In Japan, the customer isn’t always just right, he’s divine. Normally, Cashier follows customer’s request to the letter but still gives him the last thing he expected.
It’s commonly said here that “The customer is God,” and that attitude is a big part of why Japanese customer service standards are so high.
For example, Japanese Twitter user @googantaw was recently dining in a restaurant, and, when he was done, asked for a receipt, for personal tax accounting purposes. When you do this, the cashier will ask you who the receipt should be made out to, but @googantaw didn’t want to give his name and simply said “Please don’t write any name.”
In Japanese, that politely-worded request is “Atena wo kakanaide onegaishimasu,” and if you wrote it down it’d look like this:
Respectfully, the cashier abided by @googantaw’s request and left his name off the receipt. But instead, he made it out to…
— ウォンバットさん (@googantaw) October 30, 2018
…Mr. Please Don’t Write my Name (宛名は書かないでお願いします 様）.
“Ummm…definitely wasn’t expecting this,” Tweeted @googantaw, and the laughably literal interpretation of his request had other Twitter users scratching their heads too.
“What were they thinking?”
“Maybe the cashier didn’t appreciate the request, and this was his way of getting back at you?”
But sincerity is far more powerful than snark in shaping social interactions in Japan. Multiple commenters chimed in to defend the cashier from allegations of passive aggressiveness by pointing out that many businesses don’t allow their employees to leave the customer name line blank when making out a receipt. The cashier at the restaurant @googantaw probably had to write something down, and simply went with the exact words that had been spoken in response to his question of who to make it out to. One commenter even shared a snapshot commemorating a similar experience he’d had:
Receipt made out to Mr. Kuhaku (空白), or “Mr. Blank.”
— カマタミサキ (@mac_kerel_) November 1, 2018
Sure, it’s a silly solution, but when you’re stuck between a customer craving privacy and a company policy demanding you fill in the blanks, you take whatever option you have.
Source: Twitter/@googantaw via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@googantaw