Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Customer Is Always Right??

When you think about running a campground, you think about meeting lots of people traveling through. That does happen and we get lots of return visits (due, no doubt, to my stellar personality ....). But what has happened over the years is a group of campers who, though previously unknown to each other, have formed deep friendships. So much so that they have withdrawal symptoms when they are separated during the winter months.


To remedy this, it was decided to meet monthly at a designated eating establishment. Some of our long term campers live to the east and some to the west. They decided to meet here, check on their campers and then we all go to a local place. Not that many places to choose from here. There is a BBQ place that has decent food and it was chosen. I had heard that the food was really good. I don't eat out much during the season and when I do get the chance I am usually in a bigger shopping area. We all gathered and met there in December. I think we were a party of 13. It was cold and miserable outside and the only place to sit was the middle of the room where most of the tables were hastily shoved together. We all enjoyed the company of one another, but I thought the food was just okay, nothing I would go out of my way to get.


Our server was a bit taciturn. She seemed a little put out to have to wait on us. In an effort to be friendly we asked if it would be better if we called ahead. She said it probably wouldn't matter, that she would still have to wait on us by herself, but we did let her know of our tentative day to meet in February. February's date acme along with lots of snow and treacherous, icy roads. We all decided to cancel and he who would never want anyone to be put out called the restaurant to cancel. I don't remember if he was even able to talk to anyone, since most of the city had shut down due to the weather.



So with the spring like weather of last week and the fact that we all had cabin fever and were missing all our buddies we put together a date for yesterday to meet at 4:00 at the BBQ establishment. My sweet husband called ahead and told her to expect 15 people. We headed over a little early to help put the tables together. To be nice. Three of our party were already there and somewhat subdued. They were thinking to help with the tables, too. But it was all set up and we went to sit down with our friends ........... just in time to be severely chastised for not showing up in February. She was like a dog with a bone and went on and on about how she had gotten everything all ready and then we didn't show. I apologized sincerely ........ the first time. But, she was not to be shut down with that and continued with her tirade. Finally, my husband, who was watching her with an expression of fascination, told her that he had called to cancel. She pretty much brushed him off with a sneer and continued. I whispered to Barb that I thought maybe she didn't want a tip. She didn't hear me, but could guess what I was saying and I became her "target". It's okay, really, I have thick skin; and I found her to be amusing. At first.

Seventeen of us showed up. All happy to hug and talk and I suppose we may have gotten a little loud. Two showed up a little late and we grabbed a table and added it to the line ......... causing our hostess to grumble that we had now moved around and she had all of our orders to contend with. Only one person moved and we added two to the end, no big deal. I thought we should all jump up and move to entirely different spots while she wasn't looking. You know, in the spirit of fun ..........

She glared at me periodically and interrupted our conversations to make the announcement that they were only two and a half slabs of ribs and "that's it". We were also instructed to take care of our own drink refills. She did stop short of telling us we had to have permission to get up or use the bathrooms. The food was delivered promptly and to the right people (I still say changing seats would have been fun). Mine was okay and I was hungry. Drew's was undercooked and had to go back to the kitchen. He handled it discreetly and took it back himself. She didn't bother to hide her annoyance with him.



The place wasn't very busy for a Saturday and you would think that our patronage would have been appreciated. We got there at 4:00 and stayed for two hours. We all had separate tickets and my group is known to be generous tippers. While one of our party paid a couple entered and the server, hostess, cashier rolled her eyes and wondered aloud why people couldn't just stay home to eat. I can only conclude that she has never heard that old adage that proclaims the customer to always be right.


16 comments:

Hillbilly Mom said...

Well, apparently, the customer is always a bother.

We used to go to a Chinese buffet where the waitress would run the Bissell under our feet while we were sitting at the table, eating. It was still three hours until closing time. We were not slobs. That's before we had kids to drop food on the floor. After the third time that happened, we stopped giving them our business.

ellen abbott said...

Holy cow! I personally would never ever go back there again. Why don't people just stay home to eat?! does she not really want a job? I believe I would have asked to talk to the manager or at least send a letter explaining exactly why I would never set foot in that place again. I certainly would not have sat there and let her lambaste me like that and I would not have tipped her.

On the other hand, it doesn't pay to harass the server. Some of them will spit in your food.

Mamma has spoken said...

I'm wondering if she is one of those servers who think that what she said was 'funny' even though it's not. I agree you'd think with it not being busy, she would have been happy with that you were there.

Brian Miller said...

just shaking my head...i wonder what the ownere would do if he/she knew...i probably would have shuffled the chairs just for fun...lol

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

i'm amazed at her rudeness. like ellen said though, you have to be careful of server-retaliation. i would be tempted to send a letter to the establishment, too. then find a new place to eat - but double-check she hasn't changed to the new location. that would be bad.

as much crap as you take off customers, you shouldn't have to take it off "hired help" too.

labbie1 said...

Nobody tipped ME for refilling drinks last time (that would be the time she didn't tell us to get our own refills lol)! Humph!

Seriously--that lady needs a personality transplant! Truly she was not kidding! The look on her face said it all!

I do really feel that she has reached the height of her abilities though. It really seems hard for her to take the orders and deliver them. I don't think we have to worry that she will be at a better establishment.

I DID consider the whole spitting on the food thing...Ack!

labbie1 said...

PS--I say we hit the truck stop next time! ;-)

Of course, it is nicer weather and potluck/sit around the campfire and chat time now! Thank goodness! :-D

houndstooth said...

Good grief! I sincerely hope that you take your business somewhere else next time. That is ridiculous! I'm sure in this economy that there are plenty of people who would be happy to have your business and would serve you with a smile.

Rae said...

I think you are in some serious need of another place to meet. What a witch. Wonder how she keeps her job with an attitude like that. Unbelievable.

Mildred said...

I am amazed! I agree with Rae, I'd be looking for a new place.

Jennifer said...

WOW!

What is it with customer service anymore?

This sounds like several visits to different eating establishments we have had recently.

Also shopping.. oh but we won't go there..

Whitney Lee said...

The world is full of unhappy people. Sorry you have had to deal with this one. I'm sure you all will find a different way or place to eat when you get together for your monthly hurrah. It kind of makes you wonder why she's such a raging b-i-t-c-h, though, doesn't it?

@ly said...

That would be my last meal at that establishment! Time to move on!

Hillbilly Mom said...

Kathy,
I left you an award over at unbaggingthecats.blogspot.com

Play along if you dare.

WhisperingWriter said...

Oh wow, I hate cranky servers. If I get one, I usually tip low.

You should definately find a new place.

Marla said...

Are you kidding me? So isn't serving customers how she gets paid? I am just wondering if she might be better suited for a job where she doesn't have to be around people. Like say....maybe a dog walker?