Customer Service

Customer ServiceLast week I was hit with three separate instances where customer service was less than desirable. In fact, I almost walked out of a restaurant before even ordering. But I’m skipping ahead…

Tim HortonsWhile in a drive-in line-up at one of the local Tim Hortons, I placed an order that came to $2.55. I had my $3 ready when I drove up to the window. When I got there, I was handed my order and then that was it. I just sat there looking at her, waiting to get my change. She asked me if I got everything I ordered. I said, “Yes, but I didn’t get my change.” At this point, any change I may have left as a tip was coming back to me.

She apologized and asked me how much it had come to. I told her $2.55 and that I had given her $3.00 when I drove up. She grabbed some change out of the register, handed it to me with , “Here you go” and off I drove. I opened my hand to find a nickel. A NICKEL.

Now listen, I’m not upset over the $0.40 cents I was short-changed. It isn’t about the amount of the change. It’s the fact that (1) she forgot to even give me change and (2) she didn’t know how to subtract 2.55 from 3. It was very frustrating.

Lower DeckOn our Date Night last week, Sunshine and I went to a restaurant that we had never been to before because we were both craving burgers and they offered gluten-free buns for her. It was a weird atmosphere…set up like a country bar, the wait staff were all wearing kilts, and they were advertising the local dance radio station doing live DJ’ing on the weekends. I dunno…it just all seemed like a mish-mash.

It was just after 5pm and was NOT busy when we walked in. Staff saw us and one of them said that we should go seat ourselves. We were there for five minutes…staring at each other and looking around the restaurant…just waiting for a menu to look at.

A waiter walked to the table next to us with some food. He went back to the bar and never came back with menus. Another couple of guys walked in a solid 5-minutes after we were there and a woman walked behind them with menus.

I started to get upset. I raised my voice and waved my arms, “HELLOOO!?!?”  At this point, Sunshine asked if I wanted to leave. She was probably just as annoyed with me over-reacting as she was with the lack of service.

Thankfully, somebody finally came over (the waiter that was just by us earlier delivering food) and we proceeded to have a great meal.

SubwayThe next day, both Sunshine and I went to the local Subway at two different times to pick up lunch. We  both noted that one of the servers was NOT in a good mood that day. Sure, he gave us the proper script and said the right things, but he had a very audible “tone” in his voice like we were annoying him.

And we both also saw him throwing food around like he was a child. I saw him whip some cheese back into the bin, only he missed and it went into the lettuce. He grabbed it and chucked it back into the cheese bin. Sunshine saw him throwing onions around, too. It was just a really uncomfortable situation.

On the weekend I went to a sporting goods store to look at their ballcaps. Normally, the guys who work here are all over you as soon as you walk in the door. It wasn’t busy and there were two guys working on this day. No greeting when I arrived. Alright…not a big deal.

Sports FanaticI had my New York Jets ballcap on and was looking at their rack of caps on the wall. I walked up and down looking for the one I wanted to get but couldn’t find. One guy was up against the back wall looking around, the other guy was folding shirts next to me. Sure, I could have asked for help…but I was hoping they would ask me first. They didn’t so I walked out after about 10 minutes of staring at the caps trying to find my team.


It’s the old saying: consumers will tell, on average, twice as many people about bad service than they will about good service. And having been a waiter for about a decade, I would like to think I know a thing or two about good customer service.

I don’t expect to get perfect service out of a drive-thru coffee chain. But I’d like to think that if you miss one thing, you don’t completely blow the other. And even if that job is the best job you can get, they shouldn’t put you on the drive-thru register duty if you can’t count or subtract simple decimals.

I don’t expect to be waited on hand and foot as soon as I walk into the door. But if restaurant isn’t busy, then I certainly expect to be waited on in a certain amount of time…especially if the wait staff is just standing around.

And I don’t expect everybody to be super-excited to be “Sandwich Artists”. But I don’t expect them to throw food around like an 8-year-old throwing a tantrum. Even if you’re in a bad mood, there are certain standards that still need to be met.

I would LOVE to hear some of the bad customer service situations that you’ve had over the years…just so I realize that my situations weren’t that bad.


One thought on “Customer Service

  1. I once went into a clothing store to buy a shirt for my daughter. I was looking around for it from rack to rack. It was one of those stores with abrasively loud music and disinterested youth folding clothes. When I asked a young girl to help me find that shirt, she looked at me
    and said (no word of a lie) we don’t have clothes made in your size.
    Hmmm, is that so? Well you also don’t make shirts that I will spend my money to buy for my child to wear. Ever.

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