Flury’s is a decent spot for a casual Sunday breakfast. The service, however, is horrendous, not for a lack of waiters but for a lack of motivation. It makes you want to open your own diner and force them to actually compete with you. I bet the service would improve quite quickly. I’ve never been somewhere where the waiters couldn’t find enough menus. The highlight of Flury’s is it’s pastry section. Actually quite tasty chocolate and almond croissants, and some things that I’ll never try because I’m not into baked delicacies. And like any establishment in Calcutta that offers above-average food and a prime location in the heart of the society, Flury’s is a center where expats congregate. We met a nice couple from N. Ireland, who had an 11 month old, and were planning on moving to Calcutta by the end of the year (poor things, they have to find their own housing). We quickly gathered that we knew some of the same people — the Brits at the High Commission. Does everyone know that they have a pub inside?
But back on the service train of thought, I don’t know if it’s being just another Indian in India (at least on the outside – ha!), but my service experience has generally been one of two kinds. Both types depend on the employee’s assessment of you, as a customer. Are you a category 1 shopper in their eyes, i.e., will you drop some rupees and could you become a client. Or are you a category 2 shopper — you just dawdle and gawk at shiny new toys on the market and skip away happily into the brown. The key is to force the guy to think you’re a category 1 type shopper. Useful phrases in this regard are (I thank Rahul for these):
- Come here and show this to me.
- I’m going to buy this right here, right now.
- (quick hand gesture of exasperation, usually after you’ve not been forceful enough with phrase one above) Aray, come here!
- There’s no concept of customer service in this city.
- I am a diplomat.
Useless phrases that dump you at the end of a long-ass customer service line behind random Bengali auntie with an attitude:
- Can you help me?
- Is it possible to _____ ?(insert whatever you want to know).
- Do you have this in a different size?
I’m a nice person. I want to be a nice person. Just give me the check minus the V.A.T. I get an exemption dammit!