Some Idiots Never Quit
In the ten weeks I’ve worked at HoH, I’ve had a few upset customers. I’ve even had one that Lóng Nǚ¹ pissed off even worse, causing us to lose her as a customer forever. But I think this one might have been beyond the pale. (Fortunately, I don’t know this woman’s name, so I don’t have to worry about getting in trouble. And the way she treated me tonight, I don’t care if I do!) I’ll call her Latina Bitch, or LB for short.
I’ve seen LB before. She came in a few weeks after I started, mention she’d worked there for fifteen years and greeted Lóng Nǚ warmly when she brought out her food. Not so, this time. (LB didn’t even come in…she sent someone else. But when she called to complain, I knew it was her because of her accent and the way she trotted out the fact that she worked there for fifteen years.)
I’ll spare you the inane chat that usually brings us up to thing point (yes, even complaint calls involve a few traditional lines from each party) and bring you right to: “There were only two [teriyaki] chicken sticks in my order.”
“Only two come in an order. How many did you order?”
I don’t remember her response, but I think she said something to the effect of, “I remember when four chicken sticks came in an order.”
“I sympathize,” I said. “When I was a little girl, six potstickers came in an order. Now there’s only four.” (Lóng Nǚ has slowly decreased the number over the years…it didn’t just jump from six to four.)
She then complained that the person she sent after her food was told “fifteen to twenty minutes” and had to wait an extra half hour. I apologized, saying that it was only Lóng Nǚ and I working and we could only go as fast as the cooks would let us. I told her that we only had two cooks, as our prep cook had quit two weeks ago and hadn’t been replaced.
“That’s not the customer’s problem!” Blah blah blah, something about needing to fix things…blah blah blah, “I worked there fifteen years”…blah blah blah. (I’d directly quote her, but I honestly can’t remember what she said. Nor am I entirely sure I heard everything in the first place.)
So I went straight to my go-to line: “Do you want to talk to [Lóng Nǚ]?”
“No. I tell her what’s wrong every day!”
(Awkward ending that closes with me hanging up on her.)
Squeal tires on pavement² for a moment. You worked for Lóng Nǚ for fifteen years. You know how she is. You also (must) know I’m a hostess. Exactly what do you expect bitching at me to accomplish? You know I can’t do anything for you! Either bitch at Lóng Nǚ or bite the bullet!
The next time she tries to pull that shit (and she just might, if she’s that much of a disgruntled former employee), I intend to say something like, “You know I can’t do anything for you. So unless you’re willing to talk to [Lóng Nǚ], go tell somebody who cares!” and hang up.
(L, one half of a darling, darling couple that works for us, suggested that next time, I ought to hand her over to C. C’s not nasty in any sense of the word, but I’m sure she’d be delighted to take LB down a notch, given half a chance!)
¹ Chinese for “The Dragon Lady” (a nickname more than a few customers have given her!) [Long Ny-eew] I almost used “kunoichi”, which is Japanese for “Dragon Lady” (and also the term for a female ninja), but I decided that since I work in a Chinese restaurant, I have to be linguistically appropriate.
² That’s what my Grandpa Prescott used to say the “stop” on stop signs meant: Squeal Tires On Pavement. Sometimes I use that instead of just saying “stop”.