zahriah (zahriah) wrote in bad_service,

At my workplace, we have a small cafeteria where you can go for breakfast and lunch. The food is usually somewhere in the range between okay and pretty good, but the staff is really friendly. They've had the same two ladies working there since time began, they'll remember your name if you go there often enough, and if you ask nicely and they aren't swamped, they'll make you whatever you want even if it isn't on the day's menu.

I went there yesterday, and there was a girl behind the counter that I had never seen before. She was working alone, and she was talking on her cellphone.

I walked up to the counter. She made no move to end the phone call, but she raised her eyebrows at me. "Do you have any cheeseburgers left?" I asked. (I wanted something quick and they usually have burgers made up, but it was after the lunch rush, and they usually run out before lunch is over.)

She shook her head "no" at me and continued with her call. I couldn't quite follow, because she was mostly listening, but it didn't sound work-related.

"What hot sandwiches do you have left?" (I hate cold sandwiches. I could see that they had some hot stuff wrapped to go.)

She rolled her eyes at me, and said "hold on a minute" into the phone. "Crispy chicken and pork chop."

"Chicken, please, and two cookies." (Oh yeah, health food. I had to repeat the cookie part of the order because she had reverted her attention to the phone and hadn't added them to my total. She didn't say a word, just pressed some keys to make the total come to what I knew it should be. I order sandwiches and cookies way too often.)


I handed her a five and turned to the cookie bin at my elbow to grab my cookies. In the time it took me to grab a piece of waxed paper out of the dispenser and grab two chocolate chip cookies, she got my change out of the drawer, laid it on the counter, and vanished to the back of the kitchen where I couldn't "bother" her any more. If she hadn't been wearing a uniform and bearing a key to the register, I would have thought I was talking to someone who didn't work there by mistake.

When I got back to my desk, my coworker had a group of suppliers visiting for a meeting, and she was deciding how to feed them. She had all but decided on the cafeteria when I told her what I had just experienced. She decided to order out instead. They lost about $50 of business, which is a relatively big deal because I remember the regular ladies being excited about doing a $400 lunch period a couple of months ago.

And yes, I contacted and complained to the owner via email. He hasn't responded yet.

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