GST finally became a reality yesterday (1st April). How does everybody feel about this? Some people were in denial, they thought GST would be shelved at the last minute. Some were lackadaisical, they had much better things to do than brood over it. Some poked fun and forwarded often witty comments about GST. But, a majority of people were just angry and plain upset.
There are so many complaints about the way GST has been implemented and its implications, you can read that everywhere. Everyone is talking about it. It’s the hottest topic of the week, quite possibly the year. But what I actually want to talk about are the service providers in GST-registered companies…the employees who are providing services to us, the workers who are behind the cash registers who would have to give you a receipt of purchase and we, as customers, upon seeing the receipts, throw into a fit when we see the words G..S..T!
Yesterday, I had been witness to 2 incidents.
First incident, I was having lunch in a restaurant and there was a group of people having their meal at the opposite table. One lady at that table requested for the receipt and when the waitress brought over the receipt, the lady went crazy on that poor waitress asking why they had been charged extra. Now, I gave that lady some benefit of doubt, I thought she was probably from another country or dimension to not know about this but to yell at the waitress?? That was not appropriate behaviour at all. The waitress was just doing her job and she did her best in explaining about GST. Good customer service from the waitress. She managed to handle a ridiculously angry customer.
I swear the lady looked like this Angry Bird. 🙂
Second incident, after lunch, I decided to go to Tesco hypermarket to do my monthly grocery shopping. I usually do it at the end of the month, but I thought better to avoid that area to give way to shoppers who want to shop their whole year rations on the last day of pre-GST. ;P At the checkout line, I was waiting behind an elderly man and a family (husband, wife and 2 kids). Similar to the earlier incident, the family man, upon seeing his receipt, thought fit to scold the cashier and summarized it as “Tesco tipu”. The poor cashier was just looking at him thinking what to say when the elderly man who was in front of me came to the rescue. He told the family man to go find out what is GST before scolding others. Bravo to the elderly man.
After the incidents, I talked to both the waitress and the cashier and both of them said that they had been getting this type of response since the last weekend. All they can do is explain that this is a government-imposed tax and basically bear the brunt of the customers.
On a personal note, I just want to thank all customer service personnel in Malaysia for tolerating the worst attitudes of customers in this “GST-storm of anger”. Its just built-up frustration by individuals who do not know how to control themselves. Please do not take it personally.
Like it or not, as long as we are in Malaysia, there will be a 6% GST and if you choose to buy products with 6% GST, then you have no choice but to pay. But one thing we do have a choice is how we manage our emotions during these times. Don’t throw your anger on others who are also on the same boat and who are probably financially worse-off than you. We are all in this together, so let’s try to be courteous to one another.