I’d have done this, but had no ketchup at our table
I’ve been traveling for 1.5 months now. This has me eating out a lot more than normal, as well as shopping and interacting with “staff” a lot more than in my typical life.
And it hasn’t been pretty…
Service has declined. I’m pleased to report that surliness hasn’t increased, blessedly, but I’m definitely experiencing consistently poor service.
First… kudos… Allegro Towers in San Diego. A fine, helpful staff that was awesome. Second, Aqua Adventures – kayaking in San Diego, terrific as well. As were the folks at the San Diego Bike Shop (on C street). These folks are all at the tip of the recession – in businesses where people can cut back first. They know it and respond with excellence.
Alas, elsewhere, the picture wasn’t so pretty. At movie theatres (audio fails, 1/2 hour wait), restaurants (30 minutes, no sushi), sailing charters (boring), car service centers (left tires 30 pounds low resulting in freeway blowout), and ESPECIALLY hotels (how many beds did you need?), service has been consistently poor. I hate arriving at a hotel at 9PM after a driving struggle, and taking 15 minutes to check in. How hard is it? I booked a reservation, you have all my info, GIVE ME MY KEY! Yet, even now in 2010, I’ve got people taking rubbings of my credit card and needing to know my license plate number. Silly.
Others have noticed as well. As we waited in line at Borders last night, the folks around us were restless. They reported bad service as well. I speculated it was because of staff cutbacks and that the existing staff were just overworked, and possibly that because they were likely newer (cheaper) workers, or relatives, they might not have the chops to do it right.
As you may know, my house flooded (broken water line) whist in San Diego. It will be a big repair job, and since I’ll be living out of hotels for the next couple months, I’m not looking forward to more of this “Obama” era service. Nope… I long for the good old Bush days, when folks were too busy to help you, but when they did, they generally did a good job of it.
Postscript…. Even Google has let me down. Normally, I document my experience with a business on Google Places (an app on the Android phone). For instance, I wanted to caution folks about last night’s Days Inn, or yesterday afternoon’s 30 minute no sushi place. Alas, Google Places wouldn’t let me review or rate them and kept crashing.