Recently, some of us from the same community here teamed up to take part in a carnival which is to happen this Sunday somewhere quite near us. This would be the first experience for all of us participating collectively in a Malaysian event.
To cut the story short, we were disappointed by the tardiness of the organisers. Our emails and smses were left unattended, not even a reply of acknowledgement and all these happened after we have paid for the booth that we were taking. It is not about the money, but at least as customers in this case us as the vendors, we deserve the right to know the status of our involvment in the event. There was no reply to any of our emails, not even a short simple note to say ‘we have received the payment and will provide the details shortly’. No reply of sms-es from the event manager just to say ‘we have received your sms but unable to provide any details’– nothing! And that was up to the day before yesterday, Tuesday night, 4 days per say to the event. And as vendors who are supposed to buy perishable raw materials to be made into products to be sold during the event, we were left hanging without any note or notice 4 days into the event.
So what did we do? Back in our hometown, we have one quick fix solution which is often practiced, i.e write to the forum page of the main newspaper. Someone would take notice and the appearance in the press would get awareness which would eventually solve the problem. And so we thought. Alas, we discovered things are quite different here in the land we have chosen to call home for a while…
As last resort, I wrote an sms to one of the committee members saying that we would go to the press if we don’t hear anything from them by the next day, which was yesterday ( Wednesday ).
And lo and behold, we did receive an sms back. Let me copy word for word the contents of the sms here. Copied fully but name omitted.
” ***, Feel free to back off from the event. I will personally refund your money. We have more than enough vendors to take over your booth.”
Fuhyooo. Our team, alhamdulillah, have travelled far and wide. But we must admit that this is our first time receiving something shockingly rude from a service provider, of all places, on the land we have called home at the moment and have sung praises for it. Individually or collectively, we have never received such treatments as customers, have you?
Anyway post the shocking sms, an email was written to the said member of the committee to clarify our position, on why we were frustrated with the service which they have failed to deliver and also pointing out the rudeness of the sms sent. This morning, I got an email, in which the writer of the rude sms painted herself as the victim of being personally attacked on the account of the long email sent, and that she was insulted and disappointed and all the other emotional mumbo jumbo.
Errr, am I missing something here?
So some pow-wows later, we told them to keep the money meant for the booth. We are definitely not interested in being associated with tardiness, inefficiency, rudeness and unprofessionalism. We are definitely shocked at their inability to take professional feedback but instead look at it as a personal attack, although we were the ones who received the nasty and rude sms.
We love Malaysia and Malaysians and that is why we have one way or another chosen to make this home. However, this incident, supposedly by an organisation and one which/who champions progress, Islamic values and all the holier than thou attitude in writing– left somewhat a bitter taste in our mouths. It also made us realise, if at ground level an organisation and an individual are like this, no wonder the politics here is also very kaput.
The money from our booth– which is really nothing to us, we pray that it will be used to print leaflets on basic manners, to be distributed during the carnival. For certainly, from this incident, they have proven that they need it more before they can champion whatever causes they are championing.
The peribahasa? Kerana nila setitik, rosak susu sebelanga…