Friday, October 28, 2005

Another service comparison

Kip's and Kath's posts to yesterday's entry reminded me... Yes! Absolutely compliment good service! Last week Ken and I were in Chattanooga for a small business seminar, and afterward went out to dinner. The restaurant we chose had a twenty-five minute wait, but we were told that we could sit at any available table in the two bar areas that flanked the main dining area. We decided to do that. In the area that looked the least smokey we saw that there were a number of tables, and we chose one. After being ignored for several minutes while two waitresses cleared a littered table (priorities, gals), we finally flagged one of them down and asked for menus. A moment later someone came to the table and told us that the area where we were sitting, separated by a stairstep from the direct area around the bar, was not "open" seating. We were expected to leave, because it wouldn't be fair to other parties who were waiting for 25 minutes. Although she was right about the fairness aspect, it was wrong for her to put us on the spot because of someone else's error. We won't go into the fact that there were at least four other empty tables near us. So we left. Around the corner from that restaurant was another we decided to try. As busy as the first one was, this one was empty! It was out lucky night, a trainee was our server! The woman with whom she was training looked like she was barely awake. It looked like we might be 0 for 2 that night. The waitress got my wine order wrong (since when does Chardonnay sound like White Zinfindel?), but the trainee took care of it. "No problem!" she smiled. When the bill came both glasses of wine were on it, as was a charge for a bowl of soup, when I had ordered a cup. I brought it to the trainee's attention, who again said, "No problem!" When the bill came back, she had removed the soup entirely. We bent over backwards telling her how much we appreciated her attention through the evening, and made a HUGE point of telling her how well she handled the bill mishap. I told her that compliments, even when deserved, weren't always voiced, so I wanted to be sure she knew we were pleased.

Okay, that was long-winded, but stories tend to get that way, eh? Three attempts to upload today's mountain photo failed, so I'm afraid I have no visual relief to offer right now. I'll try again later if I can. I'm off this afternoon to do the work of the Lord and won't get back until tomorrow night. Enjoy your day!

1 comment:

Gail said...

Think I figured out the comment posting thing on this site. Sometimes it takes me a while, LOL. I'm in complete agreement on the customer service thing. Gosh I worked in restaurants and retail for several years in my early 20s and it was always drummed into me "the customer is always right." Seems like things have gone downhill since then. I join you in complimenting and thanking anyone who gives good service anywhere. Just had a wonderful experience with LL Bean when I had to exchange something. People in those jobs get crabbed at all day long and I think they must appreciate when people are simply pleasant to them! Sounds like you decided to go to the conference. Good luck! And safe travels to you.

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