A recent post from fellow blogger(and Connections Pastor extraordinaire) Mark Waltz titled Sad Service Sightings compelled me to post about my own recent (?) poor service. I question whether or not it was recent because I think it was almost a month ago but I still find myself thinking about how AWFUL it was on a semi-regular basis, so much so that when I took my daughter to the doctor last week she was talking about poor service and my blood boiled and I started sharing the story with her. She was mortified FOR me! So, here is the story:
One fine evening I decided to go to McDonalds. Not my favorite restaurant but we were hungry, I did not want to cook, and it was close by. This particular restaurant on the West side of South Bend has never had the BEST customer service, but at least it was usually better than the KFC next door which NEVER gives me what I order, but I digress. On this particular day my husband and I ordered Quarter Pounder Value Meals, Paige ordered a hamburger Big Kids Meal and Breanna wanted fries and a yogurt parfait and a soda. Not a difficult order. We paid our money at window #1 and here is the order of events at window #2:
8:31pm – Window opens, young lady sticks an ice cream cone in my face.
I look at her and state “I did not order a cone”
to which she replies “it says cone”
“I ordered a parfait” (cone is still in her hand, she is pointing it at me)
“it says cone”
“I ordered a parfait”
“It don’t matter no how, they cost the same” (she pulls the cone in, goes further into the store and re-appears with the parfait, hands it to me and mutters something about it costing the same anyway and window closes, I sit stunned and bewildered at why she would choose to argue with me about what I ordered)
8:33pm – I hand the parfait to my husband and ask off hand “why, if I ordered a cone, would you give it to me before the rest of the order?” He shrugs, we wait.
8:34pm – same girl comes back to window and opens it and just stands there looking at us, not saying anything so I take the initiative and told her that we had a larger order. She says “Oh” and mutters something else about a cone and closes the window. We watch as she haphazardly fills our drink order and then begins to hand us the FOUR drinks individually! (Do I look like an octopus? Do you see 4 drink holders in my console? Come on! This is my pet peeve! More than one drink, you should assume or at least ask if I want a carrier) So, I ask for a cup holder and she begrudgingly takes the drinks and places them in one and practically shoves the thing at me. Then, she disappears.
8:36pm – still waiting
8:38pm – still waiting and being blatantly ignored. We had no chicken products, this is standard stuff that we ordered. Burgers and fries. Good thing we hadn’t ordered a cone or it would have melted. I notice a woman and child pull up, park and walk into the store.
8:40pm – I make eye contact with another store employee who is at the front counter – with her tush/backside/fanny ON the counter, her back to the store, slurping a drink (apparently on her break) and when she sees me motion for assistance she talks to someone in the back that I can not see…obviously the girls who is supposed to be taking care of us. So at this point I am being ignored by TWO people. (I notice that the woman that parked earlier is placing her order and watching the girls that have been ignoring me.)
8:41pm – Girl who was at window #1, and took our money, wanders into the window #2 area and makes eye contact and I make a motion to her and now I am being ignored by THREE
8:42pm – I motion to the girl lounging at the counter – and I mean, I motion BIG – both hands making the universal “come here” sign. She begins speaking to the invisible entity in back and mimics my same motion and continues to ignore me.
8:44pm – Girl who gave us the parfait and drinks returns with a bag and shoves it at me and retreats from the window. The burgers in the bag are barely wrapped, the fries are half full and worst of all there is NO CHILDS TOY! At this point I have been waiting for 10 MINUTES AT A FREAKING DRIVE THRU and the order is INCOMPLETE.
8:45pm – I motion to lounging girl again and she mimics me AGAIN! THAT’S IT! I pull up one car length – throw my car into park and storm into the store. When I get to the counter all the people who ignored me SCATTERED! I ask for the manager and the one person in the store not involved in this fiasco states that she will be right up – and she was. I begin to explain to the manager that I had just received the WORST service I have EVER received in my life. I am fairly forgiving to fast food places because you get what you pay for, but this was reprehensible. I don’t remember my exact diatribe but boy was I angry – I did not yell but boy – I must have looked pretty angry judging the looks on everyone elses face. I also explained that when a child orders a child’s meal the child expects to get a child’s toy! The cost of which is added in to the cost of the meal! I pointed out all of the key players (or whatever you want to label them) and she apologized, found a toy for me, said that they would be dealt with,
8:51pm – and I left. The lady who I had seen enter the store earlier walked out behind me and told me how glad she was that I had come in. She was witness to the antics of those girls from inside and how they were talking about me. She was offended by how rude it was to behave that way in front of OTHER customers. She was just as appalled at the poor service even though her own service had been fine.
I ponder, still, writing to their corporate office. I also pondered printing the names of the offenderss in this post but I would not want to embarrass their families. Then I think: my teenage daughter, who works at a McDonalds, has been taught since a very young age the importance of customer service. She can spot poor service from a hundred yards. Where did these people LEARN that it is okay to give such poor service?
For all people out there who deal with customers: No matter how much you hate your job you DO NOT take it out on your customers. Customers should think that you are having a great day and that you at least LIKE your job. If you hate your job, or are having such a bad day that you can not pretend to like your job then you need to save your employer and your customers some frustration by quitting or asking to go home for the day until you can adjust your attitude.
For all employers: I would rather be short staffed than have my customers experience poor service.
I still wonder if I should write to their corporate office. Bad service leaves a lasting impression but I want to end on a good note:
Prior to my poor experience with this particular store. I visited that same establishment during a weekday morning to get nothing more than a large Diet Coke. If I could have ordered an I.V. drip of caffeine somewhere, I would have but Diet Coke was easier to procure. Anyway, a fabulous man named Jay Swift took my money from me at window #1. He said Good Morning as if he meant it, asked how my day was going, took my cash, gave me my change and told me to have a blessed day. The lady at the next window was pleasant and had a smile on her face and if I could have read her name I would print it here. That left enough of an impression on me that I actually shared my PLEASANT experience with my daughter later that day. So, as you can see, good experiences are shared by me as well…just with fewer words.