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June 24th, 2008

This week for the first time I had the pleasure of visiting Portland. That's not the suck, as Portland is a pretty fab place, and totally different from the New York vibe I'm used to (i.e. tons of hippies, lots of trees, people kept giving me the right of way and wishing me a good day ... whoa!).

What was not pleasurable: Vincente's pizza in southeast Portland.

I went in realistic about the food. Not many places in the States make a good pizza like you can find in New York. Turns out I was sort of correct. The pizza was alright, way too doughy, the topping was interesting. Ultimately, nothing to write home about. But what killed the experience and made me bring it here was the service.

First, one of my compatriots, Aaron, orders a pizza with goat cheese and tells the waitress it's because he's lactose-intolerant, so he can't have anything with cow milk. She says okay, and brings him a goat cheese pizza ... sprinkled with parmesan. Aaron's annoyed because he was pretty clear with his request and can't figure out how someone can mess that up. The waitress says she'll get another pizza made to replace it.

Meanwhile, me and two other friends ordered a Thai topping pizza. After about 45 minutes and several other people who ordered after us getting their food, our pizza finally arrived. It was another half hour after that that Aaron's replacement pizza arrives, and it's slightly undercooked. So far, we're not impressed.

The service is slow but we're having fun talking so it's not bad. By the time we get the bill, the place is closing.

Something turns out to be wrong with the bill - Aaron's incorrectly-made pizza was still added to the tab, even though the waitress had said she wouldn't add it. I didn't know this until after we left, otherwise I would have told him to absolutely say something, but he didn't. By that point, we'd been there several hours, it'd taken forever just to get someone to bring us the bill, and the staff seemed disorganized in general, so he and several other people in the group were just anxious to get out. Hey, his money, his choice, though I would've been pissed enough to speak up.

The best part ... after we've paid up (including the gratuity) and are heading out, the waitress approaches us holding some napkins that I assume she took from our table. She says she's very disappointed in us because we should know better than to waste napkins. "I was an environmental studies major," she says, to prove her credentials, and proceeds with a condescending lecture.

I don't know who grabbed that 1/2" wad of napkins for our table. It might have been the people who left dinner early. It might have been the remainder of us. It might have been someone who genuinely thought he or she was going to use them. Hell, maybe it didn't matter, since it was just a handful of napkins, and who in their right mind has the audacity to condescend to their customers?

The waitress got two seconds into her lecture before Aaron said, "Excuse me, but we don't need a lecture from you, thanks". And we walked out.

As I said, the place was so disorganized that we got the distinct impression that the problem rests in management, so registering a complaint with them seemed fruitless. We definitely won't go back, though.

Good service - all of the wonderful people working all of the wonderful Japanese restaurants. My God, your Portlanders have the monopoly on great sushi outside of Japan!

Post Office Update, Qwest/MSN, T-Mobile

Sorry I don't have a link right now. Recap on previous suck: I moved from Colorado Springs to Arvada, CO. I paid the $1 online a couple times to have my mail forwarded (and went in to the post office several times as well), but stuff still ends up going to the old apartment, hense friend forwarding me my mail. Said friend decided to put all such forwardings in a large envelope and do the automated computer postage thing at the PO. After like 2 weeks I hadn't gotten the package, she had been calling the post office to no avail, and finally got the package back at the apartment. It said 'not enough postage' even though she weighed it and paid for the postage already. Well we decided that sometime between the time she printed the sticker and put it in the mailbox (all of 3 seconds) postage increased so we chalked it up to a 'whatever' and tried again.

2nd attempt: She took it through the line and spoke to an actual person about mailing it to me. Paid for postage again, paid for insurance on it, etc. 3 weeks later I still hadn't recieved it, they lost record of her purchasing postage or insurance, and said there was nothing they could do. That we'd just have to wait and see if it ever showed up.

UPDATECollapse )

QWEST and MSNCollapse )

At least they didn't suggest a burglar coming in and stealing my internet but come on! I know dial-up is a pain in the ass (BELIEVE ME! I know!) but I shouldn't have to uninstall, reinstall, reboot, rinse, lather, repeat every single day!

Could have been major UPS suck

While I was home, UPS quietly tapped on my front door and left 126 pounds of packages (2 boxes containing a build-it-yourself couch a friend of mine had shipped to my house) in between my door and the side of a brick archway, blocking the front door from opening more than about 8 inches.

I was able to open the glass storm door enough to get my foot around so I could push the packages to the side and open the door, but if they left it one inch closer to my door I would have had to break the storm door to get out the front.

If it had been an emergency, or if I had been even more feeble than I am, could have been trouble. As it was, I just was left wondering how they expected me to get out to get my packages and why they didn't just put it on the other side of the door where I would actually be able to open the door.

Eh, no biggie, but hopefully someone will put "do not block access to door no matter what" in the UPS training manual.

Wait ... WHAT time do you close?

I'm on a Rocky Horror Picture Show cast in San Francisco. After our performances, a group of us usually go somewhere to get a bite to eat. Our shows start at midnight, so obviously we tend to patronize 24-hour restaurants, or at least ones that are open very late.

In April, we had a special Friday night show. (We usually only perform on Saturdays.) My best friend flew up from L.A. to perform in it. Her hotel was across the street from Mel's Drive-In on Van Ness, which had a posted closing time of 4:00am on weekends. Since our usual restaurant was well out of the city, the people in my car decided to go to the diner so my friend could go right back to her hotel afterwards.

It gets longCollapse )

I tried writing a letter to corporate, but couldn't find their address. So I wrote to the management of this restaurant. Never heard back.

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