The Ninja (the_ninja_style) wrote in bad_service,
The Ninja
the_ninja_style
bad_service

Frustating service due to language barrier

This is more frustrating than "bad" service.

I have a friend that wanted to go to lunch on my lunch break today, so we go to a local Chinese buffet. There is one man working. He is the chef, waiter, and everything in between. Granted, 2:45PM is a very slow time, but perhaps leaving a man who barely understands English wasn't the best business decision this place has made.
First off, I ask for Iced Tea and get Hot Tea. OK no problem, I drink it because I'm not a person to complain about such minor things.
Secondly, we both want to order off the menu instead of get the buffet. The man is confused until we point at the menu and what we want. He gets it, we think. He goes in back and we wait. After we both finish our drinks, there is still no sign of the mystery do it all man. My friend eventually refills our drinks for us. Finally the man reappears and asks if there will be anything else.
Um... our food?
He waves at the buffet and says, "You help yourself."
No, we want to order off the menu. He frowns and shakes his head. OK he's not getting it. So insert more pointing at the menu and then ourselves. Finally, it clicks. He smiles and says, "Fresh! You want fresh."
With in minutes we have our order.
We're running out of time for me, and so we eat quickly and go to the counter for our check. We get it and there are two buffets plus our "fresh" food.
We're all ready frustrated, and we know arguing this isn't going to be easy, but an extra $20 charge on the check calls for some arguing. For a good amount of time we go over and over with the guy that we didn't eat the buffet and he's not understanding. He is confused, and frustrated because he keeps saying he made it fresh. I understand that he thinks he made us a requested buffet dish, but we ordered it as our meal and didn't eat anything off the buffet.
Finally, a woman comes in and the man explains to her in whatever language they speak his side of the story.
The woman speaks much better English than the man and says, "He made you a fresh plate of garlic chicken and you ate from the buffet?"
We tell her no, that we only ate the plate of garlic chicken, that we just ordered straight from the menu. She understands right away, and takes off the $20 plus our drinks while apologizing.
The whole ordeal was frustrating, and I wasn't really a fan of having to run inside to make it to my desk on time. Who leaves the guy that doesn't speak English that well to run everything?
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