Gwen’s Diary – Entry III

Dear diary,

I met someone really interesting today. Perhaps one of the most memorable customer that I have ever served. I can still vividly remember the entire scene in my head. A lady entered the store alone and asked if there were any promotions for the iPhone 6. After listening eagerly, she explained that the phone was not meant for her but for someone else. Concerned, she asked me if the iPhone 6 would be an appropriate gift. Before offering her my opinion, I asked for more information such as who the gift was meant for, how does the person intend to use the phone, and so on.

“Don’t worry,” the lady replied with a smile. She said that the special person that she wanted to give the phone to was here and I could speak directly to him. At that very moment, an uncle appeared as though he had been summoned. The uncle introduced himself as the lady’s grandfather and began an “interrogation”. He asked me all sorts of questions from the specs of the phone, “Is it able to take good photos?”, to data transfer “How do I move all my contacts from my current Android to the new iPhone?”, and features “How do I make the the font size bigger?”. I patiently answered all of his questions.

His granddaughter then laughed and said that she had actually answered all these questions before, as she herself was an iPhone user. He then jokingly said that he wanted to test me to make sure that I was up to the job. I laughed and said that I can handle any questions. Satisfied, he decided to purchase the iPhone 6 while saying “So ah, I can use WhatsApp, WeChat and Facebook to keep up with all my grandchildren.”  

While we were setting up, the grandfather started chatting in Hokkien. When he realised that I kept replying him in English, he stopped. “Why aren’t you answering me in Hokkien?” He asked. “Don’t tell me that you don’t understand Hokkien, ah, I tell you!”

I desperately explained that I can comprehend everything that he said but that I am weak in speaking Hokkien. The conversation afterwards was all too familiar. Everything that he said was the exact same things my own grandfather often said to me. It was all about how youngsters nowadays do not place enough emphasis on dialects, how we need to learn them, how we have to learn them. I agree. We Switchers take pride in being able to communicate with people from all walks of lives, and our ability to speak in several languages helps us to serve them better. I am ashamed that my fellow colleagues, especially my non-chinese colleagues, can speak and understand more than just their mother tongue. They know English, Chinese, and so many common dialects.

The young lady was embarrassed and apologised profusely on behalf of her grandfather. I understood how she felt. I reassured her that I didn’t mind because my grandfather often said the same thing. I told her how her grandfather reminded me of my own grandfather. The way they both look and talk, their conversations, and that same boisterous voice. The grandfather seemed very happy and relieved to hear that from me, claiming that what he has said is correct and that I need to learn and improve myself. Before he left the store, he spoke really gently to me, telling me not to be afraid to ask questions and to learn, and that he felt that I was a good kid.

Overall, my day today was a 9/10. This is the power of interacting with people. We get a glimpse into their lives and gain real-life knowledge that we could never get in a classroom. We exchange thoughts and knowledge. We educate the customers on the wonders of Apple products, the convenience and happiness that these products bring to our lives; and the customers share about their lives with us, imparting wisdom and smiles to us.

This is my story to you for today. Until next time! X)

Hi there!

This post is written by Gwen who is all about sharing her life and experiences as a Switcher and aims to make the world a better place, word by word, bit by bit. #angelindisguise


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