Seoul Staffing: - Shinsaegae & Crazy Hook Bar - 41
Staff in numbers - Usually there is an abundance of staff to take care of the customers, with someone always usually ready to serve you and in this way Korea is very much a service orientated country. When I am not in Korea I miss the fact that there are many staff especially in the bars and that after pressing the buzzer on my table, a member of staff will be at the table within a minute or so. In England and America, I often have to stand at the bar and queue in an attempt to get served. This can happen in Korea as well, but table service is more common, with many staff serving.
Shinsaegae Supermarket (near Banpo Bus Terminal)
There is also though, over-service and in Korea this becomes an issue particularly in the supermarkets. On my first visit to Shinsaegae Supermarket (near Banpo Bus Terminal in Seoul) for example, I was amazed at the number of staff working in the supermarket. In fact, they actually outnumbered the number of people shopping when I went there a few times in the daytime. (In future visits the number of staff continued to be extraordinarily high). The Western style system of having just a few people restacking and having the majority of restacking shelves being done all at once, at night time when the shop is closed, seems in Korea to have been replaced with items being replaced every time one item is taken.
On taking one item or moving something briefly, a staff member would often immediately go over to the section and replace the one item taken, or tidy up the display by moving the item moved back one millimetre to where it was. On many occasions, when the store was busy with customers, the staff were often in the way as I tried to push my shopping trolley between aisles. Quite simply, the service in Korea is sometimes fantastic and sometimes terrible.
Crazy Hook Bar in Kangnam, Seoul, South Korea
One of my favourite places to go, was a bar/restaurant called Crazy Hooks. There was never a dull visit to Crazy Hooks and I always had the best and worst service there, but the bad service usually came with a smile and I kind of like that. The manager was always friendly, the place was close to where I lived, I liked the steaks they served and the beer was cheap. For these reasons I went to Crazy Hooks many times, despite the occurrences discussed on the next page).