Being able to bitch eloquently is definitely a side benefit to being literate. Now, if I can only convince my STUDENTS of this…
Dear Mr. Fiske:
My name is Mrs. Chili and I’m writing to you concerning an experience my family and I had last night at the Bertucci’s in the Big City Mall.
My family and I live in the seacoast and, as such, rarely get an opportunity to eat at Bertucci’s. When my husband was scheduled to fly out of Big City’s airport on business, we took bringing him to his flight as an occasion to eat out. We are very fond of Bertucci’s in general, and were looking forward to this dinner.
We arrived at the restaurant, were immediately and warmly greeted by two ladies at the door, and were quickly shown to a table in the back of the restaurant. Our waiter – Jeffrey – arrived promptly and, because we were on a time schedule, we gave him our entire order (check #880, for your reference). We ordered two pasta dishes off the children’s menu for our daughters and a large pizza for my husband and me. There were no special requests made of the food beyond the half-and-half pizza order.
Our first impressions of Jeffrey as an efficient waiter were not borne out. Our drinks and rolls were brought immediately, but following the delivery of our daughters’ dinners (one of which was cold and needed to be sent back), Jeffrey disappeared. Our pizza was delayed – the reasons he gave us for this were sketchy – and we ended up watching our children eat as we waited upwards of fifteen minutes for our meal to arrive.
After he delivered the pizza – with minimal apology – Jeffrey was no longer available to us. My husband flagged him down to ask for boxes so that we could leave in time to make the flight, but Jeffrey turned on his heel before the request could be made. We watched as several other parties – three of which were seated after we were – ate their meals, received boxes, paid their checks, and left.
The check that was left at the table offered a survey; when I paid the bill, I was not given that check back, but was given only the credit card merchant and customer slips. A hostess was kind enough to print a duplicate of the check for me so that we can complete the survey. My suspicion is that Jeffrey, who was well aware of our displeasure because he spent a great deal of energy avoiding us, preferred that we not have the opportunity to participate in the survey.
Please know that this experience is not enough to keep us from your store. We understand that everyone has “off” nights and that mistakes and miscommunication happen. My reason for writing this letter is to say that our experience could have been salvaged had our waiter been more attentive, or had he made an effort to genuinely apologize or compensate us for the error. My frustration is not at the error in our order, but in the fact that we felt ignored.