Thursday, February 04, 2010

Small Interactions in Israel

It's been awhile since I've posted. I changed jobs recently and I spend my day writing blogs, so my own blog tends to get pushed to the back of the pile. I apologize dear blog and will try to keep up with you.

Anyway, I had two interesting interactions recently that made me get a kick out of life in Israel. Josh and I escaped to the mall for a bit of relaxation and fun last Saturday night, and I managed to tear my skirt on a display in a store. I was really annoyed, and was planning to simply leave the store and continue grumbling. Josh said that I should tell the salespeople. As I predicted, they looked at me with the expressions of "And exactly what do you want us to do about your ripped skirt, lady?" I explained that the display where I ripped it was dangerous and I showed them how it ripped. Keep in mind that I did all of this in my very poor Hebrew, and kept hoping that I was actually getting my point across.

Eventually, I asked for the store owner, and was shocked when he actually came out from the back. (Sometimes being pushy actually works!) I went through the whole explanation with him (hoping he would pay me for the 10 year old skirt, or offer me a discount in the store or something) and he came up with quite a creative solution. He told me to come back the next day with the skirt and that he would have his professional seamstress sew the rip! Now, the rip was quite large and jagged, but I did as he said, and within 4 days he had called to say it was ready to be picked up. They did a really impressive job, and I'm back to wearing my favorite skirt. I enjoyed this story for a few reasons.

1. Even when you want to give up, it's often worthwhile to keep pushing (even in bad Hebrew).
2. If you know you are right, you don't need to back down just because no one seems to be listening.
3. Customer service is actually alive and well in Israel, at least sometimes.

The second story was quite lovely. I had to get the gas balloons for our stove top filled, and they sent a technician out first to check on the gas line. He showed up promptly, did his thing and was ready to leave. I told him that I was only filling one of the balloons right now and not both, because they are quite expensive. At that point, this technician explained that we'll find the money for the second balloon and we shouldn't worry about the money. Life is so precious, he said, and money is just money. He talked about health and families, all the while making Zeli laugh in my arms. I loved it - how often do you get such a valuable reminder and message from your gas technician?

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