One of the things I'm liking about London is what here is called Costumer Service. "Costumer Service" is a term that is loudly bragged about all the time. Any major franchise, store, supermarket and restaurant around here has the words "Excellent Costumer Service" somewhere in its walls or web page. Now that I'm a permanent jobseeker, even low profile jobs need you to provide superior CS - "CS"; like that, in initial letters. At the end they usually don't give a duck about "CS" or is poorly applied, but the concept is always there.
On average, as a costumer, I've quite felt the impact of this whole CS concept being on vogue. It's useful, they make me feel valued in this cold impersonal world we live in, it's entertaining and I get to admire individuals and businesses, which is an emotion I don't feel usually when turning on TV or reading newspapers. And aside from all that, it creates jobs.
I could describe multiple good experiences (and also awful ones) about being well attended, but the one that impresses me the most is the British Police. Like every other police I know, the police in GB is divided in departments. There's a department that is close, if not equal, of what in Spain (our parents) use(d) to call "policía de barrio" or "guardia civil", that is, police officers that wander around a determined area being nice and helpful to people and managing small eventualities that could arise.
When I lived by Swiss Cottage, most of these police officers worked single and were African-British. I asked for directions to one of them and was excellently attended. Today I've been in the Woolwich area looking for a tax office, and since Google Maps missed the location and London street's numeration is as absurd as any other British thing that relates numbers to common sense (or more exactly, doesn't relate), I've been forced to ask around. In the distance I found a couple of officers (man and woman, both British) wandering. I asked them once and they politely responded thinking I was looking for an H&M store. I asked them again, and they apologized for the confusion and recommended me to look for answers on the HM&R web. I asked them again, stating that I always get lost in that web and the helpline has proven so far to be everything but helpful, and the police woman took her iPhone out, went to the HM&R webpage and looked up a more appropiate phone number for me to call. Being insistent, I asked them a fourth time for a physical location, given that I came from far with the sole purpose of finding a physical tax office and speaking to a human being about my taxes, since in London everything is done via web, which is awesome but has its inconvenients, and they gave me physical proper directions to the tax office.
The whole process took about 5 minutes, which is loooong for a standard "where's this?" question. Hell, I even took my phone out and showed them my Google Maps and asked directly THEM about taxes. These people are the reason I'm WILLING to pay taxes.
And also, women look cute in that uniform.
5 minutes later, I found another couple (both British males) managing a situation where a girl in her 20s was discussing with a store manager about letting her 50kg San Bernardo in the shop or not.
What intrigues me the most is why these officers work in couples or single and feature different racial backgrounds depending on the place. Or why are they inexistant in my current location. Or even more, why did we get mostly rid of them in Spain.
Or even more important than that: will I also like other police departments when I go to a demonstration?