February 26, 2006

Customer Service

On two recent occasions I have been less than happy with the service I have received at local restuarants.  Why?  Racism or what people's perceptions are. First on the list Outback.  I took some friends who were visiting me from out of town to eat there.  It was me, my friend and her daughter.  They by the way are white.  I slid into the booth first and my friend and daughter were on the outside.  The waiter we had looked to be in his early to mid 20's.  He literally threw a napkin at me and placed napkins by my friend and her daughter.  He walked away so fast that I did not have time to catch him.  It was a saturday night and the place was crowded.  We all ordered water.  We all drank water, but  I was the only one who ordered tea in addition to water.  The only person how got a refill was my friend and daughter.  My water and tea were never refilled.  And  again he was almost running away from the table each time he came to do anything so literally we could not catch him to get his attention.  We had no idea he was approaching the table either.
He was almost like a fly flitting from thing to thing.  I was getting very annoyed.  I know that he assumed that my friend was paying the bill.  Our food was brought to us by another person, so we never saw him again until payment time.  He appeared out of nowhere and politely handed the bill to my friend.  She handed the bill to me.  I just looked at him and he looked at me.  With a very wierd look on his face. kind of like, hell, i got this one all wrong as to who was paying.  I took out my credit card and it is one of those mini cards that go on your key ring.  I haded it to him.  It is a platinum card.  He had the audacity to look at my card and say, "What sort of bogus, micky mouse card is this? " and then he walked off with it. 
A few minutes later he came back and was all of a sudden very nice and was trying to act gracious when he gave me my card.  Trust me when I say he did not get a tip from me.  He even tried to speak to me then for the very first time and say how cute my little card was and that he had not seen one so small.  I did not say a word.
Last weekend I went to a local seafood restarurant and while our waitress was nice, she did not go out of her way to give us any service extras.  We were seated and while I know that the chef has nightly specials, we were not told about them.  She just asked if we ladies were ready to order form the menu.  We did and our meal was just fine.  It just made me mad that I could hear her as she seated others around us.  She gave them the specials that evening and then went on to take orders.  She got a tip but it was small.  When I give small tips I make it a point to tell the person why.  I leave a note with the tip as to why it was so small.  That way maybe they will do better next time.   
People still have a lot of pre conceived notions out there and racism.  The bad thing is I am a good tipper and if anyone would actually give me good service at a restaruant, they would be pleased with the tips I give.  I have gotten lots of good service and given lots of good tips.  Some people I guess are doomed to stay in their pot of ignorance, cooking and stewing in it until they die.            


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