

I heard some people complaining the other day that Nigerians are sometimes treated as goats, but I am sorry I think at times we put ourselves in that position by not adhering to simple rules.
Do we need to be flogged with koboko (whip) before we can obey rules?

I don't know if other people feel the way that I do about this queuing issue? What are your views on people who jump queues and how do you usually react?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bungalow….Waiter goes "Boss" crazy



On a very rainy day just as my friend and I were getting ready to leave church, I got a message from my dearest saying “ hungry? we should do lunch”. I was over the moon considering that I had left the house early in the morning with no food in my stomach and the service at church was running much longer than I had thought, I was very excited to reply “yayyyyy”.

Contemplating on where to go for a nice lunch, my dearest suggested we went to Bungalow. At first I wasn’t really sure just because I hadn’t eaten there in 3 or 4 years. I didn’t know what the place would be like now in 2012. But I remained hopeful.

We got inside the restaurant and thanks to my very sensitive nose, the first thing I smelt was raw sea food. Well, I am not sure if they had just recieved a delivery or hunger playing games on me and my nose, whatever it was that I smelt, I didn’t like and that just made me more anxious about the food I was going to eat for both lunch and dinner.

We were welcomed by a waiter who took us to a seat that I instantly complained about. It was right in front of the air-conditioning unit. The waiter was very smart (he read my lips), he turned the AC off and I relaxed a little bit.

He brought the menu but I wasn’t quite sure of what I wanted to eat. Two different pastas on the menu caught my attention and I decided to ask the waiter what the difference was.
He answered vaguely “the ingredients” I thought “right, thanks for not helping”.
I placed my order. A few seconds later I took the menu again and turned to the last page. What I saw excited me and I changed my order from pasta to prawn teppanyaki and chicken teriyaki(delicious picture above). That was the best decision ever!

Our drinks and starters rolled in very fast. We had succulent chicken wings, calamari and delicious spring rolls accompanied with some in-house sauce , finger licking, they were lovely. As we were finishing our starters, our main meal came. Our food looked beautiful. We dug in, and it tasted as beautiful as it looked(the picture above).

Everything was right, nothing was wrong. The portions were very generous, I was overjoyed. Happily, I munched away. The food was fantastic. I asked the waiter to pack both our leftovers. As I sat there I was already dreaming of eating both leftovers for dinner.

The waiter was ok but he kept addressing my dearest as “Boss”. I wasn’t sure what I thought about that.
Why couldn’t he just say “Sir”? is “Boss” professional?
Anyway the whole service was nice. It would have been nicer if the waiter was able to make an effort to suggest something for me to eat when I needed his help.
Also the way he kept saying “ yes boss” “ok boss” “how is your food boss?” irritated me


I am not really a fan of over familiar waiters. It is nice to address customers as “Sir” or “Ma” and if they are real royalties “Your Royal Highness”, the president? “Your Excellency” but keep the "Boss" tittle for your “boss”

Apart from the waiter going “Boss” crazy, we had a lovely meal and time at Bungalow, just like old times.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Starvation at a wedding...




Yesterday I went for a traditional wedding. It was a very very elaborate one with almost four to five thousand guests and a lot of prominent citizens including governors and first ladies. Everyone was talking about this wedding; I didn't want to be the only one missing out. I wanted to see everything life! So I made a huge effort to look nice and be there.

My friends and i got to the wedding at about 4pm and were impressed about how nicely decorated and spacious the venue was, the planner took time to create enough passage space and the whole place didn't look over crowed. There were ushers beautifully dressed standing at every corner and already I was happy to be there. We got a nice table and sat there after we took a few minutes to say hello to other people we knew.

Ok so thirty minutes passed, we sat and looked, no waiter or usher had approached us to ask what we would like to eat or drink. One hour passed... No waiter still!. A few minutes after one hour a waiter came offering me a drink. I took a can of sprite reluctantly just because I wasn't sure when something else to eat or drink would come my way again.

Two hours later we were still sitting there no waiter no food! My friends and I were getting very hungry. This made me think back to when I was a little girl and my dad used to make sure I ate something even if it was a little before I went to a party. He would say "just in case you don't get offered any food there, at least you won't starve before you come back home". I don't know why I didn't take to this advice on this very day. I was very hungry

My hunger for something to eat caused me to begin to lose interest in the party. We finally found a waiter and asked if we could have some food. He told us there wasn't any more food. The food was finished, he explained. I was shocked! How could we be invited to a party such as this and 2 hours after we got to the party no one had offered us something to eat and when we finally found a waiter he said the food was finished!

The ushers just stood there looking pretty in their fancy outfit. The only thing they were good for was just decoration for us to look at. My friends and I started talking about parties and how people spend so much money decorating and getting fresh flowers, crystals and artists to perform but forget to emphasis on the fact that their guests must be fed. Why invite people to a wedding and leave them sitting there starving? The bride and groom's family spend so much on caterers but at the end of the day what happens? People end up not eating.

After about 3 hours of waiting and lamenting, we finally found a waiter who my friend gave some money so that he could bring us some food. And guess what? He brought us food! The food looked nice but wasn't all that tasty, but I was so hungry I didn't even have a choice. We told the same waiter that if he could get us some small chops we would give him more money, you can imagine what happened, the fresh small chops came rolling in piping hot, in fact we had more than enough to eat.
Imagine!
We had to pay a waiter to get us food at a wedding!

Most parties I have attended, ushers came to meet you and made sure you were okay, they try to get you some food and made sure that you had enough to eat and drink. They literally acted as hostesses (don’t know why they call them ushers)
But not this party, the ushers were just standing there looking like statues.

Honestly I am not sure who to blame, the family footing the bill or the event planner?
Some event planners take on events that are too big for them to manage. I honestly think that this isn't fair. At the same time some people give out five thousand invitations for their wedding then order food for only four thousand guests! What are the remaining one thousand guests suppose to eat, the fresh flowers on the table?

I mean, I believe in cutting ones coat according to the available fabric. Only invite the number of people you can cater for or instead of ordering those extra mood lights or chandeliers why not put that money towards more food for the guests. Guests like to come to a nice place, but how can they even enjoy the nice place if they are hungry?

When a guest honours an invitation, they must be treated well. They leave their homes and get themselves all the way to the venue; it’s only fair to give them a good reception. The event planner should treat guests like customers; give them whatever they want so that they are comfortable (as long as it is available at the party and for the guests). If for some reason the food finishes, then as a planner you can make other plans. Give the guest a drink, cake, fruits or something. Just act like you are doing what you were paid for.

What’s the point of being a smiley faced planner if the guests at the party you planned were unsatisfied?

The best thing is to eat before leaving your house you can leave a little space in your stomach just in case you get served something nice. But apart from that never go to a party that you or your family didn't organise, expecting to be fed.
Now I understand why some of our mothers carry a big cooler of food to their friend’s party, at least if the food finishes, there would be something to fall back on.

What are your views on elaborate weddings but no food for guests? Who should take the blame, the wedding planner or the family footing the bill? Do you have a favourite event planner?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mr Biggs...gone to sleep?



Mr Bigs is a household name in Nigeria, a brand that is very famous for it pastries and food. when i was much younger, Mr Bigs was where i loved to go. My parent wanted to give me a treat? they gave me money to go there and have a good time. I loved Mr Bigs as a young child.

What about now?

Nowadays, some people say they can never be caught dead at Mr Bigs, to them it is very low class and would be degrading if spotted there (rolling my eyes) i dont feel that way!

The only problem i have with Mr Biggs is it's many inconsistent franchises especially this particular one close to my office.

The food in this particular one is appauling, the pastries are sometimes stale, infact this type of franchise is the reason why people say the service and food at Mr Biggs has deteriorated.

On several occassions when i sent my office assistant there to get me some pastries he always came back with stories, either they had run out(which i knew was not true, they probably didnt make any that day), their generator was faulty or they were just simply not making scotch eggs for that day. Imagine! a franchise where rent has to be paid, utility bills and salaries too, why didnt they want to make money, what are they there for if not to produce pastries?

The other day i sent my assistant there again, he came back with a susage roll that tasted bad, that roll must have been at their resturant for atleast 2days, they had probably been re-heating and re-heating it till it got to me the final consumer and upon the hot state that it reached me in, it still tasted off. I was so angry, I spat it out and threw the rest in the bin.

Meanwhile i have had pasteries from other Mr Biggs franchises that tasted really really good. Infact there was one scotch egg i ate about a month ago from another franchise that was fantastic . It was honestly the best scotch egg i had ever had. Come back to the one close to my office, their slogan should be
"we deliver crap all the time".

Yesterday, i sent for scotch eggs and guess what they came in? serviettes!! they probably ran out of those white little bags so they sold them in servittes.
Two scotch eggs sold and wrapped in one serviette.
Why didnt they just wrap it in old news paper then i would have really gotten the message.

The horrible thing is; i love Mr Biggs's scotch eggs and this annoying franchise is the closest place to my office to get one. Like a typical Nigerian, i keep accepting crap and re-purchasing it. Anyway, i wont be buying any more pasteries from that Mr Biggs because at this rate they might really hurt not only my emotions but my stomach. So what i have decided to do now is, buy 10scotch egss from that franchise that make good ones then freeze it so i can take one to work everyday.

The Mr Biggs next to my office needs to shut down or wake up, they are a waste of space. Even the roasted corn seller down the road does a better job delievering good service, atleast she sells fresh corn.

What do you think about Mr Bigs? do you think they have really deteriorated? would you be caught dead eating their products?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dana Crash...bad customer service?


On the 3rd of June 2012, the people of Nigeria lost so many lives. People cried a river as the news lingered in the air that a Dana airline had crashed into a residential area in Ifako Ijaye! It was heartbreaking, several days afterwards people who weren’t even affected by the crash were still having nightmares.
I got a message from my brother saying that his friend's wife was also on the plane, he said he cried and couldn’t sleep pondering on the day’s happening. The feeling was so bad and sad it was sickening; everybody seemed to know one person or the other on that plane.

Somebody said to me yesterday,” how does this relate to bad customer service? Would good customer service have been able to save all those precious lives?” I answered” Maybe!”

The number one problem I noticed in Nigeria is the irritating and annoying way that some service providers think they can treat their customers like mere cows. They do not consider or feel that their fellow Nigerians are worthy of getting good services and I don’t blame them because most Nigerians are just used to accepting rubbish service for their money. They manage bad services sometimes without even taking further actions to make sure they do not get that kind of service again.

Service providers should at all times aim to provide the best service to their customers whether it will cost them their lives or not. For instance, If Coca-Cola decides not to repair a leaking machine and some kind of dangerous oil keeps leaking into the already mixed drink, would it be sensible to still sell it? No, I doubt it very much that if they are aware of that they would still sell the product no matter the quantity. But guess what? Some Nigerians might still offer to buy those contaminated products at very low cost though they know it is damaged and bad for consumption. This is why most service providers treat us like crap.

Another example, if a drug company had some kind of default with the machine mixing the chemicals that form a drug. Let’s say each time this machine is mixing the chemicals something drops into the mixture let’s say a type of rat poison, would they still sell it? No! If they are aware of it they wouldn’t dare!

So why should an airline company decide to fly its plane if it’s not air worthy?
Thinking about this gets me confused. if it were a private jet and the owner insisted on flying the plane even with it being faulty then that is his own business it would be a risk he would be willing to take with his own life, but not a commercial flight that people have paid for and a service that involved human lives.
If people pay for a service they should get the best and not death in return
This is why I am still very perplexed about what was said about the airplane being faulty. Did they really know that the plane was faulty or was it just a rumour?

If they knew their plane was faulty before the journey even started, didn’t they owe it to their customers to deliver to them good quality service especially because they were paying for it? (and even if they weren’t paying for it) It would have still been good customer service if the plane was delayed for a replacement plane and the customers were compensated in a way later. In this case, it wouldn’t be a matter of getting a customer to his/her destination on time but a matter of getting them there safe and alive. The customers might complain but they wouldn’t lose their lives and the airline its license and an unforgettable stigma on their name and image for a very long time if not forever.

Let’s assume that a company is trying to be greedy or self centred which then leads them to not caring about what the customer gets in return as value (thinking about only the profit they would make from the sale). The cost of being a careless customer service provider is very high, higher than what customers pay for the intended service. Most times they end up paying compensation to all affected parties. Like the airplane that crashed, though their insurance company will be paying a lot of money in compensation, the airline will still suffer a lot of loss because the government revoked their license a few days after the crash so their airplanes will not be flying. As long as their airline’s license remain revoked they will continue to lose money until they are allowed to fly again if ever again. And talking about customers, they have lost a lot of customers already and have caused grief in so many homes. Now, how much does a ticket to Lagos cost?. They will be paying back more than what their customers paid for a flight to Lagos.

Speaking about compensation,I felt even worse when I visited somebody whose dad died in the crash. What sort of compensation can bring the dead back?
I mean, when you hear Dana now you think “Plane Crash”
The brand name is now associated with sorrow and loss.

In response to the question I was asked concerning bad customer service being a related topic to the crash? Yes! Good customer service might have saved this particular plane crash and many lives.
Good customer service almost doesn’t exist in Nigeria and when foreigners come, sometimes they follow our steps and treat us the way we treat each other since we don’t think we deserve good services.

Service providers need to pay more attention to the services rendered to their customers. When somebody pays for a certain service, they should get value for it. Every customer deserves to be treated right and they also have the right to demand for the best.

It annoys me so much that people (customers) don’t know what they should be getting for their money but settle for less.
I wonder when Nigerians would stop accepting bad services. When would they start delivering good services? When would they realise that treating and rendering poor service to their customers will cost them more in the long run.



Friday, May 25, 2012

Arabica my love, why hast thou deserted me?



My heart broke for real the day that i learnt my favourite cafe Arabica was closing down. it was one of the saddest news I heard that year. I almost cried!

Arabica was a beautiful cafe in GRA, Lagos right on top of Barcelos, it had comfy chairs and a very large window that i sat next to and watched whatever went on outside. Sitting there sometimes made me feel like l was in a different world.

Arabica was a home away from home, a place where you could relax when you wanted a break from the stress associated with life. It was just a pleasant and peaceful place to sit and meditate.

My favourite thing on the menu was their club sandwich, Oh Lord! it was amazing, amazing is actually an understatement, i ate it with so much passion and compassion and I simply forgot all my sorrows and worries.

I stopped there for tea, to chill, to sit, to think, to relax and
a few times I managed to doze off on their wonderful sofa.
God bless the owner of Arabica! That small cafe brought so much light to my life and a lot of ideas and thoughts were birthed there.

It was my special lounge, I used to invite people over for a cuppa, a chat or even just to look.
I had Arabica friends, people that whenever I saw there, we said hello and smiled though we never crossed paths except during Arabica visits. I guess its not surprising that their faces are still stuck in my head.

The waitresses were amazing and beautiful people. They always welcomed customers with a smile and didnt mind or act funny when we ordered just water but sat in the cafe for several hours without buying any other thing. They knew most of our names, they were nice people.

This was why I was very shocked when I heard the cafe was closing down. "Why Arabica!?"

A place that brought so much joy and peace to ones heart and soul should never have the right to close down!
No explanations no consolations just words from neighbouring shops explaining that the shop was closed and would not be opend again. what a heartbreak!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spur Lagos spun me around. WOW!



Yesterday afternoon i managed to blackmail my sister into taking me out for lunch, she agreed. we went to spurs at the ikeja mall. my friend told me about his experience at the place and promised to treat me to lunch there, unfortunately my sister beat him to it.

Meanwhile on one of my trips to London, my Lil cousin wouldn't let me rest until i finally took her to dinner at Spur, i loved it so much, i remember going back there several times after then, their steak and garlic bread were just too amazing. lovely!

So when i heard Spur opened in Lagos i was excited but then skeptical hoping that it wouldn't be another case of Nandos in Lagos.

Anyway my sister and i got to Spur this very day and were welcomed by two very eager and enthusiastic smiley faced waiters who led us to our table. The waiter brought us the menu, my sister and i studied it carefully and asked the waiter for help when we were stuck, he wasn't really that helpful at explaining what the meal was but his eagerness to please us didn't give us the chance to get frustrated. All we did was send him to the kitchen to ask about the menu when we saw that he was trying a bit too hard. He came back with the right answers and we placed our orders!

The restaurant felt a bit hot but before we could complain we were told by one of the waiters that an engineer was working on their air conditioning unit. He assured us that it wouldn't take more than a minute. Soon after, the restaurant started feeling and looking a bit smokey by this time a white lady who we presumed to be the manager came to meet us and explained to us that the engineers were working on their air conditioning unit but it was taking longer than usual. she assured us again that it wouldn't take much longer.

We were very dazzled by this customer service, it was just amazing,
though it looked like the place was about to get burnt, we still sat there smiling and waiting for our food
Two minutes later, a man with a South African accent came to us and introduced himself as the kitchen manager(i think) he explained to us that the power was out so our food hadn't been fully made but the food preparation would commence in three minutes when the power was scheduled to come back on.

We weren't still mad(amazingly), we smiled and thanked him. By this time my sister suggested we go and wait outside because of my nephew (who is only 6months) at least until the power came back on. On our way outside we told one of the waiters to call on us when everything was sorted. To our surprise about four minutes later, we were called in by a waiter and we went back straight to our former table as soon as we sat down, the manager came back to apologise to us( by this time we had received so many apologies we were practically swimming in them). Ten minutes later, the food was out. WOW!!!!!!!!

We were super impressed, so so so impressed. Now, this is what i call GOOD customer service! i almost wanted to give all the people who worked there a hug. it was fantastic service. The food was lovely, i enjoyed every bit of it and every single minute we were there was pleasant. My sister gave the waiter a good tip, he was very thankful.
Our experience here was so lovely, i almost forgot i was in Lagos!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lister Hospital... The hospital that listens




Lister hospital is a small hospital at Adeniyi Jones, a sort of place you would call "a small friendly family hospital". I love this hospital so much because of their passionate and caring attitude. The hospital is a very good example of a service organization with good customer service. Right from the security guy at the gate to the receptionist, nurses who take your vitals to the doctor himself.

Here is a blue print of one my visits to the hospital

On getting to the hospital that morning the security helped us find a parking space , greeted me very warmly and asked after my parents with a big smile. I entered into the hospital and was welcomed with a warm smile from the receptionist (though i wasn't feeling well I had no choice but to return the smile".

The receptionist invited me to take a seat in front of her asked after my entire family then went to got our family hospital file, not wanting to ask for my name, she asked if I was my sister and I told her my name, she apologized and quickly opened the file and took it to the nurse.I brought out a book while waiting; another nurse walked into the reception and greeted everyone waiting warmly and familiarly. I looked up and she recognized me and greeted me too asking after my parents, she assured me that it would soon be my turn to take my vitals.

A few minutes later I was called into the room where my vitals were taken (i wasn't very familiar with the nurses who took my vitals but they were still very nice to me). I was treated with respect and dignity right until I went in to see the doctor. Like always, the doctor was very kind and compassionate though I wasn’t in the best of health, I managed to smile a couple of times. I left the office, got my drugs, paid my bill and went outside with a cheerful farewell. On getting outside, the security helped us with the traffic and I just couldn’t leave without giving him a tip. He prayed that God blessed me and I said a good “Amen” to that.

I left thinking of the benefits a business can derive from having staff who possess wonderful attitude and a good customer service background. Though this lovely hospital does not have a unit where ultrasounds are done but has a relationship with another center(where scans etc are done) but that does not discourage me from going there. i love this hospital because I always feel at home and comfortable while I am there. most times i don't mind being referred to another center to get an ultrasound done.