Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Perils of Customer Service, PART II

My next set of stories involve several strange incidents that happened while I was working, and my recording of them is largely inspired by the wonderful stories I see On this website, them all being pretty short and sweet.  

The man who hated Portugal

It was the 2006 World cup.  England was playing Portugal, and it had come down to penalties.  Now England are not very good at penalties, and my hopes were not high.  It was hardly a surprise when they lost.  For a moment, I thought- “everything will be fine; we lost, but at least we all enjoyed the game for what it was.”

It was at that point that I heard a smash, and turned around to see that a man, upset by England’s loss, had thrown his pint glass at the large window, which subsequently shattered, showering broken glass all over everyone in a three-metre radius.

Our manager looked calmly at the situation.  Honestly compels me to mention that it wasn't even close to being this bad, but anyway:

The man who wanted a scotch

This guy wasn’t rude, just really funny.  He was American, which made it funnier:

Him: (ordering from 10 metres away from the bar) Hey! Could I get a scotch?
Me: Sure! Were you after anything in particular? We’ve got some blends, which are cheaper, or some single malts.
Him: (reaching the bar) I just want a scotch.
Me: Well we’ve got about thirty different kinds.  Would you like me to recommend one for you?
Him: I want a scotch.
Me: Highland Park’s very popular; my favourite’s Dalwinnie…
Him: Could I just get a scotch?
There was a pause.
Me: I’ll get you a Famous Grouse. 

He then took it with a little jug of water (and on ice), and spent the next ten minutes explaining to me the correct way to drink scotch, and how he was in a scotch-tasting society back home.  Hmmm…

The man who didn’t like vomit

This one completely escaped me, and this time, my picture is in no way an exaggeration of the scene I was faced with:

Is it our fault the bride and groom paid us to serve mulled wine, champagne and white wine? Should we have denied them their dream wedding because one person chose to drink too much and ruin his own evening? Was anyone else throwing up and making a fool of themselves?

Obviously, I didn’t say this, but I was thinking it.  My brave colleagues cleaned up the mess and the boy was fine, apart from, I imagine, a deep sense of shame.  

The man who couldn’t see the Menus for the tables

So in a little café I worked in, people had to come to the bar to order.  However sometimes, because I like being helpful (and wanted to pretend I was a real waitress), I’d come over and do table service if we were quiet.  I approached a table of five, who had come into the almost empty café and, aside from a group I had just served, they were my only customers.

“Hello!” I said brightly.  “Could I get you all something to drink?”

The five people looked at me in what could only be described as utter disgust.  One man spoke for the lot of them, while looking around at his companions and laughing, as if my idiocy was so obvious it was funny.

“Uh…could we have a MENU, please?!?”

I looked carefully at him, and realised that they didn’t have a menu on their table.  I then looked around at the 12 other tables in very close proximity that also had menus on them.  Without having to walk anywhere, I simply reached to my right hand, picked up a menu from a different table and handed it to him.

“Here you are, sir!” I said brightly. 

I admit that I should have realised that a menu had been, apparently, stolen, leaving us one short but why would you (a) sit down on the only table without a menu, (b) not simply grab a menu yourself, seeing as this is an informal café and not a table-service restaurant, and (c) be really rude to somebody who went out of her way to give you good service? Honestly!

The man who didn't like glasses

I usually wear contact lenses, but I'd recently had an eye infection so I was giving my eyes a bit of a break for a few days.  A customer (who had apparently seen me before) came up to the bar:

"Why would someone like you wear glasses?" He said, "you had such a beautiful face before."

As the irony of this blatantly anti-feminist attack burned its way through my soul, I tried to think of a witty remark but unfortunately my brain didn't give me one.

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