22 April 2010

British Virgin Islands: Service With A Shrug

A true story

The scene: Road Town, British Virgin Islands (BVI)

The time: present day, early afternoon

The location: The Batcave/Spaghetti Junction - a bar/restaurant catering (?) to the boating/cruising/tourist crowd.

Actual facts and conversations:

2 PM
Myself: "I would like a Carib lager."

Waitress: "We only have the regular." (note: Carib Lager IS 'regular'!)

2:05 PM
Myself: "I would like the chicken fajitas."

2:30 PM
Food arrives. It is a chicken (?) kebab on a bed of rice. No fajitas visible. No iron skillet, no tortillas, no sizzling vegatables, etc.

Myself: "I'm sorry but I don't think this is what I ordered."

Food taken away without comment.

2:35 PM
Waitress: "I didn't hear you. I didn't know you wanted the fajitas. Anyway we are out of chicken."

Myself: "OK - how about shrimp fajitas then?"

2:55 PM
Waitress: "You can't have fajitas because we are out."

Myself: "But didn't the person sitting at the next table have fajitas (iron skillet, etc.)?"

Waitress: "Yes."

Myself: "Was that the last batch or something?"

Waitress: "(Latching onto an excuse) yes that was the last batch!"

Myself: "Can I order something else please?"

Waitress: "No because it's 3 PM and the kitchen is closed."

15 April 2010

You rang?

We all go to Wal-Mart even if some of us don't admit it.

Have you ever loaded a basket or a cart up with purchases only to see 24 checkout lanes - with a grand total of 3 of them open? Have you ever waited for an eternity at the returns counter while the clerks play Sherlock Holmes, investigating each item and each person in depth?

Whether you love or hate Wal-Mart, here is the quickest way to get personalized attention from the top dog store manager: take a video camera. I watched two girls shooting a student project in front of a Wal-Mart (they were simply using it as a backdrop). In 20 seconds or less the name-badged manager was fairly sprinting out to the front of the store to challenge the girls and ask how they dared to use his precious front wall as a backdrop.

At that point they had mostly finished their shoot but it's obvious that the fear of God has been drummed into Wal-Mart managers where PR is concerned. Yes it's private property and yes they have a right to rules and enforcement but I did find it ironic that such an immediate response could be elicited from such an innocuous stimulus.