So my B/F and I decide to finally try out a local neighborhood resturant we'd driven past quite a few times, and always said "We should stop in there sometime". What a stupid idea that was ! We walk in about 11:45 that morning, and the place is maybe a quarter-full, not terribly buisy, but not deserted either. We stand around at least 3 minutes before someone finally comes to seat us and gives us our menu's. About 10 minutes later, a waitress finally comes over to greet us and take our drink order. She comes back promptly, drops off the drinks and says to look over the menu and she will be back shortly for our food order. After about 10 more minutes or so, she comes from the back with another table's food, drops it off and returns to our table. We place our order and she then informs us that no, we can't have the gumbo, they didn't start cooking it early enough that day so our only choice for a starter is salad . We also can't have the chicken because they forgot to thaw it out last night. We also can't have the mashed potatoes, because they ran out of potatoes. The meatloaf hadn't been baked that day, either. Good thing we didn't want the catfish because, you guessed it, not availabe that day ! We finally choose entree and side item combinations they actually DO have (why didn't she inform us of things we COULDN'T order when she told us to look over the menu ??? ) and she took off again to put our order in and said "I'll be right back to fill up your drinks".
Another 5 minutes or so go by, and she brings out the salads and runs off again in back before we can remind her about the drinks. We finally have to flag down another server to get refills. Our food comes a little while later, and she offers to top off our drinks. Returning about a minute later she asks if the food was o.k. and if we needed anything else, then disappeared once again. From time to time we saw her at other tables, but she never checked on us again. After we were done eating we sat there quite awhile, empty plates stacked and shoved to the side, waiting on the check. We had to yet again flag down another server and ask them to please tell our waitress we needed our bill. We were planning on paying with a credit card, but after waiting ANOTHER 10 minutes, never receiving the bill and being unable to spot our waitress, we scrape together enough paper money and change to cover what we figure we owed, leave it in a big pile and walk out.
As soon as I get back to work, I look up their number, call up the resturant and ask for a manager I tell him how I never got a bill so I just left some money on the table in case the waitress tries to pocket it and claim we skipped out, and tell him how poor our service was. He offers an apology, thanks me for calling and says he will speak to her.
Yesterday I went to B and Q to buy some garden shears to clip the hedge. I go to check out, and find that NOT ONE of the checkouts has anyone on duty. The only employee is standing overseeing 6 (count them 6) self-service tills.
Point the first:
When I go to restaurant, I don't expect to do the cooking
When I hire a taxi, I don't expect to drive the car
And when I go to a shop I don't expect to work the till. I did enough of that when I was a student and working retail in the vacation to earn money, thanks.
Point the second:
There is ONE employee for 6 tills. The person in front of me has 30 identical planks of wood. And unlike the tills I used to work when I was a till-monkey in retail, there's no obvious way with these tills to scan an item and then multiply it by 30.
So, you'd imagine you could just scan the same item 30 times, leaving the others in the cart, as I sometimes used to do when the till was carrying on cranky in my retail days, or when the objects were a bit bulky? WRONG! After scanning an item you apparently have to put it in a specific place on the counter before you can ring up the next. (putting it your own backpack to save the planet??? No Way! Prohibited! Must use plastic!!!!!)
So of couse the customer calls over the employee, who is helping three other people deal with this poorly designed set up before he gets to her. He does an override to multiply it by 30 (because you couldn't get organised and programme the damn things to let the customer do it; That would be Teh Hard Computing!)
Point the third:
My turn comes and I ring up the shears. And because they have OMG!!!! pointybits!!!! the till then locks up until the employee finishes with everyone before me and comes over to verify that I am indeed 18 as the law requires (or, as the till claimed 21. Apparently the law of B and Q-land is different from the law of England.)
Now, it seems to me that if you sell age restricted products, you ought to have at least one till open, since there will be a delay while an employee comes over to vouch for you...
This was my first encounter with 'self check out' the supposedly soooooo convenient. You can bet it will also be my last, unless shops get better organised..