Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Russians at the J

I think everyone would agree that the job responsiblities of one in the field of customer service entail helping people. While this may seem intuitive and unnecessary to say, my recent experiences at the JCC necessitate it being said. While we do not think of people that work in the gym as having prototypical customer service jobs (like working in a customer service call center, working retail, etc.), certainly their jobs are to make themselves available to the customers ($61 freakin bucks a month) and help them when necessary.

A good number of the staff in the gym are Russian. Let's just say right off the bat that while I do not approve of Russians' drink of choice (vodka), I have absolutely nothing against them. It doesn't bother me that a large number of the people that work and work out there are from Russia (leading a friend of mine to put up the away message "Gone to the Russian Compound" when he goes to the J). What bothers me is that the Russian workers tend to talk only to the Russian people who are working out. Besides the fact it is poor customer service to stay with the same people the entire time, these conversations are in their foreign tongue, which makes me feel as if I'm intruding on some secret dialogue when I ask them for help. I have received grunts of disgust when asking them for help, which makes me hesistant to approach again for help. Sorry to bother you buddy, but I'd rather you spot me and feel 100% safe than have even the slightest risk of dropping 195 lbs. of weight on my chest.

No, I'm not Russian. No, we don't share the same mother country (said in the best Russian accent). But for the love of Gd, you work a customer service job in America. Speak English so us natives don't feel so alienated and be available to more people than just your Russian boys.


Anonymous David Mitnick said...

I don't think it is just Russians; it is the poor hiring practices and training of employers. I feel the same way at Seven Mile Market when cashiers are talking to each other and will stop scanning my groceries to discuss something which while mostly in English, I don't always understand.

9:20 AM, February 21, 2006

Blogger Danny the Manny said...

Mitnick--Mazel tov on your relative's (sister's?) recent engagement. Wonderful news all around. Adam is a great guy who could do the background voice for movie trailers.

Now, about this post...it sounds eerily similar to what the dad from American History X says about African-Americans. Fetuslaz surely will grow up with a swastika on his chest now. With this post, you just altered the future. Better hire Doc Brown to take you there so you can fix it before it's too late for younger brother of fetuslaz.

9:33 AM, February 21, 2006

Anonymous peninah said...

Its the same as the age old problem of the Asian manicurists who talk (and laugh)about their customers in front of them. It has to be one of the most uncomfortable situations ever. There was even a Seinfeld dedicated to that.

Luckily, you aren't totally Metro, AlanLaz,so you probably have never had that experience.

10:40 PM, February 21, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:54 PM, February 21, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...

Actually, I had one once. And if you knew that my fingernails looked like, you'd realize that I need one...a day.

10:55 PM, February 21, 2006

Anonymous Erica said...

That was a great Seinfeld.

11:49 PM, February 21, 2006

Anonymous peninah said...

Alan- I can't believe you are admitting to being Metro!

9:48 AM, February 22, 2006


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