Monday, June 23, 2014

Here's a Tip: be nicer to your customers

Let me preface this post by saying that I have NEVER been a waitress. Honestly, I don't like people enough to be in a situation where no matter what, I have to be nice to assholes and make them happy. It's just not in me. So I admire people who work in the service industry. A lot. (Either that, or they're crazy).

Mr. KK and I have the WORST restaurant luck. We're either forgotten about after we're seated, our meals aren't entirely correct when they come out, or we'll have to eavesdrop on other tables to hear the daily specials because our server never told them to us (for whatever reason). 

But no matter what happens, we're still good tippers. 

Saturday night, however, was a different story.

We were meeting friends for dinner when they finished up with their son's baseball game. Mr. KK and I headed to restaurant early, grabbed two seats at the bar and settled in for cocktails. We were chit-chatty with the people sitting around us and the bartender. 

At 9:15 I got a text that our friends were on their way. We settled up with the bartender, letting him know we were going to grab a table with our friends.

"The kitchen is still open, right?" I asked him.

"Yep. We serve dinner until 10:30 so you have plenty of time," he responded.

Our friends arrive and we follow the hostess to our table.

"Here are your menus. Kitchen's getting ready to close, so you'll have to hurry and put your order in," she says and saunters away.

Well, then.

Our waitress comes over, bitchy resting face in place. 

"You guys want something to drink?" she asks with a 'You're-making-me-do-my-job' sigh.

We scramble for the wine and cocktails lists while she waits there, examining her fingernails. We put our order in. Then she somehow brings herself to share the specials with us. 

NOTE: the restaurant is half full of people. And two parties have come in since we've sat down. 'kitchen is closing' my ass.

The night – and our 'service' – continues in this vain.

Our dinners are served while we're still eating our salads. She takes salad plates away with forks and leaves us without forks for our main courses. She comes by a few times while we're eating and chatting to see if we're done, even though we're still chewing and holding forks in our hands. 

And her attitude? She's downright rude.

Then the bill comes and it's the moment of truth: how much does this server deserve?

As tippers, Mr. KK and I usually let everything slide, but Saturday night we just couldn't do it. And our friends agreed: she.was.horrible.

So she got only a 15% tip. (Don't think I didn't contemplate 10%).

We were wrong to only give 15%? The tip she should have gotten is this: "Be nicer to your customers", but we're not those kind of people. I get it, she makes $2 a hour. But part of being in the service industry is giving GOOD service.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

If I were in charge of airports

(WARNING: long – yet 100% accurate – post)

I'm pretty sure that on the days that I have to fly, a bulletin goes out to all the lunatics and weirdos in the vicinity that says something like:

"Attention! What are you doing on Thursday, June 5 around 5pm? Why don't you come down to the airport and just be yourselves and cause mayhem and havoc. Free drinks if your tickets reads BDL -> CLT".

I'm not a stressed out traveler. However, the minute I get to the airport and am surrounded by the human race, my blood pressure goes up.

And it starts from the minute I walk in the door.

Kiosk Check-In

Great concept. 

However, when you present an electronic check-in method to a population of which 50% are computer illiterate, there's bound to be problems. If you're lucky, there's an attendant behind the check-in counter who's there to make people feel like worthless idiots for not knowing how to use their the kiosks.

Airport Security

Oh, where do I start?

TSA Pre-Check: 

Talk about a time-saver! However, at what point are people "pre-screened" to the point where they don't have to take off their shoes or take out their liquids? Was there a secret machine they walked through unknowingly on the way in?

Security Lines:

There should be designated security lines in each airport for different types of travelers. 

They are as follows:

Lane 1: Business Travelers
These people have traveling down to a science, tend to travel lightly and understand how security works. Chances are, they have their laptops out/pockets emptied/shoes off before they even reach the germ-encrusted gray bins.

Lane 2: Families with Children
There's nothing wrong with traveling with children. However, these families tend to need more time getting through security, so they should have their own line, complete with Mickey Mouse-decorated conveyor belts and bins.

Lane 3: Senior Citizens 
Also knows as "People who don't think rules apply to them". These people tend to be slow and get yelled at a lot by TSA agents. They are usually smuggling a small pharmacy in their bags. Some get caught with full bottles of mouthwash in their carry ons (um…DAD).

Lanes 4, 5 and 6: People Who Have Never Traveled Before
If these people can't have their own airports, they AT LEAST need their own security lines. These people are most frequently frisked and their bags most frequently searched. Not only do they act like it's their first time flying, they act like it's their first time out in public

Outlandish things you'll overhear in this line:
"Oh, I need to stand in a line?"
"Where did my boarding pass go?"
"When they say 'remove your shoes' do they mean take them off?"
"I can't wait to get on the plane and enjoy my tasty, hot meal."

Lane 7: Everyone Else
You know you can leave your iPads IN your bag and just how many liquids can fit in a quart-sized Ziploc. And everyone else in all the other lines annoys you.

Boarding the Plane

This is one of my favorite scenes, from one of my favorite movies, and sums up the boarding process perfectly:

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, can someone please explain to me the strategy behind the boarding process???

The PA announcement that we hear: 
"Please pay attention to our boarding process because it has changed. We now board by zones, please locate the zone number on your boarding pass."

What the PA announcement really means: 
"Hey, assholes. If you haven't figured it out by now, we board in numerical order by zone numbers. This isn't a new process, but because people can't follow general directions, we keep saying it's 'new' so they don't look too much like idiots. Your zone number is on your boarding pass. You'll more than likely ignore this completely, and try to get on the plane whenever the hell you want too."

Also? Before we can even GET to the zone numbers, we have to board all of those "other" people who are (but not limited to):
  • the military (this one I 100% agree with. they should also get all of the first class seats, btw)
  • people traveling with small children (yep, they need extra time, give it to them. any chance they can have their own section of the plane, though? In an area where people don't care when their toddler spends 3 hours kicking the back of their seat begging and screaming for a snack?)
  • people who need special assistance (these are the people who ride in on the oversized golf carts and have 3 – not 2 – carry ons. also, they are too proud to want to admit they NEED special assistance, so they hang back and screw up general boarding.)
  • first class passengers (if these seats are not all taken by our military heroes, then sure. you paid for it.)
  • [insert airline name here] platinum/gold/silver/pewter/rust members (I'm sorry…who are you?)
  • people who paid extra money to board 5 minutes earlier (really? it's just as shitty to board now as general boarding, except they aren't out $35.)
  • people whose names begin with the letter "R"
  • people other than kristin marsoli
  • all remaining rows
Once we get to the "zones", it falls apart. Seriously, can someone explain how the zones are determined? What is the mathematical formula? 

Recently I was flying and seated in Row 18 Seat A (the window for you newbs). I was Zone 5. Out of 5 zones and 26 rows. How is this humanly possible? What is the rationale behind that Zone number?

I brought up to Mr. KK that we should board the plane from back to front, from window to aisle. Of course being the logical person that he was, he informed me that if they did that, families who were traveling together (and seated in the aisle/middle/window seats of a specific row) wouldn't be able to board together.

Good point.

But can someone please explain how I could be sitting in the middle of the plane at the window and be the VERY LAST zone to board???

I didn't think so.