Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Quality customer service? Where has it gone? I have decided recently that most corporations in an attempt to save money have skipped out on the "service-with-a-smile" lesson and just handed out the "how-to-flip-a-burger" lesson before sending their newest employees out into the work environment.
The other day, I made a McDonald's run from my office. For two reasons. 1) I felt like crap and special sauce always makes me feel better (hold the dirty jokes please) and 2) Marc collects the McDonalds pieces too, we're trying to win some money on getting fat here. Don't judge us.
Now, as I was going from the office, I had a few orders beside my own, and some coupons (I love the Entertainment Book). I tried to make my order clearly and slowly, as the woman behind the counter taking my order appeared to only be able to cope with 1 word every 4 seconds. She had to call the manager twice during my order, once to make sure they still served a double-cheesburger meal and once to ask about my coupon. But needless to say, after about 4 minutes, we had ordered my four burgers, three things of fries and two drinks. Not exactly FAST food... I'm pretty sure I could have already been served my meal at my favorite diner, but, all in all, I'm not too upset with cashier-girl. Although none-too-bright, she seemed to be making the best of it by coming to work at McDonald's and trying her hardest.
However, the associate (or Scary-looking-surly-employee - SLSE for short) who was putting my order together was a completely different story. During my ordeal with cashier-girl I managed to mention a couple of times that my order was "to-go" and sure enough, on the ticket that spit out of the register, after we were finally done, read "take-out" in shiny-new-printer-ink black letters. However SLSE began to load my order on a tray. As she threw the first burger casually toward the tray, I said "Excuse me, ma'am, but my order is to go." This earned me a surly stare and a grunt. She turned around, picked up some more burgers and began to slam them on the tray as well. Ok, maybe she had not heard me. I said "Excuse me, ma'am, but my order is to go please." This time SLSE just ignored me. She then got drinks and fries, placed these (none-too-kindly) on the tray as well and shoved it toward me with another grunt.
Not wanting to upset her, because she looked like she would jump the counter and fight me (and those acrylic nails looked like they could cut my throat), I said, "Excuse me ma'am, but could I please have a bag, because my order is to go." I even held up my receipt with the shiny "take-out" printed on it as proof! She ignored me again, at which point I looked helplessly at register girl, who mumbled something to SLSE. SLSE then turned around and glared at me and asked "WELL WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY SO IN THE FIRST PLACE!" And proceeded to grab a bag and fling my food purchases into in haphazardly. I did not point out that I had said so in the first place, because again, the acrylic nails were terrifying.
Well from now on, I think I'm going to Burger King. Because at least the whole "Have it your way" motto leaves them in somewhat of a better mood. (Although I do have to point out that I did not make one special request in my McD's order)
I was tempted to write the franchise owner a letter concerning my horrifying experience and decision to switch burger joints. But I felt, why make that woman's life worse (because it obviously sucks so much already she can't show other human beings normal courtesy), and well, I'm lazy, and that process would involve finding a stamp, and an envelope.
And what really talked me out of the whole affair was that I think it might be industry wide. This morning, getting some Dunkin Donuts, in order to rectify the whole not-really-being-awake thing I had going for me this morning, I attempted to order 1) medium coffee and 1) blueberry muffin. I had a coupon for the coffee, which I both mentioned and presented before making my order, so as to prevent any confusion. I was excited about my coupon, because it would bring my order under $3, which was all the cash money I had on me, and I wouldn't have to locate my debit card in my catastrophe of a purse. Well Miss Casher (MS) rings me up and pronounces "$3.30." I look abjectly confused, because a muffin is a little over a dollar and my coupon made my coffee $0.99 cents. I ask "But I had a coupon?" MS glares at me, as if I have done something wrong at this point and goes "Well I already put it through, you'll have to use it next time."
Now, I'm not normally a fussy person, but REALLY? REALLY? I said "Excuse me, but no, I really do want to use it this time, and I did have it ready before the sale, so if you could just get a manager, that would be great." MS stomps (16 year old fight with your mom style) over to an older gentleman and stage whispers for awhile about what a problem I'm being. Manager comes over and asks "And WHAT is the problem here?" Again, as if I have done something wrong.
MS has now upset the woman behind me in line, who has been waiting for a bit who goes. "This lady had a coupon, she gave it to the girl there, who ignored it and then told her she couldn't use it, she had it in the beginning, and maybe if you all were a little more helpful, we would have BOTH had breakfast by now!"
As this Dunkin Donuts is in a gas station, we were now attracting attention. Manager managed to apologize and actually comp my muffin (yay!) and gave the lady behind me a free coffee (because of the wait). As for whatever reason, she appeared more upset and more liable to jump the counter than I was.
I don't get what the world has come to. I get that food jobs are not glamourous jobs and that sometimes customers are jerks. Trust me, I know, I work part time at the Home Depot, and if I ever won the lottery, I wouldn't quit, I would just start asking the jerky customers "Do you treat everyone this way or only people that you feel are beneath you?" So I get it, I do, customer are sometimes stuck-up jerkfaces. But I am never a stuck-up jerkface, I REALIZE your job can suck.
So I have a few things to say to the food workers of the day
1 - You have a job, that's something to say in this economy.
2 - McD's does not even pay minimum wage, in most of the ads I've seen for them hiring, it's been around $9 an hour, which is better than a lot of jobs in this economy.
3 - You get free food for working there. Maybe you should try a Happy Meal and get happy.
4 - I have a coupon, you probably use coupons too, deal with it.
5 - I come to McD's/DD HAPPY, because I have a coupon or a "free-breffus-sandwich" McD's monopoly piece, and I'm excited about warm-happy-cheap-breffus. You should not have RUINED MY MORNING by the time I leave.
6 - If you are really so freaking miserable, apply to Wal-Mart to do the overnight stocking, where you won't have to interact with anyone. This might even be a public service, and qualify you for some sort of grant. Look into it, please.