Saturday, 11 June 2016

Please wait

Today, I had some appointments in Lagos. As I walked through the front door, like every other client or person, I experienced what so many do, when it comes to waiting areas.

I didn't want to be a "big person" today. I wanted to book appointments just like every other interested person and to enjoy the process without special red carpet treatment. Because of the doors that open every time I disclose that I'm "Mrs. Idahosa" here in Nigeria, I chose to book myself just as "Laurie..." And so, the journey begins.

People come for appointments for different reasons and with different levels of apprehension. Here are some common things I discovered today about people who are asked to "Please Wait.":

1. Everyone wants privacy. In general, nobody wants the person next to them to know why they are there. They also don't like it when the person next to them spys at what they are doing on their mobile devices or what they're reading.

2. Everyone wants to be treated as an important person. Nobody likes being just a number, however a number is appreciated when there is a large line, so that one will know when to expect his / her turn.

3. Everyone likes fairness. Nobody appreciates when someone jumps their place in line, even if that person is an obvious VIP.

4. Everyone has a schedule to keep and appreciates prompt service. People appreciate being respected.

5. Everyone is nosy and wants to figure out the stories of the people around them. People use all kinds of methods to investigate the people around them. They ask questions, observe and oftentimes make assumptions. "People watching" is a fun pastime.

6. Everyone appreciates being informed of the situation at hand and how long they should expect to wait. Nobody likes to feel like the wait will never end. Even if you're told that your turn will come in three hours. Knowledge is better than being kept in the dark.

7. Everyone likes a little distraction while they wait such as a warm beverage, TV or a magazine, but, no distraction is as good as when your turn is called.

8. Nobody likes to wait.

The next time you need to ask someone to wait for you, keep these things in mind. Be courteous, respectful and considerate of the people you have kept waiting. Find a way to make their stay just a little bit more comfortable and attend to them as soon as possible.

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