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           Volume 10 |Issue 36 | September 23, 2011 |


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Star Diary

Ordeal at Customer Service

I went to Aarong the other day to buy a wedding gift. After struggling through a throng of customers, I finally selected a bed cover set and let the cashier know that I wanted my gift wrapped so she could include the wrapping charge in my bill, which she did. Once I got to the gift wrapping counter, there was no one there. Having waited for about 20 minutes, I lost my patience and enquired about how long one exactly had to wait for this. After a while, an employee showed up and without apologising for his absence from his duty, asked what paper to choose for wrapping. Since this was a wedding gift, I chose a nice shiny one, but was immediately told that I could not choose this one as it cost 60 taka and I had apparently paid only 25 taka. I was surprised and said I had no idea there were different prices and had not been asked how much I would have liked to pay. The man retorted, “This can happen sometimes”, and again without an apology asked me to choose a cheaper paper. I refused and said I'd like to pay the extra money and get the nicer paper. To which he replied: “This is not possible since you have already paid.” At this point I lost my temper. I was tired, sweaty and my feet hurt from standing around waiting for him and it was beyond me how I could be refused a service after I offered to pay for it and I told him so. At this, he got upset and said rather rudely, “Madam this service is complimentary, and you should know that.” I couldn't believe my ears. Honestly, even if a service is complimentary what right do they have to treat their customers as though they are doing them a favour? I was obliged to take the cheaper paper and leave. However, his wrapping became undone within minutes of my leaving the store, which left me embarrassed at the wedding. This wasn't the first time I was treated unfairly at this store and I think I may just have to boycott it.

Lalmatia, Dhaka

Matchmaking or Objectifying

This is an arranged photo by zahedul I khan

The other day I was determined to have Thai soup. I knew a better place where I could relax and had a few moments of my own. After placing my order, I was waiting for my food trying to take a seat where I could be on my own. A table of four was free and a few people were around that table. I thought that was the place where I'd take my seat. To my surprise, not a minute had passed before a group of people appeared from nowhere and occupied the next table. The monitor shined forty-four which was my token number; asking me to come and grab my soup. So I did. After that, I did not feel like taking my seat again as I saw something I'd never forget. I saw a woman in her mid twenties in a gorgeous sari sitting with other people. The most surprising part was that her head was lowered down and her eyes fixed at the table looking for answers. She positioned herself in a way that was like a statue sitting on display for people. She did not move her body a little, it seemed, she was being punished. I shifted to another table and had my soup. A few times I peeped back and thought about those people who were around that woman. Obviously this was the case of matchmaking for a marriage. Later, I was very disappointed to think that in this age when we declare ourselves to be in a digital era, we still have old perceptions regarding women where they have to be displayed like objects in matters of marriage. I think it is time we changed our perception of woman.

Rubaida W Sharmin
Shankar, Dhaka

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