Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Life

I want to preface this post with something. When I do post about the annoyances in my life, they are meant to be in an anecdotal way. I am very happy with the life that I have been given. It is not perfect (far from it) but who's life is? Make no mistake, however, I appreciate every blessing that graces my path and know without a shadow of a doubt that I am blessed.

I think that the measure of a person is not always what he accomplishes but how he handles the things in life that are put in his way. Does he let things get him down or does he attempt to laugh at them. I try and chose the latter.

My buddy, Frank, laughs at me when I stop and see him and tell him of the things that are going on in my life. He says that Jerry Seinfeld would have a field day with me. There always seems to be something going on with my business or in my day to day life that is.....interesting. That is also one of the reasons that I love it.

For instance, the lady who came in last week with a complaint. I was away and one of my wait staff met her at he door. She came in with a to go box filled with hashbrowns that she wanted redone. The waitress opened up the box to see hashbrowns that had been half cooked and scattered.

"These are not our hashbrowns.", the waitress stated. "They most certainly are!", demanded the lady, "I just bought them here.". "Do you have an receipt?", the waitress asked. "No, I didn't ask for one.", came the reply. "Well, is this the box that they came in?", asked the waitress. "Yes, this is exactly what you gave me just minutes ago.", replied the lady who was now beginning to get quite annoyed.

The waitress asked her to follow her to our hot box area where we put together all of our togo orders. She showed her a stack of styro boxes and then pointed to the card board box that the lady was carrying. "We don't use those kinds of boxes. We have nothing like that here. Are you sure that was the container that they came in?", asked the waitress. "Of course it is. What has happened to the quality of the food around here, anyway. Your hashbrowns used to look so nice.", came the reply.

The waitress then pointed to orders that were about to go out. The hashbrowns portions were squared off and brown. "These are what our hashbrowns look like. Those are not our browns and that is not our togo box.", the waitress stated. The woman stared at her angrily. "Are you going to give me credit for these hashbrowns or not?", she asked. "No, I am sorry. I could if they were ours." was the reply. "Well, I am never eating in this place again.", she yelled as she turned and walked out the door.

The occurrence gave the staff quite a bit to talk about and I made my self ready for the possible phone call from this disgruntled woman and was hashing around in my head just how to handle it. After all, it was just hashbrowns. It would not hurt us to cook her up an order. I know there is a principal of sorts to this but it was not like it was a steak or something.

I chose to leave it for what it was.....a good chuckle for the crew and regulars. I would handle the call as I saw it when the lady called. But, no call came.

Then, a couple of days later as I sat at the counter with some friends who had stopped by, one of them said that she needed to talk with me in private. We went off to the side and she told me of a lady from her church who had called her on the phone. The lady asked her what had happened to the quality of the food at Jake's, specifically our hashbrowns. I smiled as I listened and then pointed to the table that was closest to us. "What do you think of them?", I asked. She looked over at the plate that had just been delivered to two smiling patrons. "Well, those look good.", she replied. "That is what our hashbrowns look like.", I stated, "Would you please ask this lady to contact me. Give her my cell phone number. I would love to talk with her.".

To date, no call has been made. Customer service isn't always about whether you are right or wrong....but more how you handle the situation. But, I would sure like to know where she bought them from.

Now, from that, I had a situation from the other side of the counter the other day. I was out with my Model A friends and we stopped for some treats at a local ice cream store. Now, I know that the sheer numbers of us probably frustrated the young servers a bit and I did feel for them as I know what it is like to have a bunch of people come in when you are not prepared.

I saw a picture of a nice ice cream cone concoction on their board. Wanting to keep it simple, I pointed at it and said that I wanted just that. I asked for it in the same type of cone. The young man pointed at three sizes in front of me and asked me which one that I wanted. I said the small. He made up the ice cream and placed it in a small bowl. "I would like a cone like it shows on the board.", I asked. He looked at me with a blank look and then placed the small bowl in the next size up large bowl. "Here", he stated. So, not wanting to cause a fuss, I took the bowl while Judy's smoothie was being made. I watched him as he poured a small amount of liquid in the pitcher of ice. I knew their was not enough liquid from making my own but said nothing until the young man tried handing me a glass with solid ice chunks in the bottom and a sort of mixture at the top.

"This is not a smoothie.", I stated. "Well, I ran it through three times....this is the best I can do.", He said. "No, it needs more liquid. It is not a smoothie.", I said. Disgruntled, the young man poured a small amount more of liquid in the mix and put it back in the blender. While it blended, I paid my bill......$5 for the smoothie, by the way.

I could see the smoothie was still not mixing and when one of the other young men were close to me, I asked him if he could teach my guy how to make the smoothies. I felt that it was probably his first day or something. Well, I hit a raw nerve. The boy blurted out, "He already knows how to make them......we are busy, can't you see!". I could see and I felt for his frustration so I just left it. Our server handed over something that looked like a snow cone type of drink. "This is not a smoothie.", I stated as I took it and handed it to Judy. The young man looked at me and stated before he turned to help someone else, "Our smoothies suck!".

And....he was kind of right. Everyone who had ordered a smoothie had the same thing. I was left with the thought that I know that when I am not around, things can happen. It is a part of human nature, in a sense. I hope, however, that if someone does have something happen that they do not like, that they will tell me. It is the silent customer that scares me the most.

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