Sunday, April 29, 2007

Why am I so transparent ?

Back from sunny, flat Lincolnshire - but more about that shortly.
I have something else that I need to get off my chest.

Why am I invisible in a retail or customer service environment ?

Friday afternoon, we leave Leeds for Sutton-on-Sea, a 90 or so minute drive, and we haven't eaten yet - I suggest a stop at a Moto service station which is about halfway there, Suzanne isn't too impressed by motorway service stations, she has standards, I don't as long as its vaguely edible.

We continue on the M180, the most deserted motorway in England, the one that however much it cost to build was a complete waste of money, the only motorway where I can set the cruise control to 80mph confident in two things :-

1. There is no chance of being stopped by a motorway patrol for speeding as there is no motorway patrol on that deserted motorway.

2. I guarantee thatI will not have to disengage the cruise control for the whole length of that motorway as there will be no traffic at all in front of me for at least half an hour.

We continue for 20 minutes or so until I remember Forest Pines which is located on Junction 4 of the M180. Its a very posh hotel and health spa and has one of the best golf courses in the country attached to it - and they are customers of ours.

I relate this to Suzanne and she is suitably snobby enough to want to sit in their lounge and sip tea whilst nibbling cucumber sandwiches for a snip at £20 a head, we pull off the motorway and park the car in their tree-lined car park, its a sunny afternoon, the car park is full of expensive cars, the hotel looks beautiful, she is going to be very impressed.

We enter the afternoon tea lounge, take a table in the corner, settle into two luxuriously upholstered wing chairs and settle back to peruse the expensive afternoon tea menu, she is very, very impressed now.

There are two waitresses attending to everyone's needs, its not very busy but the waitresses are attending to everyones needs, you don't have to check in with a maitre'd or anything, you just take a seat and the waitresses come to take your order, I sit and watch them do this several times to other customers.

But the bitches totally ignore me.

They totally ignore me for fifteen fookin minutes whilst serving everyone else in sight and several people who come in after us, I even try and catch their eye as they walk past but they blank me.

Bollacks to this I say to Suzanne, rise from my chair and walk out, if they can't be arsed to serve me then I can't be arsed to wait any longer than fifteen minutes, their incompetence at waiting at tables, a basic requirement in a waitress job, has just lost them an afternoon tea order and when I find their web site I shall write a suitable review for them.

In the meantime when they ring the office asking for service from us they'll be overcharged by plenty.

But thats not the end of it.

Saturday morning we rise early and proceed to our Sutton-on-Sea hotel breakfast room where a full English Lincolnshire breakfast is on offer, and very good it looks too. We take two spare seats at a table with our friends and watch them eat their breakfast with anticipation until Suzanne sends me to the servery to procure some orange juice and cereal, and when I return the waiter is just leaving our table and Suzanne assures me that she has just ordered two full English breakfasts, my anticipation reaches fever pitch.

And I sit and watch six of my friends eat theirs and I sit and watch Suzanne recieve and then eat her breakfast and I sit and wait, and wait, and wait some fookin more until everyone else has completely finished theirs and they look at me and ask if I enjoyed mine.

I point to the empty space in front of me where my breakfast should have been and holding my coffee cup up in the air I ask them if all they can see is a coffee cup mysteriously wafting about in the air with no apparent means of levitation - I am the invisible man, there is no other explanation.

In the same stylee as the walking out of shops and restaurants if I receive bad service I now get a strop on on when my friends call over a waiter to re-do my order - I tell him I don't want breakfast now, after all I've had two slices of toast without butter on while waiting and they were delicious and how could I possibly eat any more and spoil my appetite for the wedding meal which is now only eight hours away - the waiter looks at me a bit strange, not knowing if I'm taking the piss or not, he decides I'm not and he drifts away - my friends call another waiter as they think I'm taking the piss and I wait for him to walk the full length of the dining room to get his order pad and then walk back, pencil poised, ready for my order, before I tell him too that I don't want breakfast, thank you.

Piss poor service, I hate it.
And its always me who gets it.
Suzanne said her breakfast was lovely.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

I had particularly bad service at the Halifax bank. It was their mistake that had brought me to the branch, but, while the queues for the windows were moving swiftly enough, they seemed to have the YTS lad on his own at the customer 'service' desk. After 20 minutes of being 2nd in line I sat cross legged on the floor and started tapping out an annoying rhythm, whilst complaining loudly to the person in front of and behind me how irritating it was to have to stand in line and that sitting in line was more comfortable. Suddenly there were loads of staff on the customer service desk.

I learnt this by watching a woman crossing a busy road in Manchester. She walked briskly up the pavement, took a deep breath, and then acted crazy. The traffic stopped, not sure what she'd do next, she crossed - gibbering and gesticulating all the way - then, once she reached the opposite pavement she brushed herself off, shrugged and carried on her way. Seriously, pretending to be a bit strange works wonders. They can't wait to get rid!