I have always prided myself in keeping my cool. But every now and then, someone gets to me.
I was working on my taxes in my office when Chris, the cashier called me. "Could you come out here?", he asked. I could hear some stress in his voice and asked "What's up". "A customer has a complaint on her food.", he said. So, I told him I would be right out.
On the way, I stopped in the wait station to see if I could get the story before getting there. The customer was one of Casey's. He said that she didn't like her sausage in her pigs in a blanket. He had brought her bacon and she did not like that either. She then complained about her gravy on her biscuits saying it was old and bland. Since we make out gravy daily, I knew it was not old. I quickly checked and found it to be fresh and tasty, so I headed out to see what was the problem.
I stepped into the cashiers station where the woman was yelling at Chris. I stepped in front of Chris and asked to see the ticket. While I looked at the ticket, the woman began to tell me how horrible our food was. Our pancakes sucked. Our sausage and bacon were old and stale. Our biscuits were hard and stale and our gravy was horrible. I could see that nothing was going to make her happy short of giving her all of her money back and even that was not going to bring her back. I stated to her that Casey had already comped one of her meals. "I shouldn't have to pay for any of that crap.", she said, "Just give me my change and I will leave. I am never coming back to this crappy restaurant".
I had had enough. I handed her the change and said, "Good, because I don't want you back here.". In saying that, I had just lit a match to the stick of dynamite in front of me. She screamed at me as she walked out the door. I turned to Chris, patted him on the back, and asked him if he was OK.
Two customers were close behind and heard everything. One spoke up and said, "You don't need her. We love you guys!". The other told me of how she cried when she heard that Jake's was closing and how happy she was when she found that we were still alive.
I can count on one hand the number of people that I have asked not to come back. To me, it is just not good business sense. The person might just be having a bad day of her own. There have been so many customers over the years who just that has happened and I have been able to defuse the situation and save a customer, often times ending with one who becomes a valued one.
But, this time, I drew my gun and shot. And she will tell a friend, who will tell another....and so on. Keeping my frustration in check is imperative in this game.