Monday 20 July 2015

Service with a smile

The cliché of the aggressively polite American waiter is pretty accurate. I've met a few over the last few days. And while they're usually very professional, there are, of course, exceptions. I met one of those the other night. 

At dinner with my hosts in an Italian restaurant, the service was chaotic: my starter and main course were delivered at the same time; other main courses came 20 minutes later so I had to have mine reheated; the white wine was at room temperature; the pizza of one of my companions was lots of puffy bread and not much else; the waiter presented our bill with a cheery "whenever you guys are ready" despite my having asked him earlier to hold it for me so that I could go discreetly to the desk to pay.

All this was not a disaster, but slightly annoying. I made my point to the manager who apologised and offered me a discount, which I gratefully accepted as reasonable amends. I asked her to add 15% to my credit card as a tip to show my appreciation of the gesture and that there were no hard feelings.

An hour later I got a text message from my credit card company showing the amount billed. They had added 30%. 

When I went back the next day, another manager handled my complaint. I demanded a refund of the double tip, not just the excess. He didn't argue.

 He handed me the cash with a smile and instructed me to "have a nice day!"

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Be nice :-)