First post...anyway, onto the stories. I'm currently staying in catered accommodation at my university. The food they actually serve isn't bad, definitely canteen style, but of a reasonable quality. However I've had a couple of annoying problems there relating mostly to the staff.
Some background: I'm suffering from some kind of long-term, unidentified illness that basically means, among other things, my stomach is in agony if I eat anything other than the most bland, mildly flavoured foods (even then it really hurts). This, understandably, makes eating a problem, and if I'd developed this illness back when I was applying for accommodation I'd have gone with self-catered, but I didn't so I've run into some trouble.
The first incident wasn't bad service on the part of the woman I actually dealt with (infact she was very polite and apologetic), but on the part of the canteen management. About 75% of the canteen staff are Eastern European immigrants, and most speak pretty good English. This girl, however, didn't. I asked if some quiche contained onions, and she didn't have the faintest idea what I was talking about. I need to know what's in my food, as no doubt do plenty of other people (the canteen caters for a couple of 1000 each meal), and it's unfair of the management, on both customers and staff, to have people serving food who can't even answer the most basic questions about it. It was really embarassing for the poor woman, and in my case not knowing what was in the food could put me in a lot of pain. They operate the canteen on a rota system, so different people check meal passes, work in the kitchens, serving food, washing dishes, sorting dirty dishes, etc, each day, but surely it'd make more sense for everyone to have the staff who actually speak good english always being the ones working with customers, rather than holding up queues and causing everyone a lot of hassle :S?
*Very* mild language in the second one for those averse to such things.
The case of bad_service I experienced tonight, was, however, the fault of the bloke who served me my food. It was some kind of breadcrumb coated vegetable...thing. Sounds pretty bland and inoffensive, but I have to be careful. So, I ask what's in it. The guy doesn't know so he checks with the head food-serving person, she says it's "just green vegetables". Sounds good. I double check it's not spicy. No, not spicy, just vegetables. Awesome, I'm actually going to be able to have a proper dinner tonight. Faast forward five minutes and I sit down to eat, and take a nice bite of this vegetable breadcrumb thing. It tastes a bit strange, but I swallow it anyway, then my brain kinda connects with what my mouth is telling me, and I realise it's kinda spicy. Look down at the plate, and ta-da! There's a lovely little slice of chilli pepper grinning up at me, the other half of which is now making it's merry way to wreak havok on my poor ravaged digestive system.
So now I can't get to sleep because my tummy's so sore, and I'm pisseded off, because it wouldn't have happened if that guy had actually known how to do his job properly, and, y'know, TELL people what's in the food when they make clear that they're ill and can't eat a lot of things. If he didn't know, surely he could have asked the woman in charge again? Thanks for making me feel like I've swallowed a packet of fishhooks, bastard, and it's your fault if I can't do any work tomorrow on the take-home exam I'm sitting...