EST. 1986 (andwe_explode) wrote in bad_service,
EST. 1986

I've been reading past entries (as in, the past month or so; haven't been around much) and some of them have reminded me of my own experiences.

Two winters ago, I was a junior in high school. My brother was in eighth grade, and we had NEVER been to Florida. I'm from one of those semi-affluent areas, where everyone has gone to Florida 2x+12 times by the time they graduate. My parents promised we'd go by the time I graduated, just once. My family really isn't that 'rich' or anything like that, but we saved our money and finally went. We couldn't afford plane tickets, so we drove down, and back. The drive down isn't so bad, because you know you're going to Florida and weee! It's Christmas and there shall be palm trees! On the way back, the only highlights are when you finally get something to eat and that you'll finally be home in oh, 26 hours. (I live around Albany, NY.) We were in North Carolina, on the way back, and we were hungry and grumpy because there was still some 15 hours until we got home. So we pulled off of the highway (my dad had to get gas) in our little Michigan-plated rental car, and I woke up at a strip mall. We were eating at Subway. I'm thinking, "Wow, we must be desperate," since we NEVER eat at Subway. (Road trips are just a series of desperate meals, though, so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised.) It was after this meal I realized why we don't.

First, it seemed like a family-run Subway or something. Or maybe they just hired people with the same exact background; I really don't know. I would GUESS that these people working at this Subway were Armenian or from that area of the world; they definitely weren't Hispanic, even though I hear there's a concentrated Hispanic population in NC. Anyway, they weren't born in America, which is okay by me. What wasn't okay by me was that they could barely speak English. They understood us enough to (sort of) make our subs, but not much past that. It was quiet, and at first there was one person making our subs, then two, then a third came over, then a fourth. They were getting rude with us when they'd ask what sub we wanted and we couldn't understand what they were saying, or we got confused because suddenly there were four times as many people making subs. We didn't know who was making which sub, or anything. None of the subs came out right because they were shouting at us across the counter and it wasn't as if, for example, the person making my mother's was standing in front of her. No, he was all the way at the other end of the counter, so it was this giant tangle of people yelling and ugh. My dad and I got roast beef, and we'd said we wanted Russian dressing on the subs. That's what we call it: Russian. We went up and asked the girl if they had any, and she had no idea what the hell we were talking about. I don't know, maybe it 's a NY thing? So I had to have my sub with mayonnaise, and it was so gross. I don't know how much this qualifies as bad service, but the way they did the line making our subs confused us, since it had started out one way, then they decided to have all of them making our order, and they got rude when we got confused as to who was making which sub, et cetera. And the language barrier didn't help. I'm not one to say anything about people speaking different languages, but when you are in a country and working in a service job and can barely speak the language the people you serve speak, it is a problem. It took me two years to go to Subway after that, and that's only when I'm desperate and need to get my lunch at a place that takes credit cards, because I never have cash.

A friend who worked as a sandwich artist locally later told me that I should have asked for Thousand Island. Well actually, her exact statement was, "Did you ask for Thousand Island when she didn't know what you were talking about?" No, I didn't. We didn't think to, and we were so pissed off by that time it didn't even matter. As far as I know, they're both the same thing and well, I'd think working in a sub shop, they'd think of that before me. Apparently not. Sigh.


This happened this weekend, and while it isn't awful, it pissed me off. A lot. There was a really bad storm this past Saturday. The roads were awful, but I was home and so was my mother; I'm really close to her, so we decided to go out and do some stuff that needed to get done. We both knit (yeah, I'm an 18 year old nerd) and A.C. Moore, a great craft store, was having a sale on their yarn. We were in Latham (where the store is located), so we stopped there and I got some yarn for a project, and she got some to make a scarf to match a jacket I have, and some for herself for whatever she chooses to do with it, along with some blank $3 tee-shirts for my brother since he's decided A.C. Moore is where he wants to get his shirts (he's a weird kid). So we're checking out, and we have those baskets to put our yarn in. Mine was empty because the woman behind the counter was ringing my stuff up, and I had to get my credit card out of my wallet inside of my purse. I didn't have enough hands to hold everything at once, because I almost ALWAYS put the baskets back where they go instead of leaving them at the register. I go out of my way to make things easier for people at stores, et cetera. I had to put the basket down to get my credit card out. I set it down on the floor next to me so I could do that, and it was only there so long as it took me to get my credit card out and put it back away. Had I walked away with the basket sitting on the floor, then I feel that would have warranted her saying something to me, or even if she asked me in the beginning not to leave it there, I wouldn't have gotten pissed off. But almost the second that I set it down next to me, she goes, "Don't put that there!!!!!" She said it in a rude tone, and I was shocked and picked it back up, looking for a place that I would be allowed to put it without getting screeched at. She was like, "Put it there," gesturing to the end of the counter, again, being really short with me. I got my card out, and I guess she could tell I was peeved at her rudeness, because she goes, "I don't want anyone to trip over it!" I didn't even say anything back, such as the fact I was putting it there to get my wallet out, not to leave it there permanently. I just left the damn basket on the counter space at the end where she told me to put it, as did my mother. The second we were out the door, my mom goes, "I was going to put the stupid basket away, anyway." I was like, "Yeah, me too but treat me like shit and I'm not going out of my way to put shit away for you." I mean, it wasn't the fact that she said something, it was the way she said it. Had she said it at the beginning, but been more like, "Can you make sure you pick that up off the floor before you leave?" or at the end, said "Please don't leave that there, it's dangerous," that would have been one thing. She didn't give me a chance to get my wallet out and pick it up, she was just snotty and snappy from the get-go. UUUUGH.
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