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Posts Tagged ‘bad service’

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Join me during the month of April as I blog through the alphabet. My theme will be What’s In A Name. I will attempt to write up a short fictional character sketch beginning with a different letter of the alphabet each day. Remember that a place can also be a character.

Fran

“I should have stayed home. I should have called in. But he said last time that one more absence and I would be out of a job and I have to have a job. This one isn’t great but it pays most of the bills and keeps a roof over my head. I can’t lose this job. That’s the only reason I’m here.”

She put on her smock and her name tag and grabbed her pencil and pad and headed out to the floor. It was mostly the regulars who knew her story but there were others out there, too. There was that older lady with the grandkids. She was a semi regular and Fran didn’t know her name but she recognized her and the teens. She was always nice to her so Fran always tried to be extra nice and attentive to her.

Five minutes out on the floor and she had to go answer the vibrating phone in her pocket. Today was going to be one of those days when she had to answer every call, just in case. She delivered the milk she was pouring and headed to the back. It turned out this wasn’t what she was expecting but it was an important call and she was glad she had answered it. Her daughter didn’t feel well at school so the nurse wanted to send her home but Fran explained that she was at work and couldn’t leave and her daughter would have to stay at school until she found someone that could go pick her up and keep her until there would be someone at home.

Back out on the floor she could tell the lady with the granddaughter was looking for her so she headed over, pausing at a couple of tables to leave their checks.

“Her milk is supposed to be chocolate milk, not white milk.”

“You’re absolutely right and I knew that when I poured it. I’m so sorry. I’ll fix it right away.” At least this was an easy fix, thought Fran. She grabbed the milk and headed to the back to pour  in some chocolate syrup. Then her phone buzzed again and she had to go get it. It was her neighbor letting her know she couldn’t pick up her daughter. Fran made another quick call to another neighbor and left a message before heading back out to the floor.

And it kept up all afternoon. She wasn’t out on the floor more than five minutes without having to go to the back and take or make a call. She tried to do it as inconspicuously as possible so the manager wouldn’t find out. This manager was a real prick and he would totally fire her ass if he got even one complaint about her. So Fran did her best, asking her co-workers to cover for her if at all possible.

Then she saw the manager looking her way and realized the older who she had messed up totally was talking to the manager up at the register. Oh no! This was it. She knew it. She braced to be fired and then the phone vibrated again. She had to go get the call. This one was sure to be the one she was expecting.

Alexa

Babs

Curtis

Diane

Eve

 

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Join me during the month of April as I blog through the alphabet. My theme will be What’s In A Name. I will attempt to write up a short fictional character sketch beginning with a different letter of the alphabet each day. Remember that a place can also be a character.

Eve

They had been to this diner a million times and rarely had bad service. Today, it was a treat for Eve’s granddaughter who had gotten a perfect report card so they were celebrating. Eve loved being able to take her grandchildren on these special little trips, just her and them. Today was supposed to be special and once they were finished she was planning a trip to the stationery store where her granddaughter, Julie, loved to shop but she hadn’t told Julie yet. It was a surprise.

They were pointed to a table which was strange because that didn’t usually happen. Someone always came and greeted them and seated them. Not today. So they sat at a table that hadn’t been wiped clean yet for longer than they should have. Eve had to get up and go get someone to wipe it. Then they had no menus for a long time and when they took their drink orders, Julie’s chocolate milk came back as a regular white milk but the waitress had just plopped the drinks down and left. And Eve couldn’t stir her coffee because they had no utensils. A solid ten minutes after being seated, the waitress finally came and took their order. And fixed Julie’s chocolate milk but still no utensils. Eve got up and swiped the utensils from the counter so that she could stir her coffee and drink it as it was already getting cold.

She waited for the food and decided to check her blood sugar and take her insulin based on the number of carbs she had ordered, otherwise she might forget when the food arrived. Big mistake!  Just as she plunged the medication in the syringe into her body, the waitress came to say they were all out of the dish she had ordered so now she had to pick something entirely different that would be the same number of carbs so she didn’t have to worry about having her blood sugar go too low because of the insulin she had taken. And she had ordered the French toast which she rarely got. That one had lots of carbs and there wasn’t anything else on the menu that she wanted with an equal or similar number of carbs. She finally settled on something but had to ask the waitress to bring her fruit, too, so she would have enough carbs.

The waitress was so inattentive today. She kept disappearing for ten minutes at a time and it was frustrating to Eve and Julie. Their food arrived and it was cold because it had sat up on the counter forever waiting to be brought to their table. The coffee refill Eve had asked for had never been poured. She finally got the waitress to bring her more coffee and to bring her the fruit she had asked for. Eve was starting to feel light headed. That’s what happened when her blood sugar got too low and that was happening now because the insulin was a quick acting one which took effect within ten minutes.

All told, it was a horrible diner visit. She actually expected the waitress to adjust the bill. They always did that at this diner when there was the tiniest of screw ups. But today, the waitress didn’t do that. Eve had Julie stay seated while she went to find the manager. This wasn’t right. And while she didn’t want to get anyone into trouble, this just wasn’t right.

 

 

Alexa

Babs

Curtis

Diane

 

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My daughter does secret shopping for restaurants from time to time.  It’s a great deal because she gets to eat out at the expense of the company that hires her and then after she submits a short review, she also gets a gift card to use at the same restaurant.  She has done mostly the Cheesecake Factory which is one of her favorite restaurants but it’s too pricey for her to eat there on her own.

Tonight we went to a different restaurant which although I won’t name I will say that it is known for it’s beer and steak.  One location is near me so I went with her.  When you secret shop a place, it is just that…secret!  The restaurant is not to know until they review the report that you file the following day.  They never know who you are.  The visits are pre-determined by the company, meaning that they tell you at what time you are supposed to go and what you have to do (usually you have to interact with the front reception people, order a drink at the bar, order at least one appetizer/dessert, etc.).  We were seated in 15 minutes instead of the 30 minutes they had told us so that was a plus.  We sent her boyfriend to the bar to order a drink (my daughter is pregnant so she’s not drinking) and he came back with a glowing report and the barmaid’s name.  Then the “fun” began when we were seated.  It took the server almost a full 8 minutes to even acknowledge us and then even longer to take our beverage order.  It took him four trips to our table before we ordered our appetizer (which he didn’t offer to take our order for, we just told him we wanted one).  Our entree orders were taken and when the food arrived, my daughter’s burger was not medium-well, it was so charred that it was falling apart and was completely black all the way through.  She sent it back.  When they came back with the replacement, it was cooked much better but they had failed to serve it plain, as she had ordered.  She doesn’t like any condiments at all; they served it with some kind of mustard sauce which she tried gut didn’t like.  She asked the waiter to send it back and just take it off the bill.  She was pretty upset by then.  The server said he didn’t blame her and said he’d take it off the bill.  Then the manager came out.  He was such a jerk!  He was condescending, loud enough for people many tables away to start staring, and then snapped at my daughter, saying something like, “Well what do you want?  Tell me how you want it and we’ll bring it that way.  We’ve already started it for you.”  My daughter responded with the order again, very precisely telling him how she wanted it.  Then he snapped again to tell him how she wanted it so they could get it right.  Then I blew up and snapped back at him and told him exactly how she had ordered it both to our waiter and to him.  It was finally brought out the right way, way after the rest of us had finished eating.  When my daughter asked for the manager’s name, he came over and apologized for snapping at her, all the while with a condescending attitude again!

In the end, they did take the price of her meal off but we weren’t offered any other resolution.  We weren’t even asked if we wanted to order dessert before they brought us the bill!

Needless to say, they aren’t going to like the review they get.  My daughter is really good about being very precise when she reports her restaurant visits and has rarely had any occasion to  give any kind of demerit to the businesses she has visited with the secret shopper program so she will be fair but it’s difficult to give a positive review when something like that happens.   She also did a really good job of keeping her temper and smiling and being nice to everyone involved during the entire time, even when the jerk of a manager was basically scolding her like a child.  We probably won’t go back to that location, at least not during dinner hours, but we’ll enjoy the gift card for another meal when it comes.

Tomorrow I do my first secret shopping gig!  I’m kind of excited about it!  I signed up over a year ago and never got anything til now so I’m hoping it will be the first of many!

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