9. Lost temper in a shop

Why are you speaking in Kannada?

Here’s what happened one day in the year 2015, when I was waiting for my turn in a mobile brand’s authorized service center in Bengaluru.

A customer walked into the store and started arguing with the service center’s employees. He had been trying to get his mobile repaired for a week and had visited thrice, but it had not been repaired. He could not do without his mobile and wanted it back.

He argued in English, but the supervisor continued to reply in Kannada only. Ravi could not understand anything and lost his temper.

Ravi is a South Indian in his early thirties from a neighboring State. He had been in Bengaluru for a few years in a managerial position in an IT company. Surprisingly, he did not know Kannada.

In anger and aggressive body language, towering over the supervisor, he started shouting in a distressed and raised voice “When I am speaking in English, why are you speaking to me in Kannada?” Ravi got very upset and his temper flared. Contrarily, the supervisor kept his cool and spoke in a calm, undisturbed, polite, and even tone.

Seeing the fight going on unabated for 5 minutes, I intervened and diffused the situation. Ravi calmed down and we walked out for a chat as I lent him a sympathetic ear. He said that in office, he is known to be a calm person and does not raise his voice, but something got his goat today.

I advised him to learn Kannada and get accustomed to culture here which would ease his interactions in Bengaluru. In turn, he could maintain peace of mind, and handle situations without getting so hassled.

Author: Rekha Chandulal

Last modified: Wednesday, 1 March 2017, 7:47 PM