I am constantly reminded of how impatient I am. So much so I'm now beggining to believe it.
Impatient when kept waiting - definitely. I'm of the opinion that at a restaurant, no one should wait for the waiter more than 5 minutes. If not to take the order at least for an acknowledgement.
I complain regularly. I complain in supermarkets, bars, restaurants, government agencies, clothes shops, even in medical facilities.
Madeira may well be Paradise on Earth but the flip side is it offers hellish customer service, far too often.
Madeirans in general don't seem to possess the queuing gene. It's always a mad scramble at the bus stop - a stampede for the bus that makes me stand there waving my fists threateningly at anyone who dares push in front of me. And the old people are the worse! Why? Pensioners don't work so why on earth are they in a hurry? I can only assume they're cramming in as much as possible before the grim reaper visits.
When I complain at slow service I usually get a a startled look as if I'm being asked where's the fire.
Recently in a pub I no longer frequent, I was waiting at the bar, 10 Euro note in hand and noticed the barman serving a customer who was standing behind me! I asked what the hell was going on and the startled barman asked me "why didn't you say you wanted to be served?" I said WTF do you think I'm doing here waving a note? Admiring your customer service skills?
The local Pingo Doce supermarket offers a self-service home-cooking style menu where you chose your food and drink and then pay at the check-out, prior to taking your table. I got to the check-out and no one was there. I waited 30 seconds (see, I am patient) and eventually got the attention of a shelf-stacker nearby and asked him to get the manager or whoever should be at their post to attend to me. Another minute went by before a red-faced spotty teenager appeared, looked at me and said "Chill out, I have other things to do as well you know, not just manning the till!" Chill? The fucking cheek! The only thing chilling was my food.
Remedial steps are being taken on the island to improve custiomer service. Ticket dispensing machines are now commonplace in most establishments and customers are guided by large tv screens into some sort of order. Even the bakery has a ticket system. And even when there are no other customers in the shop no one gets served without a numbered ticket.
Never mind numbered ticket machines - If I had my way I would replace most shop attendants here with dispensing machines, programmed to be fair and to not answer back at complainants.
Needless to say, service at our medical facilities are not much better. Why is it when I arrive at the doctor's 5 minutes late I'm put at the end of the queue, but when I get there early I have to wait at least an hour? It's the same with the dentist.
Does that make me an impatient patient?