Monday, March 31, 2008

E-Mail To Events Assistant


Well out of the 7 events we had on Saturday only one had a couple of problems. Nothing on your end but I thought I would give you the highlights in case you get a phone call or letter:

Ms. U was a 12:00 reservation and we had tables set for her at 224. 5,6,7 and 228. Right in front. I personally showed her and her son to their tables. Unfortunately I didn't realize you had sold prixe fixe packages for the Kid's Lunch (since they were already a special price for the food and performance it didn't occur to me) so they were seated with menus. The waiters assigned to the party figured it out pretty quickly and we took them off the tables well before the rest of her guests had arrived. At most, we were 10 minutes into the event. I assumed all was well until the first course went out.

It was then the waiters informed me that Ms. U didn't want that food and wanted to place her orders all a la carte. Obviously, considering the size of her party and the sheer volume of reservations at the time this would have been near impossible. It was then that the waiters gave me a list of menu choices written by her on pink construction paper in black magic marker. I immediately pulled her contract and went to speak with her about this but after standing next to her with papers in hand and her construction paper order she completely ignored me and continued talking to the children and her guests. She didn't appear the least bit distressed at that point so I left it alone. The 2nd course came out without incident and it was all served at once by two servers, a runner and myself.

Everything seemed fine until 3 hours after her event began and she was given a check. It was then she claimed that she didn't want to pay for the adults as they were supposed to order a la carte and they were "only served macaroni and cheese". This was a flat out lie as I never left the floor the entire afternoon and I know for a fact that every table was literally covered in food and everyone ate who wanted to. I inquired as to why she believed the adults were ordering a la carte as the BEO and the signed contract didn't say so. She claimed she discussed it "with someone" and "didn't read the contract" before signing it and "assumed that what was discussed was in there". When I made the point that the contract was 3 pages and signed by her and initialed by her in several places she then claimed she was "going on vacation" and "didn't have time" to read the contract. When I finally pressed further and asked why, if she charged a $400+ deposit and authorized charges to her credit card but had no idea what she was getting and hadn't bothered to read the menu that was included, it was then our fault that she "was dissatisfied", she then for the first time alleged that the service "was terrible" and she was unhappy with when the cake was served. In the next breath she informed me that the kids "had a great time" but she was still unsatisfied. She also claimed that she started the original booking "with someone" and then was passed over "to someone else" which is probably why "we screwed it up". Again, this was after her event had gone on for over 3 hours. If she wanted the cake served at a specific moment all she had to do was mention it. Unfortunately, I no longer have the ability to read minds. Which is a shame, by the way.

In any case, I finally decided to charge her the agreed upon price for the kids and only charge her $15 pp for the 10 adults. Apparently, my generous decision to not hold her to the charges and the agreed upon contract she signed for was lost on her. She agreed to the new charges but reiterated that she was still not happy. When I reminded her that we absolutely fulfilled every word of the contract she agreed to, that she alternately believed her entire party was a la carte and then only thought the adults were and admittedly hadn't read papers she signed and agreed to, she decided that my customer service skills were not up to par and left. I guess she didn't realize I stopped myself from calling her an unreasonable bitch.

Now, I will say that we had a ridiculous amount of reservations on the books between 12 and 1 and we had a waiter call out and a new runner, so while everyone was stretched thin I have absolutely no doubt that she had great seating, good service, plenty of hot food and the kids had a great time and several turns on the stage. It seems to me she saw a single mis-step on our part and decided to use it to weasel out of some charges. Further I assume she needed her ass kissed and I didn't budget any time in an extremely busy day and night for ass kissing. For this, I apologize.

By the way, remind me to tell you about the drunk underage girls at the Sweet 16 party, or when the teenager passed out on the banquette threw up on the dining floor, or when I cleaned up the to-go bag filled with vomit, or when S######## had to pick up the used tampon from the ladies' room floor. Now, now, I have to save something for Tuesday ....

sorry if you get a nasty phone call ....

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