Customer Service is Out Of Style In Chicago

This week’s travel grind is continues to prove challenging. I learned of a mis-scheduled speech 90 minutes before heading to the airport yesterday (read: I spent the night in Houston, TX last night because it was cheaper than re-booking my flight to Cincinnati), ran into some issues with the credit card I use for travel (that’s another blog ENTIRELY), and at this writing have been stranded at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport since early this afternoon. At last update, I was scheduled on the 6:15PM to Cincinnati which will allegedly depart around 8:30pm.

While plagued with typical winter travel via Chicago issues (cancellations, delays, a surplus of downtime), I was reminded why I find it so important to speak on topics of finance…heck, not even finance- money.

Shortly after landing here today, I thought I’d enjoy a tasty yogurt parfait for lunch. Spotting one at the Starbucks booth near the gate of my later cancelled flight, I walked up to the three…THREE…people working behind the counter, when I was greeted with “Our thing is down. If you’d like, you can come back a little later.” To which I responded, “I suppose I don’t really have a choice, do I?” Then received, “No. You really don’t.”

Last time I checked, a barrista doesn’t need to use a computer to do anything related to actually making me a cup of coffee or selling me food…except for handling the money. Ahhhhh, therein lies the issue. Money.

I stepped away, walking back down the corridor about 2 gates to a booth for Uno’s Chicago Pizza where I was met by a polite man puzzled that his register, too, was down. Only his response was quite different. When I inquired about the parfaits he had in his chiller (identical to the one I’d spotted early), he said, “Well, my register is down, but if you have cash, we can do this!” “Really?”, I replied, “I have cash!” So he grabbed a pen and a scrap of paper, scribbled down some quick numbers (**carry the one….**) and for $5.60, proudly sold me a parfait….AND A BANANA! Just my making my transaction possible, I picked up the “impulse purchase”.

As I picked up my goods, I thanked him and said he should consider holding a class for the people over at Starbucks…for not having a register simply BLEW THEIR MINDS!

Come on, people! It’s a $6.00 cup of coffee. It’s probably okay if you made the math easy and sold a few cheapies when your register goes down..heck, how about a free one?

To every teacher who took the time to make sure I knew how to use basic math, THANK YOU!

Good grief!

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