During my time as a student in Indonesia, I didn’t need to make any appointment to meet administrative staffs in campus. I just went straight to the office and served. When I need to meet my undergraduate and master degree supervisors, I have two options. First, make an appointment by telephone call or sent a short message (sms), and they will give me the exact date and time—which is often not on time appointment, so I still need to waiting for a few moment. Second, I just need to waiting for them in the front of their office. If fortunate, they will serve me directly, otherwise I don’t meet them at all because they are not in their office, or I meet them but they don’t want to give a chance to meet because of busy day.
The same thing also occurred when I acted as a lecturer in Indonesia. My student can meet me at any time, they just need to swing into my office. Some of them also sent me a short message to ask for an appointment, and I will give them time for a meeting. The point is appointment is not something important in Indonesia. “On time” is not available in Indonesia time zone.
I experienced cultural shock when I arrived in Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). On my first day to the college, I have to meet my primary supervisors first, because he told me that he will be on campus on Monday. So I sent him an email in Monday morning to ask what time I can meet him. But sorry, I will tell you this story in the other part of “Lesson Learned #2”.
When I have to meet some administrative staffs in VUW, I learned that I need an appointment to meet them. I will tell you my three experiences. First, when I went to Faculty of Graduate Research to administer my enrollment. I have met the officer already, but she told me that she was not available on that day, and suggest me to make an appointment. She offer me to make an appointment for the next day, Tuesday morning at 10 am. And yes, I took it.
My second experience was when I went to Victoria International to report my arrival. The front staff officers asked me whether I have an appointment. I said “no”. Then she arranged me to make an appointment, and offer me a meeting on the same day at 3 pm. And yes, I took it.
My third experience was when I have to make a tuition fee payment in a bank, I also want to open a bank account. The bank officer served me for the payment, but they did not want to serve me to open a bank account. They told me “you need an appointment to make a bank account.” Then they offer me to make an appointment at 3 pm—which is only 30 minutes later. And yes, I took it.
This condition is very different in Indonesia, when you take care of your administrative things they will serve you on the same day, as long as in the office hours. Unfortunately, sometimes they will not serve you with wholeheartedly.
The difference is when you already have an appointment in VUW, they will serve you with sincerity and friendliness. You will often hear from them casual words such as “cool man”, “no worries mate”, and other words that show their friendliness in their seriousness to serve us. But don’t forget to meet the appointment on time.
Hopefully this article useful for you.