Monday, January 09, 2012

Case Study Passive Behaviour and non communicated rules

Japanese meal set Copyright Peter Hanami 2012

Picture: Japanese meal set


Case Study

Passive Behaviour and Non Communicated Rules

By Peter Hanami

As a foreigner you will encounter a range of different behavior’s that you must understand, adjust to and deal with. One is indirect passive behavior. The following example may help you to identify and manage this behavior.


“Tom visited a restaurant for dinner. He walked in and found that all the tables were full and there was a line of chairs near the entrance with customers seated and waiting their turn. 

Tom also noticed that there was no system for dealing with new customers, no maĆ®tre de meeting or greeting customers and managing the flow of customers. 

Tom waited and watched the situation to find out what the correct behavior was in this situation. He noticed some empty wooden bench type seats that faced out on to the street. 

As the waiting customers had refused these seats (a couple, a man and a woman, were waiting for more comfortable padded seats & preferred to sit opposite each other, not side by side on the wooden bench seats by the window). 

Tom dining alone didn’t mind taking a window bench seat and went up to the cash register where the nearest staff member was and asked politely if he could take the window seat and place his order. 

The staff took his order and walked with him towards the window seat. The staff member seeing the other customers waiting thought Tom had pushed in or jumped the line and reacted negatively toward him. He explained that these people did not want the seat but he was happy to take it. If that was ok? 

Staff didn’t reply and just walked off. Tom sat at the window seat and wasn’t sure if he had been understood or if things were ok. A few minutes later a waitress bought out some food to Tom. Tom looked at the food and told the waitress that this was not his order and explained what he ordered. 

The waitress in a negative way grabbed the food and walked back to the kitchen. A customer who came in after Tom who sat next to him at the window was served his meal (the same that Tom had ordered). Tom sat patiently and waited 15 minutes before his meal came out and thanked the waitress.

Tom enjoyed the food and after finishing, walked to the cash register to pay. The cashier treated him very rudely. Tom left the restaurant scratching his head as to what went wrong. What did he do to be treated that way and to be made to feel so bad?”

Learning points 

The restaurant had a system but it was not well communicated to customers. Tom broke the rules by not waiting for staff to come to him, (in their view he was impatient and jumped the line). In retaliation for breaking the rules his meal was wrong and then delayed. All staff were told about his behavior and he was punished for not following the silent and non-communicated rules. 


Watch and follow. Learn to fit in and not to stand out..

Copyright Peter Hanami. 2012. All Rights Reserved

japan, japanese, customer, consumer, passive, behaviour, case study, communication, culture, rules,, peter hanami, #japan, #japanese, #casestudy, #passive, #behaviour

No comments:

Post a Comment