Posts Tagged ‘customer service’

The light snow frosted the roads and sidewalks, allowing us to see our tracks behind us as we walked from the revolving doors of the restaurant where he had just been subjected to one of the strangest displays of customer service ever known to humankind. We climbed into the truck and drove off in stunned silence at what we had witnessed. And all that it meant to us as people of this Earth.

One hour earlier…..

It had started innocently enough. My wife and I had decided that we really needed to spend some quality time together and planned out a long and involved date. OK, that’s really not it. We were both too lazy to cook anything so decided to go out to eat. Basically the same thing.

We decided to take ourselves out to one of our favorite restaurants – a well-known “upper class” (as opposed to my normal McDonald’s/Hardees haunts anyway) seafood restaurant that we’ll call, for the sake of this blog and to protect their secrecy, Fonefish Grill. We walked in and were seated by one of the managers, who for the sake of this blog and to protect their secrecy we’ll call Brunswick (her name was another Georgia coastal town). All good so far. Next up was the waitress, who for the sake of this blog and to protect their secrecy we’ll call Aphrodite (her name was another Greek Goddess). She was lovely, it was charming, we had a booth as opposed to one of their lined up tables where you are basically sitting in the lap of the next group over, and all was right with the world.

Perusing the menu of all the wonderful seafood that was available, I quickly came to the decision that I would have the Kobe Beef Hamburger. Seafood sucks and you can’t convince me any differently. My wife, who is a huge fan of the Shrimp appetizers and other crustacean-like dishes, did not have the same easy decision. To what did her wandering eyes appear but the following Thanksgiving/Christmas mash-up of a dish:

 

She was in a quandary. A pickle, if you will. She LOVED the aforementioned dishes but this new entrant had piqued her taste buds into a veritable zephyr of a decision-making predicament. Aphrodite approached our table and in a fit of dilemma-solving brain juices, my wife blurted out ‘Cranberry Salmon’ and our evening was off to the races.

All good so far. Conversation is light and jovial. Water is cold. Bread is warm. The food comes and the hamburger is wonderful (thanks for asking, because no one else ever did) and the Cranberry Salmon is “good”, but not up to the level of the normal offerings that my wife has had there. And therein lies the rub…. if a rub can indeed lie therein. Our adventure begins: NOW.

Brunswick stealthily approaches and asks my wife: “Just noticed that you had our Cranberry Salmon. How’d you like it?” Innocent enough, of course, but note that it was not the normal “How’s your dinner….?” question that we are all just accustomed to replying with a simple and dismissive “Fine….” My wife, bless her heart, paused in her reply. It wasn’t a long pause really, but it was a telling pause. Some would even call it a pregnant pause. Then said, “It’s good…..” with her voice trailing off knowingly. She also stated that she had had a taste for the crab cakes and should have just gotten them. Brunswick seized upon that pause like a moth seizes a flame. She launched into a discussion about the dish, what my wife would have preferred, offered to GET her that other dish that she would have preferred, and just generally carried on to a degree only one less degree than the Sun is currently burning at.

Through this whole episode Aphrodite was at another table monitoring our situation and trying to determine if she was going to be in trouble for something. As soon as we had settled with Brunswick, Aphrodite came running up to the table and asked if our food was OK and if we didn’t like it. I made it clear that we had never complained and that Brunswick was just being VERY customer-oriented which we appreciated. Aphrodite then went on and on about how Brunswick is a new manager and just very meddlesome in all the goings-on of the place.

Next thing we were aware of – Brunswick and Aphrodite are huddled off in a corner talking among themselves while throwing glances our way. Brunswick then comes over and proceeds to tell us how sorry she was and if there was anything she could do for us and that she was taking 20% off of the dish for us. She went…. yes…. on and on about her life and experience and all that led to this momentous decision on the 20% discount.

Brunswick leaves. Who appears next? If you guessed Aphrodite you would be correct. She came back over and said, “Well, I guess you heard we are taking 20% off the salmon” and then proceeded to tell us how meddlesome Brunswick is being and how ‘she (Aphrodite) loves Brunswick to death…’ I, of course, feeling very left out said “No one asked ME about my hamburger… and frankly it was a little on the underdone side – could I get 10% off of that?” We all laughed and laughed, and I didn’t get a crap thing done about my hamburger.

We asked for the check and thought it was all over. Except for one thing. Everyone disappeared. Well, Aphrodite disappeared. For at least 15 minutes we waited for our check. Don’t get me wrong, Brunswick walked back and forth past our table at least 5 times giving my wife the side-eye to see if she was eating her salmon properly. No words were spoken…. they didn’t need to be.

Finally Aphrodite re-appears with the ‘to-go’ box for the salmon and suddenly we knew why it had taken her 15 minutes. She apparently is a budding Theon of Samos (Greek artist….get it?):

 

We paid, walked out of the revolving doors and had the snow calmly and gently hit our faces as we walked to the truck, still wondering what the heck had happened and why a gentle pause in the answering of a single question had generated the Fonefish Firestorm of 2018 (as it has become to be known). Did they think we were food critics? Were they having an internal waitress-management battle? I guess we’ll never know.

But my hamburger was wonderful…. if anyone cares. Which they obviously don’t.