Monday, September 10, 2007

First Experiences

I am at the point where I am tired of relating this story, but I feel like there are a few blog readers out there that would like to fume at this as much as everyone else.

So heres the deal. On one of my first nights At Bob Evans, I handled a couple that seemed nice enough. Both the man and the woman wanted Coffee and water and the man asked for a slice of Pumpkin pie(man I really want to carve some pumpkins.). Okay, so I was still new at the whole serving on my won thing. Apparently I didn't serve them as well as I could have. I think I forgot the womans water or something and then the pie was cold. Whatever. I apologized and figured that I would never see them again.

Friday night: The same couple comes in and are once again sat in my section. I greet them cheerfully. I ask what I can get them to drink.

Woman: I hope you can get it better than you did last time. You seemed to have problems with my coffee and water.

something to that effect. There was no gentle teasing in her voice showing that last time was forgiven. There was an unhappy malice to her words. My smile faltered for a brief moment, then shot back up. More forced than before.

Me:I'm sorry if there were problems last time. I'll try to get it right this time. Is that going to be all for you?

Man: I'll have the same and piece of Pumpkin pie. Heated, please.

I smile again and tell them I'll get that right out. At this point in the night, I have at least three other tables that I am trying to take care of. I had food and drinks to get out to them because they were first and I was already trying to juggle three tasks in one, so I put the coffee and water on hold for about 60 seconds. I helped my other people and as I made it back to the front to get the couple their coffee and water the shift manager Kathy comes up to me.

Kathy: Have you gotten table 33 their drinks yet?
(table 33 is the couple)
Me:I was just about to.
Kathy(a little distressed): these people are huge Bob Evans Regulars(said like it was a title). They like to get their drinks as soon as they come in before anything else.
Me: oh! I had no idea. I'll get right on it.

I make their drinks, get the man his pie and rush to their table. It couldn't have been 3 minutes since they sat down, and no more than two since I got their drink order. I give them their drinks and pie and with a more confident and natural smile than earlier ask if everything looks okay. The woman looks at me and gives me a sour false smile...

Woman: Oh, we'll see.

My smile falters again and I just nod my head

Me: Okay. Let me know if that pie is warm enough.

The man smiles at me. I go back to the front after checking on my other tables. Kathy looks at my expression of annoyance as I punch in their ticket.

Kathy: Let me take care of them for now.

Me: Gladly!

The incident left me in a little less of a good mood for the next several minutes. Then I got over it and was back to being happy.

Saturday. I was on a roll. Bill had just finished complimenting me on my excellent job at rising to the challenge of the 10's and 20' section. Telling me that he had heard nothing but good things about me all night. About 10 minutes after that in comes a man and a woman. I am punching in a ticket when I hear my name being said by the register. I hear the hostess say "sure, no problem". I look up and see the couple. I watch as Allison sits them in the section farthest from mine. When Allison came up to me I asked if they had asked not to be seated in my section. She nods her head and asks why. I just shrug. Bill, the ASM heard this exchange and looks at me, troubled.

Bill: I'll talk to you about this in a second.

He goes off to greet the couple. At this point, I'm exceedingly glad that they aren't in my section and I almost laugh my head off when Shelly(the girl who's section they got sat in) comes up to me and asks if I can take their table because she is really busy.

Me: Trust me. They don't want me to take them, I don't want to take them. They asked not to be in my section.

Bill comes up.

Bill: What did you do to Jade? Man, she's hammered. I really don't like that woman.

Me: I don't know. She just hates me for some reason. But hey, if she doesn't like me, I'm fine with never having to serve her again.

So I know that her name is Jade, she is drunk and that the ASM doesn't like her. Man am I glad that she hates me. Later Bill tells me that she told him she thinks I'm lazy. Apparently because they like to get their drinks 30 seconds after they come in and are offended if you try to ask them if they want to order before their drinks have been served. DRINKS FIRST DRINKS FIRST DRINKS FIRST!!! If you don't get their coffee and water out to them before they even sit down, you are automatically on their Bob Evans hit list. Whatever. They think I'm lazy because I helped someone before I get their drinks to them. Bill thinks they're full of crap. And besides, Bob Evans Policy # 1 is get hot food out of the window and to it eater. Policy two is greeting a new table. So is I have a table that needs food and another new table that has just been seated, I am going to fill my tray with table ones food and then make a short stop by table two to let them know I ill help them shortly and give them silverware. Mrs. I'll just have coffee and water will have to wait her priority turn.

So a few things. This was my first experience with a really obnoxious customer. I think I handled it well and I really just feel sorry for the woman and very very sorry for her husband.

I am not a mind reader. I am still somewhat new. I had no idea that they were regulars and had to get their drinks on their table before they even decide that they want to come to Bob Evans. And I like Stevens phrase. This woman is "Not Gods gift to Bob Evans" and has no right to treat people like they are worth nothing. Oh! And i never got a tip from her. Not out of any of the three times I served her. Not that I would get a lot out of two coffees and a slice of pie. But whatever. I will never have to deal with her again. And even though I will have bad customers in the future, I'm pretty sure none of them will be bad enough ever ask to not be in my section.

Anyway. Thats life. There you go. My first bad customer. WOOT!

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