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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Customer Service Call

ShowHype: hype it up!
Working at the movie theatre, I have had many experiences dealing with customer service. It is basically all the industry is about! (Ok, movies too, but sometimes those play second string even) Knowing this, I often keep my eyes open as to how people at other locations where customer service is important are treated, such as restaurants and sports events. Knowing how difficult customers can be sometimes, it was pretty interesting for me to observe a customer at a restaurant.

We'll call our difficult customer "X". My girlfriend and I had arrived at the restaurant about 10 minutes before. It was soaking wet outside, so I can understand that no one coming in would be the happiest people around, I certainly wasn't. However, our hostess was friendly and we were seated promptly. After drying off a bit, I sat at our table waiting for my girlfriend to get back so that we could start our meal. During this time, X and his friend had come in and been seated. X decided to move his own seat, insisting that he should sit there because it was "brighter".

The table was open, but the server for that table had just left and so there was no one to serve the table. X asked if that was ok, and at first the hostess said No. A mistake on her part, but she quickly made up for it. X threatened to leave, and was allowed to sit at his desired table. The hostess made sure that their server knew they would be at a different table. I knew from this point that X would be difficult, so I observed him while we ate. Our service was pretty good, though the food took a little longer than I would've liked.

X, on the other hand, waited about 5 minutes for his server, who had accidentally went to our table first. (We had a different server) When he got there, he asked politely "Has anyone been around to help you yet?" Basically, he was checking to make sure he had the right table. X responded, "No one has done anything for us yet here" in one of the most sarcastic tones I've ever heard. Sheesh.. I felt bad for the server already.

X orders his drink which was "Jack Daniels with Soda". I know what I would've thought if he said that. Jack and Coke. The server smartly checked though, asking if he wanted Coke or Soda water. "I said SODA!" he responded. So the server then confirmed that it was "soda water" and not coke, and went to go get their drinks and food (ordered at the same time). As soon as he had walked away, X commented on the incompetence of the service there, and quite loudly. Wow. I'm sure his friend was embarrassed.

When the drinks came back, the server asked if they needed anything else until their food got there. X said "I said no ice in my drink, but of course your too busy so it doesn't matter." Again in that sarcastic tone. I had been paying attention, and he did not say that. The server asked if he wanted the ice strained out, or a new drink, and X said "No No you're too busy for that." After checking again, the server left. Again, X commented on his incompetence. This time his friend said "They're trying their best." To which X responded "No they're not, this is the worst restaurant and I'm never coming back here again."

Ok ok.. sheesh. This continued for the rest of his meal. Now I know that the tone wasn't set right at the beginning, but they did try to make up for it, and his server was trying. I just can't believe some people think acting this way in public really makes things better. I'm sure the hostess and server wish he had left instead of staying. The server does not get paid enough to do that (especially since their pay is tip based, and X probably would not tip well).

That being said, I am appalled at the kind of behavior. I've gotten angry before, but I've never insulted a server, especially in such a loud and public way. Have you had any observations on this? Or perhaps experienced bad customer service yourself? Let me know, and I'll compile the best ones and post em. If you don't feel comfortable leaving it in a comment, let me know and you can e-mail me!

4 Comments Posted!:

MandyPoo said...

I've gotten disgusted with my fair share of servers due to sorry service, but it does take quite a bit before I actually say something to someone about it.

The first story that comes to my mind about terrible service happened a little over 10 years now...it was my oldest sister's highschool graduation day and the entire family went out to eat at Shoney's after the graduation. First off, we had reserved the back room b/c we have a large family...well, they didn't save the room for us. We probably got to the restaurant around 8:30ish and our first plate of food did not come UNTIL 12:00 a.m. Yes. 12:00 a.m. And some people never even got their food or got something different than what they ordered. Needless to say, my Dad left the quite incompetent server & staff $0.01 tip right in the middle of the table just to make his point. The staff knew we were so ticked off that they even woke its owner up at midnight, he drove to the restaurant and apologized. Now THAT is bad service!

joen05 said...

Wow, that's pretty bad! I can't imagine waiting that long for food, I would've walked out and gone somewhere else.

Rafael said...

Never ever ever do that to anyone who is serving you food. Ever. Go see the movie "Waiting" with Ryan Reynolds. Do you know what these people do to your food when you treat them badly. Yes, yes, it does happen. I don't care if it's a one star place or a four star place. The staff know how to get back at you the only way they know how. YUCK!!

Deadpoolite said...

I am too busy trying to maintain my sanity in the long term to notice petty things like servers in restaurants:)

Seriously though, people like Mr X are so self-centred they think everyone has to bow to their "awesomeness" day in day out... I guess a real bad day at work can do that to a lot of people...

As far as actual events are concerned the last one I remember was in Salonica, Northern Greece. I went to a cafeteria, sat there with my sports newspaper(yeah I can read, surprising isnt it? LOL) and waited for the waitress to come and take my order. The seasons started to change around me and when they had almost made full circle the waitress arrived. She asked what I wanted "I said wild sex, NOW" (no I didnt, I am not that far gone yet, LOL!) and she left. That was the last time I saw her and she saw me:)

A coffee that I never drank really:)