I’ve worked in hospitality. For a time I was a minor legend in the industry – born with a natural aptitude for the work and dedicated to expanding that talent. It was to be my career and during the time I worked those jobs I trained a lot of bartenders and waiters, making them the best they could be. In fact, the only job I’ve ever applied for and not got was one at a new bar that was entirely manned by my trainees when it opened. It made me feel old as the only thing that seperated us was age, and therefore pay scale. Anyway, as an ex bartender I’m horrified at the state that the hospitality industry is in now.
When Leslie Pope went for a meal and a few drinks with friends at the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago, they were happy to find that despite the Christmas season looming they weren’t turned away from the inn. Unfortunately that’s where their good luck ended. After waiting over an hour for their meal they even had to go to the bar and request cutlery and napkins themselves as their waitress went out for a smoke after being asked for them. This was the final straw for Pope and her seven friends, who had already had to visit the bar for refills when their waitress disappeared after they’d placed their food order. When the $73 bill arrived they paid for their food and drinks, ignored the suggested tip, made a complaint to the head bartender and sat down to finish their drinks before leaving. That’s when the police arrived and arrested them.
Lehigh Pub, presumably having noticed that not many of their staff were getting tips due to a bad service ethic, had installed a policy that made the gratuity a mandatory part of the bill. No longer do their staff have to earn their tips by being good at their jobs, helpful or even pretending to be a part of the service industry. No longer can customers decide that service is good and leave an extra tip or decline to leave a tip if service is bad. No, the tip is now expected regardless of the service you receive there and if you refuse to pay it you’ll be arrested for theft just like Leslie Pope and her boyfriend John Wagner were.
Latreasa Goodman (no relation to John, despite the content of this story) loves McDonalds. Now you may think that you love a certain food more than anything else, but you haven’t reached the levels of love this woman has for McDonalds’ food. Nope, don’t argue, you just haven’t. On the 28th February this year, Latreasa visited her local McDonalds and ordered a ten piece meal which included chicken nuggets. According to the majority of news sources and blogs at the time she flipped out when she was told they didn’t have nuggets and called 911 not once, not twice, but three times to report the incident. What a psycho eh?
Now lets be fair and take a look at what actually happened there. She asked for something on the menu, she paid for that item, they had run out of it and they refused her a refund. Oh sure, she can have something else from the menu but she was refused her money back, which is against both her rights and McDonalds’ policy. Did she over-react? Of course she did. You don’t phone the emergency services for something like that, and you definitely don’t insist that your chicken nuggets are an emergency when the cops show up and cite you for misuse of the 911 system. But I doubt she’d have done so if she hadn’t been provoked like that by the assistant manager of the store.
A spokesman from McDonald’s had this to say about the incident: “We want to correct our mistake. We will be sending the customer her refund, along with an invitation to return for her original order, on us. We never want to disappoint a McNuggets fan or any McDonald’s customer. Customer satisfaction is our top priority.” That’s very big of them. Now that the woman has been treated so badly and had her rights infringed to the point that she called 911, she can have the refund she was originally due and a voucher for one meal. That’ll really make things up to her. Also I think I speak for everyone who has ever had the soggy cardboard that passes for food at McDonald’s served to them by a teenager with a higher weight in acne than IQ when I point out what a pile of crap that customer service statement was.