May 14th, 2007

my bad service this weekend

So my boyfriend and I were cooking to death on Saturday and thought it would be kind of fun to get one of those dough boy pools for the backyard since we don't have a lot of space back there. We didn't really know where to look for one so we though well a Wal-Mart must have one so we cruised over there to take a peek. When we got there we quickly found where they sell their pool covers and filters but only saw small inflatable pools in that area so we flagged down an employee to ask where they kept the larger pools. When he finally looked at us we asked if they had any more pools then the ones that were out and got a very curt "no. If you want a pool go to Gordo's" (a local kinda pricey more for large pools kind of place). A little stunned at his answer we started to leave when my boyfriend saw a toy on the end cap he wanted to get for his son right above that toy display was a bord displaying all the different pools they had in stock and would grab for you on request, including the one we thought would have been perfect for the back yard. Come on just because you didn't want to run back and get the pool doesn't mean you have to be a jerk.
And a little strange:
That night we stop by a Mexican Restaurant where I usually really enjoy eating. As we were walking through the front door we noticed there was a notice of new ownership sign in the door (this is where the bizarre starts). We get up to the hostess stand and are met with a guy running around like a crazy person. He takes our name and asks what time it is my boyfriend said it's 6:45 but the guy said I'm going to put down 6:46 because that's what the computer shows and if you're not seated in 5 minutes heads will roll. Um ok then. So after literally 2 minutes pass he asks if we want to sit at the bar, we said that's fine so he shows us to our table there and introduced himself as the new owner and told us someone will be with us in a minute and he'll return at the end of our meal. Our waitress follows shortly bringing us chips and salsa takes our drink orders and returns promptly to take our order, trouble is that she only gave us about a minute to look at the menu so we weren't ready so she said she would be right back. That's where the prompt service stopped so we waited for her to come back. We waited long enough to finish the chips, our drink, and wait another 25 minutes. As were were about to put a 5 on the table and head out the waitress came to our table and asked if we were planning on a dine and dash. I didn't know you could call it that when all you've had were chips and were going to leave some cash but dumbly we said no and ordered and received the worst food I think I've come across. If the Donner party had been offered our dinner I think they still would have eaten each other. We ate a little got our check and were about to go when the crazy owner returned to ask how our food was we said it was ok but not the best we've had. At his point he got scary pissed off looking. I think it's going to be a looong while before we go back.

Liquor Store: Rude/Confusing Service

To start off, I am fairly certain that liquor laws are different from state to state.  Here in Massachusetts, you need to be 21.  Some stores that I've been to have a policy that everyone who is in the store with you needs to product a valid I.D. stating you are 21+.  These are usually clearly marked at the register.  It makes sense and I understand what most stores are trying to avoid by having such policies in place.  That being said, let me tell you about my experience at a liquor store on Cape Cod (Hyannis, MA specifically) on Saturday night.

My Mom really likes Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay.  It's a rather expensive bottle of wine at $45 compared to most bottles you would find in a liquor store.  My sister, who is 17, and I were driving around Hyannis on Saturday night when I thought I would go and surprise my Mom with this bottle of wine.  We decided to stop by a liquor store near the Cape Cod Mall. 

I leave her in the car because she was on the phone with a friend and go into the store.  Here is the cast of characters:

LE: Liquor Store Employee
MG: Liquor Store Manager

So I step in and head over to the wine section.  I'm browsing around when the following exchange occurs:

LE: Who's in the Altima??
Me: I am, is everything ok? (thinking something had happened to my sister)
LE: Yo, I'm gonna need to see her ID or else I'm not sellin' you anything!
Me: Oh, well, that's my sister.  She is only 17, but I'm actually looking for a nice bottle of wine for my Mom for Mother's Day.  It's called Cakebread Cellars's about $45 or so.
LE: No way!  Not on a Saturday night!!
Me: (thinking that this policy is a little fishy) I really don't understand.  She is my sister and I know she's underage, but I don't see how this store policy makes sense in this case.  It's not like I'm buying mass quantities of liquor.
LE: Hey (motioning to the manager)!  Come here for a sec!

The manager wanders over and I plead my case again.  I realize that it's not the end of the world if I don't get this wine tonight, but I was really bothered by this "policy" of checking out the parking lot and deciding who can and can't buy liquor based on who is in the car and what night it happens to be.

MG: (after listening to me, goes out and looks at my sister in the car) NO WAY!!!  She is DRIVING that car!
Me: (speechless) What does that matter?
MG:'s our policy.

LE is pretty much escorting me to the door at this point like I am a criminal.  I didn't want to sit and argue because I didn't want them to threaten to call the cops for a damn bottle of wine.  I leave the store shaking my head and LE decides to be a dick about the whole thing.

LE: Yo! Yo! Thanks for being a team player though!!!

Then I can hear all the employees in the store laughing at me.

So that to me just seems weird.  Not to mention the fact that I didn't see anything at the store stating this policy.  What ticks me off the most is that I'm sure that if a 21-year-old kid came in there and bought two 30-racks of Bud Light on a Saturday night, they wouldn't even blink an eye.  Please don't get me wrong, I understand they're trying to prevent underage drinking in a town where there is little else to do for the youth living there, but I felt like the way they went about it didn't make any sense to me at all and the staff was pretty rude about it.

Your thoughts?
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I'm about ready to switch doctor's offices even though I love my doctor, just because her office staff are impossible to deal with.

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EDIT: I got a call Tuesday at 2pm saying that they had just called in my prescription. That's five days after they said they would.

IHOP discrimination

For the last four years I've been going to IHOP randomly with the same group of friends. The majority of them are pretty femmes and often one or two of the club DJs. This particular manager always came over when it was me and the girls, bought them food, discounted their tickets, etc. My best friend Whitney was the sole reason that I went, usually. She moved to Hawaii and I quit going for awhile, not on purpose, it just happened to wind up that way. Every time I did go in, however, the same manager would come over and talk to me and my girlfriend and every time he'd ask me where Whitney and the rest of the girls were, no big. Always a nice guy, always funny. Kept things brief, etc. Well one night, about six weeks ago, my girlfriend and I were in there with another group of friends. It was 2 AM. We're talking, etc., and my girlfriend leans over and kisses me. No making out, just a quick peck, etc., and before I know it, this manager comes over and starts bitching me out saying that what we did is public indecency and that he's got people complaining about lude conduct and told me that he'd be monitoring my behavior, basically. Ever since he saw Rita kiss me, every time I'm in there, he's completely different. He doesn't talk to the girls anymore, he doesn't talk to me, he mean mugs me every time I'm in there and this last time was the final straw. We were tucked into the back corner, there was no one else on our half of the restaurant. Half way through us being there, two tables sat in smoking in an in closed room, fifty feet away.

Annyyyway. We were talking, etc., I was sitting across the table from any of the girls but Whitney and I were holding hands briefly and he comes over and starts bitching me out again, saying that I'm rude to the server, he's talked to me about my behavior before and that my friends are welcome to stay but I can't and that I'm not welcome back.

What's interesting is that I go in off and on and the only time there's ever a problem is when this one manager is there. I'm the same always, and yes, I get loud sometimes but, frankly, it's 4 AM in the middle of bar rush. There are drunken people and other people making out and he never says a damn thing to them.

He also claimed that he's had serves complaining that I don't tip. Not that my friends don't, but that *I* don't. Of all the things he could make up as a basis for kicking me out, the fact that I don't tip and am supposedly rude to the server isn't a basis for kicking me out. I've been in the restaurant industry for literally almost a decade and I've never, ever, EVER had the luxury of not waiting on people because they were rude to me or didn't tip. In the real world, we have to suck it up and bitch about it later. Also that's a ridiculous claim because the servers who know who we are argue over who gets to take us because they know that it's a sure 20 to 50 bucks.

And I don't even really think it's this guys fault. I think there are complaints. And it's from the security guard who doubles as their host at 3 AM on the weekends. She hates me. And she's the only one in ear shot, the only one who is around, and the complaints always come when she's there. There have been nights when neither one of them are there and nothing happens. In fact, the other managers wave at me when I'm with Rita and wave at our group when we're there. But if this chick is there, all of a sudden all kinds of people are complaining. No.

Apparently this has been going on for awhile and I'm not the only one.