It’s been three and a half years since I arrived in Australia. Since I made Perth my home, a lot of people have been asking me what I find different about this country.
One of the things that has struck me, is how businesses are very commercial, highly competitive and dare I say it, not so generous of heart.
I know that’s a sweeping statement and it doesn’t apply to all, but some seem to be very money orientated.
Take for example a recent problem I had with my laptop. It died on me, I had a hunch that it may be the power lead which wasn’t working anymore.
I Googled, laptop repairers and found someone nearby and rang him up. Turns out he wasn’t so close, he’d moved recently and was now south of the river, miles away and the address on his web page was wrong.
We had a very brief conversation and he agreed that it could well be me my power cord, but I’d be wise to seek advice from someone local.
I thanked him and ended the call. A minute later I got a text from him, would I like to deposit some money into his account for his advice? There then followed his bank account details complete with BSB number.
I was taken aback by this. I thought where’s the goodwill? The word money grabber came to my mind.
On another occasion, I ordered a slice of banana bread at a café and I asked if I could have it toasted. “Sure, the waitress said, that will be an extra 80 cents.” To be honest I thought she’d toast it for free. Am I out of touch?
I am not saying all businesses are like this, but many are very commercially savvy. I know that 70% of companies in Perth employ 45 employees or less, and smaller companies need to be more financially acute.
Just before I left England, I was in a book shop and I saw book I wanted to buy, when I got to the counter I reached into my handbag and realised I’d left my purse on my kitchen table.
I apologised and said I had no money on me and the man at the till said “Don’t worry take the book, that’s fine, and when you’re passing next, just pay for it then.” How refreshing. Yes, I did take the book, and yes, I did pay for it two days later.
In my humble opinion, there’s nothing like goodwill to leave a lasting impression.