A recent article in the Limerick Event Guide has caused a lot of comment around the city (which I suppose proves that quite a few people read it).
As the events guide has no letters page, I decided to republish the article here so that maybe people can comment on it.
The article is written by Richie Ryan who runs Centrestage Theatre School and is also a well known producer/director. His column is called Art Attack
RICHIE RYAN TALKS ART WITH CRAFT
What has happened to 'Thank You' or 'Your Welcome'?
I have become more and more aware of the lack of basic manners in th
e food, retail and front line customer care sector in Limerick
over the last number of months and weeks. I have been regularly
greeted with a grunt, a grab, a chat to his or her workmate as I try
to do business, in what seems like total disinterest in the
customer. It really irritates me. Our friendliness has been one of
the unique factors in the character of this nation for many years and
it seems to be declining at a rapid pace. Is it that we are all so
busy that we don't have time for staff training anymore? Maybe we
would prefer it that way?
I am glad to say
"basic courtesy' still exists within the arts. On a recent visit to
Friarsgate Theatre in Killmallock to see the opening of the Island Theatre
Under Milk Wood, starring Jon Kenny and Myles Breen, I was welcomed
at the box office, greeted as I entered the theatre to take my seat,
invited to coffee at the interval, thanked for coming and wished good
night as I left the Theatre. That's the kind of service I expect
from the front line in any business.
I know I will be ridiculed for the suggestion I am about to flag, but
could it be that the influx of non-national workers in the front line
of the retail sector has something to do with the deterioration in
the kind of service we are known for? I made the point to a friend
recently that if non-nationals are to be truly integrated into our
society, then the onus is on all of us to open the lines of
discussion and be aware of the expectations. We cannot assume
anything. It is not acceptable that any one side should be
presumptuous of the other. I would suggest that what is perhaps
acceptable behaviour in one country is not in another and visa
versa. If we are to foster the 'Friendlines' of Ireland we need to
outline this expectation to all our fellow workers including non-
nationals. Let's open all the lines of discussion.
I have also noticed a lack of non-nations taking part in or as
audience members at the Theatre and yet there is no lack of
participation at the many nightspots around the city!
limerick event guide would like to stage that ths is an opinion
article, and is not representative of the limerick event guide, in
fact, to be honest, we've found the non-nationals to be great, and
have only ever had problems with'nationals' in the retail business,
so maybe that's the balance