Shane and I were been followed by bad service in our last year in Champaign – very long waits, undercooked food (or hot food brought cold to the table), food prepared completely wrong, disappearing servers, food spilled on us with no apology (including mayo on Shane’s very expensive jeans), etc – and we had hoped that by moving 700+ miles east, we would shake this curse and go back to receiving at least decent service. Both of us have worked in food service, so if anything, we’re probably more patient with busy servers than the average patron. Out here, however, the service seems to have gone from bad to worse, as if the servers just really need to rub it in your face that they’re barely making enough to pay their exorbitant rents and so you, the tipping patron, should suffer just like they do.a
Recently, our bad food service experiences have started spilling over into bad retail service as well. I made it my goal to finish my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving, so yesterday we went out to the mall to pick up a few more things, including a jacket from Banana Republic that I’ve been eying as a replacement for my Goodwill-d peacoat. After checking several stores for the jacket, I called ahead and asked to have it put on hold.
Now, I’ll give you that the mall at Christmastime is a horrific place to be. The store was busy. I’m not complaining about that. We waited, first in the wrong line, and then in the correct line, for a cashier, expecting to just purchase the jacket and leave. Before doing so, though, I wanted to look the jacket over – it’s white and I didn’t want to pay a bunch of money for something that was potentially already stained. The clerk gave me a dirty look, asked us to step out of line, and definitely was not happy when I found a stain on one of the sleeves and had to run out to grab another jacket off the rack. She rang us up without any of the normal transaction niceties, but I didn’t really care because I finally had the jacket!
Imagine my surprise, then, when I went to put the jacket on this morning and discovered the loss prevention tag still firmly attached. It’s also worth noting that one of the shirts Shane purchased at a different store ALSO had the loss prevention tag left on, though the service he received up until that point was much better than mine.
These are all minor things, but in concert with the rest of the ridiculous little frustrations we’ve encountered in trying to do the simplest of things (like this morning, when Shane went to the convenience store on the ground floor 20 minutes after they opened with the hopes of picking up his dry cleaning, only to discover the store still closed and locked), it’s clear that our rash of bad service has turned into a full-on plague.