13.1 Hit and Miss

In cash societies such as these, I always make the same mistake, which of course, makes me a fool. I always forget to bring enough money because my all-might credit card is forever, comfortably tucked into the securest pocket of my wallet. But more often than not, these cards are not so all-powerful because many small shops and stores operate on a cash-only basis.

The other night, I was starving as I rode to meet with a friend. So I thought I’d grab some delicious fried noodles on the way. I ordered, and as I waited for it to be prepared, I came to the realization that I had spent all of my cash today on an assortment of personal indulgences which came about through instant gratification (or in other words, my complete lack of self-discipline).

In a last-ditched effort to obtain something to eat, I asked the shop-owner whether they accepted payment by student card (Beida’s student ID also serves as a cash reservoir if you choose to put money into it. Many do, since all the canteens on campus accept only student ID payments). The answer, which I knew in the back of my mind, was a resounding “no”.

So I explained I had my cash on me and that I wanted to rescind my order. I thought the cashier would get irritated, since, as-per my last post on customer service, that was the preset attitude of Chinese service employees here.

To my great astonishment, not only did she not look at me like I was some annoying fly trying to get at the cake, but she even offered to give me the food I ordered, telling me to come back tomorrow and pay if I wished to.

I was frozen for a second.

Did I really hear that right? Above-and-beyond customer service really do exist in China and has materialized unexpectedly before my eyes at this little outdoor noodle house in the middle of the Beida campus.

Of course, this incident doesn’t mean I will be expectant every time I encounter customer service. The key to happiness is low expectations, and I intend to keep it as lowly as rational so that the next time I hit a bull’s eye, euphoria will ensue.


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