Sunday, August 01, 2010

My birthday...

On Saturday - I celebrated my 49th birthday. That the small celebration would happen in the company of siblings (my own brother and wife's brother) and their families, nephews and nieces, was a given. The issue this year was that my 82 year old mother who is bed ridden after an injury in the back, would not be able to attend. So we decided to do the next best thing. Assemble at her home, and celebrate there !

Not to be outdone, my mother made the effort to sit up, get up, use a walker and walk into her drawing room to sit with all of us.

At the end of it, she was happy that her house had got filled up with the noise, the hustle and bustle, and above all some happy moments that were able to share with her.

We decided to get dinner from KFC, and so I went to get the food. Here another surprise awaited me.

While I was in the queue waiting for my turn, I could make out that the salesman attending to the lady in ahead of me was not normal in some sense. When my turn came, I realised that he was deaf and dumb.
I was amazed to realise that his employers - KFC, however did not hesitate to assign him a front end job, where customer interface is maximum. The young boy pointed out to a badge on his right chest which said "Please point on the menu card, to the items you want to order"

So I did just that. It was a tall order, but he understood and noted correctly.
As I observed him follow the process to execute my order, I noticed that the KFC team went another step to help him perform his job. You would have noticed that the sales persons at the front end in KFC / Macs etc normally shout out to the guys at the rear end (where is processing of food is happening), their requirements, so that the pipeline is never dry. For this guy there was an arrangement where by he would just press a button, and a light would blink in the processing area, thereby alerting his colleagues that he is trying to seek their attention.

This boy had a cheerful smile all along and went about his work with no less efficiency than demonstrated by his colleagues at the adjoining counters. Behind his cheerful expression, the firm resolve to perform at par with his colleagues, was obvious.

The customers treated him like he was any other person, which was a pleasant observation too. But the thought that ruled my mind was about his employer - KFC, who went many notches up on my 'admiration scale'. By employing him, and placing him at the front end (they could have put him at the back end and things would have been smoother), they not only provided him a means to earn a livelihood, but made him stand tall and respected in his own eyes as well as those of others that he served.
The day went off well - for which I need to thank the many, many friends who sent their sincere birthday wishes, my own family who made the evening get together memorable, and last but not the least, good old KFC for restoring my faith in humanity...

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