BERITA DAILY LETTER: From YS Chan, vie e-mail

The website of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) listed 95 TMpoint authorised dealers spread throughout the country.

Last Wednesday morning, my wife went to the one located at Taman Maluri Cheras in Kuala Lumpur to make payment.

There were four staff present and she was served by the only male staff. Nearby, two female staff were speaking to each other in a loud and noisy fashion.

My wife could not hear what the male staff spoke and told him so. Instead of telling his colleagues to tone down, he merely smiled.

Later, when the dim had subsided, the other female staff seated at the counter burped loudly and continued playing with her handphone as if she was at home.

If the workers here are not even aware of their manners, it would be beyond them to provide customer service expected from a reputable establishment.

However, it is not totally their fault but that of many parties. There was no intervention from the very beginning, starting with poor upbringing.

Decades ago, scolding kurang ajar could stop those misbehaving on their tracks.

Today, people are so used to seeing or encountering rude behaviour that it has been accepted as normal and entrenched as part of the local culture.

When children are not given proper guidance at home or behave unchecked in their neighbourhood, they naturally picked up most of the bad manners and habits around them.

As personal development is grossly lacking in our education system from primary to tertiary levels, many people started working life without ever been corrected or coached to interact well with others.

Without learning and practising social values and skills, an adult is not educated, however learned the person may be.

Although kesopanan or courtesy is the fifth tenet of our Rukunegara or National Philosophy, it will not be practised if learned by rote, and teachers failed their role as educators by not insisting that students display courtesy in school.

Perhaps it was an impossible task to impose. Students could easily point out the uncouth behaviours of many people around them, including members of parliament and state assemblyperson, as often reported by the media.

The last bastion rest on caring employers. Those who take the trouble to train and monitor the performance of their customer service staff ought to be lauded.

On the other hand, there are those that do not give a hoot. If so, TM would have to be more selective in appointing authorised dealers, and make staff training and monitoring compulsory if it wishes to continue building its brand name.

In October 2015, my wife related to me that she was very grateful to a counter staff at TNB’s Dua Sentral office in Kuala Lumpur.

It prompted me to write a complimentary letter “Good manners a sign of excellent upbringing”, which is posted in TNB website after a newspaper published it.