Leodot? John B1_B5 leaves the building

How not to use a phone booth…and I don’t want a drink with that!

October 2nd, 2006 at 06:34pm

What is it about public holiday Monday and Civic which brings all the loonies out of their shells?

Around lunch time today I ventured into Civic to pick up some lunch for the family from Kingsleys Chicken (one of our “once every now and then” fast food choices…usually we’re not fans of fast food) and some afternoon tea from Dobinsons. On my way I passed a phone booth which was occupied by two teenage girls, one of them was standing right in front of the phone, whilst the other one was standing next to her talking on her mobile phone…neither of them were using the payphone!

That, unfortunately, was a sign of things to come. When I arrived at Kingsley’s Chicken I got ticket number “01” from the machine, at the time they were serving ticket number “97” so the wait wouldn’t be too long, so I waited as 98 and 99 went past, and then they reached “00”…the girl who was serving at the time called out in a rather thick accent something which sounded like “num-bo”…I’m sure she meant “number oh”, although why she couldn’t be clear about it and call out “zero” is beyond me. Eventually, after she nearly called out my number, the person with ticket “00” came forward to see if he was next.

Then came my turn, a young bloke, possibly Inidian, called out my number, I came forward and proceeded to give him my order:

Me: “Could I get six chicken croquets and a jumbo chips please?”
Him: “Six crockets and the jumbo chips?”
I should point out that, being roughly based on a dutch food of the same name, the correct pronounciation of “croquets” is “crow-kays”, not “crockets” as the people at Kingsley’s seem to call them.
Me: “Yes please”.
Him: “I will put the gravy on the chips yes?”
Me: “No thank you, just the chips please.”
Him: “So no crockets?”
Me: “No…six croquets and a jumbo chips.”
Him: “And no gravy?”
Me: “That’s right.”
Him: “How about a drink? We have (insert list of drinks here).”
Me: “No, just the croquets and the chips please.”
Him: “Are you sure?”
Me: “Yes!”
Him: “So no drinks or gravy?”
Me: “Correct!”

Finally it sunk in, and he informed me of the total price, I gave him some money, and he gave me the correct change…but it wasn’t over, they only had four croquets ready, so he checked with one of the cooking people how long I would have to wait for the croquets…almost as if it mattered, I mean I paid for the things, what does it matter how long it will be?

Him: “The crockets will be three minutes, would you like half your order now and the rest when it’s ready, or would you like it all later?”
Me: “It doesn’t matter, just when it’s all ready.”

It got worse…he then turned around, got a cup, poured out a drink and put it on the bench in front of me…

Him: “Here is a free drink” (or something to that effect…he was mumbling…he didn’t tell me what drink it was though…would have been too bad if I had accepted it and been allergic to it, they might need a lawyer then)
Me: “I DON’T WANT…(mumbling)”

I had already explicitly declined a drink twice, so why he thought I would want one is beyond me. A few minutes later one of the cooking people brought my order over, I thanked her for it and left…leaving the drink right there on the counter.

The rest of my journey was sensible, and when I checked the radio, Glenn Wheeler on 2CC was asking people about commonly misspelled and mispronounced words, one of my personal hobby horses. I would have called in to tell him about “everythink” and “anythink” and well as “there”, “their” and “they’re”, but I had lunch first and they stopped taking calls about it by the time I got to the phone.

It looks like this will be the first blog post I’ve sent by mail to anyone in a while…I wonder if Kingsley’s Civic Manager will reply?


Entry Filed under: Bizarreness,Lunacy/Idiots,Samuel's Editorials

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  • 1. much_ado  |  October 3rd, 2006 at 2:32 pm


    I think that young man was trying to provide you with good customer service. He may not be terribly good at taking orders, but perhaps he is only new to the job. It would be nice if every take-away place tried to make such an effort everytime you have to wait longer than expected for an order. If you don’t want the drink, don’t drink it. I think it is unecessary for you to make such a big deal of it. You need to get off your soap box. I find it ludicrous that you seem to think such a small thing deserves such a response.

  • 2. much_ado  |  October 3rd, 2006 at 2:38 pm

    I can’t believe you would make such a big deal of such a small incident. The boy was obviously TRYING to provide good customer service. It would be nice if every take-away store offered some sort of compensation when a customer was required to wait longer than expected to have an order filled. It does not matter whether you wanted the drink or not, it is the thought that counts. Get over yourself. And stop bothering people (Civic Manager) with such trivial complaints.

  • 3. Loki  |  October 3rd, 2006 at 9:08 pm

    I was actually hanging off commenting on this one due to the recent threat to ban members, but I too thought Samuel was too harsh. And I agree, the boy shouldn’t be chastised for trying to do the right thing in handling a situation he couldn’t control.

  • 4. Samuel  |  October 3rd, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    Seeing as both comments convey a slightly different message, I have let both through, even though I would normally can subsequent “near-identical” messages. I get the impression that I’m going to have to put a message on the user registration page that comments from new users will be moderated before appearing.

    Perhaps he was trying to provide good customer service, but he went so far with it that he was going over the top…it’s hard to tell whether he had trouble understanding my order, was trying to push me to buy more (gravy and drinks), or was just new to the job and didn’t understand that my order is my order.

    If I had to wait ten minutes, then I might have understood the free drink, but a meagre three minutes, and the fact that I had already declined a drink twice…surely that’s an indicator that I didn’t want the bloody drink (yes, thinking about it again annoys me). Incidentally, the three minutes is actually a normal waiting time there for many things.

    The service I received was antagonising, and I have every intention of making sure that the manager of the store knows all about it.

    To roughly quote Margaret Mildrew in the final episode of One Foot In The Grave, “The problem these days is that nobody does anything, about anything”…well not me, I have a complaint, and I intend on making sure it gets heard…if, the next time I am there I receive good service, I will write to the manager again to congratulate him or her on the improvement.

    I did something similar earlier this year…I was annoyed at the way Campbell High School students were being allowed to act like Brown’s cows on excursions…I wrote to the principal about it, and when I noticed an improvement, I wrote her another letter to congratulate her on the improvement, to which she replied with a phone call.

  • 5. Samuel  |  October 3rd, 2006 at 9:19 pm

    Loki, the threat to ban members, as you put it, was quite clearly spelled out as a consequence for continuing harrassment of John B1_B5…not for disagreeing with me.

  • 6. Trephinator  |  October 4th, 2006 at 10:03 am

    “commonly misspelled and mispronounced words, one of my personal hobby horses”

    Like “ammend”?


  • 7. seepi  |  October 4th, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    Bad service to you, might be good service to someone else.
    If you didn’t want the drink cos you couldn’t afford it you would have liked a free one.

  • 8. Samuel  |  October 4th, 2006 at 3:29 pm

    That’s true, but I hardly think that retailers, in the middle of a busy lunchtime rush, would be handing out drinks to people because the shop assistant thinks they might not be able to afford a drink.

  • 9. Roger Mellie  |  October 4th, 2006 at 5:35 pm

    “I don’t believe it!”


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