What we never really expected was that every single woman in our training here in Butare would bring so much joy to our training time together. They played so full out that things got a little crazy this afternoon during the customer service trail exercise.
After lunch, Donna explained the 5 points of interaction that take place in a transaction and some of the situations that might come up in their customer service. A table was set up as the ice cream store counter and one of the women wrote a sign that said in Kinyarwanda, “Sweet Dreams, the Women’s Dream” that served as the store sign.. Fran had brought some little napkins with ice cream cones that ended up portraying the servings of ice cream.
Donna explained that we would pretend like this was the real Sweet Dreams store and one woman would serve as the server and 3 women would be the customers. It started out according to plan and because these women just all wanted to be involved, before we knew it the line was getting longer. So Donna suggested the pretend server get a co-worker to help with the line so there would be two lines. Then the women switched between being server and customer.
They got so engaged in the play acting, before we knew it, pretend customers turned up–like a mother with a difficult child, a woman who wanted a place to sit,, a women who dropped her ice cream on the floor, a woman who only spoke Chinese, a thief, a women who put a pillow under her blouse like she was pregnant and delivering right in the store (the other women actually carried her out of the building by her arms and legs because they said if a woman delivers in the ice cream store, you need to take care of her).
I think all of Butare must have heard the gales of laughter. The women women offered important insights–everything from creating an assembly line, making sure everything was stocked for busy times, having the customers pay before they get the ice cream, treating all customers like they are human, knowing the product, paying attention to everyone in the store, and we could go on and on. These Sweet Dreams team will be well prepared employees that would make any business proud. Sabra’s up tomorrow with her training in business accounting.