Two weeks ago, my family and I took a local carrier to Bandung for a holiday.
The airline staff worked quickly and efficiently - though not in a good way.
The stewardess spoke very fast in her announcements, which made it hard to follow what she was saying.
The meal time was also short.
I had barely finished when the stewardess started to collect the trays. Coffee had not even been served yet.
As I returned my tray, I noticed that she had pots of coffee with her and asked for a cup.
When she passed it to me, the coffee spilled all over my wife.
I am not sure if the stewardess noticed it, but my wife had to ask for serviettes. The stewardess handed us a few pieces and just walked away (Get rid of poor service staff, let only the fittest survive; June 10).
In contrast, during our five days in Bandung, we were delighted by the friendly and attentive service staff - room service, front desk, waiters and driver - even though we were on a budget trip.
The budget hotel was well-run and the staff were well-trained, motivated and had a good attitude and disposition.
On the last night of our stay, my daughter had an upset stomach and vomited and soiled the blanket.
My wife made a call to the front desk. Even though it was past 1.30am, a friendly hotel staff member came to our room within three minutes.
He looked slightly amused by the mess. He took the blanket away and quickly came back with a clean one. He then laid it out nicely and wished us a good night before leaving.
The contrast between the two experiences is stark.
It is the small things that can make a difference to a person's entire experience.
Ho Tong Fatt