About two weeks ago, I was utterly shocked to receive the water bill for December 2016 amounting to Nu.1,014. There was no way it could be justified because I have a small family and the level of water consumption is comparatively low. Suspecting false reading of the water-meter, I and my wife went to Thimphu City Corporation to complain. We waited at a counter until a grumpy woman pushed aside the shutter and demanded what we were there for. When we told her our problem, she directed us to the nearby counter. She had no warmth in her voice. She sounded very rude and straightforward. But we chose to keep quiet. However, we found the real angel at the adjacent counter. A beautiful lady with a charming voice named Pema greeted us warmly and politely asked us what was the problem. When I told her the entire story, she immediately agreed to crosscheck the reading and kept my contact number to call me back. Later that day, I received the call saying the reading was correct but the water-meter was found to be running abnormally fast. I was advised to consult the plumber from the National Housing Development Corporation which I immediately did. The plumber confirmed that the meter was malfunctioning and agreed to replace it. The next day, the plumber replaced the malfunctioning meter and also fixed a leaking connection. The water problem was solved, but I was worried the City Corporation might make an issue out of it because I had not sought their consent to replace the meter. I was concerned about how the reading can be continued.
On the following day, I and my wife once again went to Thimphu City Corporation to update the water-meter number. Pema came forward to help us with the same warmth and smile with which she had greeted us earlier. She helped us sort out all the issues, not because I am a disabled but because I was her client. There was a queue of people before her counter and I was amazed to see her attending to each of them with the same gentleness and sweetness. She was very polite and respectful to all those who came to her counter and that was what made her an extraordinary soul amongst her colleagues there. As I sat at the corner silently observing people walking away smiling after getting their work done, it just made me wish if everybody could be as generous and polite as Pema. To me, she was the real angel who had the heart to accommodate everybody who comes to seek her help. It is very rare to see people with such good hearts in offices, be it in the government or in the private.
The way Pema deals with her clients demonstrates that a smile does not cost anything but it can easily make somebody else’s day. Even if you can’t help the other person get his or her work done, just talking to him or her politely can make a huge difference. People may easily forget what you have said or done, but how you have made them feel can never be forgotten. I and my wife would like to thank Pema for making that day beautiful and memorable for us through your generosity and kindness. We shall cherish it forever.
I have had a similar experience at the Department of Civil Registration and Census last year. The two officials were kind enough to help me renew my Citizenship Identity Card despite their busy schedule. I truly appreciated the way they served their clients. The customer service has drastically improved over the years and now we are able to see some genuinely dedicated people in the offices who have the real heart to help others. We definitely need many such people in the society. To me, they are the true GNH citizens.
However, the sad thing is that we still have some people who exist like robots. They live a mechanical life, as though they don’t have a human heart. Loaded with ego and desires, they fail to see what is beyond their office rooms. They don’t even have the courtesy to respect and greet the approaching person, forget about offering to help him or her. I think it is true that in the race for more power and wealth, we sometimes forget we are human beings. We must know that money or power is not everything. As social animals, we are born to help each other. Helping someone in need brings more joy and happiness than money or power can. So we need more people with golden hearts in the society so that we can all live in perfect harmony forever.