Date: June 16, 2011
Time: Around 5:30 p.m.
Disclaimer: Ignore any typos. I can't type for two shits.
My boyfriend and I decided to take a road trip down Rte. 100 South. We didn't have a particular destination in mind, but were playing things by ear. Well, we decided to stop in Weston to visit the Christmas shop and the Vermont Country Store and, also, to see what else the town has to offer. FYI: This post is not about either of the locales listed as they kick too much ass.
Rather, this post is about another establishment that sits on the same stretch of Rte. 100. It's a general store, of sorts, with a little snack bar. Cool, right? It was early evening and we were a little hungry, so we decided to get some ice cream. The counter was devoid of an employee, but the sign said to ask for assistance at the cheese counter.
Scratch that as the cheese counter was also unmanned. So, we hang around a bit and two employees show up to organize the stock. Eventually, one disappears behind the ice cream counter, so we follow her. She's back there, rearranging this and that and we patiently wait for her to assist us. She knows we're standing there, because she looked right at us.
Then, as suddenly as she appeared, she left. We waited a couple of minutes and, when she didn't return, cut our losses and headed out. It's Vermont and it's June. You can't throw a stone without hitting some kind of roadside stand that sells some form of ice cream. True to form, we found a place about ten miles down the road that sold creemies (soft-serve) and got our fix there.
You know if it wasn't this employee's job to work the counter, that would have been fine. If the hours of service at this snack bar were over, we would have understood. What bothered the both of us was that she didn't ask the one question that anyone in customer service should ask: "Do you need help with something?" Yes, we could have spoken up, but in this case, it should have been obvious we weren't standing at the counter admiring the decor (and, trust me, there wasn't much to admire). No, we wanted to be served. That is usually what people expect when they are standing at a counter. Also, my hypoglycemia was kicking in and I really didn't feel in the mood to state the obvious to an employee who clearly doesn't give a crap.
No, we did not ask for a manager. It was bad service, but it has to be exceptionally bad (for me) to go to that level. It's a tourist area that relies on word of mouth and I will be spreading this story. The next time I should find myself in Weston, I will just go to the restaurant that The Country Store owns. They have a kick-ass, old-fashioned soda fountain and they treat their customers like they actually want their business.
EDIT 6/19: I guess my post was a bit long for some of you. I didn't think I was being so wordy, but I am a writer and things like these tend to happen. Um, sorry? I'll try to do better?
What I failed to mention in my post, is that we had just been speaking to this woman prior to her stepping behind the counter. The place is small enough that our standing there should have been a clue that we needed service and the possibility that the counter could have been closed only occured to us after the fact (5:30 would be way early for most places around here). We were in the counter area for twenty minutes.
Also, I should've mentioned that her body language as she was straightening up behind the counter spoke volumes. It was clear she was stalling, not wanting to deal with us. I'm sorry I can't explain it better. I just got a vibe from her.
Finally, most of you have seen this as a case where we should have spoken up, but I am mixed on that one as I feel it depends on the situation. This one was best handled by simply walking away.