Thursday, July 3, 2008

A world of difference

Learning & Innovation

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM


A world of difference


There are several highlights in my recent trip to the USA and Canada.  One is a visit to the Banff National Park and Lake Louise to view the spectacularly beautiful Canadian Rockies with my KGO Sorority Sis Florence Zablan-Josue and her hubby Oyie.  Calgary, Alberta, itself is beautiful, neat and clean.   That is why the family of my other sorority sisters Helen and Carolina have never budged from since they arrived there some 30 years ago.


Not to mention that Canadians are lovable.  In Toronto, Montreal and Calgary, I have experienced their respectful, friendly and helpful nature.  They greet you and smile at you and offer help to carry your package.  They are gregarious, but not in a noisy way.  At the airports in the USA and Canada there are marked difference between American, Canadians and Filipinos.


Of course, the Filipino (whether tourists or residents) passengers are the ones using boxes, instead of the usual traveling bags, and with three or more handcarried baggage, including big stuffed toys (from Circus Circus or Excalibur maybe).  They carry on with their noisy chatter in Filipino.  They have long, dramatic welcomes or goodbyes with their well wishers.  They carry their young ones in their arms or hold them tightly by the hand.  The young Filipino travelers are generally well-behaved (or maybe just anxious).  Inside the airplane they make a mess of the lavatory and carry on with their loud conversations.


The Americans would sit anywhere in the airport even on the floor whereever they feel comfortable, use their computer or celphone or read a book.  They talk in loud voices.  They have their children in strollers or in leash.  Their youngsters are generally physically active and the parents are all the time calling for them.  They have one handcarry.   They continue their conversations in the airplane, but in more quiet fashion.  Their children seem to enjoy the flight and are quiet.  They keep the lavatory clean.


The Canadians, young and old, are well-behaved and quiet.  They sit as if they are in some principal's office.  When you make eye contact, they greet you with a big smile.  They carry just purse or a laptop bag or a duty-free bag.  They seem not to talk or maybe they are asleep while in flight.  They keep the lavatory clean.


Another highlight of my trip was watching The Price is Right at the CBS Studios in Los Angeles.  My BFF Gina Camacho was able to secure tickets (from the Internet) for the  June 25 (showing on July 9).  We were asked to be at the studio by 12 noon for the 4 o'clock taping.  There were so many security and administrative procedures.  They require your government-issued ID to enter the studio.  Then, you present your ticket and they mark it with a number.  You are asked to keep yourself comfortable in a waiting area where you can buy food and drinks.  It was covered and clean with snug benches.  There were clean restrooms all over the studio, complete with tissue paper and toilet bowl liner.


After what seemed to be a long while, we were seated according to our arrival number.  Then we were given a number and a simple form to fill up (name and SSS number or country).   Some drop-in guests were not accommodated because of limited seats inside the studio.  Another person collected the form and gave us our name tags after checking our ID again.  Another person came to take our individual picture.  We were asked to attach the nametag on the left breast of our clothes.   Then we were led to another seating area where we were interviewed by groups of twelve to determine our capability to be a contestant (Where are you from? What do you do?).  It was some kind of psychological assessment.  Then we were led to the entrance to the studio, again we were seated according to our number after a more rigorous security check where we passed through a security door, our bags were very thoroughly checked, asked to leave our celphone and camera. 


At about four in the afternoon, we were guided to the studio where ushers led us to our seat.  No jostling, no hustling, you wait your turn.  Then the "Come on down" guy enthusiastically prepped us by giving some rules of conduct for contestants and audience and by practicing our clapping, cheering, standing and shrieking at appropriate times.


Then the taping began (one hour for a 30-minute actual show).  Drew Carey is a very engaging, lovable host.  When he is not taping, he talked to the audience and regaled us with his witticism.  The production management, staff ,crew and security officers were all very nice, cheerful and respectful of the audience and of each other from the time we arrived to the time we left.  It was a truly unique and enjoyable experience.


I have watched some local shows in the studio (and I had VIP pass) and I won't comment.  I wish they watch The Price is Right and learn valuable lessons on guest relations, respect for the dignity of the individual and humility.;



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