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Four One One

When will we learn that a customer is always boss?

Connie Nankya

So I walk into this famous photo studio in Kampala to have some photos taken. This place came in highly recommended by a good friend who told me it had been around for such a long time. The fact that it is operated by an elderly lady came in as proof that these people know what it means to deliver good service.

The old lady, seemingly in her 70s, was having a verbal fight with one of her customers over a late delivery. I tried to mind my business, hoping it will all end well and indeed in no time it was our turn to take photos and we walked in. The gentleman was very welcoming and guided us through our session in terms of the “dos and don’ts”.

As a common case, one can take more than two takes for the perfect picture. However, half way into our session the old lady walked in all guns blazing and shouted at the photographer. She made all sorts of statements and insinuated that the poor guy was handling customers like he was at a cinema.

The frightened look on the man’s face is one that has never left my memory. In panic, he apologised and laboured to explain only for his explanation to fall on deaf ears. In shock, I requested the old lady to be respectful to her employees. Shouting at them as they laboured to give the best customer service to her clients was very unfair. She then turned to me and insulted me further upon which my copies were deleted immediately.

Out of shock, more clients submitted their complaints with the core point being in treating humanity right.

It was such an absurd scene. I did not know that such conditions still existed in this country. How does one wake up to go to work only for them to be inundated with a range of insults in the line of duty? Does life have to be that complicated? One could not help but feel sorry for the employees at this photo studio. Imagine having to manage their boss’ on and off tantrums, handle the clients and their complaints/dissatisfaction under the conditions they are being handled and then try to be the best at their job. It is not fair.

However, one can easily say this is what happens when certain companies/businesses take their clients for granted. They feel a certain level of entitlement that they can shout at anyone and get away with it.

One can only hope that the old lady at this “long-serving photo studio” along Diamond Trust building will eventually learn that when we treat people right, we leave a lasting impression that will stand the taste of time. To date, employees of the late James Mulwana will still speak of and hold him in high regard because of the way he treated them and the exemplary life he lead. Many will fight hard and work hard to ensure that his legacy lives on.
Now we may not say the same about the old lady above because the chaos right from the customers to the employees is a sad tale altogether.

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