November 9th, 2006

Falling Leaves

Was this bad service?

Yep, I'm one of those waiter-types who reads this community. I guess that means I'm usually one giving the bad service, right? :P I thought I'd relate this situation that happened tonight and leave it up to you -- bad_service or a customers_suck?

Six businessmen sit down in my section, my only table on a slow Thursday night. They order a lot of drinks, with the only problem being that one guy wanted Skyy Vodka, which we don't carry, so he decided on Absolute instead. Appetizers, then salads, go out without a problem. When their entrees arrive, however, one guy says he doesn't like the spice rub we use on our pork chops. He orders something else, which comes out amazingly fast, and everything seems all right.

Now, the main event -- as they are tucking into their dinners, a new busboy walks by and drops a ramakin of bloom sauce on the floor. (Bloom sauce is this orange horseradish-y thick sauce.) It spatters everywhere. On their suade jackets, expensive suits, into their mashed potatoes and even their water glasses. When I turned the corner and saw what had happened, that jarring music piece from every horror movie ever made rang in my ears.

I apologized profusely, got the manager, fetched some wet bar towels and gave them new waters and side dishes. I tried to get as much of the sauce out of their jackets as possible while they tried to dab the stuff off their clothes. The manager apologized and offered to pick up their dry cleaning bill. He also gave them free desserts on the house.

Despite giving what I thought was perfect service, they tipped me 5% (3% went to tipshare, leaving me with 2%; ironic that I basically paid the busboy for the favor). Was I lucky to get away with that much, or should they have tipped me as if the sauce thing never happened? I guess the question really boils down to, do you tip purely on how the waiter treated you or on your overall dining experience? Do you think that the restaurant -- and the waiter -- did enough to make amends for this table?
Winter

(no subject)

Another minor annoyance.

In the great area where I live, we have a leaf collection service where large trucks with giant vacuum cleaners suck up the piles of leaves we have at our curbs. They come around 3 times a year. Well, last year they skipped the third pickup so nobody got their leaves picked up because us logical people wait until they actually fall off the trees to rake them. Eventually they got ground up and swept away with the rain. No matter!

This year, there was a bright and shiny sign at the entrance to our neighborhood announcing the pickup on the 1st. The 1st rolls around, no leaves picked up. Drat, we actually raked them early this year. 2nd, no pickup. Repeat until today, the 8th. An entire week late. Too bad nobody was expecting them so everyone parked on the street. We have very limited parking in my area because a couple houses have no driveways and were lucky enough to get a big fat no parking sign in front of their house. People intentionally parked away from the piles for a couple of days to let them suck them up, but since they never came, everyone went back to parking in front of them. So now, only about a third of the piles were picked up, and only half of my pile. I'm sick of parallel parking between a car and an invisible mass behind me. They also skipped the most important pile in the neighborhood, at the very entrance to the neighborhood the owners always have a HUGE pile right on the corner so everyone taking a right on to that street has to go up the middle, risking hitting people who are coming down that street. Yet they took the sign that was directly in front of that pile. Thanks guys! All the other services we have are great, I have the best mailman in the world and the trash guys are efficient and don't leave the cans laying in the middle of the street like the last guys, the newspaper is always there and on the front walk, but the pickup people never seem to get it. We had a 4 foot pile of bamboo on our front lawn for three weeks because they never came by on the several dates we scheduled. Not only did it slowly kill the grass, it inconvenienced the guys across the street who had to park several houses down because we would request they not park in front of the pile until it was gone. All the services tend to be paid for with taxes, but large trash pickup like the bamboo is paid for separately.

Anyway, I consider a service paid for by our taxes to at least be within a couple days of when they say they'll come by. A week late and an incomplete job annoy me. I guess maybe it's a favor, they sell us the leaves back in the spring as mulch so they just saved some gardeners a few bucks.
chibiness

fast food blahs...

I love Whataburger. Their honey butter chicken biscuits make me happy. I just don't love one of the Whataburgers in my area.

I'm a delivery driver for an auto-parts store. If I want food, I stop on my way back to a shop from deliveries and pick up something fast. Key word being fast; dispatch calls me if I take too long and wonders if I wrecked or got lost.

So there's this Whataburger not far from the shop. It's actually rather convenient if I have a run that takes me north and past the freeway. However, I will never go there again. Why? Because every time I go, they take 10-15 minutes to get my food.

Granted, it's a relatively popular location, but still. The last time I went, I sat in my truck for ten minutes at the drive-through reading the paper and waiting for them to take care of two customers ahead of me. I don't know if the guy in the front ordered half the restaurant or what, but it really bothered me, and got me in trouble, as Dispatch called shortly after I left and asked where I was. Argh.

If I do go, it'll be after I get a cell phone, so I can get the phone number to corporate and report them if they do this again. But it's likely that I won't visit that one anymore.
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afraid of happy endings

Give Me Your Money!

Those are 4 words that you never want to hear while at your local 7-11 gas station.

I'd gone inside to grab a snack on my way back to the office, and was looking at the chocolate (mmm... chocolate!) when I hear a female voice loud and clear in the store saying "give me your money!". Surprised, I look up, ready to hide behind the pretzel display if need be.

The words didn't come from a person holding a gun. They came from the store clerk. "$3.60. Give it to me!" were the next words that I heard coming from her (we were the only two females in the store at the time, so I knew it had to be her).

Apparently, the man she was ringing out at the time was taking too long to count out his money. And if her yelling at the man isn't bad enough, it looked as though he may have had a disability of some sort (this 7-11 is only a few blocks from a rather large mental health center that has on-campus apartments for some of the patients).

I almost walked out (and should have), but I wanted my chocolate. When it was my turn to check out, I gave her my money. She got as far as getting the drawer open and putting my money in when the phone rang. Rather than counting out my change and closing the drawer, she TURNED HER BACK on the OPEN drawer to answer the phone. I used to work as a cashier. You NEVER turn your back on an open drawer.

When I got back to the office, I called the 7-11 corporate number. I didn't have a name (the cashier wasn't wearing her nametag), but I'm sure they will have no problem figuring out which cashier it was. I don't think they have very many female cashiers that have an "In Loving Memory of" tattoo on the side of their neck. The rep I spoke to was horrified by what I told her.
bitter

When Shipped means we won't give your package to a carrier until we're good and ready

I ordered some stuff from greekclothing.com for my little sib. I ordered it October 19th the website says it can take up to three weeks to ship, whatever I don't need it right away. October 26th, the status of my order changes from Manufacturing to shipped. 1st clue something is wrong, I wanted delivery by UPS, they give me a tracking number for Postal Service. A week later there's no package I call conversation goes some like this

ME: It says my package shipped on the 26th it's not here, why not
GC: Oh we assign tracking numbers before we ship packages
ME: Ok, but then why does it say my package shipped?
GC: It's in quality control, it should start moving tomorrow.
ME: Umm, ok

Another week goes by still no package, I call again,

ME: The internet says my package shipped on the 26th it's still not here
GC: It still in quality control.
ME: Well if it's in quality control, why does the internet tell me my package has shipped
GC: Well if we didn't have quality control then we would have a lot of screwed up orders
ME: But your system says my package shipped two weeks ago.
GC: It says on our website can take up to three weeks for products to be made and shipped
ME: Well, then why would tell you my package shipped two weeks ago.
GC: Well it should go out today.
ME: Do you not understand? You've lied, you said my package shipped two weeks ago, it should have arrived by now and it's not here.
GC: Well you didn't put a need by date on your order form.
ME: What does that matter? Tell me why if your system says my package shipped two weeks ago that my package is not here.
GC: I'm sorry if our system is confusing, it can take up three weeks for a package to ship.
ME: Shipped means everything is done and my package has been given to carrier for delivery. Why would you tell me my package shipped two weeks ago, if it wasn't ready to ship.
GC: Well it can be in quality control for up to five business days and this is the last day it can be there so it'll go out today.
ME: But if it hadn't shipped, why would tell me has?
GC: Well we can't do anything about it until it's 30 days deliquent.
ME: In my head *I give up* well you can be sure I will never order from you again Click

I was so upset that they wouldn't admit that they had screwed up. All I wanted was a reason why if the system says that my package SHIPPED. That it had not SHIPPED. Seeing as I had called before they would have changed to status of the order to quality control, or back to manufacturing or waiting to be shipped, but no it still says shipped. I swear if that package doesn't arrive by next week I'm going to file a chargeback on my credit card for failure to deliver goods.
Joshua Tree

>.

Hokay, I just got a bill for $550 for some blood work done at my dr's office for my yearly checkup last month.

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eta Okay you braggin' Canadians! :D I get that living up north in the ice and snow totally wins with the free health care. ;) You don't have to tell me you guys have it better. (Just kidding, brag all you want... )

eta 2 Okay, so I talked to the insurance company and the lab incorrectly billed them, when they should have billed my dr's medical group (this is according to the csr I spoke to, who was very nice). She said she'd take care of it (took the invoice # and the phone # to the lab to speak to them directly).

This is good service on Cigna's part, but bad service on the part of the lab. (My card says in big, bold letters: SEND CLAIMS TO [dr's medical group] at [address]).

The csr also said this lab has a habit of incorrectly filing claims, and then billing customers right away if the first try to get insurance to pay doesn't work (rather than try again or try other avenues). In my case, that caused some mild panic, but what if some people are elderly or don't understand their insurance, and get this invoice incorrectly? Maybe they would think they have to pay.

The csr said most likely Cigna told them, "Don't bill us, bill [dr's medical group]" and instead they just send the bill to me.

This is the same lab that has contaminated some of my samples, as well as forgotten to take tests so I must give more blood, and it has also screwed up the paperwork before. With that history, I'm gonna call slight bad service on the lab.

If I don't hear about this again, I'll call good service on Cigna's part.

*sigh* So that's it. I'm relieved. Thanks for all your help!


ps. Sorry for the spelling errors. :( I do spell check but tend to mix up spellings of words when I am nervous or upset.
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