Rudeness has its rewards — lost customers, lost revenue
Updated: February 22, 2012 2:15PM
Last week’s column on inexplicably rude people touched a nerve with many of you. Reading your letters makes us wonder how some of these meanies survive in the marketplace.
From Gail: My husband and I were dining out. I had ordered soup and breadsticks with my dinner. When the waitress brought a salad and cornbread to our table instead, I pointed out her error. She picked up the salad, spilling most of it on the table, and called me a liar. The woman at the next table said, “Excuse me, but I believe that’s mine.”
The waitress took what was left of the salad and plopped it in front of her. I sat there with my mouth hanging open.
My husband to this day is still amazed that we didn’t just get up and leave, but I was too flabbergasted to do anything. When we went to pay our bill and were asked, “Was everything all right?” we told the manager what had happened. He laughed and said “Oh, that’s just Mary!”
Dear Gail: We withheld the name of the chain restaurant where you dined because this happened a few years back. Let’s hope the deranged waitress has been put out to pasture.
From Marvin: A couple years ago, we were driving home around 11 p.m. when my car was sideswiped in Skokie. While I waited for the police, my wife and our other female passenger walked to a nearby gas station and explained that we had been in an accident and asked to use the bathroom. The clerk told these two women in their 60s that the facilities were out of order — which was clearly not true — and sent them back out in the cold.
Dear Marvin: You told The Fixer you’ve not only never returned to that station but you’ve avoided the entire brand ever since.
From Vicki: I went to a bakery to buy some desserts, but when the cashier rang them up, the cost was substantially higher than I had figured. When I asked for an explanation, the cashier quoted higher prices than those listed on the little signs that were literally stuck in the treats.
She said the prices had gone up “a while ago” and that they had not “gotten around to changing the signs.” I politely complained that this did not seem right.
The manager came over. Her response
was to rip the little sign out of a dessert
so hard that the cake went flying across
the display and landed against the glass window, all the time muttering about “cheap people.”
I should have walked out, but I was embarrassed and of course, they already had my money. The manager shoved a bag at me and I left, vowing never to return.
I complained on their corporate website and someone emailed me, promising to look into it and send me a gift card. They never did.
Dear Vicki: You told us this left a bad taste in your mouth for more than one reason. When you tried the treats later, they were stale.
From Vera: My husband and I were at
the airport baggage area when I decided to buy something to drink. I went to a nearby kiosk and stood there for a minute wondering when the employee would look up from her magazine and realize she had a customer.
After a minute, she saw me and flipped the magazine closed in a way that let me know I was disturbing her. I asked to please have a bottle of water. She grabbed the water, plopped it on the counter and never said how much it cost. I handed her a five and she gave me my change like I had the plague.
I went to a woman sitting at a podium and asked her where I could complain. Her answer was, “Dunno.”
Dear Vera: Were those two sisters? From the letters we’re getting, they may be working elsewhere around town. ...
From Marti: We went out for an early dinner and ordered our appetizer as soon as we sat down. We ordered our entrees when the appetizer arrived. We ate our meal at a reasonable pace.
It took awhile for the waiter to come by, and when he did we asked for the bill. Suddenly, a woman who I think was the owner came over and told us to finish our wine because, “I need the table.”
I explained that we were waiting for our check and she again said, “Well, I need the table.” I told her she was being rude and she reiterated in a huffy manner that she needed the table.
The bill arrived and we paid and left — and I won’t go back.
Dear Marti: If she does that to everyone, she won’t be “needing that table” too much longer.
From Lisa: A few years ago, I was at a “goth” store at the mall being a cool mom and buying my kid a funny T-shirt.
I brought the item to the register and paid with a credit card.
The clerk gave me the copy to sign and I grabbed a pen from the cup of 20 or so pens. When I clicked the top, I received a SHOCK!! Literally! It was a gag pen that shocks the user.
I was not amused — and actually the clerk was mortified, which made me feel a little better, though my thumb was numb until I got home.
Do you have a story of appallingly bad manners toward a consumer? If so, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with “BAD
MANNERS” in the subject line. Thanks!