2003 Fall/Winter Volume No. 2

Courtesy to Strangers

I travel to Asia frequently in my work for PolyJohn and one of the things you notice immediately in most Asian countries is the strong emphasis they place on courtesy and respect. Traditional Confucian teachings remind people that to be a righteous person you need to be respectful and deferential to others, particularly strangers and the elderly. One should also be courteous, cooperative, and respect order and harmony.

This emphasis on pleasing others is seen in the outstanding customer service I receive in hotels, restaurants, and airlines through-out East Asia from Seoul to Singapore.

We sell a lot of PolyJohn units throughout Asia. I believe they appreciate the size and comfort that is built into our units. Interestingly, we sell very few straight drop units. In many areas, they are banned by public health laws. People expect flush units with sinks because they offer a higher level of service and sanitation. It is a simple, relatively inexpensive courtesy to provide clean, odor-free facilities to guests or workers.

If you travel as much as I do you’ll notice that the state of public restroom facilities reflects a country’s standard of living. As people improve their lives, their expectations change. Houses get larger, cars become more luxurious, and clothes become more stylish. The US is ahead of most of the world in setting these standards, however, I find it curious that portable restrooms here lack the amenities much of the developed world has come to expect. Isn’t it time our industry started selling the benefits of providing a higher standard of courtesy to guests and workers? People prefer more “commodious commodes” however, if they have never seen them before, they don’t know what they are missing. It seems to me that this would be a big growth opportunity in many U.S. markets.

Vernon Hills, President, PolyJohn UK sales@polyjohn.co.uk

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