Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I’ve decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all.
It’s called NaBloPoMo, and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.
The theme for the month is “Tomorrow.”
Speaking of tomorrow, does anyone else think the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket?
I remember when customer service used to mean a smile and a “how can I help you, Ma’am?” With a “thank you so much, we appreciate your business” thrown in for good measure. Now wherever I go, I’m interrupting somebody’s text message, or a bitch session between co-workers, or, God Forbid, making someone stay over after quitting time for two minutes, when they’ve got something much more important to, like checking their MySpace profile for friend requests.
They all let me know how much I am inconveniencing them by sighing, rolling their eyes and muttering, “good god” under their breaths.
I am, in a word, simply amazed at the lack of incompetence out there. It’s really no wonder that all the businesses in America are failing. What do they expect, when all of their employees are idiots, y’all?
We just returned from vacation this week. We went to Busch Gardens, in Williamsburg, Virginia. We had purchased tickets on their website, along with a “Meal Deal” for each of us. The Meal Deal is something like Disney’s dining plan. You get two complete meals, and two medium fountain drinks for $20 each.
The website describes this wonderful plan in glowing terms: “Enjoy all the great food that Busch Gardens Williamsburg has to offer at a savings like never before. With the Busch Gardens Meal Deal, you decide when and where you want to eat so that it fits with your schedule. Best of all, you’ll save money.”
Yeah, right. Well then, how about letting their employees know about this deal of the century?
The “complete meal” is supposed to be any entree, a side dish such as a salad or a dessert and a medium non alcoholic drink. The first time we tried to use one of these tickets, we were in line for lunch at the German restaurant, Festhaus Kaffee. The selection of food was overwhelming. There were personal pan pizzas, sandwiches, salads with and without roasted chicken, and huge platters of nothing but sausage and potato salad. I wasn’t sure what was considered an “entree”. Tray in hand, I spotted two employees behind the cafeteria line.
“Excuse me?” I said, after staring at them for several seconds, waiting to see if one of them would notice that they had a customer. One of them glanced at me, grimaced and continued talking to the other one.
“EXCUSE ME” a bit louder, now. (When did shouting to get customer attention become common place?)
OK. Now they were actually looking at me. I had the floor. I held up my meal deal card. I smiled sweetly. “Can y’all tell me what we are able to get with the meal deal? This is the first time we’ve used it.”
They looked at each other. They rolled their eyes. They sighed. One of them shrugged and walked away. The other one said, “You’ll have to ask the cashier. We don’t know anything about that.”
The cashier was at the end of the line. Twenty feet away. We had already waited in the line we were in for twenty minutes and the people behind us were hungry, too. So we each got what I thought was an entree, a side and a drink.
When we got to the cashier, I produced our four meal deal cards. She reluctantly took them. She blinked. She blinked again. She studied them. She turned them over a couple of times. She read the back of one. All of it. She looked at our trays. She looked at her cash register. She sighed.
“You’re going to have to pay extra for the french fries.”
Now, I had read the back of the little card, too. I had to put on my readers, but I read it. It said “Each meal includes any entree, a side dish or a side salad or dessert.
I raised my eyebrows. “French fries are not considered a side dish?” I asked, incredulous.
Her mouth formed a hard line. Her eyes bore into mine. “No, ma’am. Just the salad and the dessert. You’re going to have to pay extra for the cheese sticks, the beer and the fries.”
Exasperated, my husband took out his wallet, muttered “Fine, it’s not worth the hassle”, and paid. For two orders of fries, a plate of cheese sticks and a beer. Twenty three dollars and some change.
Well, so much for our enjoyment and savings. Maybe Busch Gardens should educate their employees what the Meal Deal is, before they offer it online? Just a thought. And then, perhaps they could quit hiring idiots?
But incompetence is not just found in amusement parks, or restaurants. Oh no. It’s everywhere. Doctor’s offices, building supply stores, lawyers, real estate agents, floral deliveries….you name it. I’ve got many more examples. Maybe tomorrow I’ll
bore you to death entertain y’all with another story.