This is the question I usually ask myself when faced with a situation that pushes me for a fight but for which I finally decide not to fight because I convince myself that it is really not worth fighting for. To be frank, it is only in rare situations that I go to a government or private institution seeking services and leave the institution without feeling the need to fight and argue with the person who provided the service. But I never went beyond making few remarks showing my frustrations and never made an attempt to make a scene or make formal complaints to the concerned higher body about the poor quality of services. I bet many of you have been in my situation.
My sister is one of those kinds of people who never fail from fighting for their rights for a proper service, be it from a private or a public institution. And this is what she had to face in her trip to Kenya. As you all know, Kenyan visa is issued on arrival for Ethiopian travellers. So, all you need to carry for your trip is a passport (without a visa) and your flight ticket. So, as she was checking-in at the counter of Ethiopian Airlines in Addis, the guy on the counter asked her for her work ID, although she showed him her passport. Now, why would a work ID be necessary if a passport has been shown? Then he went on and asked for her educational documents, which includes her degree. This is when he pressed her button. How on earth are educational documents needed to travel to Kenya? According to him, her degrees are proof that she won’t be seeking asylum in Kenya, and will be returning back to Ethiopia. Although, she presented all the necessary paperwork proving that she was travelling to take a training, the guy kept asking for documents that were totally irrelevant for the context at hand.And on top of that, he suggested that she was overreacting and that he was simply doing his job. And these kinds of people are employed in the well-rewarded and esteemed world-class airline! Although he let her travel at the end, because there was no time to drop a formal complaint at his manager’s office, she let the matter go. Nevertheless, she still thought of dropping the complaint after returning back from her trip, but that never happened.
Although I do not want to generalize, I have to admit that the kind of service you receive in some places can simply make you go nuts. You go to the bank, and they ask you for an ID although you are presenting to them the account book that they themselves have issued to you. You visit the website of some company to check their address, and you find out after several attempts that the address on the company’s website is actually the wrong one. You go to a hospital and get an appointment from the doctor for an ultrasound to be conducted in a week. At the date of your appointment, you find out that the schedule of the ultrasound specialist is fully booked. Why? Because you had to inform the receptionist of your ultrasound appointment the moment you get it from the doctor. But how would you know that if nobody told you in advance that you had to talk to the receptionist after getting your appointment from your doctor?
Although we face crazy kinds of services as we go by each day, how many of us have the guts to fight for our rights for a proper service by dropping formal complaints at the office of the service provider’s manager? How many of us believe that our rights for a proper service are worth fighting for? The problem is that we get angry and frustrated at the services we obtain but we rarelytry to make a real change by fighting hard for our rights. Maybe that is why we keep getting the poor quality of service we are always used to receiving.