Author Topic: How was I supposed to know??  (Read 10398 times)

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Knitterly

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How was I supposed to know??
« on: November 22, 2012, 01:54:46 PM »
I just had the most awful experience at a local coffee-chain place.  So bad that I am honestly thinking of contacting head office about the horrible rudeness.  But I do not know if that would be overkill.

This particular chain is very widespread and well known.  They keep the donuts, tea biscuits, croissants, and muffins on a display shelf so you can see what you're ordering.  I go to this chain so often that I keep a cash card loaded and in my wallet so that I am never without change when I want a coffee.  I have never been to this particular location before, though.  The lineup was very long, so I stood and waited (usually expected, especially as we were in the food court of a mall).  I got up to the front and ordered my coffee.  I wanted a particular type of sandwich with it, so I asked if they had them at this location as I did not see it on the menu.  They did not.  So I was going to order a muffin and then changed my mind and asked for the cheese biscuit instead.

The girl at the cash looked at me funny and said "I'm sorry, the what?!" 
"The cheese biscuit.  Top row behind you, second from the right.  Next to the regular tea biscuits." 
"The cheese croissant?" (note, they did not have cheese croissants on the display shelf).
"No, no.  The cheese biscuit.  Right there on the top shelf."
At this point, the woman working next to the cashier (getting donuts, etc for both cashiers) stepped forward and looked at me like I was some sort of bug.  A very stupid bug.
"Those are cheese and ham biscuits!"  I was absolutely taken aback at her tone.  It was so sharp and so loud and so rude that it almost brought tears to my eyes.  Now... I'm not some pathetic creature who can be taken down to tears by just anyone, but her tone was just so.... amazingly rude.  I should also note that she was a generation or two older than me, so it really felt like being chastised by a parent or a teacher for being incredibly stupid.
"I'm...sorry?  The sign just says 'cheese'.  Anyway, that's what I would like."
"The sign broke! They are cheese and ham!"

At this point, I probably should have just walked away, but I really wanted my coffee, and losing one customer would not make any impact on their sales at all.  The lineup behind me was about 15 people long.  It's a really, really popular coffee chain.

I just looked at her and asked her how she expected people to magically know they were cheese and ham biscuits if the sign just says cheese.  I was really fighting to keep my voice from cracking...it did anyway.  Cold medications make me weepy.  That's my excuse for almost crying all over her.  She got super condescending and raised her voice to this sickly sweet tone "Aww, I'm sorry lovey," (yes, she called me lovey... i wanted to throttle her... but I wanted my coffee more) "I just thought you should know they have ham in them too, in case that would change your mind."
It didn't.  I wanted a biscuit.

The thing is, I know that this particular chain prides themselves on excellent customer service.

It was all of $3 and 15 minutes out of my day.  But I am still torn on whether I should send them an email to complain about this particular person.  There's not much they can do about it now.  It's easy for me to avoid that particular location as I rarely go to that particular mall. 

bloo

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Re: How was I supposed to know??
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2012, 02:04:30 PM »
I would write a letter to corporate with all the details listed here. Did you get her first name? Put down the date and time so they can pinpoint who it was. Include that you will be expecting follow-up as of course you know that this is a company that prides itself on customer service.

I would have had a word with the manager on duty if I had time after enjoying my coffee and biscuit (were you getting your stuff to go?).

That sounds like a lousy experience and it's a shame, because it's much quicker to be nice and helpful than condescending and rude.

Did this happen today? Maybe they were annoyed at working on T-day if it was. Not an excuse, just an explanation.

So sorry about this. I definitely believe in complaining using the appropriate avenues for substandard products or service.

sparksals

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Re: How was I supposed to know??
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2012, 02:08:29 PM »
At first I thought you were talking about Second Cup, but I presume it was Tim's. I would definitely write a letter to corporate.  Even though they are franchised, Tim's would want to know about how horribly you were treated.

sparksals

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Re: How was I supposed to know??
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2012, 02:10:37 PM »
I would write a letter to corporate with all the details listed here. Did you get her first name? Put down the date and time so they can pinpoint who it was. Include that you will be expecting follow-up as of course you know that this is a company that prides itself on customer service.

I would have had a word with the manager on duty if I had time after enjoying my coffee and biscuit (were you getting your stuff to go?).

That sounds like a lousy experience and it's a shame, because it's much quicker to be nice and helpful than condescending and rude.

Did this happen today? Maybe they were annoyed at working on T-day if it was. Not an excuse, just an explanation.

So sorry about this. I definitely believe in complaining using the appropriate avenues for substandard products or service.

TG is not an issue here.  The OP is in Canada.   Even if it was, there is no excuse for the treatment.

SiotehCat

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Re: How was I supposed to know??
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 02:12:08 PM »
I think she was right to let you know it was a cheese and ham biscuit.

I would have been very upset if I had ordered a cheese biscuit and was given something with ham in it.

I have a hard time calling someone rude because of their tone. Her tone might have sounded rude to you, but could have simply been because she was tired or in a rush.

Deetee

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Re: How was I supposed to know??
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2012, 02:14:55 PM »
You could complain. It would be tricky because all you can complain about is the woman's tone and manner. Everything she said was perfectly reasonable.

I'm not trying to discount tone at all. Much of human interaction is based on tone and body language and the same sentence said in a different tone can make or break a mood. Consider "Did you make this? Wow!" directed toward a piece of baking. Enthusiasticly spoken while wolfing down the cake and reaching for a second piece with beaming smiles is the oppisite of a small bite and a wrinkled nose followed by a tone dripping with disdain.

Anyhow, what I'm trying to say is her words were reasonable. She wanted to make sure you got the correct item and that you knew what the item was as opposed to the broken sign. She likely needs to say this dozens of times a day and still gets people returning the biscuits.

So to complain you would need to pinpoint the specific person and complain about their attitude and tone only. Maybe they can moved to the back. Maybe they can be reprimanded. She simply does not sound like someone who can relate well to people as when she was trying to be clear, she was rude, but when she was trying to be sympathetic she was cloying. It doesn't sound like she is an actual jerk as she noticed that she had upset you and tried to change her tone. It was just ineffective.

Jelaza

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Re: How was I supposed to know??
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2012, 02:15:40 PM »
Write the letter.  If she had "just thought you should know" she would have started out with something like "I'm sorry for the confusion, they are actually cheese and ham biscuits but the sign broke."  And she would not have raised her voice or used a sharp tone.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: How was I supposed to know??
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2012, 02:23:11 PM »
I would write the letter to corporate.

The cashier should have know what stock they were displaying.  But if the person who interjected had said, 'I'm sorry, the sign is incorrect.  They are actually ham and cheese biscuits.  Would you still like one?', we wouldn't be reading this post right now.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

Knitterly

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Re: How was I supposed to know??
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2012, 02:24:30 PM »
You could complain. It would be tricky because all you can complain about is the woman's tone and manner. Everything she said was perfectly reasonable.

I'm not trying to discount tone at all. Much of human interaction is based on tone and body language and the same sentence said in a different tone can make or break a mood. Consider "Did you make this? Wow!" directed toward a piece of baking. Enthusiasticly spoken while wolfing down the cake and reaching for a second piece with beaming smiles is the oppisite of a small bite and a wrinkled nose followed by a tone dripping with disdain.

Anyhow, what I'm trying to say is her words were reasonable. She wanted to make sure you got the correct item and that you knew what the item was as opposed to the broken sign. She likely needs to say this dozens of times a day and still gets people returning the biscuits.

So to complain you would need to pinpoint the specific person and complain about their attitude and tone only. Maybe they can moved to the back. Maybe they can be reprimanded. She simply does not sound like someone who can relate well to people as when she was trying to be clear, she was rude, but when she was trying to be sympathetic she was cloying. It doesn't sound like she is an actual jerk as she noticed that she had upset you and tried to change her tone. It was just ineffective.

There's a very easy solution to her not having to repeat it, and that would be to grab a piece of paper and a sharpie and make a new sign.
I've seen it done often enough and it would certainly make their lives way easier.

The words were reasonable.  The tone was not. 

The words were only reasonable the first time, though.  She repeated it a second time after I confirmed that I still wanted the biscuit.  Both times the tone was just... awful. 

You know that tone that has an invisible "you moron!" at the end of it?  That was the tone.  It was said loudly and sharply.  It was a tone intended to scold.  Sometimes you know you are being scolded.  I was being scolded for ordering the wrong thing.  It was an angry, scolding tone.

I don't usually complain.  I just wasn't sure if I should or not, given that I can very easily avoid that location in the future.  I will, this afternoon, when I have composed my thoughts a little better.


MyFamily

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Re: How was I supposed to know??
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2012, 02:35:51 PM »
Write the letter.  If she had "just thought you should know" she would have started out with something like "I'm sorry for the confusion, they are actually cheese and ham biscuits but the sign broke."  And she would not have raised her voice or used a sharp tone.
POD to Jelaza.  Tone is very important in a transaction like this, and you were treated badly by her.  To those saying that the worker may have answered this question a dozen times today, then why didn't the cashier know about the problem and kept asking if the OP wanted a cheese croissant? 


"The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones" - Solomon ibn Gabirol

MeowMixer

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Re: How was I supposed to know??
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2012, 03:09:05 PM »
I would contact corporate. There is no reason to behave like that. If they don't have the proper signage it's not up to the customer to psychically know it's actually something else. Bad enough she was snarky, but to turn to fakey over-wrought 'awe I'm sorry lovey'... oh I see red! Their coffee is so not worth the attitude.

While I've never had any be that outright rude to me in a Tim's I can't say their customer service has ever been pleasant. IME they mumble, don't look you in the eye and generally don't want to be there, much less help you. I've never like their coffee but their ice caps were my favourite thing in the world! One day I got one and there was a huge chunk of plastic in it... that was a fight to get my money back - no, I don't want you to make me another one, I just gagged on a piece of plastic packaging, I just want my money back. I did get it, and I've never been back. (Golden Arches coffee is surprisingly decent btw, and for an extra 10 cents you get a muffin too, comes out to less than two bucks! lol sorry, I love a good deal...)

LeveeWoman

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Re: How was I supposed to know??
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2012, 03:09:23 PM »
Oh, yeah. Write the letter. I don't care how tired or aggravated or whatever her problem was, she had no excuse to talk to you as nastily as she did.

pearls n purls

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Re: How was I supposed to know??
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2012, 03:15:50 PM »
The cashier could have easily let the OP know that the biscuits contained ham without being mean about it.  I'd contact corporate about this.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: How was I supposed to know??
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2012, 03:34:14 PM »
Wow...What she said wasn't so bad, if she was letting you know, but there's no excuse for the tone.  I could understand being annoyed at having to repeat herself to every customer who ordered that particular item, but for the customer it's the first (and probably only) interaction of that sort, so she needs more self control.  I think she was right to point it out to you, because some people can't eat ham for religious reasons or whatever.  It's customer service, and they're there to serve the customer whether they (servers/cashiers/what-have-you) are annoyed or not.  You weren't rude or a Special Snowflake, and she was in the wrong.

I would write the letter, and at least let them know that she was rude, your feelings were hurt, and it nearly put you off your snack.  They want customers to come back, so at the very least I would expect them to reply with an apology.  I'm sorry this happened to you!

JenJay

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Re: How was I supposed to know??
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2012, 03:35:30 PM »
You could complain. It would be tricky because all you can complain about is the woman's tone and manner. Everything she said was perfectly reasonable.

I'm not trying to discount tone at all. Much of human interaction is based on tone and body language and the same sentence said in a different tone can make or break a mood. Consider "Did you make this? Wow!" directed toward a piece of baking. Enthusiasticly spoken while wolfing down the cake and reaching for a second piece with beaming smiles is the oppisite of a small bite and a wrinkled nose followed by a tone dripping with disdain.

Anyhow, what I'm trying to say is her words were reasonable. She wanted to make sure you got the correct item and that you knew what the item was as opposed to the broken sign. She likely needs to say this dozens of times a day and still gets people returning the biscuits.

So to complain you would need to pinpoint the specific person and complain about their attitude and tone only. Maybe they can moved to the back. Maybe they can be reprimanded. She simply does not sound like someone who can relate well to people as when she was trying to be clear, she was rude, but when she was trying to be sympathetic she was cloying. It doesn't sound like she is an actual jerk as she noticed that she had upset you and tried to change her tone. It was just ineffective.

There's a very easy solution to her not having to repeat it, and that would be to grab a piece of paper and a sharpie and make a new sign.
I've seen it done often enough and it would certainly make their lives way easier.

The words were reasonable.  The tone was not. 

The words were only reasonable the first time, though.  She repeated it a second time after I confirmed that I still wanted the biscuit.  Both times the tone was just... awful. 

You know that tone that has an invisible "you moron!" at the end of it?  That was the tone.  It was said loudly and sharply.  It was a tone intended to scold.  Sometimes you know you are being scolded.  I was being scolded for ordering the wrong thing.  It was an angry, scolding tone.

I don't usually complain.  I just wasn't sure if I should or not, given that I can very easily avoid that location in the future.  I will, this afternoon, when I have composed my thoughts a little better.

Re the bolded - Exactly. Or she could have said "They also have ham, do you still want one?" Problem solved.

She sounds nasty. I'd email corporate and make sure to include the exact time and a good description if you didn't get her name. They'll be able to figure out who she was.