And now to Pushing Back Politely.
My vegetarian granddaughter ordered a seasonal salad. The bowl of lettuce, pecans, and strawberries arrived buried under a mound of chicken flesh. We sent it back.
In this clear-cut case, what was ordered was not what was served. All involved were calm and sensible, and she received a new salad. I checked to make certain the chicken had not been merely plucked off, and the error re-served. You have to be careful about these things.
Is it just me, or are you also finding yourself having to do a lot of pushing back these days? The errors run from little things like botched restaurant orders and incorrect change to big mistakes on business-related paperwork like leases and contracts.
Sometimes I receive a blushing, sincere apology. Sometimes the person who receives the request for correction reacts poorly, perhaps even seeking to blame the recipient of the incorrect service.
One of the worst was when a friend was drenched with a side dish. Oily vegetables spilled down his brand new shirt. When concerns expressed to the waitstaff were met with indifference, his wife demanded to speak to the manager. Said manager would not show his face.
Our friends are persistent as well as observant. They tracked the manager down to the restaurant loft. He sat at a table in dim lighting while his minions, the restaurant employees, scuttled up and down the stairs to consult him. This was a brew pub, not the headquarters for a mafia godfather.
The young and obviously inexperienced manager was not particularly helpful. We walked the ticket.
This brings us to my rules for Pushing Back.
1) Verify that you are in the right. Nothings stinks worse than having to apologize after throwing a temper tantrum over something that was your own fault.
2) Escalate your complaint gracefully. Address the person who erred first. Work your way up the chain of command as needed.
3) Don’t use bad service merely as your excuse to throw an out-of-proportion fit. The poor clerk doesn’t deserve your venting inspired by events that have nothing to do with this incident.
4) If your complaint is addressed to your satisfaction, let someone know. The individual involved, their manager, or even corporate headquarters.
Righteous indignation comes with a price. How can you expect good service from the barista, bank clerk, or insurance claims adjuster if you are careless in your job? Give 100% in your daily work. Honesty is the best policy. Sure, you hate receiving incorrect change that is to your disadvantage, and you should get that corrected asap. Likewise, we’ve all received incorrect change that was to our advantage. Be quick to rectify the error by returning money that isn’t rightfully yours. You know the drill - do unto others etc.
Those are my thoughts on pushing back. Do you have any stories to share? (Please do not include names of individuals or businesses.) Oh, and by the way, we had no issues at Adventure Miniature Golf. My granddaughters and I had a great time!