December 30th, 2005

charlotte with headphones

Tipping question

Question about bad service = bad tips:

This is an opinion question. I usually tip alright, about 20% (because my math is too sucky to do 18%) sometimes more if I end up really liking the server for whatever reason.

I am in my 20s and sometimes can look even younger than that. When my boyfriend and I go out, there are times (not all the time but sometimes) when we don't get treated very well by our waiter or waitress at nice restaurants because they assume we won't tip. I guess because we are young, or because the place is fancy so they figure "they can barely afford to eat here as it is, they won't have money to tip" right?

So, when I see our waiter or waitress completely *fawning* over tables of older patrons nearby, and barely managing a "hi" or refilling our water, what should I do?

If I tip little (because let's face it, s/he doesn't deserve a big tip, right?) I'm doing just what s/he thought I would do! And it perpetuates the stereotype.

If I tip a lot (just because I want to show "see?! we can afford to tip and we will! you assumed *wrong*!") is it rewarding the behavior or do you think it would make the person re-think their stereotype for next time?

It's like a giant catch-22.

Personally, I feel like doing the second option if I know I'll be back. Maybe once they get to know we tip, we'll get okay service. But doesn't that seem backward?

(please note this doesn't happen too often. most places, even fancy places, our servers are awesome people who treat us like everyone else or even better because we are young-- and we chat and stuff and we lurve them ^^. But when this does happen I'm like, "it's such a vicious cycle!")
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    confused confused

Well, at the moment it's more like no service

So I woke up this morning, and after eating breakfast, noticed that the little light on the phone which indicates that it's in use was blinking rapidly. When I picked the phone up, there was no dial tone. A bit of experimentation with another phone in the house, and my cellphone, revealed that neither of the phone lines to our house is working, and while the cellphone works, our neighbor's phone doesn't.

So I pulled out the phone book, and found the phone number for Verizon's repair service. I called them up, and got a computerized answering system. After I gave it my phone number, it informed me that there was a service outage in my area, and Verizon was committed to restoring my phone service . . . by 6pm Tuesday, January 3rd.

Yes, that's more than 4 days. In fact, it works out to 103 hours. Fortunately, my neighbors appear to have a cable modem, since their wireless internet still works. (If your wireless network is broadcasting its SSID, and your wireless network functions from my bedroom, I'm going to regard that as permission to use your wireless connection).
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    amused amused

I'm gonna have to go

I give really excellent customer service. I'm talking, I get people calling my boss to compliment me. I love my job, and typically have cool customers that I really DO like. It's just, this community has me PARANOID. I mean, c'mon...some of these complaints are personal opinion. She should have said something or whatever... Sometimes, yes, the people are outright rude or not doing their job...but you guys have me wondering who really hates me because I sneezed wrong.
baby polar bear

(no subject)

Is it bad service to be told by my dentist that there is no way in heck I'd ever have to get my wisdom teeth pulled, and be sitting here, miserable, after having all four teeth pulled? Eh, it's probably just me. No way to predict the future, after all! (And better now than in 6 months by a fresh-out-of-school military dentist...)

Ah well. Ice, painkillers, and seeing my boyfriend and his family tomorrow.
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    lethargic lethargic

OK, maybe they don't want this payphone working

To give you some background, I refuse to carry a cellphone on general principle, electing to carry phone cards instead and use payphones if I need to make a phone call while on the road. The reasoning is that I don't think that there is any phone call that can't wait if I'm in transit, it's too expensive, and for those who really need to reach me, they can drop me an email or leave a voice mail. Besides, if it's an emergency, they shouldn't call me, they should call 911 - and if they need to get in contact with me, there are other ways to reach me. My mother, for instance.

So, all that said, if I'm out using payphones and I come across one that is broken, I'll make it a point to call the repair service. Here in southern California, Pacific Bell SBC AT&T employs 611 for the purpose, and the private payphone companies typically use 211 if they don't have a toll-free number published. Generally speaking, the repair service numbers seem to appreciate this bit of information.

Not Verizon. Oh, no. That would be clever. 611 will dial AT&T, 211 doesn't do anything, so you have to call the operator and tell her what's up.

Or, at least, that's what I thought. See, this Verizon payphone across from where I was was damaged - the handset was broken. So I dial 0, get the operator, and tell her what's up. After some hesitation, she transfers me to a toll free number somewhere. I get a human, who transfers me again, and then I get stuck - after four or five transfers - in a hold queue for ten minutes.

All I wanted was to get a bus schedule, originally, and with it in mind that my bus would be 20 minutes, I thought I'd be nice. I don't know what I was thinking.

I've since come to the conclusion that "Verizon" is a portmanteau of "vertical horizon". You know, a wall. What you seem to hit when you deal with these yahoos. All the really cool stuff of GTE, with all the customer service and problems (from what my wife tells me) of BHell Atlantic.

I did catch my bus, and got to where I was going - though I was a few minutes late. But I can't blame Verizon for that. =^_^=
Handcuffs

Bad service (or, not that great service) at Ruby Tuesday's

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I decided to use his giftcard for Ruby Tuesday's. So, we popped in at a location inside of a mall. It was around 3:30 in the afternoon and the place had, at a maximum, 8 tables. We were seated in the nonsmoking section where there were 2 other tables occupied.

It took about 5 minutes for our server to take our drink orders, despite him helping the table behind us (refilling their drinks, clearing their dirty plates, etc.). Finally, like I said, after about 5 minutes or so, he greeted us and we got our drinks. When our drinks came out, me and Sean (the boyfriend) were ready to order... however, the waiter just dropped our drinks and quickly walked off without asking if we were ready to order o.O Me and Sean are STARVING, and I am aggravated that I have to wait yet more minutes to even order our food.

In the meantime, our waiter was helping the table behind us and just... ignoring us. About 5 minutes pass, and the waiter finally gets our food orders. While waiting for our food, a table of 7 is sat beside us. After about 25 minutes, our food finally arrives (which, I know, isn't exactly the waiter's fault).

Not once during our course did the waiter check with us to make sure our food was alright. His attention was focused on the 7 person table. We never got our drinks refilled, never asked if the food was alright, and never asked us if we needed anything else, like dessert or more napkins (the boyfriend ordered a half rack of ribs and we only had the napkins the silverware came in).

When we were done with our food, the waiter was quick to clear the plates. And... me and Sean waited for the check... and waited. About 10 minutes pass, and we finally get the check... and the waiter dashes off, yet again. Sean and I wait and wait for the waiter to get the gift card. After about 10 minutes, the waiter gets our check and comes back with the gift card and receipts. At this time, Sean is in the restroom. Now, the gift cards are rung up like credit cards, so Sean needs to sign the merchant copy of the reciept. So, I wait for Sean to come back from the restroom to do so. While waiting for Sean to finish in the bathroom, and not even a minute later, the waiter comes over and says "you done with my pen...I need my pen back." Um, riiiiight. I sign the merchant copy myself and give the pen back to the waiter.

Sean left a $2 (cash) tip on a $27 bill. I told him that was being a bit generous.

Maybe I am just impatient, but this waiter was SLOW.
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    bored bored
Adore

Marmot Basin, Jasper, Alberta, Canada

I went snowboarding this weekend with the boyfriend and two other friends. We went up to buy our lift tickets, the boy and I together. We had a number of discounts - we both had a "Sunshine Marmot" card, which gives us $13 off each trip, with the 1st, 4th and 7th day free, and I have an ISIC card (International Student Identity Card).
So we strap up, and go to get on the chairlift. J goes through the scanner fine, and then the guy scans mine, and informs me I cannot use it until 12:30. It's 9am at this point. I'm blown away at this point, because we bought them together. As J's already gone through, he heads up to do a run while I sort this out.
I head back to the ticket window, and speak to a different girl. She informs me there is no way they could have sold this ticket, as they don't start selling them until 11:30. I show her the ticket, and finally convince her its real. She asks me to point out who sold me the ticket, and I do. The girl says she remembers me, but she didn't sell me the ticket. Finally, they try to change it over, and it takes over 20 minutes for them to figure out how to do it. They wanted the debit card used to buy them, I tell them he's not with me, because he'd already scanned through. Finally, she prints out the ticket, and although I was pissed off, I could have let it go.
Until I heard her turn to the girl who'd sold the ticket and say "f$&%ing Australians." (I'm an Aussie living in Canada). The other girl replied "She's so full of shit."
I let it go, but it pissed me off to no end. Especially since half the staff at the ski resorts in Alberta are Australian. This one happened to be Quebecoise I think.
To lighten it up, once I didn't have to deal with the staff anymore, I had a great day. And the server at lunch was fantastic. :D

Pizza Hut

Since working in the retail industry, I've become more tolerant of irritated cashiers and disgruntled waitresses. But, when really bad service happens, I get extremely pissed.

Here's a letter to Pizza Hut corporate. All they have on their website is a scrawny little form with a comment box only allowed to hold 520 characters. Any of you know their actual customer service email address? It's not posted anywhere visable on the website...that I can see anyway. I'm still too pissed to call.

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Yeah, I know that we live only 2-3 miles away. But, we're in the country. We didn't want to get out of the house. We were wanting to use their delivery service. Hell, they give anyone that doesn't live in a 5 mile radius a hard time anyway.

So that's my story.
Howl

What did I do wrong?

I was going to use a graphics program to more clearly illustrate what happened, but I will just recreate it here.
Menu is as follows

Personal Pizzas..............8"
Cheese.....................3.95
Veggie.....................XXX

Extras-50 Cents per extra
Extra Cheese
Olives
(imagine the normal ingredients)


Side Items
Side of Pasta (Plain).............2.99
Side of Pasta with meat sauce..........3.50
Side of Pasta with Alfredo Sauce...3.95
Sausage (2)........................XXX
Meatballs (2).......................XXX

I ordered an 8" cheese personal pizza with extra cheese and a side of pasta with alfredo sauce (angelhair noodles).
Now is that a difficult order? That was the setup of the menu (except obviously I left out some items and prices)

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Gromit on the roof

Scottish courtesy? I think not

I'm new to this comm, and I bring with me a seasonal tale of dreadful service.

This took place in a Little Chef somewhere in the Scottish Highlands. My partner and I were on the final leg of the long slog from Birmingham to Caithness, with his elderly grandmother in tow, and stopped for lunch there. The three of us ordered our meals together- two jacket potatoes and a plate of pancakes. Our drinks and the pancakes came within 15 minutes- a little slow considering the amount of people in there, and the number of staff, but just about passable.

However, twenty minutes after that the potatoes still had not turned up. My partner had long since eaten his pancakes, and finished his drink. An enquiry at the counter as to the whereabouts of our food and why they had brought out one dish so early on brought both the revelation that 'the tatties were huge, and would take a while to cook' (did you not think to inform us of that, rather than watch us twiddle our thumbs for half an hour?) and the stunningly illogical reply 'But they were pancakes!'

Snce when did pancakes hold a special status as 'foodstuffs that do not corrsespond to normal serving habits?' If they had served them after the main courses it might have made more sense (despite it being made clear to the waiter that the pancakes were for one member of the group, who wanted something sweet for lunch), but alas, sense (and service) were in short supply in this particular restaurant.

Whilst we waited we were entertained both by the noisy children by whom we had been seated (despite there being plenty of other tables), and the rustle of empty salt packets beneath our feet (the table and its surrounding area had no been cleaned before we sat down).


The jackets arived 45mins after they were first ordered, and were, quite frankly, revolting- hard in the middle, burnt on the outside, and with a limited amount of dilute and insipid topping. Were it not for the fact that we were running late (and starving) I would have sent them back. I had to ask for a free drink (just tea, nothing special) for my partner (who would otherwise have had to sit there twiddling his thumbs whilst we ate), and it appeared on the bill, and had to be removed again.

We do the run up to Scotland a few times a year, and have never had problems with this place before, but we shall not be using it again. The service was appalling, the wait staff were unhelpful and incapable of doing their job, and the place was not clean. For those of you who may be wondering, no, we did not tip.

To add icing to the cake, my step-father did the same trip recently, and decided to stop there for breakfast on his way back down. He arrived at 7am, and went to the door to check the opening times, which were not displayed. The lights were still off, but a solitary figure could be seen within. As he considered whether to wait or carry on to Aviemore, a window was flung open by his head, and a voice cried; 'can't you see we're closed until 8?'

Unsurprisingly, he drove the twenty minutes to AViemore. In future, we shall do the same.
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    Runrig- Skye