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Indians Who Can't Take 'No' For An Answer

Indians Who Can't Take 'No' For An Answer

June 13, 2012

It is so refreshing being told you can’t do something in India.

“Some people seem to think just because we’re Indians, and we’re in India, they can behave inappropriately.”

“But let me tell you something, this is ‘The Four Seasons’ and we are very strict,” says the Mumbai Worli-based hotel manager.

This feverishly bold statement is made as my friend strolls into the hotel lobby, drunk, and demanding shots of alcohol.

The bar is shut and she won’t be served despite any protests.

She says she’s from London, and should have service right this instance.

It’s her birthright almost. Doesn’t he know who she is? (Note the sarcasm).

However, the manager won’t have it. He won’t even let her have a security pass up the lift to see her friends.

I’m trying to usher her out of the lobby.

The manager is a friend of mine, but I won’t be able to persuade him this time.

Normally you can talk your way pretty much through anything in India.

Take a time machine back to a couple of years ago and my friend would be on the rooftop by now, being served the cocktail of her choice.

All she would have to do is tip a hundred rupee notes to the most relevant staff for the total embarrassment of her trashy behaviour.

It’s the ‘I’m from London’ trick of the trade when going out in India.

But it doesn’t work anymore in these franchised hotels.

Even being a girl isn’t getting you those plus points they used to.

Many Indians and their attitudes are changing towards the ‘elite’ – Bollywood stars, businessmen, and foreigners.

It is now unacceptable to click your fingers for the car valet, or shout your way through for a prime-time dinner table.

Sometimes you have to wait, like everyone else, or be denied entrance because that’s the policy of the venue.

The staffs within these five-star hotels are being taught to develop mutual respect with their guests.

Guests, in turn, are having a humbling experience by learning to swallow being told ‘No’.

It is so refreshing being told you can’t do something in India.

I almost enjoy this new experience, even if sometimes I bear the brunt of it.

Hospitality care a lot less of who you may be as a guest and where you come from.

Undoubtedly, being wealthy or famous just like anywhere else in the world does help – the locals do have an unhealthy obsession with staring after all.

However, in terms of getting what you want, this only now helps around eighty per cent.

The rest involves being nice, courteous, and gracious toward those at your service.

This may prove to be a challenge amongst Indians who have developed a bulging ego over the years.

Slowly, this figure will whittle down as more international brands set up in India, and refuse to be treated any less than their counterparts in the rest of the world.

The manager proved my point.


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  • Rajpriya
    17.06.12 10:49 AM
    I fully endorse your view, “The rest involves being nice, courteous, and gracious toward those at your service”.

    “If you mean to profit you must learn to please” is a code that I follow because I have to switch the role of a customer too often myself meaning I have customers who need my services and the times I need the services of others to whom I am the customer.

    I was thinking about this problem of your drunken friend for sometime now. Here’s my tuppence worth. If she was in London I do not think she would have made any such demand because she would most probably have been thrown out of the bar. Many Indians go abroad to return with education and yet there are others who return intoxicated with arrogance and indiscipline.

    Your drunken friend would never know why bars close and why they cannot be open all the time. They close for alcoholics giving them time to sober up to start all over again day after day until their liver suffers Cirrhosis.

    Money can talk its way through most of the time in India or if you have relations and friends in powerful and influential positions to get things done.

    I do go to India at the end of every year and for weddings and other invitations from close relations during other times. But the difference is in, that I dress exactly like an average Indian. A clean white khadar shirt and white Dhoti (brand new bought for that particular occasion held firmly round my waist with a leather belt one inch broad to avoid any unexpected accident and embarrassment. Ssshh!!).

    Some of my uncles have their own bars at home could open at very short notice. But the funniest part is I don’t drink alcohol in India and only very occasionally in business meetings abroad knowing that most westerners drink to keep them warm from extremely cold weather. However, I enjoy the fun some of my relations who provide unwittingly rather being fun myself by sipping a glass of Ginger Ale sans alcohol to keep company.

    I have seen and known someone who spat out pieces of his liver through his mouth and died within hours. When I dare say it was my own brother that’s reason enough for me keep away from it. Facts are facts and they are never to be hidden if they are to benefit others to Change.
  • Tangy Tomato Twist
    Tangy Tomato Twist
    14.06.12 07:23 PM
    yeah India is changing ... even at workplace the change is very much noticeable... We are no longer yes boss types anymore ...
  • bhavana
    13.06.12 10:40 PM
    It is refreshing for me to read this!!! Bravo to the manager!!! Cool-India is changing and getting over its "foreign" crush!

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