Friday, July 1, 2016

the one where i bitch about bad service

apparently, i'm just a big ass magnet for bad customer service lately.  just within the last week i've experienced three separate incidents.  observe:

the old lady bought a cold cup at starbucks a couple of weeks ago to give her dad for father's day.  she added a few other things, brought the bag home and set it aside until it was time to head out.  when she went to wrap everything, she noticed that there was a chip in the plastic on the bottom of the cup. so she put it back in the bag, put the receipt in it and went about her day.  it took us a few days to take it back because we're lazy asses who usually go to the drive thru, but it was still well within the return period on the receipt.

the girl at the counter who initially helped us was appropriately apologetic and helpful.  but when she turned to a supervisor to do some sort of approval on the register or whatever it is they do, things went south real fast.  trevor the coffee master (at least that's what it said on his apron) picked up the cup, inspected the damage and then literally gave us the most obvious side eye that ever was.  like, even a 2-year-old could have read that body language, which basically said "you're lying or you stole this cup or you took it home and busted it and now you think you're going to return it."  and then in the most sarcastic tone of voice he informed the old lady that he would issue her store credit for it.

when she pointed out that the receipt was in the bag, his next zinger was "oh.  you don't have the card that was used to buy it though, do you?"

UM.

he finally began the process of returning it rather begrudgingly, while she and i just looked at each other in amazement.  we've never experienced this sort of treatment, especially at this starbucks store that we visit literally 3 times a week minimum.  i said to him "excuse me, but i do not appreciate that look that you just gave us" and was promptly ignored.  and so as soon as he was done, we headed towards the door and i was dialing customer service even before we got outside.  they apologized profusely, got all of the information from us as to where we were and who we had dealt with, and assured me that the appropriate management would be informed of the incident.  oh, and they threw in $15 of credit on my rewards card.

and then a few days later, at disneyland of all places, we decided to have dinner at pizza port in tomorrowland.  the girls were craving pasta, and as we waited in line the lady in front of us was served the last platter of fresh pasta in the tray.  she asked for extra cheese, and was handed a cup full of it with no issue (just go with me here, it'll all make sense soon).  there was a plate of spaghetti on the warming tray that had been sitting there since before we walked up, so who knows how long it had been hanging out.  it took longer than you would have expected to have another container of pasta brought up - after all, it was disneyland at prime dinner hour, and you would think that the well-oiled machine that is disney would be prepared for this.  in the meantime, the cast member who was doing the serving went to a different station and was replaced by amber, who just looked thrilled to be there.

by the time the pasta was finally ready, there was quite a line behind us.  amber just looked at us, and when i asked her for two plates of spaghetti she pointed at the one that was sitting on the counter.  i said to her "oh, we'd like fresh pasta, please" and she rolled her eyes, heaved a huge sigh, picked up that plate and flung it into the garbage can behind her.

UM.

yeah.  and then after she finished plating our entrees, i asked her for extra cheese for one of them.  when she told me that there were packets of grated cheese with the other condiments, i explained that we wanted the shredded parmesan that she'd just sprinkled on top of the spaghetti and that the lady in front of us had been given a little cup of it.  all i got was a head shake and "i can't give you any of this cheese unless you want to pay $3 for it."

this time, i turned to twitter to bitch about how amber clearly needed to re-take disney magic 101.  they asked me to DM the details and then responded with an apology and that was that.

last night, we went to dinner with two of the bean's friends' families after open house at summer school.  they wanted to go to buca di beppo, which is definitely not a favorite of mine, but i sucked it up and went with the flow.  we didn't have a reservation, but the wait was only about ten minutes before we were seated at a large table in the back of the restaurant.  we spent a few minutes perusing the menu, and then realized after awhile that we hadn't yet been greeted by a server.  one of the moms got up to look for someone to help us and i sat there with my hand up like i was waiting to give an answer in class.  even then, it took at least five more minutes before the server finally came over and gave us a spiel about "sorry for the delay, i wanted to make sure i could give you my undivided attention" that was delivered with barely-concealed sarcasm.  rude.

we received salad and bread in a fairly timely manner, although it was really fun to have to keep scooching over a little as she reached over me to place things on the table.  the kids' food arrived about ten minutes later, and so they started eating.  the bean had opted to partake in the family-style entrees that the rest of us had ordered, so she just sat there and chatted with her friends while they ate.  more and more time went by, and no food came and no one stopped to communicate with us at all.  when the server came by and asked if we needed drink refills, i said "it'd also be nice to know when we can expect our food" and - yup, you guessed it - i got ignored.

a few minutes later another server came to ask how we were doing and when we informed him that we weren't doing all that great, he apologized and said that he had just come over to let us know that our entrees were being plated and would be delivered soon.  when we asked him if he was the manager, he said "no, i'm the lead bartender.  your server asked me to come and check on you."

THE BARTENDER.

not his fault, though, and we thanked him for letting us know.  he also let us know that the kitchen had served a party of 22 just before us, which would have been nice to hear from our server when we asked where our food was.  he offered to get the manager for us if we wanted to speak to her, which we definitely did.  she wasn't particularly apologetic, but stood there and listened to us tell her about the terrible service we'd been given.  by now, it was well past 9pm and the kids were tired and just done for the day.  she offered to give us a free brownie sundae (??) and i told her that the last thing we wanted was to sugar up the kids right before sending them to bed.  and then she said that the chicken we had ordered took extra time to cook and that's partly why our entire meal had been held up.  i don't think communication is a strong suit in this place.

we were ready to just cancel and bail out of there when the server finally arrived with the food.  and can i tell you...it was GROSS.  i had no idea you could fuck up lasagna that badly.  the noodles were mushy and the entire plate wasn't even hot.  we ate as much as we could stomach before we just gave up, and luckily when the check arrived we'd only been charged for the kids' meals, the salad and drinks.

UGH.  NEVER AGAIN.

i guess the moral of this story is...i'm not going anywhere for a few days.  no more restaurants until this black cloud of bad service passes over.  SHEESH.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

what is art? art is art.

if i wasn't already convinced that i'm far too simple to understand art, i totally proved it to myself this weekend.

after the old lady and i got home from doing the ROC race, we threw around all sorts of ideas as to what we could do to entertain the bean (and ourselves) for the rest of the day.  disneyland was out, because hot and crowded.  our membership to the l.a. zoo was expiring soon, but again...hot and crowded.  the natural history museum?  well, we were still a little scarred from our time there during that wack ass overnight outing we did a couple of months ago.

but then i thought of something else - we'd been wanting to check out the broad museum in downtown l.a. for awhile.  we'd scored tickets one weekend, but then weren't able to attend for one reason or another.  i knew they did a standby line for those who didn't have tickets and were willing to wait, and their twitter feed told me that the current wait was about half an hour.  then i randomly clicked on the "get tickets" button, and by some sort of magic managed to snag three tickets for later that afternoon.  sweet!

it was an easy drive downtown - well, with the usual bit of traffic just a mile or two away, but that's to be expected.  parking was super easy and located right underneath the museum, and since the tickets were free i didn't bat an eye at the $10 i forked over to pull into a spot.




i love stuff like this.  whenever you take ordinary things and either shrink them down to mini size or blow them up to gigantic proportions, it's just fun.


it was a pretty long way up on the escalator.


as soon as we stepped off of the escalator, the adventure began.



i don't have anything interesting to say about most of the stuff we saw, because - well, i'm not gonna lie.  i just really don't get it.




 'murrica!



this just made me want some pancakes.


we did like the shiny things, though.  especially the gold urinal thingy.



big michael jackson fan?


the bean's reaction to stuff was funny too.  i heard a lot of "mommy, this is...weird.  i don't get it."  join the club, kid.






who'd have known you could turn a bunch of vacuum cleaners into a piece of art?  not me, that's for sure.


and hey, props for reducing/reusing/recycling.


at least i recognized something - some andy warhol work.





and this was by far our favorite part.  the girls thought it was funny when i remarked that now we knew what mollydog gets to see every day.



by then, we'd had our fill and happily headed into the elevator to see what else there might be.  there wasn't much, by the way.




back downstairs, we found that the line to sign up for the infinity mirrored room had dwindled down to nothing.  so we stepped up to the iPad to check it out...



we found an empty bench to sit and gather our thoughts on our experience thus far:


and then a museum staffer approached us and asked if we had a reservation for the infinity room.  i explained that we'd just signed up on the iPad and she said "do you guys want to go in right now?"

um, YES.

she walked us right over to the entrance, where there was one couple waiting ahead of us, and told the guy who was manning the door that we were next.  each visitor or small group gets to enter the room for 45 seconds, and they're very strict about that time limit.  he explained that we would be standing on a narrow platform over water with low-hanging lights just above us, so we needed to be super careful or we'd end up wet or wacking our heads on the lights.  we could take as many pictures as we wanted, but as soon as he knocked on the door we had to exit right away.


i was so enthralled by all the pretty lights while we were inside that i really only took a couple of pictures.  that's okay, though, because how many pictures like this does one really need?


a stop in the gift shop had the bean gazing at this with the most confused look on her face.


outside, we saw people setting up for what looked like an outdoor concert.


and this looks like a super cool restaurant.  maybe on a date night with the hub one day.


as we left, we noticed how long the standby line had gotten.  whew...thank goodness for last minute online tickets!


so to sum it up...giant plates and table and chairs, giant shiny balloon animal, infinity room.  that's pretty much all we got out of our visit to the broad.  i'm not entirely sure that we'll return unless the hub decides he wants to check it out, but i'm glad we went.

yay for culture?
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