Culture and People / My POV

एक छोटी सी short story… One short Short-story!

Here is a एक छोटी सी short story… One short Short-story based on my recent observations…

6:30pm, Tuesday, 24th April 2012

Taste of India Food Court, Bangalore Airport, India

The whole airport was buzzing huge crowd of people rushing in & out, waiting for their flights. Almost every one was trying to grab some food before catching their flight, thanks to a) crappy food served by all airlines and b) success of low-frill no-free-meal flights. A nice range of food options was available Indian/ Continental/ Italian/ Thai, proper dinner meals as well as snack/finger food.

While standing in the long queue to pay for my favorite Samosa-Chhole combo & a Sprite, I noticed the Indian chef cooking pasta at the live pasta counter was young, educated & smart. He was courteous to all, despite under pressure from the crowd of customers waiting to be served.  Like a top notch professional his skilled hand were moving swiftly. Asking customer their choice of ingredients crisply & courteously.

As he started serving pasta to a group of young american guys, one of them realized that he got the billing done earlier only the Pasta & he now wished that he had known the bread needed to be separately billed. Customer wanted to have the bread but did like the idea of again going back into the long queue in front of the cashier to pay for it.

Showing a great customer service initiative our young chef offered to get the billing for the bread done directly from behind the counters  which delighted the customer. Another guy from the same group offered the chef Rs.100 (less than 2 US$ at the current exchange rate), the price of bread was less than a dollar. As the chef was moving towards the cashier to get the billing done for bread, customer picked up his pasta/bread and they guy who had given the money asked the chef to keep the change.

Our young professional Chef and the cashier looked at each other. Decided not to punch the order, kept the whole amount in their pocket.

What happened here? A good deed by a delighted customer turned the professional staff a bit corrupt!

Maybe I am making a mountain out of a mole-hill. Maybe its not such a big deal, just a matter of 2 dollars. That’s why I’m calling it a short Short-Story. Not trying to take any high moral ground or preaching lessons on honesty from it. Not asking whether it is right or wrong. What would you do in similar scenario?

Must mention here that Samosa-Chhole combination was truly yum :-)…

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2 thoughts on “एक छोटी सी short story… One short Short-story!

  1. My 2 cents – and don’t detest me for it 🙂 I don’t blame the guy – and here’s why. A chef doling out pasta could himself be counting pennies to buy meagre meals for his family, or that extra piece of cloth for his parents or somehting similar on those lines. For all we know, that extra change got him in the form of a couple of candies for his kids. I respect people who are honest to the core – but over the years and after a few grey hairs, I have learnt to address the question on “what is honesty” a bit more democratically by saying “It depends….”

    • I am not trying to judge them at all. In fact I think most of us would do the same in similar situation. Everyone was happy in the end. Customer got the bread without wasting time in the queue once again and the Chef was happy with small tip. Morality is a very subjective thing, generally we tend to judge others very easily and are very lenient when it comes to ourselves.

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