Monday, November 23, 2009

Things That Stick In My Craw - Drive Thru Etiquette

I think the reason they call it a drive thru is because you're supposed to drive thru quickly and efficiently. When you go to a fast food place, bank, etc and it takes forever, then what's the purpose?

I asked some friends for their pet peeves about drive thrus and added my own:

My friend Deb: "When someone orders for the entire office, of course with special orders to make it take even extra long."

(I'll add this, if you are ordering for more than the number of people in your car, or if you have a van full of people, say up to 10, then park your vehicle and place the order inside. Don't piss the rest of us off)

Margaret hates people that serve at the window with dirty hands and hair.

My sister, Nancy, "Waiting forever for your order.....late for appt. then it comes finally and while rushing inform me, 'It's all burned!!! We can't eat this!!!' ARGH!!!"

Jennifer writes: "The fact that unless you drive a monster SUV, the service windows are WAY too high to be practical for people under 5'3"!" (or those smaller cars)

My friend Elizabeth has a long list: "You should be paying attention, moving ahead when the car in front of you moves ahead, not leaving a HUGE gap between you and the car in front of you so that the car behind you can't pull up to the speaker, and do not get out of your car to get something out of your trunk and hold up the line."

The things that stick in my craw? Not having your money ready when you get to the payment window. I always have mine ready when I get there to take less time.

Don't keep changing your mind and confusing the poor person taking your order. This only irritates those of us behind you and flusters the employees.

If the drive thru employee asks you to pull over because your order may take longer than expected, then pull over, dammit. Don't argue. There's a good reason they asked you to do this. Obey them.

Don't stay at the window to open your bag and check to make sure everything is there. Please pull up far enough so that I can get my order. If your order is wrong, then guess what? You have to park and go inside to take care of it. Sorry, Charlie!

If it's not on the menu, don't ask them if they have it.

If you're going to your bank drive thru, have your deposit/withdrawal slip and any checks already filled out and signed. And don't try to put rolled up coins through. You *know* better.

Again with the bank, if there is a problem, don't argue with the teller. Tell them you'll come inside to handle it. We really don't want to listen to you bitch and moan.

If there is a long line behind you and you know the employee at the window, forgo the small talk and tell them you'll talk to them another time. Please be polite to the rest of us. Or park your car and go inside to chat.

If you're an employee, don't leave the window open or mic on and bitch about me so that I can hear it. This actually happened to me at a Burger King once. I got to the window and politely asked if I could add a soda to my order. The man at the window huffed and puffed, turned around without remembering to close the window and called me a stupid bitch for not ordering the soda with the rest of my order. I was appalled. I wrote a lovely letter to the BK headquarters. I got a nice reply back, but I don't go to BK anymore unless it's the only place in town open (we live in a small town). And then I make my husband do the ordering.

Finally, it takes two seconds to smile, folks. The people behind that mic or window are working their butts off to get your order or bank account taken care of. If it's really busy and there's a long line and they forget something, don't take it out on them. Be nice, be polite, smile and you know what? You may get a little extra for being such a nice person. I've had this happen several times - extra fries or dessert from fast food and a lollipop from the bank. I love lollipops.

So, what sticks in your craw about drive thrus?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Things That Stick In My Craw - Grocery Shopping

If the express line has 10 items or less, make sure you have 10 items or less. No, five of the same item do NOT count as one item. Don't argue with me about it, either.

If the express line has 14 items or less and I have 14 and you have less than me, don't walk in front of me saying, "You don't mind, do you?" Because I DO mind and I will tell you get back in line behind me. It's a different story if I ask you if you want to go in front of me. Again, don't argue with me.

If I've forgotten my "green" bags at home and have to use the store's regular plastic or paper bags, don't give me a lecture on saving the world, etc. Just don't even think of doing it.

I don't wear an apron or a store employee shirt, so don't stop to ask me where something is. Unless you want to pay me for the answer.

I live here. I know most of the employees at my local stores. If I want to chat with them *while* they are ringing up my items, I will chat with them. Stop making impatient noises because you're an ass. If you're in that much of a hurry, go elsewhere to shop. We won't mind.

If you're using a cart and get to the end of the aisle, please pause and look both ways before exploding out of the aisle and barreling along. You may hurt someone. If it's me, I won't be happy about it.

If you do bump into me, do me the courtesy of saying, "Excuse me." Don't glare at me like it's my fault when it was quite obviously yours. I will say something to you. And it won't be nice.

If there's a senior citizen that needs help getting an item that's high on a shelf, is heavy, etc, why not lend a hand instead of rushing past them? I try to help when I can and you know what, it not only makes their day, it makes my day, too.

If the deli/bakery counter has a "take a number" system, take a damned number like the rest of us. Don't just walk up to the counter and give your order. We have been patiently waiting. And we *will* say something to you. You probably won't like it, either.

When you unload your groceries into your vehicle, please put the shopping cart in the cart corral or bring it back to the outside of the store. Don't leave it behind or beside someone else's car, or in the empty parking stop next to you just because you're a lazy dumbass. I don't care if it *is* snowing or raining or whatever. Have some courtesy for the rest of us. And yes, I *do* return the cart to its proper place.

If you are using the Redbox DVD vending machine and looking at what movies are currently available and can't decide and there are people behind you, step aside and let the rest of us do our business, then return to your browsing.

If I'm in a regular line with a full shopping cart and you have only a couple of items and are too impatient to wait in the express line because it has people patiently waiting there, don't cut in front of me. I will not be happy and I *will* say something. And you will not like it.

What's sticks in your craw about grocery shopping?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Things That Stick In My Craw - Hotels, Motels, etc

I travel a bit and have stayed in everything from small B&Bs to big resorts. Here are some of my beefs:

1. Please put on your web site whether you provide hair dryers and irons/ironing boards in the rooms. I usually have to end up calling the hotel, motel, whatever to find out. Then I can plan my packing and whether I have to bring my travel hair dryer and steamer for my clothes.

2. I need coffee! Most places provide at least a one cup coffee maker. What I hate is the prepackaged "condiments" - sugar, creamer, stirrer, napkin that the majority of places include. I wish these places would just provide these things separately. I use only creamer in my coffee and always feel guilty not using the rest of the pack. I love places that have the creamers in a little cup (hint hint)

3. Parking - whether I have my own vehicle or a rental car, please provide a safe place for me to park. I recently was booked at what appeared to be a charming hotel in a small downtown area of a fairly big city in Maine. I was impressed with their web site and looked forward to the stay. I drove my personal vehicle, a 1999 BMW. Yes, 10 years old, but it's in great shape and I recently paid it off. When I drove past the front of the hotel, I noted it was in a row of buildings and the downtown area was not as nice as I'd hoped. I pulled around the back of the building to the "parking" area. I was not impressed. There were cement barriers separating the hotel's lot from the next buildings with the name of the hotel *spray painted* on them. There were no security cameras or any lighting that I could see. And there was NO way I was going to leave my Beemer in that lot. I found another hotel, a Holiday Inn, to stay in instead. And I felt safer.

4. If you offer discounts for AAA or AARP or other program members, please mention it at check-in. I don't always remember to ask for this and thank goodness the Holiday Inn I stayed at reminded me. I whipped out my AAA card and got an extra 15% off my room. These days, I am saving every penny I can and I am sure other people are as well.

5. Make sure the room you give me is not only empty, but cleaned and the beds made. I've had it happen several times to me - I'll be given room keys, go to the room and either the room keys don't work (which turns out to be that someone else already had that same room) or I'll get in and the room hasn't been touched since the last guest. I always check the beds when I get in the room, before I even unpack, and pull the blankets and sheets down. If there is anything questionable - dirt, dead bugs (which has happened to me), obvious stains, etc, then I will go back to the front desk and ask for another room.

6. If you have on-site restaurant/bar, offer your guests 10-20% off their bill for patronizing these. I am more likely to eat/drink at the hotel if I'm given a discount. If I'm not, then I'll find a place nearby that I know will be less money. The more you offer your guests, the more they will spend with YOU.

7. Yes, I know I can ask for something I may have forgotten at home from the front desk, but the minimals that should be in my room are: Soap, hand/body lotion, shampoo and conditioner. I hate the shampoo w/the conditioner already in it. It never condition my hair right. Want to make me really happy? Throw in some Q-tips for my ears!

8. When I book a room, especially at a small inn or B&B, please tell me if I have to share a bathroom with another guest. I don't like sharing and I will ask for a room that has a private bathroom, or quite honestly, I'll look elsewhere for a place that does.

9. Please provide a clock with an alarm on it, at the least (a radio is nice). I've stayed in places where there is nothing and yes, I may have a cell phone and my laptop, but I like to know what time it is in my room.

10. If you have the TV Guest Services checkout in your rooms, make sure they WORK! I can count on one hand the number of times where I could actually checkout in my room without having to go to the front desk to checkout, or picking up the phone. If I have nothing outstanding and a receipt that was slipped under my door, I want to be on my way home or to the airport.

What do you look for when you stay in a hotel, motel, B&B, etc?