Saturday, December 20, 2008

Not yet, but I promise it's coming

I got back from Europe late Thursday, and I have a ton of photos and stories. But I don't have the energy to go through it all right now. After I got off the plane, my body decided to give out. I picked up some bug in Prague or on the plane, so now I'm achy and my throat is so sore. So give me some time, and I'll get it all organized, I promise.

In the meantime, today was busy, because sometimes you don't have the option of staying home sick. I had a hair appointment at 9 this morning, and left early to get a latte at Starbucks. I should have skipped it. There was a new girl working there, and it took 25 minutes to get my damn coffee. Now, I'm a nice person. Ok. Fine. Maybe I'm not, but I'm still a lady, so I stood there patiently. I'm going to admit it wasn't entirely the girl's fault. I got stuck in line behind this woman who couldn't make up her mind and took forever to order, so I was getting short on time anyhow.

I've worked in food service. And since I've been there and done the job, I feel qualified to get upset when someone isn't doing their job. And today, this girl's boss threw her into the fire at my expense. After about 15 minutes of standing at the pick-up counter, I grabbed my appointment card out of my wallet and dialed the salon, and told them I would be late. Loudly. It wasn't a problem on their end, and I did end up running only a couple of minutes behind, but part of me did it so the employees would realize that when they run behind, it doesn't effect just them.

Does it ever occur to people in the food service industry to actually serve their customers? I know the customer isn't always right, but shouldn't they at least be considered important until they've proven themself idiotic? Maybe Starbucks should have two lines, like they're putting in at airport security. If you go through the TSA checkpoint at certain airports, they have different lanes for families, casual travelers, and professional travelers. Maybe at Starbucks they should have different lines as well. One for people who don't actually drink coffee and need to think about every aspect of their order, one for people who casually visit Starbucks and know what they basically want, and one for professional coffee drinkers. I can picture that line full of rushed businessmen and overbooked ladies who lunch, screaming out their insane but practiced coffee orders: tall decaf americano 3/4 full, grande half-caf non-fat cap extra hot extra foam, venti whole milk no whip sugar free triple shot caramel macchiato. Yeah, that last crazy one is mine. We are the people who know who we are and what we want. To quote Tom Hanks from You've Got Mail: "The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino."

And my last word on this subject. Yes, there are some irate customers. I am quite often one of them (though I tend to silently seethe instead of making a scene). But when a person counts on someone to deliver a service in a timely manner, and instead ends up waiting, it's hard to stay patient. Because who looks bad in the end? It's the customer, who is now late to wherever they were going. And if you're anything like me, tardiness is the unwritten 8th deadly sin.

The rest of my day was unbelievely pleasant, despite the fact that swallowing takes some effort with this sore throat. Everyone was in a jolly mood at my salon, and my stylist covered up my bald spots by cutting in some layers. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but my fertility meds have caused me to lose hair by the handfuls, and there's not much I can do about it. I guess you can't have it all, huh? Then I headed to the grocery store to start preparing for post-Christmas dinner. It was nice and there wasn't a crowd. And it's been a low-key afternoon. I needed that.

Tomorrow is Sunday, my favorite day. I'm ready for my sick day now.

Today's lesson: No matter how mad I get at Starbucks, I'll go back. They sell me those lovely "legal addictive stimulants" that my day just can't begin without. So it doesn't make a damn bit of difference if I bitch. They will always win in the end.

Preview of tomorrow's blog: Kristin's favorite things ala Oprah style

1 comment:

Feisty Irish Wench said...

Ah weary world traveler, I've missed your posts. Glad you're back.

I have been the source of employee training more times than I care to count. On the spot stuff, like keying a new sequence, I'm generally more patient with them. However customer service basics like acknowledging the customer's presence in the store, even if you have 4 others demanding your attention? If it's not done, I write letters, and post blogs.