How not to manage

Dear Managers,

If you would like to keep your day job and have the minimum of people disgusted by you… then please don’t push your responsibilities onto others… especially if they are your customers.

For example…

Lets say that I come into your restaurant one fine spring evening for a my red meat and carbohydrate fix. I’m happy and in a lovely mood so I don’t really get irritated that it takes the waitress an abnormally long time to show up and offer me liquid refreshment. Furthermore, by the time I notice that the same waitress is sitting conversing with (apparent) freinds at the adjacent table, I’m pretty ambivalent because I’ve already got my beverage and buns.

It becomes an issue when the aforementioned staff member breaks her promise to restock the warm rolls “as soon as they get out of the oven”. It doesn’t help the situation when I bite into my previously lovely (if slightly rare) burger and have my taste buds assaulted by a taste so foul and putrid that my eyes begin to water. The multiple unsuccessful attempts to make eye contact with my server to bring this to her attention only increase my annoyance. This also leads me to notice that while there appear to be several hundred wait staff members… there is only one manager visible… and he is working the bar. I am a very sympathetic person so I understand that shit happens. But sympathy runs thin as minutes add up.

Now pay attention kiddies because this is the important part.

You’re dealing with a customer who has had an overall subpar experience in your restaurant but who is nevetheless smiling at you and explaining the situation in a calm and reasonable voice and who has demonstrated much patience as movie time draws closer and closer.

You should not

  • Come over to the table and ask in a worried and above all distracted voice what the problem is
  • Make a face and say “that’s odd” when I explain to you the stomach turning and unpleasant addition to my burger, as if to say…”You’re obviously lying. Our restaurant would never let that happen”
    Practically calling me a liar is bad enough but to act as if it is completely inconceivable when the foul-smelling partially chewed remains are right there on my plate instead of apologizing as if your life depended on it… well that’s just rude.
  • Ask what I would like you to do.
    Why are you asking me? You’re the manager and I’m the upset customer. Tell me what you will do to make it better and if that is not acceptable… I will let you know. I would like you to do your job and try to make me happy. Thanks.
  • When you are told what I would like you to do (pay the bill) hesitate for a good minute with a pained look on your face as if you are about to say no.
    This is why you shouldn’t ask that question dear. If you’re not prepared to accept whatever the customer “would like you to do” then don’t even go there. Offer to the pay the tab or replace the food. Otherwise be prepared to smile and accept whatever the customer wishes without batting an eye or have a damn smooth reason for why you can’t/won’t.
  • Look as if you are about to cry as you offer a limp handshake and beg us to “come back and see us.”



I don’t know that he ever actually apologized. (not an apology worth remembering anyway) I think he just said “that shouldn’t happen.” I should have let him smell it.

Robots was good even though I completely destroyed a bag of skittles while attempting to open it sending a rainbow (get it??) of artificially flavored pellets all over my lap and the heads of the people below me. Go me! Thanks Jordan for leaving the incident at your initial eyeroll of disbelief (which was priceless by the way). Now you can tell me that I’m being overly dramatic. And I owe you some skittles. 😀

5 thoughts on “How not to manage”

  1. That was a lot of fun. I wonder if I should go back there and complain again. You know, “visit us again” as the man said but be a constant pain in the neck until his parting comments are “don’t set foot in here again.” Given how much of a pushover he was I have to wonder if we couldn’t dodge another check because I thought the ribs looked at me funny. You never know until you try. 🙂

    Robots was a real detail movie for me; I should have tried to ignore the plot more and concentrate on, uh, everybody except the main character. The city was such a sight to behold, and the early version of Rodney’s dishwashing robot reminded me of Invader Zim’s GIR in his suicidal tendancy to break dishes against his head. But all the “follow your dream” stuff was nearly unbearable.

    And here I thought bags of skittles were easy things to open. What I really enjoyed was the look on the guy’s face below us when this shower of colored candy came through the crevices of his chair. A real “what the hell?” moment.

  2. Sorry you guys… The spam block decided you were suspicious and asked me to moderate… Unfortunately I’m not used to getting comments so I didn’t check until today which is why it took so long to show up… Ahem. I’ll work on that. But to answer your questions.

    No the burger wasn’t wormy although I agree that would have made for a much better story AND the fine Tallahassee establishment could be called… umm “HoadRouse Grill” *cough cough wink wink*

    Out of curiousity did you get any sort of notification that your comment was awaiting moderation?

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