June 14, 2007

This will come up again because I am certain that I have not exhausted the topic. It has been bouncing around in my head for days or weeks or something like that and it has driven me mad. To the point that last night it nearly exploded - over some very poorly made Penne a Diablo with fresh vegetables. Magoo, myself, and my father sat down to dinner at a new Tampa restaurant - CDB's - at 7:30. After some initial discussions and a first round of cocktails we ordered. The waitress was mildly unfamiliar with the menu and I chose the dish above despite some confusion. In a timely manner our soup and iceberg lettuce salads with too much oil in their house dressing arrived with an extra side of bread. After the trays were picked up we ordered another round of cocktails and waited. And waited. And waited. We were told it would only be a minute. Or seemingly 45 of them. At 9 we flagged down the manager and kindly asked her to check on our food as we ordered it an hour ago. And again we waited and waited. Another 10 minutes go by and they arrived with our food and to no one's surprise mine was cold. It was evident it was cold before you even touched the entree - the sauce had hardened onto the pasta and vegetables, a sure (and unappetizing) sign. I asked the manager to please bring me a warmer dish and instead of apologizing for the wait or the food, she insisted that the food was just, "left on the line" and that, "she saw it there herself". Well to me that is not an indication the food was warm - in fact it tells me just the opposite - it was sitting on the line. But more so it looked cold and a quick taste told me I was correct. She left and brought me back a new bowl of pasta in mere minutes. This one clearly warm and fresh. Again without apologizing or even asking if things were okay she hovered over my shoulder and demanded that I eat it in front of her because she will not leave until I agreed with her that my meal was now warm. It was. I would have done anything to get her, her attitude, and her breath off my shoulder while I tried to eat. The food itself was mediocre to poor. Especially for something I waited for so long and for something I could have thrown together at home - in less time, for less money, and with far greater results. Certainly with less of a headache.

I was completely unsatisfied and totally disappointed. For quite the obvious reasons, but also because I don't get it. Why be NASTY? What benefit does it do to you or the business you are trying to run (into the ground)? This goes beyond customer service and the service industry. Why be nasty at all? I am trying really hard to understand what the need for it is in our society and in general in the human personality. I want to do my best to be a nice and charming person. No doubt I have my moments of shear and utter evil. I can be a complete bitch and a total crazy person. At times. Which is why I am working hard to curtail it. This attitude gets me all wound up and tired. It drains me and leaves me without any of the intended benefits and usually having to dole out apologies like candy. How about instead, I start with the candy and act saccharine sweet from the get go. Seems easier and more sane. Seems like I would get farther faster and with more overall success. Seems like a better perspective to enjoy. That would have made a difference in this evening's meal. If the manager had been apologetic, or even nice, I would have been far less disappointed. She achieved only one thing from her attitude - there will be three people who will never dine in their establishment again. Which to me seems to be the opposite goal of managing a restaurant. She should have started with dessert and let us decide based on our entree if we were coming back. A dollop of sweet (say like a free dessert) can last an entire meal - especially one that lasted two hours.

I get the flaws and see the other side - if we all existed in a nice friendly and peaceful bubble would these things happen? I am guessing so - shit happens. But we handle it differently, we look at it from a positive perspective and we move on from it faster because of all that. I would like to think that it would be helped overall. I will do my part to maintain that level - living my life with that existence. The best I can do is hope others do so as well. I can also hope others avoid that restaurant.

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Blogger JustRun said:

Yikes, and yuck. I have no idea how people manage to run a business with attitdudes. I fell like such an ol' timer but where the hell is customer service anymore?

10:18 AM 

Blogger e.b. said:

Exactly. Or how about "the customer is always right"

10:37 AM 

Blogger Ally said:

Ah reminds me of a dinner I had a few months ago when our food came out in intervals...three people got their meals after one hour; another three got theirs an hour and twenty minutes after we ordered; and then the last guy got his after one hour and forty minutes, and it was wrong AND they charged him for it! Needless to say, we requested that his meal be free, but no apology, nothing.

Of course, after being in Spain for the last two weeks I see how good we have it. The servers here are downright unfriendly, and it is sort of depressing to the point it makes eating out not nearly as fun.

12:43 PM 

Blogger Princess Extraordinaire said:

That manager should be replaces as clearly her customer service skills were not finely tuned..I agree with you on why be nasty even though I sometimes see the uber bitch appear out of nowhere taking over my mind and body....

2:32 PM 

Anonymous brandy said:

Ugh. That's so frustrating. I hate it when I complain about something because unless it's really awful. I try to think of all the reasons why it could be my fault (I came at rush hour, I ordered something with a lot of substitutions etc.), before I make it the restaurants fault. But if I DO and I get treated badly, ohhh that makes me angry. Like so angry I want to spit in someones eye. And you KNOW that means business.

5:25 PM 

Anonymous Anonymous said:

That bites... how do these types of managers get ANY customers?!

3:08 PM 

Blogger Tampa I Am said:

Wow, im so sorry you had an unpleasant experience at CDB's Southside..I just tried it on Friday, had the friendliest waiter and a guy manager was roaming the floor and outside terrace upstairs asking all how everything was fresh and delicious, i worte about in my blog todaym then read what you wrote..their CDB's on Fowler has been there forever, you may want to notify the owners, and try it one more time, just a thought, its a good place.

5:35 PM 

Blogger magnetbabe said:

I eat at the CDB's on Fowler quite frequently had have always had good food and good service. This really surprises me, as when I heard that another one was open I was happy for the owners to expand a little. I agree with the previous commenter, notify the owners. If this new location just opened they may not be aware they hired poor staff and as a growing business, they deserve input from the community.

7:58 AM 

Blogger Runner Girl FL said:

I'm with MB. I also have eaten at the one on Fowler many many times. There used to be a location downtown that I went to when I very first moved to Tampa. Contact the owners. I am very sorry that was your experience. MB and I have had many wonderful celebrations at the other location. Maybe even try the other location to get the owners?

8:44 AM 

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