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This Is Customer Service?

I have had enough. Enough of the apathetic customer service agents who don’t care that I’m stranded far from home in a sketchy neighborhood (thanks AAA!).  Enough of the cowardly restaurant managers who kowtow to the “I’m better than you are” customers who say they want to eat their meal in peace but yet choose a restaurant the size of a cavern to dine in (thanks Cheesecake Factory!). I have had enough. There is no longer any such thing as customer service. It seems more like lip service to me. We’re in shaky financial times; millions out of work, millions more looking for work and those who are fortunate enough to still be employed are acting as if they couldn’t care less. Well, I still care—even if no one else does.

This tirade is courtesy of the Cheesecake Factory. Well, the “cheese” part is right because the manager was “cheesing” at me and my friends as he tried to figure out a way to be a polite jerk. It all started innocently enough—my friends and I, along with my seven-year-old son, were getting together at the Cheesecake Factory in a neighboring city. My son, despite recovering from a viral bug, wanted to tag along and see his “aunties.” I was starving and just wanted to eat. Of course, I was in the mood for pizza but my hubby was generous enough to give us a gift card—so, Cheesecake Factory here we come!

My son and I got there early, and after picking up some things in the mall, we made our way to the restaurant. We were the first of our party to arrive and were quickly seated—so far, so good. I called my friend to get an idea on her ETA and she said they would be there in approximately five minutes. Fine. I ordered some water for my son and I as well as a strawberry lemonade (the drink is delicious). The waitress came over with the drinks and bread. I hungrily snacked on their honey wheat bread (another fave) and soon my friends appeared. The waitress returned, took our orders, and we waited for our meal.

In the meantime, since it was the height of dinner, the restaurant was filling up quickly with customers and the noise volume was going up. One of my friends and my son began to play with some spoons and were keeping the beat with the music playing in the eatery. Apparently, we were “disturbing” some of the customers but instead of discussing the matter civilly, we were given dirty looks and reported to the manager. Now, my son is an innocent child, it wasn’t like he and my friend had been banging their spoons loudly and in an obnoxious manner. They were just keeping time to the beat of the music and I was just happy to see a smile on my son’s face after seeing him look miserable for most of the day.

The whole situation could have been handled differently and it wasn’t. It left a bad taste in our mouths and a negative view of the establishment. We had been treated rudely and unfairly. Customer service is dead.