Every time we come back ‘home’ to Coimbatore, Vidya and I keep bemoaning the lack of customer-orientation that plagues businesses here. And almost every time, we get to experience it first-hand. This time was no different, and the doler-out of the experience was a beauty parlour that goes by the name of Pretty Queen. This parlour, located near the Sungam Chintamani, has been around for a while, and has a steady clientele, which includes my mother. Naturally, when Vidya wanted to get some things done, she was taken there by my mother, who in her usual fashion bulldozed them into accepting a late appointment.
The first thing that put Vidya off was the ramshackle infrastructure. Part of the back wall of the parlour was a board through which the voices of men speaking in the shop next door could be heard – hardly the kind of atmosphere in which one can relax for a beauty treatment. This was coupled with the surly attitude of the people in the parlour, who were complaining all the time about how they were being delayed by the late appointment. After Vidya told them that it was quite upsetting to be subjected to their banter, they did pipe down. They then rushed her through the process, and generally made her feel unwanted and unwelcome.
What was galling about the whole episode is that this was not done just by those working in the parlour. The person who runs the show and owns the parlour was apparently there, and was part of the “Get-out-of-our-faces” routine. No wonder then, that Coimbatore remains a small town, and regardless of the figures and statistics quoted by ministers and business magazine, will remain so while the mindset of its denizens is so unfriendly.