Monday, March 25, 2013

Time Thief: Waitress

Breakfast service bad
The waitress gave my breakfast to another customer.

When I arrived at the restaurant I was pleased to see that it was almost empty. I ordered my breakfast with the expectation that I would be able to get to the presentation room early. I was speaking this morning and preferred to arrive in the room early.

While reading the paper and waiting for my breakfast I noticed a group of ten arriving. I was happy that I had arrived before them. My waitress took their orders. This was about 12 minutes after I had placed my order. I wondered where my breakfast was.

Five minutes later the waitress started delivering meals to the group of ten. She had one plate that none of them had ordered so she asked, “Who ordered the scrambled eggs with sausage?’ That was my order. I tried to catch her attention. One of the diners who had just sat down said, “I’ll take that”, and she gave my breakfast to him.

As she walked away from the table she noticed me and must have realized her mistake. She avoided looking at me and rushed into the kitchen.

About six minutes later she delivered my breakfast without saying a thing. She didn’t apologize or acknowledge her mistake.

Pressed for time I gulped down my breakfast instead of enjoying it leisurely. It tasted good but it was hard to enjoy while shoveling things down and feeling anxious about getting to the presentation room.

I finished and signed the bill to my room.

I was in a hurry to leave the restaurant but made a point of catching the attention of the waitress before I left.  I spoke to her quietly.

“I didn’t give you a tip.”
“That’s okay”, she replied.
“I want you to know why. You gave my breakfast away.”
“I’m sorry.” Her first and only apology. She sounded defensive not apologetic.
She continued, “I fixed it.”

I don’t know why she thought she fixed it.

She hadn’t apologized until I went out of my way to point out the slight. She didn’t keep me informed of the mistake and status. She didn’t offer me a discounted or free breakfast.

So how had she fixed it? Perhaps she screamed at the cook.

I made the effort to arrive early for breakfast but her mistake negated my planning.

There were many things she could have done to fix it – but she didn’t.

Her response might not have been entirely her fault. Perhaps the owners didn’t allow her to fix it.

I won’t go to that hotel again.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

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