Wednesday, April 4, 2012

At the Risk of Sounding Like an Octogenarian...

What is with the youth, these days? Specifically, when did customer service hit the shitter and never look back?

My sister called this morning and suggested we lunch together at Takk for Maten. Neither of us had eaten there before but I'd heard good things from a friend. One friend. Like, two years ago. That aside, I was looking forward to our date and only had to circle the block four times to find parking six blocks from the cafe.

I was late (as usual) and my sister had already gotten the lay of the land. Apparently you fill out your own order ticket at your table, bring it to the counter, pay for your meal and then take your seat to wait for someone to bring out your food. There were only a handful of people in the restaurant and my sister was advised that we needn't fill out a ticket for our order but could simply present our requests verbally.

We looked over our menu and approached the counter. Mind you, there are three young female employees and exactly nine customers, my sister and I included. The 1:3 ratio seemed promising.

S and I stood there for a full six minutes without so much as a greeting. Nothing. No eye contact, no nod of recognition. The girl working the register simply stared between the screen and the order slips in her hand as if she was bound and determined to learn to read, right before my very eyes. Eventually she looks up and asks me if the tickets she's holding belong to us. No, I say, we're just waiting to order. Still nothing. No explanation, she continues to act as though we are merely a figment of her altered state.

A second employee comes over to assist with the terribly challenging order-at-hand and she is equally apathetic. After a few minutes she asks me what kind of bread I wanted my sandwich on. I inform her that the order doesn't belong to me and my sister interjects to suggest that we were told we could order at the counter but are still waiting. The third girl pipes up from the coffee station to say that we're fine and can indeed order at the counter. The first girl, who has been standing next to the register doing absolutely nothing, nods along and says Yeah, you can totally order here. It took every single bit of self-control and societal grace that I possess not to come back with When, exactly, might I totally be able to order?

Eventually, and after much explanation, we have completed the exhausting task of placing a lunch order and have seated ourselves; me with my self-serve water and S with her poor excuse for an Americano. A few minutes later, one of the girls brings out another Americano. We point to S's cup and explain that she's already got her coffee. Puzzled, she asks my sister, But didn't you order an Americano? Why yes, as a matter of fact, she did. And she's drinking it right now.

Our utterly disappointing, not appealing and over-priced/small portion meal arrives and it takes us about four minutes to consume the entire affair. But don't worry, my sister got her pie long, long before the lunch was served, so no need to worry about not having enough room for dessert. Having enjoyed a delightfully underwhelming and at times totally ridiculous meal, we're finally free to leave this small, sad restaurant that reeks of a burned-to-hell oven in the middle of the self-cleaning cycle. There's no farewell or thanks from the staff as we leave, the final nail in the coffin of obscenely bad customer service.

It's only fair to note, that my sister and I have notoriously bad luck when dining together in public. And today's lunch didn't disappoint; in fact, it may have set the bar even lower. We won't be returning to Takk for Maten, and if you're considering a trip down that way, save yourself the time and effort and go somewhere that you'll be appreciated. Like Burger King. At least there, you can Have It Your Way.

1 comment:

  1. Have I told you lately that I love you! You're hilarious, Leah! You should write shit for a living! :-)