No, it's not okay

. . . (that we lower our standards) is the topic of my latest Trade Tripper column in this Friday-Saturday issue of BusinessWorld. Excerpts:

"No. It’s not okay. We don’t want to be Fiddle and Faddle’s friends, we don’t want a lesson on the correct way to pronounce gyro’s, we don’t want the free coffee from next door, and we certainly don’t want any more vapid smiles. We just want our lunch, served, properly, cleanly, and correctly. This is not nuclear science.

We had a good lunch at the nearby Tsoko.Nut Batirol instead. The waiting staff was quietly efficient, informed, and (thankfully) reserved.

Somebody in a local magazine wrote a few weeks back that not only waiters but also customers should do their part in having a good dining experience. True. But people who get paid to do something (with the customer’s hard-earned money) better make sure they’re doing their jobs first. Nobody deserves something for nothing. Customers (and everybody else for that matter) should do their part by not letting standards slip. And — incidentally — that is why nobody should boorishly go to restaurants or any public place in shorts or sandos just because one has money to spend. Far richer people in far more sophisticated countries than ours still discipline themselves by being courteous in dress and manner.

This lowering of expectations is what’s destroying this country. If anybody wants to know one reason why the Philippines is going down, one just has to look at the smiling work of the friendly Fiddle and Faddle."