A true story which illustrates the pitiful state of China’s services sector…
In the Carrefour yesterday, I wanted to buy a small shaving mirror. I asked one of the numerous clerks where I could find the jingzi, and she pointed me in the general direction. When I felt I was in the right area, I asked another clerk, who told me that they were mai wan le, sold out. No more mirrors. I asked if she was sure. Yes, she said. Definitely no more mirrors in the Carrefour today.
I walked down the aisle a bit and there, not 20 feet away from the clerk, were about 20 mirrors of exactly the type I was looking for. So I couldn’t resist myself. Taking the mirror, I went back to the clerk. “The mirrors are all sold out?” I asked her, holding it up for her to see. “Yes, that’s right,” she replied, even as she looked upon it. “But I found this mirror right over there.”
“Oh,” she said, “But you asked for a big mirror. We only have small mirrors.” Welcome to China, where the customer is never right.