Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Customer Service from a TURKey

Sometimes customer service can make your jaw drop.

Last week a dear friend of my parents passed unexpectedly in his sleep..
Name and details, are not mine to share.. And would offer nothing to this post.
Simply, he had gone to bed the night before, in the bed that he shared with his wife of 27 years.
And she was unable to wake him the following morning..

One of the first things that needed addressed was a replacement mattress..
Whatever the how or why, it would be only logical to get that taken care of quickly..

A call was made to Turk Furniture in Danville..
wait a minute
The situation was explained, the urgency emphasized..
This woman lost the love of her life, I only hours before the phone call was made..

Betcha want to know what Turk furniture had to say about that.........


What?!?!?!?!?  Are you really friggin' kidding me right now???? 
There isn't one SOB in that building that can run a mattress 10 miles away??? 
The gentleman that lost his life that day, would have carried a mattress on his back for someone in this situation..
I don't care how busy you are, how low your inventory is, or how you already have plans for lunch.
Drop a damn coin in the karma bank and do the right thing..

So...  Opposite this crappy customer service..

The second call was made to Illiana Mattress in Champaign..  Guess what...  They can get a mattress 30 miles in under an hour..
AND...  will go as far as replacing it, if it doesn't work out...
With kind, quick, courteous delivery..  Compassion for what this woman was going through..

That's how you do customer service..
That's why there is no need to ask why Danville dollars get spent in Champaign..
I would gladly pay and extra dollar for something that was handed to me with a smile, instead of a groan..

Monday, June 11, 2012

A quick little sniff

Remember not so long ago when some of us had what we thought was a little known secret.

Back when Price-Less Foods on Fairchild first opened. And most people just thought it was a little neighborhood grocery.
The place where you could quickly grab forgotten items from the bigger chain grocery stores.

Those of us the knew the secret would either keep it to ourselves, or shout it from the mountain tops.

The secret.......... Their meat department.

You could always go there and know you were buying freshly cut meat that was safely rotated out of the coolers as soon as the expiration date hit..

High end cuts that were an unexpected surprise from a small convenience type store..

I'm not sure how many owners and a recession later, the secret is dead.

Last week a sad turn of events now has me shouting from the mountain tops.

Employees were witnessed, not so discretely unwrapping chicken, SMELLING IT, and if it passed their olfactory glands - THEY WERE RE-WRAPPING WITH NEW DATES.. Did you hear me??? They were using only their noses to determine whether or not the raw chicken was still safe to eat..

You really have to hope they didn't have a summer cold.. Or maybe they are smokers (smoking can change the way your sense of smell functions). Or like Andrew, maybe a head trauma has changed their ability to smell things effectively.
Or lets even take a different approach.. Maybe they went home at lunch and got puppy kisses on their nose.. Or snorted some recreational drug that they have now left on your chicken..

I don't expect overly friendly meat cutters/wrappers.. So I'm not sure you can call it poor customer service..
Put I can call it poor business practice..

Dear new Price-Less owners.. If you are going to teach your employees unethical and dangerous work ethic, at least teach them to do it out of customer visibility..

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Where is the Corned Beef?

We all remember O'Learys from the 80's, right.
The cool train car dining. The famous Beer Cheese soup.
Fantastic sandwiches, and ice cold beer..
It was an experience to eat there and was at one time, one of Danville's hot spots..
And then................ It moved. And it didn't take it's train car dining room with it. Nor did it take it's fun atmosphere, great service or good food.

Tonight, Scott and I went to O'Leary's with our friends Steven and Jamie.
And it was so bad, we couldn't help but laugh.

For starters we had to wait to be seated because the tables that didn't have people, had dirty dishes..
The hostess "we didn't expect to be busy". Well you'll know why by the time you're finished reading.

It was about 5 minutes before the waitress came to take our drink order..
Scott ordered a Miller light. Steven says he'll have one too. Scott says to him (in front of the waitress) "don't get draft, it's funky here". The waitress nods in agreement.. The last time we were there we had a waitress tell us that the Bud light draft also tasted funny.

So she brings our drinks and we ordered an appetizer. When she brought the appetizer another round of beer was ordered. They were delivered and all was good. She put the appetizer order in and came back for our meal order.
Steven a tenderloin, Jamie a patty melt, and me a Reuben.
Scott orders Italian beef - "We're out of Italian Beef".
Okay fine.. He'll take a French Dip with Swiss cheese.
Damn a restaurant that serves Italian food, French food, and Swiss food..
Multicultural dining.

and then we sat............................
For about 30 minutes.. Listened to the guy at the next table complain about his meal (that should have been our first red flag to leave).

We didn't see our waitress for that entire 30 minutes.

Finally the hostess walked by and Steven asked her about our appetizer.
Her reply went something like "blah blah blah, that table of 13 over there, blah blah blah".
Having been a waitress or many years, in a fine dining establishment, for a boss that was ALL ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE (thanks mom), it really gets my panties in a bunch to hear about how my service, meal quality, and over all dining experience, is effected by a table of more than 4 people that the restaurant was clearly unequipped to handle.
But anyway, she says she'll check.
She comes back and I swear this is what she said "your appetizers are up, your waitress will bring them".
WHAT???? Did you really take our complaint about not getting our food, walk past our food, look at our food, and come out and tell us someone else is going to bring it?
If you know the establishment has bitten off more than they can chew for the night, and your customers our complaining, grab the food on your way out to tell us it's ready..
Oh wait, that's beyond your job duties of stacking menus and rolling silverware.

So we get through our appetizer with no new issues.
Bring on the food... finally.

It's all looking pretty good.. The only thing that got left off was the Swiss cheese on Scott's French Dip.. She takes the sandwich back to have it added (if my mother was running that place, he probably would have gotten a completely new sandwich).
But she comes back to tell us they are "out of Swiss cheese"..
And again we hear "we were expecting this many people tonight" and she adds "we're short staffed".
I DON'T GIVE A RATS ASS... You do not run out of food when you are nestled between Walmart and County Market..
Finally he gets his sandwich back with provolone (not sure what country that's from).

I take a couple bites of my Reuben.. blah.
So I open my sandwich to take a peak. What do I find????????
BUDDING BEEF... Okay it was actually that step right above Budding Beef.. But it was definitely prepackaged, pressed LUNCH MEAT..
Everyone else tasted the slices of meat, and we are all pretty sure it was actually ham in disguise.
No corned beef at the Irish Restaurant that serves Italian, French, Swiss and Mexican foods.
It took two hours for me to get my 8 dollar Budding Ham sandwich.

We look around and realize we're the last of the evenings diners. We will finish our drinks and be gone.. and then it happens..
That to me says - Get out, we want to go home..
But it didn't stop there..
Well get this O'Learys.. If that giant table of 15 people hadn't caused you to take 2 hours to serve 4 uncomplicated sandwiches, we would have been well on our way a long time ago..

Get it together O'Learys.. It won't take much more than a Dennys to wipe you out..

Thursday, January 5, 2012

They're even rude in small towns


For my Pawnee area "Friends"; my new "Do Not Frequent" establishment: the new jewelry shop on the square. Granted, I went in to ask for an underwriting/donation for our annual Ducks Unlimited Banquet. But I was met with the rudest, most unfriendly person in a retail sales establishment I have ever run across. Me: How's Tricks? Him: Huh? Me: How you doin today? Him: What're you selling that I don't want to buy Me: (thinkin he's joking) My name's Kevin, I'm representing Ducks Unlimi... Him: (interupting) Not interestest. Me: Ok... Him: They got more damn money than anybody Me: (as I turn to leave) I aplogize, thank-you Him: They're the largest organization in the country, and I'm not Interested. Me: I said I was sorry for taking up your time, I live here in Pawnee and just wanted to stop in...Him: (interupting for the second time) somebody else can give them money I'm not.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sears.com third party vendor ElectronicDealz

I'm extremely frustrated that I was sucked in.
I feel completely scammed by this third party merchant situation.

I was confident in using a website that Sears had willingly attached its name to. As Sears has always been a reputable company for high dollar purchases.

So I order something that I thought was Sears endorsed. And I was electronically given a delivery date of 12/20 - 12/22. Still in time for Christmas.
There was no warning that the delivery date might be incorrect..

So here it is Christmas eve, and my order still shows as "processing". It hasn't even been picked or shipped.
Won't my son be disappointed when his sister is opening her "big gift" for the year, and the most exciting thing he'll have under the tree is socks and underwear.

I would have cancelled the order and made the purchase somewhere else. However, the fine print states this third party merchant will charge me a 25% restocking fee.

So, I have to pay for their inadequate logistics process??

When I emailed the company for a status, I received an automated reply about how their staff is working 24/7 to accommodate their high volume of orders.. I really don't care if they are on overtime..
As a buyer, planner, shipper, I am fully aware there are ways to accomplish the seemingly impossible.
The email also threatened that I shan't "escalate" my shipping request as it will only delay the process.

So friends, be warned. Even though you are shopping at sears.com, you're not shopping at Sears.
It appears that a once upstanding chain of retailers, took over the lesser ethics of it's new parent company Kmart.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chelsey - Epic Fail

With the craziness of trying to prepare for the Holidays, Scott and I found ourselves doing some last minute shopping..

I worked until 5, and he had worked until 6. A trip to Sears, Walmart and a couple other smaller stores here in town, we opted to hit the North Steak-n-Shake, rather than come home and figure out something to cook at 8:30pm.

We no longer have a "favorite" waitress at Steak-n-Shake.. There a few there that are FANTASTIC.. But only a few.. Tonight.. We didn't get one of the "few".

Instead we had Chelsey.. I wasn't overly impressed with her demeanor when she arrived at our table to take our drink orders.. But I was tired, and I blew it off..
She didn't improve as the meal progressed.. But it wasn't the service she provided us, that was the problem..
It was the conversation we over heard, and the service she was giving an adjacent table, that was offputing (spell check says that's not a word).

Chelsey and a fellow waitress were wiping down tables in a row of booths. There was a table separating them, so they couldn't whisper to each other.. They should have waited until they could.

There were several exchanges between the two of them.. But only one sticks out in my head.
I heard Chelsey say "I wanted to tell her she shouldn't be rude the person that is about to deliver her food"..
Now we all have fears of immature waitstaff doing the unthinkable to our food. I am sure I'm not the only one that doesn't speak my mind or complain until AFTER my food has been delivered.. Chelsey's conversation just affirmed my worst nightmare.
-Don't piss off your server.

So then... Ha you thought I was done.

The very nice couple seated in the booth next to us, started out behind us. They asked to be moved because they were next to the window and it was chilly.
So they moved next to us, ordered their food and made small talk across the aisle from us. They food was delivered, they held hands and prayed before looking over their order.
Chelsey flew past them and the lady flagged her down to ask why there was nothing on her sandwich. Chelsey's reply was "it's on the bottom, that's just how the dress the sandwiches here", and off she went.
On her next fly by, the lady stopped her again. And this time dismantled the sandwich showing that the garlic mayonnaise along with everything else, was left off of her sandwich.
Chelsey again came back with the most informative answer I've ever heard.
"well that's weird". SAY WHAT????
How about "oh my.. I'm so sorry, let me take that back and have it done right for you"..
Nope.. This poor lady got, well I can get them for you... What did you have on it".
HOLY CRAP.. Worthlessness... You took the order.. YOU should tell HER what they left off.
And if that wasn't enough "do you want the garlic mayonnaise or regular".
And she heard your "don't piss off the waitress" comment.. So I'm guessing she's afraid to push you too hard.

You got your 8% Chelsey.. But I should have spit on it..
and BONUS.. I called the corporate office..

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mary Catherine

Wow.. It's been forever since I've posted.
Mostly because all I can seem to do is complain about the customer service in Danville.
Add that businesses are closing left and right so I can only go to the same crappy service places over and over.

Tonight was different.. Scott and I had a kid-free night and decided to celebrate his new job at AutoZone (I will ensure there will be excellent customer service there).
So we splurged and went to Red Lobster. I think I've posted about Red Lobster in the past.. I must say that even though they are overpriced, they never lack in the customer service department.

Tonight was especially outstanding..

If you don't know us very well, we both have sort of a strange sense of humor.. Sort of abrasive and snarky..

So Mary Catherine comes over and introduces herself and tells us she will be our server.. I apologize in advance for what we are going to put her through.. She laughs and says she's pretty sure she can handle.. Then we joke that she'll be nipping Scotts beer on the way to deliver it because we'll drive her nuts.

We were talking and I made a comment to Scott (no idea what it was). But he said "what are you smoking" and my comeback was "crack" (no folks I do not smoke crack, just our sense of humor). As the conversation happened, Mary Catherine walked up to our table and said "well heck, I'll just hang out here"..
Seems her sense of humor was much like ours (my guess is she is able to adjust to whatever type of customer is put in her section).

So... We both ordered the Ultimate Feast, which includes a half pound of snow crab.
Mary Catherine delivers our food and asks if we need anything else. Scott holds up a crab leg and says "can you dig the meat out of these for me"..

I'm in awe of what happened next.

Mary Catherine disappeared for a split second. And then without even blinking, she pulls up a chair, puts two bowls on the table, slides on some latex gloves and proceeds to crack Scotts crab legs. Every single one of them.. Putting the meat in one bowl, and the shells in another..

Now you would think this would be awkward.. To have someone we don't know sit down at our table and crack crab while we ate.. Not at all..
It was like having a friend join you for dinner..

Since I waited tables for 10 years, I had something in common with her. We talked about how things have changed for wait-staff since I did it 20 years ago..
(the servers at Red Lobster have to split tips with bar tenders and bus boys)..
We talked about what it takes to be an excellent waitress (she agreed with all of my crazy thoughts on the topic). She's young. And generally I find the younger they are, the more they lack the customer service skill. It seems to be a dying art only found in old school wait-staff. But she proved me wrong tonight.

Mary Catherine totally nailed it tonight..
She gave me knew hope for Danville..

So next time you go to Red Lobster, ask for Mary Catherine, and tip her well.

5 out of 5 tips for Mary Catherine.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What do ya wanna know.

So you might have noticed I haven't posted in a while.
Not because I haven't been out and about spending money, because we all know that would be impossible.

The problem is, I'm a creature of habit. And I like being in my comfort zone.
Or maybe that's not it. Maybe it's the lack of options in Danville that leave us heading to our ol' standby places.. Those places we all have that we know we can count on.. For us it's Village Garden. It's close, it's pretty inexpensive, it has a variety. And for the most part the food is decent (not excellent, but decent).
We have our favorite waitresses and everyone knows us there.

I'm getting off track.

Instead of me wandering around trying to figure out what to try and what's worth blogging about. I'm calling you all out.
Is there somewhere you'd like to try, but don't want to risk leaving you ol' standby?
Lemme hear it..

I'll go check it out for you and come back to blog my findings. Quality of food, hospitality, prices, anything you want to know.

This will even work for retail things. Have you passed by a store in town, that you're not sure about? Want to know what they sell, if they're clean, if it's worth the trip?

Bring it on Danville.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Niro's Gyro's

Guyro, Jyrow, Earo, Gearo. No matter how you say it, I love it!!!
I personally pronounce it Earo. I've been told they are lamb or goat, or beef. I really do not care. I'm a meat eater, doesn't matter if it's Mary had a lil lamb, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Bambi, Thumper. I was raised in a big hunting, fishing, frog giggin' family. Bring on the meat.

Tonight Scott is in Richmond Indiana for an overnight work conference. So it was Ryleigh, Dalton and I going to dinner with Andrew to feed later.
We picked Niro's Gyro's.. I believe it's actually Noor's Gyro's now.. But it'll always be Niro's to me..

I have had gyro's at every restaurant in Danville that serves them.. And Niro's is by far the best in town.. Their meat is cooked perfectly, their cucumber sauce is the bomb, their feta is fresh and authentic and their fountain pop is just a little bubblier than the rest.

In addition to the most perfect gyro ever, I also had the most excellent service.
I wish I had gotten the young lady's name.
She was friendly, engaged in the conversation, interested, helpful and seemingly enjoyed her job.

I ordered first. Gyro with feta, fries and a giant fountain pop. I also ordered a "to-go" double gyro for Andrew. She immediately asked if I wanted her to wait until we were almost done, to prepare the "to-go" order. I said "he's 21, he doesn't care if he has to chip ice of it". She laughed and agreed.
Ry and Dalton were being pretty silly. And I looked at her and apologized for their goofiness.. She laughed again and said "oh it's fine, it's just giving me a taste of what I'm in for when mine grow up".
The kids continued to argue over who was copying who because they ordered the same thing. I asked if I could have a shot of tequila with my meal. She smiled and said "it would be great if I could help you out with that".
The kids each ordered 2 cheese dogs and fries. Well Wednesday is a 2 hot dog special. So the wonderful money saving queen said "I'll ring that up as the special, and just add a side of cheese sauce. It'll be less expensive that way". Love her!!! Love anyone that wants to save me a couple bucks.

We sat down and before ya know it she was bringing our food.
She set everything down on the table and then set Andrews order on the bench next to me. She patted the bag and said "there's your to-go order, enjoy your meal", and she was off. I noticed my side order of feta was missing. She was busy waiting on another customer, so I didn't walk up to the counter to ask for it. But before I knew it, she was walking back over to the table, cheese in hand "sorry.. here is your feta".
Technically, this is a fast food place (and the food is fast). The service is so beyond fast food.

The flaws (because you know there is always something with me). The location blows. East Voorhees street really is less than convenient (especially with Voorhees being closed for construction).
The interior is blah. Slightly outdated and not completely spotless.

But if you're tired of the mundane frozen patty or square fish on a bun, head to Niro's (or Noor's, whatever you want to call it). Try a gyro, a Chicago dog even their chicken wings are great..
Because this is my favorite gyro in town, I need you to keep their business up, so we don't lose them.
5 out of 5 tips for freshness, flavor and service.
3 out of 5 tips for cleanliness and decor.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mr. Tips

It's Good Friday and a lazy day.
Yesterday, I was offered (and accepted) a full time permanent position at Presta.
My mom wanted to buy me a hanging basket for the porch as a celebratory gesture (I also got the most beautiful flowers delivered from my friend Beth in Arizona. Thank you Beth).
So. Mom picked me up to go to Danville Gardens so I could pick out my own basket.
She had some clothes in the back seat that we were going to drop off at the Humane Society for donation. The Humane Society was closed, so the clothes are still in her car.. But I almost ended up with a dog anyway. There were two young guys that had found a black and tan miniature dachshound (that can't be spelled right). They pulled into the parking lot to drop him off as we were getting ready to pull out. I really did almost take him home with me..
But I'm getting off track. While were sitting in the parking lot debating about the dog, I got this whiff of something so completely wonderful, I could barely keep my mind straight.. A smell that made drool seep from my mouth. It took everything I had to to leap from the car and follow my nose to where ever this aroma was coming from.. I could almost feel my teeth sink into the juicy meat that had undoubtedly been laying on a bed of coals for hours.
Across the street from the Humane Society is a little place called Mr. Tips.. I've driven past it a million times, noticed it, wondered about it, and blew it off. But today, I could blow it off no longer. Just one problem, mom was driving and she wouldn't turn her Honda into the parking lot.
So off to Danville Gardens we went. Then to the 610 for a celebratory beverage.
No matter what I did, or where I was for the rest of the day, my mouth was still thinking about whatever was cooking over those coals.

When Scott got home from work I said exactly this "my mom made me drink beer and I want ribs". We've talked about the small non-descript building before.. Things like "I think they just cater" or "I don't think it's really open", but we've never attempted to go.. Tonight we did.

If you have ever driven past this building and wondered what was inside.. STOP DRIVING.. AND GO IN..

What an "at home" atmosphere they have.. I felt comfortable and welcome and appreciated. The owner is a Pastor (I'm sorry I didn't get his name)that knows how to throw down some food..
We wanted to try everything on the menu. We ended up with rib tips, 2 giant catfish fillets, a monstrous polish sausage, cole slaw, potato salad and drinks for about $24.00.. Everything is prepared fresh. the sides were very obviously homemade. And the people working couldn't have been friendlier.
We were the only people that were dining it.. But several people came in for take out orders..
Now me being me, I have to point out some flaws (only they're not really flaws). Because they serve their food fresh, you can not just go in and get a slab of ribs. If you want ribs, you have to give them a 6 hour notice. Sucked for me because I wanted ribs. But if you think about it, how excellent is that?? Ribs right from the fiery coals.
Now I grew up on ribs from a well known to Danville travelling company whose name has three letters (you know the one). But I'm willing to bet when I finally get my grubby little hands on some Mr. Tips ribs, and my face is smeared with bbq sauce, my fingers are sticky and my white shirt has red polka dot drippings on it, they will be my new favorite.
I would really hate to see this place not make it. So make sure you go.
5 stars on the Rollins flavor and service scale.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Okay you have to be kidding me..
Last Friday we decided to splurge and go to Garfield's. If you ever get the urge to do that, let it pass.

We stopped going a long time ago. Not because of the service but because of the prices.
Garfield's seriously charges you for every morsel. At most restaurants you get a salad and a side dish with the order of every entree..
Not Garfield's.. Salad - extra, mushrooms for your steak - extra, butter and sour cream for your potato - extra. I'm pretty sure they even have a pedometer on the salt shaker so that they can charge you for every shake.
You would think that with their prices, service would be off the chart.
If so, you would be thinking wrong.

We went, we had Ryleigh and one of her friends and baby Braydon with us.
They sat us at booth with a high chair for Bray at the end. He was hungry, so as we ordered drinks, I said "do you have mac and cheese, and can I have that right now please". Apparently it comes as a meal and what did I want for my side dish. This poor girl apparently has never been around small children. I said "okay throw some broccoli on there". Getting Bray started early meant there was a chance he would be slowing down in time for me to get my food and be able to eat it while it was still hot..

The mac and cheese came - with fries.. HE DOESN'T HAVE ANY TEETH.. And she set it down right in front of him. He's 7 months old!!!! His hand went right for the steaming noodles (don't worry Amy, I caught him before he got there and moved the plate).
So she says she'll bring me the broccoli I originally asked for. I'm pretty sure we got charged for that.

The girls ordered an appetizer (Braydon was finished eating before the appetizer ever got there). It was set down amongst our empty glasses (pet peeve). We didn't get any small plate for the appetizer. So it was everyones hands in one plate (ewwww - germaphope).

A half an hour later our food came. I always get a pepper steak (steak on a bed of green peppers and onions). It comes on a sizzling (like fajitas) platter that has obviously been put in the oven prior to service. Again, she set it down right in front of "all hands" Braydon (I caught him again Amy and moved the plate).
We finally asked for more drinks, got them, and then we never saw her again (until it was time to pay).

Do you know that the maximum amount of time a 7 month old can sit in a wooden high chair without deciding he's had enough, is about an hour.. We were there for two..
So as I held and entertained Braydon to rescue him from his macaroni boredom, Scott had to cut my steak, and prep my potato so that I could eat one handed.

Garfield's.. Either adjust your prices or improve your service.. Although the food is great, both of them suck.

1.25 out of 5 Kerri stars.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Buffalo Wild Wings

I just have to throw out some quick kudo's to Buffalo Wild Wings.
When they first opened I had to go try it out.
It was the worst service in the midwest. There was so much "that's not my job" going on there, it was crazy.
The manager on duty met us at the door and said "someone will seat you in a minute". And then he proceded to stare at us for 5 minutes until a hostess finally came along. He wasn't doing anything. And the place was not at all busy. It was right at their opening time of the day. He could have easily grabbed some menu's and led us to a booth. But apparently it wasn't his job. We were there for an hour and a half FOR LUNCH.
A friend of mine goes there quite a bit I think. On one occassion, he had an empty glass in front of him for more than 10 minutes. His waitress walked by and said "I'm going to take a smoke break, then I'll get you some more soda".

I love wings, and was truly disappointed that I wasn't going to be able to go back because of the crap service. Bad service will stop me in my tracks.

Well I gave it a second (and fifth) chance, and went back a couple of times (times when it wasn't up to me to pick the restaraunt), and saw some improvements. The best service is actually in the bar area. The bartenders there are the bomb.

Most recently I went back yesterday (Scott, myself and three kids) What strides they've made (BWW's, not the kids). We had Ryan as our waiter. He was pretty good.. Not outstanding, but good. He got a decent tip.
But I did watch all of the other employees. It really looks like they've weeded out the "not my job" people.
Great job Buffalo Wild Wings on the service improvements..
And the wings aren't too bad either.

Friday, January 22, 2010

County Market North

All I can say is "what the hell?".

Ryleigh is having a couple friends spend the night. So Scott and I ran to County Market North to get them some snacks.

I happen to LOVE the dill dip you can buy there in a cooler right next to the deli section. So that's where I headed. There was veggie dip and spinach dip, but no dill dip. So I walked over to the deli to see if by chance they had some in the back.
There were four women working. One was cleaning up the hot food counter, several feet from where I stood. One was on the phone in a back office, one was mopping the floor directly in front of where I was standing and the fourth I'm not sure about. She was just carrying a giant ham around. So I think she was just trying to look busy. Both the busy bee and the mop lady did everything in their power to not notice me. The were both within three feet of me and yet I was invisible to them.
It's like when you have a newborn and you and your spouse are both pretending to sleep through the 2am screaming to see who will cave in first.
Finally the "busy" lady sighed and looked at me. "what do you need". In my very friendliest voice ever, I said "you wouldn't happen to have some of that great dill dip hiding back there, would you?" I do have to give her credit, she did actually walk to a back cooler and look. But no luck.

So we went on about our snack shopping and then headed to the check out.
We went to Shajuana's lane. She was finishing up a customer and it didn't look like there would be a wait.
Shajuana had two friends with her (at work) They were sitting at the end of the lane, one of them hiked up on the lane next to Shajuana's, and the other one sitting on the shelf that the bags sit on. Shujauna was going on and on about what "Q" better be getting her for Valentines day, and her friends were talking about how it didn't matter because he was so good looking and his dread locks were amazing.
Unbelievable.. Was there no manager on duty????? I couldn't find one.

So guess what friends. Feel free to come to work with me and keep me company. Apparently, it's okay.

Friday, January 15, 2010

El Toro

Normally we go North for dinner out on Friday nights. Montana Mikes or Steak-n-Shake.
And normally I don't want Mexican food.

But tonight I was not feeling normal and I was craving something spicey.
When you hear people talking about Mexican restaurants in Danville they're talking about Buen Appetito or La Potosina (both good choices).
Not because their food is superior. It is good food. But because their employees are outstanding. I have never had bad service at El Toro.

They are quick, efficient, friendly, fun. ALL OF THEM.
Tonight we had Lucy (I think that was her name. I asked her, but she spoke so softly, I'm not sure I got it right). She brought our chips and salsa and got our drink orders. When she came back with the drinks, she asked if we were ready to order. we were not. She waited the perfect amount of time to come back and check again. Took our order and then said "oh you need more salsa". At the other places, you ALWAYS have to ask for more. I saw her waiting on other tables, yet I really felt like we were her priotity.
When Scott ordered his second Budweiser funky wheat beer, Lucy set it down. As she walked away he picked the bottle up and was showing me how the wheat had built up on the lip of the bottle. Lucy heard him say "look at that". She turned around and asked if everything was okay.
How many times have you complained about something and you know the waitress heard you, but she walked away like she didn't. Not Lucy.

The manager (who started out as a waiter) came by and asked if everything was okay. He asked everyone in the restaurant. But I watched him and he was really taking time with each table and even sat down at one table to chat with the customers.

I had Del Mar Fajitas (salmon, talapia, shrimp, crab). No seafood cooks the same, but everything on my plate was cooked perfectly. Scott had a Santa Anna combo and he said "there is a surprise in every bite".
Ryleigh is the only one that complained. She had chicken strips and fries, and was in "complain about everything" mode.

Try as I might, the only complaint I have for the El Toro staff is that on 2 occassions they have refused to give me a "to go" cup for my leftover margarita.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ducks Quack

My friend Susan Warrick sent this to me. I had to share.
Thank you Susan.

Ducks Quack - Eagles Soar

No one can make you serve customers well....that's because great service is a choice.
Harvey Mackay tells a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point.

He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey.

He handed my friend a laminated card and said: 'I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk I'd like you to read my mission statement.'

Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said: Wally's Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment....

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, 'Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.' My friend said jokingly, 'No, I'd prefer a soft drink.' Wally smiled and said, 'No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice.' Almost stuttering, Harvey said, 'I'll take a Diet Coke.'

Handing him his drink, Wally said, 'If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today..'

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card, 'These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio.'

And as if that weren't enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred to leave him with his own thoughts.

'Tell me, Wally,' my amazed friend asked the driver, 'have you always served customers like this?'

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. 'No not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day.

He had just written a book called You'll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, 'Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.'

'That hit me right between the eyes,' said Wally. 'Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers.. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.'

'I take it that has paid off for you,' Harvey said.

'It sure has,' Wally replied. 'My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.'

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.
How about us? Smile and the whole world smiles with you....The ball is in our hands!

A man reaps what he sows. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up... let us do good to all people.

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gas station

Well now that I have a new job on the outskirts of Danville, and only a 30 minute lunch, there aren't many places I can go over lunch and still get back in time.

I've started frequenting the gas station at the four way stop by Blue Cross Blue Shield. I honestly have not paid attention to name.

Yesterday the cashier was great. She was super friendly and outgoing. Very pleasant. I hate to say she was Indiana because I'm not sure that's appropriate. But if you go in there, look for an olive skinned young girl.

Today, not so lucky. It was a blonde. I wandered around the place waiting for something to jump out at me that I was interested in eating (I settled on a cup of Ramen). I was getting ready to head to the register and noticed the blonde was on the phone. So I kept wandering (trying not be rude while she was chatting). I wandered until I couldn't wander any longer or I'd be late getting back to work.

So I walked to the register. She continued to talk on the phone (it was not her manager or anyone else that was business related). She rang up my noodles and soda as she talked and then she looked at me. That's right. She looked at me. Like she was sending my total telepathically. Finally, after I didn't hand her any money, she moved her mouth away from the phone (keeping her ear to the earpiece) and in an annoyed voice, gave me my total. She took my money, gave me my change, closed her drawer and CONTINUED HER CONVERSATION. No "good bye" no "have a nice day" NOTHING.

I'll go back and try again. Before now, I had never been into that gas station. So I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she was just having a bad day.

I do recommend the gas station. They have a good variety of lunch stuff, somewhere to sit, and fountain pop (i'm sold). And like I said, I had excellent service yesterday. I'm not sure if the olive skinned young lady was physically attractive or not, but her personality made her beautiful.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Overboard and Over bored

First of all I need to say this. I love shoes. Quality isn't the issue, quantity is. I have more shoes than I know what to do with.
But my winter favorites are my lined Croc's. I have 2 pair and I live in them.

Because I was starting a new job that required business casual dress, and occasionally steel toed boots, the Croc must be reserved for weekends.
A perfect excuse to buy new shoes. And of course I need brown and black, so a perfect excuse to buy TWO new pairs of shoes. Sounded good.

Back to my point. I went to Payless (on Gilbert).
Now I haven't been told this, but I'm going to guess that Payless Corporate has a "no sit" policy for their employees.
When I pulled into the lot, I noticed I was the only car and very likely the only customer (I was right). I didn't get both of my Croc covered feet in the door before this girl says "What are we looking for today?" Hmmm.. I didn't know "WE" were looking for anything. But I politely said "I'm just browsing, thanks" and she said "okay, let me know what I can help you with". I really wanted to say "okay now hush". But I smiled and headed for the size 8's..
So I'm just standing in front of them scanning the selections.
I pull a black loafer looking shoe out of a box and inspect it. I hear on my right "you finding everything okay". I look, and she's poking her head around the end of the row.. "Yeah, thanks, I'm fine". I put the shoe on and look down at it. I hear on my left "Doing okay?" ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I swear Scotty from Star Trek beamed her instantly from one end of the aisle to the other in a half a second.
I wanted to say "look Genie, get back in your bottle, you're freaking me out".

Is there such thing as too much attention in a shoe store? Uh yes!!
But apparently she is so bored with tucking shoe laces into shoes, she is thrilled to have an actual human to play with. Me, not so much. They day hadn't gone as perfectly as I had anticipated and I was more than anything, shoe shopping while I waited on Andrew to call for a ride home from work. Bonding with the shoe lately was about the last thing I was in the mood for.

I really don't blame this woman one bit.. She really was friendly and wanted to help (even though I was annoyed).. But I'm almost positive Payless has the "no sit" policy I was talking about. And very likely they have surveillance cameras. And because there are no customers to watch, corporate doesn't have anything to do but watch the employees dance around this store trying to look busy. But you can only rearrange shoes for so long.

So Dear Payless Corporate,
Please buy you employees a computer so that they can play solitaire or surf the net, and ignore me..

And Dear Payless Employees,
In the mean time buy a netbook or one of those fancy phones with internet, or even a book. Stash whichever one of those you buy in a shoe box and aim it away from the surveillance camera. You can read, Facebook, blog.. Whatever.. Just carry the box around with you. Or even put it on the shelf and stand in front of it.
Whatever it takes to keep you from shimmering in when I'm not expecting you.

I would like to reiterate. I don't think this is employee driven. Corporate has to be controlling this. And I understand the business side. If they give their employees an inch, they'll take a mile.
But isn't there a happy medium style solution?

Monday, December 28, 2009


Well surprisingly we haven't been out much over the Christmas holiday.
So I'm going to hit on a previous experience.

Rachel at Steak-n-Shake North. She's about as much fun as you can have in fast food.
My family tends to be slightly sarcastic, just about all of the time.. You'll need to keep this in mind to appreciate Rachel.

Scott and I went to S-n-S on our usual Friday "date" night. The hostess sat us down and we were continuing a conversation we had started in the car. A conversation about a 14 year old girl we had heard about, that had her hair dyed green or purple or something. Her nose was pierced, belly button and who knows what else. And as our waitress came to the table I said "she's a freak". The waitress smiled and said "no I'm Rachel". This set the tone for the rest of the night. She is young, so we described the afore mentioned 14 year old and Rachel said "she's a freak". Our service was great. Food came in a timely fashion. Drinks were never empty. Rachel even offered me a "takehomeasak-cup" for my diet coke.
There was one point where we didn't see Rachel, but we needed some ketchup or something. We decided we would call the S-n-S number and ask for her. When she answered we would say "hey did your shift end?". By the time we got the phone ready to dial, she appeared. I told her of my plan and she laughed and said "oh man, that would have been great".
So I guess the service was really just "okay". But the fact that Rachel felt us out to see what our personalities were, and adapted her service technique to that, made her excellent.
A couple weeks later we were back. I saw Rachel, but didn't ask for her. After we were seated she was at the table across the isle from us with a bus tub. The tub slipped while she was wiping the table. It didn't fall, but the dishes inside clanged. I said (so she could hear me) "Oh that would have been funny as hell".
She turned to look at me (I was smiling) and said "Hey, that was mean. But if I had dropped them, it would have been in your lap. I love when you guys come in. You're always in a good mood and that puts me in a good mood".
The thing is.. We're NOT always in a good mood. But teasing her and knowing that she enjoys it, puts us in a good mood. It makes us smile, to make her smile.
So next time you're at Steak-n-Shake North, ask for Rachel.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I think I've figured out the problem with customer service. It's the customer.
I go on and on about the customer service in the Danville area. Some times it's excellent. But most of the time I'm complaining.

But in the defense of service providers, I understand.

The general morale in Danville is low (although I think it's improving). Is it possible that the economy is the problem? Probably. But we're all broke. So what gives one broke person the right to be grouchier than the other broke person.

When I am out and about, I watch people. And yes I even ear hustle.

Today I was at Big R. The customer service there was really good. I wouldn't go with "excellent", but it was above average.

But the people.. The last minute shoppers, stressing because they've waited until the last minute. And now they're out pillaging for something to make their loved ones happy on Christmas morning. Paying more than they should for second rate gifts because they've waited too long to get what their spouse or child REALLY wants. Those people have obviously gotten up on the wrong side of the bed. They are rude, mean, grouchy, hateful and in a hurry to get to the next store in hopes there will be another last minute gift that will impress the gift receiver even more.

I was crashed into by 2 carts whose drivers were so engrossed in trying to figure out what to buy, they never even saw me. And what is with the people that stand on one side of the isle and look at things across the isle. Then get ticked off because you walk in front of them..
People refuse to move and allow you to pass. Or they run into someone they know, and start a conversation. Then get mad at someone trying to get by, because they're interupting their conversation.

And just what the heck happened to saying "excuse me" when you find yourself in the path of another customer? It's two words. And I don't even care if you say it with a friendly tone. JUST SAY IT.

Then they get up to the check out and complain to the cashier about prices or lack of merchendise, like it's her fault. Like this poor girl is responsible for ordering, stocking shelves, and pricing. Today I saw a man get nasty with a cashier because the ELECTRONIC MACHINE THAT TALKS TO HIS CREDIT CARD COMPANY DIRECTLY, didn't like his credit card. Again, is this her fault?? PAY YOUR BILL.

After Big R, I went to Aldi's. Aldi's has never been a warm and fuzzy place to shop. But Andrew is getting groceries from Santa and I went to Aldi's to stock up on Ramen and Macaroni.
As always, there was only one checker. As I watched the line start to form and extend clear back through frozen foods, I could feel the tension mount.
People in this town never talk to strangers. If you're standing in line, people will dig through their purse, grab a magazine, read the labels on their food.. Anything to avoid eye contact and/or conversation with the stranger standing in line with them. Unless of course they want to complain. Then all of sudden, they're best buddies. The Aldi's line was buzzing with strangers complaining to each other about how there was only one checker and they were in a hurry. THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR WAITING UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE.
And when it's their turn, they take it out on the poor girl just doing her job.

So even if I didn't find excellent customer service today, Kudos to the checkers that didn't reach across the counters and slap the Christmas snot out of these rude ass people that can only blame themselves for their stress.

And no this does not mean customer service providers are safe from future posts in the Tip Jar.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Here, there and everywhere.

I did a ton of Christmas shopping today in Champaign and Danville and here is what I've found... Customer service is better in Champaign.
Let's see, where all did I go..
First stop, Sam's (Champaign). The ladies at the sample stations where okay. Nothing to write home about.. Although I did get my arse chewed for taking a sample off of a a tray not designated for sample taking. My bad.. It looked like a sample to me, and there were like 5 women just staring at it like they wanted it, so I took it. But apparently it was trash and the lady seriously made me put it back. I felt like a little kid that reached into the candy jar without permission. And Sams has someone standing at the exit door. Their job is to make sure you have the same number of items in your cart that your receipt says you should have. Because I guess you could grab a bunch of stuff in the 50 feet you walk from the check out lane to the exit door. In any case, I've never had them actually COUNT my items. They just mark my receipt with their yellow highlighter. But they do it in a very friendly way.

Then off to Gordmans. Nothing special there. No one went above and beyond. But it was adequate.

Lunch at Chili's. Service there was outstanding. Our waiter was Chris, and he was perfect!! Not overbearing, but attentive enough to get a great tip.

Target. Eh. Can't complain. Friendly but nothing above and beyond.

Back to Danville. Ran to the Vermilion County Health Department for H1N1 vaccines. Everyone there was super friendly, making it a pleasant experience to get a shot. They were all joking and in good moods. I even overheard someone say "is it really almost time to go home? Time flies when you're having fun". Way to go VCHD staff!!!

Then took the kids to Subway on Main street (for not crying when they got their shots, even though they're 20 and 12). Boo to Subway. Three of the most unfriendly guys I've ever let make me a sandwich.

Last stop Elder Beerman. I got a couple clothing items but ended up paying at the cosmetic counter. Candice was my cashier and another young lady was working with her. They were excellent. I had two different coupons with me. One for $10 off entire purchace, and one for 20% off. They took the time to figure out which coupon was going to save me the most money. They were having a conversation about the new "make your butt look better" shoes, and made it a point to include me in the conversation. It relaxed me, and made me feel less apprehensive about the amount of money I had spent throughout the day.. I wanted to pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and just hang out with them. Nice job ladies.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Arby's North

Usually I complain about Arby's North. They had a crew member there that apparently was born mute. When you walked up to the counter she would look at you over the register like you where infected with some flesh eating bacteria, and if she dared speak to you, she might catch it. I think they got rid of her.

So tonight I had some running around to do. Whilst doing said running around the lad called. He wanted to borrow $5.00 (as always). I NEVER carry cash. But I could tell from his tone and the conversation that he was looking for money to buy himself some dinner (he lives by himself and doesn't have so much as a can opener).

I took the bait (I always do) and offered to run him out a sandwich. He picked Arby's, so I swung into the drive thru..
As always the speaker blared at me "would you like to try one of our combinations?".
Why yes I would "Can I have a number 20 with curly fries and a mountain dew please".
Friendly voice at the other end of the speaker says "you sure can, please pull to the window".
I looked at her name tag but I guess I'm getting old, because now I forget.. I think it was Kayla or Kyla.
She was the most pleasant teenager I've encountered this week.
It wasn't a fake friendly. I really think she was just a friendly girl.
Since Andrew doesn't have a lot of staples (not the kind that hold paper together), I wasn't sure if he had condiments. So I asked "can you please put a little bit of every kind of sauce you own, and some salt and pepper in there?"
Again with the friendly "absolutely".
I could see her packing my bag in the window. She opened the window again and handed me the mountain dew and then the sack "All your sauces, salt, pepper and a straw are in the bag". I said "thank you" and she said "you're very welcome and you have a great night".
Big kudos to Arby's North.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Friday nights are "date night" at our house.. Ryleigh usually goes to the mall with her friends and Scott and I go to dinner, just the two of us.

Tonight we went to Steak-n-Shake North. Our waitress' name was Chelsey. She was okay. No major complaints with her. Okay maybe a couple, but nothing over the top.


As soon as we were seated Kim walked by and said "hi guys, someone will be right with you". She was not our waitress, I don't think she's ever been our waitress there. But she acknowledged us anyway. I can say, I don't think I've ever had that happen.
When I finished my sandwich, I scooted my empty plate to the side of the table. Moments later Kim walked by, looked at my plate, stopped and said "How was everything for you tonight?" And she waited for the answer.
Again............. This was not our waitress.
It really felt like she liked her job and was glad we were there.
Way to go Kim!!!

Waitstaff pet peeves

I am fully aware the not all customers are as great as me. Some customers are down right rude. But that's not what this blog is about.

There are things that waitstaff do that just drive me crazy.
1) calling me by a pet name like honey or babe and the worst one I've been called is sweetie. Pet names are for loved ones. I don't know about any of you, but I am not in love with any of my waitresses. You can call me ma'am or miss or ask me my name and call me that. But don't call me sweetie.
2) Asking me if I need more to drink. If my glass is more than half empty, yes I want some more to drink. Don't ask me, just bring it.
3) Not clearing empty dishes. Don't come ask me if I need anything and walk away empty handed when there are empty dishes on my table (O'Learys is horrible about this). Do they think I'm going to leave faster if I have to look at a half eaten tenderloin?
4) Not letting me know if there is a delay in my food. I get that places get busy and service may be slow. Just let me know, I get it. Don't leave me hanging.
5) Bringing my bill while I'm still chewing. This will likely prevent me from ordering dessert because they've already given me my total.
6) Not checking on me enough.
7) Checking on me too much.
8) Telling my table of two, that they're "sorry they didn't bring my drink sooner, but there is a large party that's keeping them busy". So the large party is more important than me??? Nice.
9) A waitress that says "I'm going on break, I'll come check on you when I get back". Uh hello??? unacceptable.
10) Complaining about her feet hurting or being tired or any other thing that idicates they don't like their job.
11) THE WORST OF ALL.. Picking up my money and saying "Did you need change back". Hell yeah I need change back.. Don't assume I'm going to tip you..

I actually wrote on the back of a receipt once "i'm sorry you hate your job".

What are your pet peeves???

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Phillips 66 - North Vermilion.

One of my favorite gas stations in town.
I call it the Curry gas station because it smells like curry as soon as you walk in.
I hate to label and say they're Indians (not the "how" kind that ate dinner with the pilgrims), but I believe they're Indians. Why does this matter?? It doesn't, except they are obviously of a different culture than my own. And yet every time I go in, they make it a point to acknowledge MY culture. The week before Thanksgiving they told me to have a great Thanksgiving, every time I went in. Now they're asking me if I'm ready for Christmas. I love this about them. This makes me want to learn about their culture, so I can do the same.

They know their "regulars" and make it a point to personalize the conversation.
They are all quick with a smile. And they love to tease. Scott broke his foot working on the Extreme Makeover home in Philo. So he had to go in on crutches a couple times. He told the guys at the gas station I kicked him. They teased us for weeks about this.

I have been known to drive out of my way to get my 32 ounces of diet coke there.
Tonight I stopped in before my Life Skills class. The guy in front of me didn't have enough money for his cigarillos. He said to the man working "you know I'm good for it, I'll pay you back". And the man agreed, handed him his cigarillos, and off he went.

No they don't have everything the newer, bigger gas stations have. And no, I don't recommend buying any dated food there (the yogurt and milk are always out of date).
But if it's customer service you're looking for, Stop in to Phillips 66.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I wish I could give you an alternative to shopping at the local K-mart. Unfortunately, there really isn't one.. Unless you love Wal-Mart (which I don't).
There just isn't somewhere that you can go get a prescription filled, a gallon of milk, Christmas decorations, pizza and panty liners all in one stop shopping. Unless you love Wal-Mart (did I mention that I do not).

So I go to K-Mart today more than anything to get out of the house.. But I also needed a couple small things..

First of all, HAVE YOU BEEN TO K-MART LATELY??? This has got to be one of the dirtiest stores in town.. What's up with that.. I beg of you to not wait until you're at K-Mart to have to pee. You need a hazmat suit to use that bathroom.
I see a lot of red vests just standing around.. My experience at Heatcraft taught me that - if you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean. Hand one of these red vested folks a mop..
But not the issue.

I'm pretty sure no K-Mart employee likes their job.. This conversation has happened to me more than once at the K-Mart check out.
Checker: How are you?
Me: I'm fine, how are you? (I ask out of politeness, not because I really care).
Checker: Tired. I'll be a whole letter better when I get out of here.

I don't know about you, but what I heard was "I hate my job, I don't want to ring your crap up or take your money, and I'll be glad when I see you walking out the door because it is a complete pain in the ass to stand in one spot and push buttons".

Then as I passed the CUSTOMER SERVICE DESK, a red vested employee behind the counter starts complaining to a manager about 20 feet from her, about how bad her head hurts, she wants to go home, there should have already been someone there to relieve her. blah blah blah blah..

So here is my question.. When you're applying for and/or accepting a job at K-Mart, do you not understand that you will have to deal with the public?? And if you know you're the type of person that doesn't do well dealing with the public(and some of us don't), DON'T ACCEPT THE JOB. It's not rocket science.. Go find yourself a job in a cubicle and stop making me feel like it's a crime to shop there.

So how does K-Mart get away with a dirty store and lackluster employees?? BECAUSE THERE IS NOWHERE ELSE TO GO....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Boo to McDonalds North (not usually)..
Ryleigh and I have Bethlehem live practice tonight, so I ran her through the drive through for her usual #10.

Speaker: Would you like to try an iced coffee?
Me: No thank you, I'll have a number 10 with sweet tea please.


Speaker: Welcome to McDonalds can I take your order.
Me: Sure, I'd like a number 10 with a sweet tea, again.

Pulled to the first window and pay.
Pulled to the second window. A very tall young man opens the window, turns over his shoulder as he hands me Ryleigh's sweet tea, and finishes a conversation (not big mac related) with his co-worker/friend. He then hands me the bag of food and closes the window. NOT A WORD TO ME.
Not a "here ya go" or a "have a nice night" or even a "thank you".. NOTHING.. He barely acknowledged my existance.

I would like to add a little positive.. When Danae Butler's daughter Kierra is working, the service is always top notch. Way to go Kierra.. Be a good role model for you co-workers, they need it.


Donna has been waiting tables at Montana Mikes, since it opened. Love this woman.
Several months ago, Montana Mikes was offering some new salads. There were pictures on the menu and they all looked amazing.. One of the salads came with a hard boiled egg.. I don't know about you, but I LOVE hard boiled egg on my salad. The problem was, I didn't want that particular salad. So I asked Donna for a side salad and jokingly said "can I get some of that hard boiled egg on that?". Low and behold when I got my salad, there was the egg.
That's not the best part..
Over this past weekend, we decided we had had too much poultry and needed some red meat. So off to Montana Mikes we went.. As always, we asked for a table in Donna's section.
I ordered my usual.. Steak (so rare, you would be grossed out to watch me eat it), baked potato and a side salad (they have discontinued the special salads so I didn't ask for egg). When Donna brought our salads, she set them all down in front of us. And then she set a small dish next to me with a sliced hard boiled egg in it. She said "I brought my lunch today, and I happened to bring an egg". She remembered from months ago that I liked egg and gave me hers.
To top it off, my steak was perfectly raw. Come to find out, when she puts my order in, she makes sure the cooks know how rare I really want my steak.
This is only an example of what a great waitress Donna has been over the years. And a prime example of customer service excellence. So go to Montana Mikes and ask for Donna.. Tell her the raw steak, egg lady sent you.
Stay tuned for some not so excellent moments at Mikes.

What's in the Jar

So here we go.. If you are one of my Facebook friends, you know that I frequently post about customer service in the Danville area..
I've become very frustrated with this new generation of customer service providers, and their sense of entitlement. Whether it's cashiers, wait staff or call center employees, they seem to expect you to be thankful that they managed to drag their ass out of bed and in to work so that you have somewhere to go to purchase something or eat something. Thankful that you are allowed the privilege to walk into their establishment and hand them money for a service offered at their gas station, store or restaurant.
What they fail to understand is that without a customer, their establishment wouldn't run and their paycheck wouldn't be cut.

Why do I think I'm qualified to write this blog?? I'm the customer. And I also spent 10 years as a banquet waitress.
I worked for the greatest General Manager ever (who also happens to be my mother, Bev). She ran the Ramada back when the Ramada was considered an upscale hotel/restaurant. She demanded customer service excellence. It wasn't beyond her to pull any one of her staff aside and say "I don't care what kind of day you're having, you're going to go out there and smile for my customer and make sure they have the most enjoyable meal or hotel stay ever, or you're going to go home".
Patrons included both Dick and Jerry Van Dyke, Red Skelton, Gene Hackman, Marie Osmond and every day folks like me and you.. It didn't matter if you had some claim to fame, or if you were a Danville native on a budget, everyone was treated the same.
You don't find that now.. When you walk into a store or restaurant, you are judged on appearance and sized up on whether you're going to be a big spender or a good tipper. This judgement determines the level of service you will be getting.

So what is the goal of The Tip Jar?? To tell you about my experiences as a customer in Danville, both good and bad. Giving you a chance to choose a gas station, store or restaurant ahead of time, where you can expect to be appreciated as a paying or tipping customer.