August 17th, 2009

llamallamallama

that's one complicated mixed drink

This isn't the worst service ever, so for those who like drama it might be boring.

BF and I got a hotel to celebrate our 1.5 year anniversary (we didn't do anything for our 1 year, otherwise we wouldn't celebrate silly half-years). It was a couple hours away in a little town so we didn't know where to eat. We found a place called Harvey's, and it was nice, designed well, and the food was great. I only have the one complaint, although it was pretty irritating.

They had a bar area where we had a drink while waiting for our table. We were seated by our waitress, who noted our drinks, and we ordered. We were brought the food, and BF had finished his beer so the waitress took his next drink order, a mojito. I had about a sip left of my drink and she didn't ask me for a refill, but I chalked it up to it being on the opposite side of me and the ice made it look fuller (and anyway I didn't even realize it was almost empty until she had left). When she came back to give BF the mojito, she got my next drink order, a pina colada-ish frozen drink (I'm such a sucker for them). I declined water while I was waiting since I wasn't too thirsty and could wait for the drink.

But on her next check in a few minutes later, she said she was still waiting on the drink. Cool, the bar looked busy. We waited another five minutes and she came back and apologized that it was taking so long and said that she kinda waited back there for it. Alright, it'll be ready any minute now. Except about 20 minutes went by and both BF and I finished our meals and I still didn't have my drink. (BF: "Are they blowing the fucking glass back there?!") I was thirsty, but at that point I was full and didn't want it anymore, but we couldn't find our waitress to let her know. Finally, about 25 minutes after I ordered it, my drink came to the table, which was now empty of plates. I had my boyfriend help me finish it because we just wanted to leave at that point.

As I told my boyfriend, I didn't really know how to handle it because it wasn't the waitress's fault; she seemed really sorry that it was taking so long (it turned out the order somehow didn't "go through" the computer). But my boyfriend said, "If she was a good waitress she'd have been back there on their asses yelling at them for her drink so her table wouldn't be pissed," and that made sense to me. He was paying, so instead of leaving a crappy tip I suggested he just tip on the total minus the drink.

It was just a drink, but really? I think they should have comped it or something. 25 minutes is pretty excessive. We didn't stay to complain so we just went on with our evening to enjoy the jacuzzi room ;)
  • Current Mood
    blah blah
wing

WTF service?

I visited Providence last October, and on my first night in US, my friend brought me to a place he used to work at, Dave-and-Something. This is actually my first foray into the tip-based service industry I've read so much about, because from where I came from, the waiters and waitresses are actually paid decently, and everyone gets a fixed 10% whether they do a good job or not.

I also tend to speak really fast, and I have a very Asian accent, with a lot of intonations and emphasis on the vowels. My friend told me that I really have to slow down because it's hard for him to catch what I am saying sometimes as well.

When we arrived the dining area, one of the waitresses came up to us, and greeted us happily :D Brought us to a table, and we settled down. I was quite distracted, between talking to my friend that we haven't met in so long, and the environment, and the Red Sox game that was going on.

So while my friend was explaining to me the rules of baseball, our server of the day arrived and asked us for our orders.

Me: Sorry, I haven't really read yet, please come back in 5 minutes?
Waitress: *stares at me*
Me (I must be speaking too fast, speaks slower): Sorry, could you come back again in 5 minutes please?
Waitress: *stares*
Friend: We haven't read the menu yet, come back again in 5 minutes.
Waitress: Ok. *walks off*

So, we all read the menu and decide on something first before she comes around again, then we continue our baseball conversation, but somehow she didn't seem to come to our table for a long while. I try to catch her attention, but she appears to be busy, so when I finally make eye contact with her, I wave my hand and smile at her. She glares at me, and looks away. O_o

My friend call out her name, since they do wear nametags and they introduce themselves when they arrive at the table. She comes to us and takes our orders. But, why or why, does she have the same blank look when I tell her my order. In desperation, I point my order to her on the menu. Again, she glares at me, and writes down the order, and surprisingly, walks away without repeating our orders.

So, we kept the menus ourselves, and I asked my friend again if I was speaking too fast or accented for her to catch what I was saying. He told me that it was understandable actually, especially since I spoke much slower than what I usually say.

The food arrives quite late, around 20 minutes of wait or so, but I wasn't extremely hungry, so I didn't want to kick a fuss. The weird thing was how the server nearly slammed the utensils basket into the middle of the table. The food was great :D

So when it came to getting the bill, I let my friend talk to the server this time round, except that I put my credit card up for the bill. And then, she MUST glare at me again. WHY???

In the end my friend told me to leave a 10% tip only, because she was seriously weird, and neglected to tell us about any of the stuff, like promotions etc, that the servers usually have to tell (he'd know, since he had worked there before), but I felt bad for the cooks since the food was really great. I struggled and left a 15% tip, because she's almost doing the same kind of service I get at home in quite a few places (lol).

Of course, after a few more dinners, I realised that the service of some others were really pristine, and then I wonder if I should have given less.

(Sorry about the length!)
Zot

Ren Faire is Where?

Ok, so I am currently 'stuck' in Bangor, Maine for work- I get to spend four weeks here, and even though home is 'only' 4 hours away, I don't get to go home on the weekends because I work 6 days (M-Sat) a week, and it's 'saving the client money' if I stay here.

Most weekends, one of my friends, or a family member, or my boyfriend will come to visit me, so I don't go crazy from being alone every night and weekend. But this past weekend, no one was able to come up. Meaning I either had to find something to do on Sunday, or sit around in the hotel room all day.

I know there are parks and hiking trails in the area, but I don't really feel comfortable going to those by myself- petite female hiking a trail...just too risky, even if the risk is hyped up and only in my head. So I start searching the intarwebs, looking for something to do. I remember that it is Ren Faire season, and I didn't get to go to one last year (and because of work, I'm going to miss all the ones closer to home this year). I find out that there is a Maine Ren faire, just over an hour south of Bangor. Sweet. AND it's open this weekend! Sweet!!

So, I get directions, and spend Saturday night putting together an outfit.

I drive an hour and some-odd down. I get to the site...and there is nothing. No signs, no people, no cars. Weird.
So, I take out my phone, lookup the page...this is where it's supposed to be, and it's supposed to be here this weekend.

Then a little kid sees me driving around, and flags me down. He lets me know that the faire was cancelled for this year, but that they're gonna try to do it next year. This is information that could have been helpful to me YESTERDAY. I thanked the kid (who had clearly had to let several people know that it was called off- he said that they were thinking about putting up a sign to let people know).

So, I drive aaaalll the way back to the hotel, and hop on the computer, and do some more digging. NO WHERE on the Ren Faire page did it say it was cancelled. The home page had the dates for next year's faire (which I thought was a little odd, but some web pages are just badly designed like that). The Info page had prices, directions to the site, info on costumes, and a schedule of events (10am-6pm but no dates listed, just times and stages for shows). The vendors page had a list of vendors, with the dates "August 8 & 9, August 15 & 16, and August 22 & 23, 2009" at the top. There really was no indication anywhere (other than next year's dates on the home page) about this years faire being cancelled.

Further google-fu found that the ONLY time it came up with the cancellation notice was if you actually searched for 'ME Ren Faire Cancelled'.
On a New England Rennies site.
In a forum.
Near the bottom of the page.
as a forum comment. No actual post or notice about it being cancelled.

Really, I wanted to spend almost 3 hours in the car, waste gas, and still spend the day in my hotel. Really. Thanks.

I understand that sometimes stuff falls through, especially with the times, but would it really be that hard to just put an announcement on the web page?
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed

Why do I even shop at WalMart?

I purchased a fish tank filter from Wal-Mart the other day, but it didn't work. So I packaged it back up and headed to the store. When I get to customer service, there's only one person working (we'll call him Joe). The line is just two deep, but the first woman has several bags worth of merchandise that she's returning... with about 10 different receipts and giving a detailed history about why she's returning each item. (Just to note, the waiting is not the bad_service.)

More people start lining up. When there's about 5 people in line, the guy realizes he's going to need some back-up. A bunch of employees walk behind the counter into the back, and I guess one of them is a manager, or he is at least is able to do returns because Joe calls out "Dave, can you help me out?" Dave responds with a "yeah" and then disappears into the back. When he emerges, he's with the gaggle of employees, who are actually working because they have merchandise in their arms to take back to the floor. Dave walks with them, carrying nothing, right by the now 8-deep line, past the cash registers and just stands there by the clothing section.

Joe gets on the phone to see about getting someone else to help out and about 5 minutes later someone logs in and starts helping with returns.

I really wanted to go over and have a little chat with Dave after I finished my return, but he had completely vanished by that time.

LaSalle College, Quebec = Insanity?

I keep hearing horror stories of people in their last semesters at this college suddenly being thrown out for not completing high school prerequisites the college suddenly notices after you finish paying your tuition. They offer the courses you need nearly double the price of regular classes and threaten, bully and harass you until you make a decision.

My friend is having this problem. This past February she received an email telling her that she would not graduate or receive her diploma because she was missing 514 Math. After weeks of trying to understand what the college was asking of her [she already has her high school diploma and proof that she went to adult ed to complete 514 Math] they tell her she's missing 416 Math. Except...how do you do 514 without having 416, I do not know. She agrees, despite having passed it in high school, to retake the course at an adult ed center.

Now, a week before she goes back to school they tell her she cannot return because they had to de-register her and register her again so now technically she's considered a "new student" and new students require 426 Math to be allowed into Early Childhood Education. She asked why they didn't just tell her to do 426 instead of 416 and the director of her program literally said, "You should have consulted someone, I'm not an expert."

Is this illegal? It seems so shady and wrong of them. Is there anything she can do?