Plain Bad Business
Dec 2003 Archive
My boss is not really a bad boss and she is a generally nice
person, which is why I think I was so shocked at the rudeness that she portrayed
this past Christmas. We have about 25 people that work in our office and
during the holidays many of my co-workers like to hand out small presents.
Usually just something small that only cost a few dollars or that they made, and
usually just the female workers do it. It is also one of those things
where you either do it for everyone or nobody at all because it would be
rude to pass out gifts in front of everybody but them leave some people out.
Or at least this is what I thought. Because I am still in school and
cannot really afford to buy every person in the office something, I usually just
make cookies and hand them out to everyone.
So, one day right before we got off for Christmas, my boss
calls me into her office to tell me something work related. As we are
talking she is writing on boxes of chocolate covered cherries (the ones that
cost about a dollar from the drug store) "to: someone in our
office" and "from: my boss." It is obvious that this is
what she is passing out as her present this year. The year before she
handed out earrings to the girls and something else to the guys. I made
sure to tell her thank you, and I also wrote thank you notes to
everyone who had given my something, including her. But this year, even
though she had been writing on the boxes right in front of me and it was
obvious what she was doing, I never received anything from her! I watched
her pass them out to other people in the office but she did not include me in
this. It really offended me, not that I really even wanted to candy, but
for the pure fact that I thought it was just very rude of her.
This past New Years our group of friends decided to go out to
eat before we went out that night. We choose a Mexican restaurant that we often
go to for birthdays and different occasions because we all like the food, the
prices and the service is usually great. We knew that because it was New Years
Eve the workers probably hated being there, so my friends and I were sympathetic
to that. So when things started off badly, we just let it go. But they only got
worse as the night went on.
First of all, we were never given menus. Never. Isn't that
standard practice at restaurants to seat you and give you menus? The only reason
we finally got them, 20 minutes or maybe more into being there, was because one
of my friends went and got them for us. A few of our friends had gotten there
first and were seated but when the rest of our group arrived we were a few seats
short. This wasn't the restaurants fault, but they made no offer to help arrange
it so we would have enough seats. We had to go ask other people if we could have
their empty chairs and rearrange our table to fit everyone.
Our waiter did finally take our drink orders ("oh yeah,
did ya'll want something to drink?") but never once throughout the entire
night did he refill ANY of our drinks for the rest of the night. I had a water
in addition to an alcoholic beverage. When he brought my alcoholic beverage out
it was not what I ordered and he never offered to fix me the correct drink nor
did he apologize for bringing me the wrong drink. We ended up having to go to
the bar to even get drinks because he hardly ever came by our table to check on
us and when we did order drinks from him it took almost 30 minutes to get it to
us. Might I also add that this restaurant was not at all crowded, so there
really was no excuse for the waiter's slowness. He might have had one other
table besides ours.
When our waiter brought out our food, two of the entrees were
missing. Ten minutes later one of them came out. He didn't even realize that
there was one still missing. He had to ask my friend what she ordered and then
go look to see if they had made it. She had ordered some kind of a salad with
chicken on it. When he brought it out it had steak on it. They did replace this
right away (another waiter, not ours, actually did this), yet we still received
no apology from our waiter for ANY of this.
I had ordered just queso to dip tortilla chips in because I
wasn't that hungry. I did get my queso on time with the rest of the food, but no
tortilla chips. I finally did get them later but I had to ask for them.
We were all very appalled at this waiter's actions and
attitudes. We understood that working on a holiday is not fun at all, but at
least try to make the best of it if you have to and don't be rude to your
customers-especially if they are making the decision on how much to tip you!
I had left a job from hell and was interviewing with a nanny
agency. The owner of the agency arranged to interview me at a local bagel shop
(I don't remember why she chose that location). She was late to the interview.
Then she spent the entire interview talking about an illness she had had in high
school. Yes, really. She also took the time to tell me that some babies sleep
better on their stomachs. (For the uninitiated, this is linked with a higher
risk of dying of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and so daycare staff are
FORBIDDEN to put babies to sleep on their tummies--but my answer was too "close-minded.")
The interview ended. I never heard from the woman again. I can't say I was
sorry. That was, to date, the most bizarre job interview I've ever had.
I'm not really sure if this is just rude to me or if others
see it that way too. In my office we have a supply cabinet in the copy
room. It is never locked and all employees have the right to go into it
and get whatever supplies they might need at any time. It has everything
our employees might need and if there is something that someone needs
but is not in there, then there is a pad to write down your request on.
I work in a cubicle, so my work space is not very private, but
when I have things in my drawers or even just sitting on top of my desk
space I do not expect them to be messed with or picked up by others. To
me, this is just a common courtesy. Even though part of my job is to
go into everyone's cubicle so I can bring them their mail and empty their
outboxes, I would never touch anything else in their workspace.
So, that being said, when I leave in the afternoons I always
felt comfortable just leaving things on my desk. Not anything personal,
just pads or post-its or pens, things of that nature. However, one morning
I came in and a brand new post-its pad that I had taken from the supply
cabinet the day before was not on my desk where I had left it. I thought
maybe I misplaced it, so I just went to get another one. That afternoon I
left it on my desk and the next morning, again, it was gone! It wasn't the
fact that I needed it that badly or that it was a huge deal, but if someone in
the office needed a pad they could have just gone into the supply cabinet to get
it, like I did. I found it extremely rude that someone would just take it
off my desk.
I also have workers that will just walk into my cubicle,
without saying anything to me, take one of my pens and a piece of paper from
somewhere one my desk, use my desk to write something on it and then leave.
Once again, not a big deal if they would just ask. Also, there have been
times where I was on the phone, with a personal call, and co-workers have done
this. I understand that I can't expect total privacy when working in a
cubicle, but I just think there are some boundaries that should remain uncrossed
out of respect for others.
My mother and decided to have lunch at a very well known
chain restaurant. We sat down, and the waitress eventually came to take our
order. She obviously didn't speak English very well, and there were some
communications issues throughout the order. It was completely wrong when she
repeated it back to us, and she didn't even have a notepad with her to write it
down on. It was not a big surprise, therefore, when we received the wrong meals.
No big deal, we'd just ask her to change them when she came by. But she never
did. We could see her through the kitchen door, talking to the chef the whole
time. We were there for maybe an hour (we finally just gave up and ate what was
in front of us), and not once did she come out of the kitchen, not even to give
us our bill. We finally had to ask the cashier, whom we hoped would be more
helpful. Nope. We told her about the wrong order (she didn't even give us a
discount), and when we told her about the atrocious service, she just rolled her
eyes and said, "Well, what do you expect?" Needless to say, we won't
be eating there anymore...
My husband Simon & his friend Rob went to a Chinese
restaurant for lunch one day. This restaurant they went to is one they have been
to many times, but since this incident my husband has not been back. They had
just finished eating & Richard's water glass was low on water. The waitress
came by & asked him something (my husband has no idea what she said), but
Rob was pretty sure she wanted to know if he wanted more water. He said,
"yes" and she left to go to a table nearby. Simon isn't sure what she
did @ that table, but he said she may have just been cleaning it up after some
customers left. Well, after she finished with that, she moved on to another
table. Customers had just left this table also & she picked up a glass that
was half full of water (obviously someone had been drinking out of it). She then
brought it over to Rob & Simon's table & dumped the remaining contents
into Rob's glass. Obviously, Rob & Simon were a little stunned &, of
course, Rob did not drink the rest of his water. They left shortly after this.
Racism is the ugliest form of rudeness, but many racists are
subtle enough to mask their prejudices to some degree. Not the reception venue
manager of a wedding I was at recently, of two dear friends of mine who are
Indigenous Australians. The manager took one look at the flow of happy
Aboriginal guests entering and offered to remove the cutlery from the tables as
these guests wouldn't know how to use them. TO THE BRIDAL PARTY'S FACES. The
fact that the bride and groom are both top notch barristers only underlined this
person's ignorance. I give them credit for staying but myself credit for having
this man fired. Seems my complaint was the last straw. It takes more to restore
people's hurt feelings though, and as etiquette is essentially about regard for
others, I took this to heart and hope Miss Jeanne will send the manager to
Etiquette Hell Dimension 'Rudeness'.
I met my boyfriend (now of 6 years) in high school. We were
both shy and never really talked much. At the time he was friends with a girl
we'll call "Brooke". He was VERY overweight and Brooke was an
attractive girl and he had a huge crush on her. Well she was the kind of girl
who HAD to have a BF at all times. She would go out with a guy it would break
off then she would go to my BF "Randy", with a sob story about how
he's her only friend and she's so sorry and they needed to get together, which
he would be ecstatic over, then when she would find someone else she'd dump him
again (He to this DAY refuses to say bad things about her, even though he admits
she's evil and conniving. All that I know I got from friends and Brooke's little
brother.) Her little brother finally got fed up with how she was treating Randy
and informed him of what she was doing. He was heartbroken. Randy and I had
started talking earlier and become good friends and I started falling for him.
But he was in a relationship and I respected that. I went out of my way to
befriend Brooke, as I knew her from my high school job. I invited her to go
shopping with me (Where all she did was bad mouth Randy and flirt with guys we
came across), I took her on errands when her car broke down, etc.
After Brooke's brother talked to Randy, I let it sit for
awhile. (God forbid I become the rebound). Long story short Randy and I got
together and have been blissfully happy. However Brooke is irritated, that she
no longer controls him. (This again is something that I've heard from mutual
friends.) She made it a point to send me nasty IMs and emails and when I had her
blocked, she looked up my number and called me from there, saying that I didn't
deserve him and I was a slut. (Just for the record, Randy is the ONLY guy I've
ever been with, and I'm happy to keep it that way.) Then she said that I was
always saying nasty things about her, which I NEVER did, and when I asked what
she was talking about she said "I don't want to mention any names."
She then would go on to tell me about Randy's lack of prowess in the bedroom.
She would call Randy up and tell him that I said all these horrible things about
him and that she saw me coming out of hotel rooms with other guys, none of which
were true, and luckily he didn't believe any of them. She kept calling him, and
showing up at his church, and when Randy would go out with her brother (They
were still good friends) she would invite herself along, making sure to bad
mouth me all along the way.
Recently though I had gotten a new job, and was excited to
cash my first check. As the bank the check was drawn on was in the same plaza as
my work place I figured I'd just cash it there, get something to eat and then
deposit the rest at my bank. I'm talking to Randy on the phone, signing my
check, and when I get to the teller my face goes white as it's no one less than
Brooke. I had gone out of my way to avoid her, not because I was scared or
anything, but because I'm not one for drama. Seeing as how she was the ONLY
teller, I just smiled and said Hello and she glared at me as she processed my
check, put the cash in an envelope, dropped it over the counter, onto the floor
and walked away. Inside I was seething, but I just picked it up and walked away,
making a mental note not to come here ever again. I told Randy when I got home
simply because I didn't want her to contact him and turn it into something it
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was getting ready to leave
when my boss asked if I could take the deposits to the bank. Inside I shrunk,
but she was in a bind, so I agreed and when I got inside Brooke was no where to
be seen. I let out a sigh of relief, and went up to the teller. At the counter I
could see that Brooke was in the corner about 10 feet from me. I didn't respond
to her at all, and once I saw where she was, I made it a point to look ONLY at
the teller that was helping me, when I noticed that someone was standing behind
her. It was Brooke. Hovering. The teller was handing me the deposit slip and
Brooke said "Randy told me you weren't coming here anymore." I said
"I just had to come here for work." She said "I'm just SAYING he
said you weren't coming here anymore so maybe you should stop stalking me,
before I call the cops." This is in front of the other teller who's
suddenly looking at me like I'm an axe murderer. I just shake my head and leave.
I go to work the next day and my boss has a call from the
"bank manager" that I'm not allowed in the facility any more for
threatening their employees. As I'm a very laid back person my boss is floored
by this and calls the bank manager back who never made such a call. Yeah it was
Brooke. They asked if I wanted to lodge a complaint and I declined. The last
thing I need is for her to get fired and blame it on me. Besides, she already
has numerous warnings and strikes from other incidents with clients. Let her be
obsessed with someone else.
After we got married in Las Vegas and had hiked up and down
the Strip looking at hotels, my new husband was hungry so we decided to go to
the 24-hour restaurant in our hotel for dinner. It was about 11:00 PM. When we
asked for the non-smoking section, the hostess had us wait while she checked
with the waitress in that section. The waitress looked angry but we didn’t
know why. Anyway, we were seated and the lovely woman who was the “busboy”
brought our drink orders. Then, she brought us refills and more refills. The
waitress never came to the table and seemed to be missing in action. After 30
minutes or so, we asked the hostess when our waitress might be coming to take
our order since we were really hungry by then. The hostess was astonished that
we have not been served yet and went to find the waitress. She returned to say
the waitress has clocked out and left! We asked to be reseated in an area with
working wait staff. The hostess went to find the manager who came back to check
out our story (like the hostess would make it up).
Finally, a really upset over-worked waiter from another
section came over to take our order. To his credit, when we explain that we have
been there for almost an hour with nothing but drinks, he was very nice and got
our order to us as quickly as possible. He and the “busboy” got really big
tips. I got the feeling that the other waitress would not be coming back to this
I’ve been friends with “Sara” for many years. At the
time, she ran a local business and I worked at a place that does advertising.
She had invited me to lunch one day to which I accepted since
we hadn’t seen each other for several months. I asked the waitress for two
checks but Sara immediately said “No no no. It’s a business expense”. That
was awfully nice of her considering that’s not the Sara I know. Sara asked me
a few questions about advertising as we dined but the conversation was mostly
personal. When the waitress brought the bill, Sara looked it over and said
“you’re portion with tip is $12.00”. She was going to write off the entire
lunch as a business expense but still expected me to pay my part! I didn’t
care to do many lunches after that. She no longer has a business and recently
called and said we never do lunch anymore. We decided to meet later that week.
Against my better judgment, I didn’t ask the waitress for separate checks.
When the bill arrived neither of us picked it up right away since we were in the
middle of conversation. I finally picked it up to see what my portion would be.
As soon as I picked it up she said “Thank you for lunch…” I’m a single
parent of two kids. She has a two income household! I always assume it’s
Dutch but she expected me to pick up the tab.
I was at Applebee’s one night ready to dine with some
friends. I was on a diet so I was looking at the low fat options. I wanted the
Low-fat Chicken Quesadilla but after closing the menu couldn’t remember if it
was non-fat or low-fat. I checked the menu several times making sure I ordered
it correctly. When the waitress arrived with our food I knew something was not
right. The cheese in the quesadilla was creamier than I remember it being. I
asked the waitress if she was sure that this was the low-fat Quesadilla. Her
response was “You didn’t order the low-fat”. When I told her that I
remember very clearly ordering the low-fat she said “No you did not”. I was
shocked that she would tell me what I did or didn’t do. I expected something
like “I’m sorry, I made a mistake” or “I’m sorry, I misunderstood
you”. She then rudely asked if I would like her to bring me a low-fat one
(well, duh!! That’s what I ordered!). At first I said “No someone here will
eat it” but then I quickly changed my mind and told her to go ahead and bring
me a low-fat quesadilla AND her manager. The manager came over and said “I
heard there was some trouble out here. I want you to know I will not be charging
you for the appetizers you had tonight” Didn’t even ask me what happened. No
apology for the waitress.
I have been a cat-lover all of my life, and when I bought and
moved into my first house I was very eager to adopt a pair. I went to the
local shelter and found my two wonderful cats, Eva and Bo. They were the
most lovely little creatures and they were my constant companions, following me
around like dogs and sleeping with me at night. Valentine's
Day rolled around and my husband took me on a surprise day trip to one of our
favorite places. When we got back, I noticed Bo was sleeping alone on the
bed, which was strange because he and Eva were usually inseparable. I had
a cat door through which they could get outside, but they spent most of their
time indoors. When I walked into the kitchen I noticed a note taped to the
window, and my stomach dropped. It was a letter from a neighbor saying
that my sweet little Eva had been hit by a car, and a local vet had been called
to help her.
Horrified, shocked, and praying for the
best, I called the vet and left a message. She called back after about 10
minutes, and told me the heart-breaking news: Eva hadn't made it. Usually
I am a very composed person, but I broke down on the phone, sobbing
uncontrollably. And now I will quote her response: "Yes, yes, it's
too bad...so how would you like to pay for this?" She went on to
explain that she would accept Visa or American Express. When I
was able to speak again, I dug out my Visa card and gave her the numbers.
She asked about the remains, and asked what my cat's name was.
The next few days were very dark for me, filled with tears and a deep ache in my
heart. About three days later I get a piece of mail from the
vet. I open up the card and inside says, "We are sorry for the loss
of ________." In the blank, she had written "Eva." A
fill-in-the-blank sympathy card! Can you believe
such things exist? Needless to say, I would never choose to use her
services after that, and I hope she has lost lots of business from how many
times I've told this story to people in our community.
Page Last Updated July 30, 2007