Do We Mistreat People Who Serve Us? Twitter Thread About The Indigo Incident Thinks So!

With all that’s been happening lately, it’s safe to say that things aren’t looking so sunny for Indigo Airlines.

First, there were reports of ground staff’s alleged misbehaviour with Olympic medallist PV Sindhu. Following in its heels, a video of a scuffle between a passenger and the ground staff went viral.

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While Indigo has apologised for both these standalone instances, which seems to plonk the blame on the staff involved, the ongoing debate has raised a very important point—Are customers treating their service providers right as well?

This morning, Twitter user @tanejamainhoon took full advantage of the new extended 280 character limit and penned down his views on how people’s general behaviour towards customer support staff in India.

Nikhil Taneja, a writer/producer by profession, began by condemning the Indigo incident but also had much to say about how we, as a country, treat the people who serve us.

He begin by pointing out how the customers, because they’re the ones paying the money, seem to relish in a certain sense of entitlement because of it.

Nikhil moved on to make a fair point—mistakes happen. And quite often, it’s no particular individual’s fault. But blaming service professionals for every such errors is in no way fair.

There have been countless incidents of mistreatment of service sector professionals at the hands of rich, famous or entitled individuals who believe that their purchasing power has bought them the right to ill-treat those who refuse to do things their way.

Nikhil questions a very naked reality—Since when is this harsh, impolite behaviour normal?

History bears witness that every time a certain class is oppressed to a boiling point, they revolt, often resorting to violence. Is that what’s happening now?

According to Nikhil, it’s not about one standalone incident, but rather a bigger picture that we’re all missing. It is about how we, as a society, treat the service class.

He concludes with a suggestion that stems from a very general observation. The way we address these people needs to change. Kindness and respect ought to be the orders  of the day, irrespective of monetary status.

Nikhil’s Twitter thread, sensible that it is, has garnered both, roaring support and scathing criticism, not towards him but towards the service industry in general.

1. People who’ve been on the other side of the spectrum and experienced similar mistreatment at the hands of rude customers tweeted in agreement.

2. Since when is following protocol or doing one’s job misbehaviour?

4. #JudgingYou

5. A service industry that thirsts for compliments on a job well done is quite the sorry state of affairs.

6. “R.E.S.P.E.C.T! Find out what it means to me!”

7. Address the root cause, and you won’t have a problem anymore.

However, there were those who though agreed with Nikhil’s views about treating people with respect, disagreed with the use of violence in any manner.

1. Take recourse to law, not violence.

2. Violence is never justified, from either the customer or the staff.

Professionals in the service and hospitality industries are trained to hold on to their manners and politeness, even in extreme instances. However, they are too, at the end of the day, humans. They are prone to the same emotions as their customers, also humans.

Their purchasing power makes customers feel omnipotent. But here’s the truth: money is fickle. Dignity isn’t.

What we need is an attitude adjustment, for both parties. If a customer expects their servers to show them respect, they need to be ready to dish some out too.

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