Thursday, October 30, 2008

It COULD Happen to YOU...part I


Did you ever get someone fired??? Unintentionally??? It’s not something I ever wanted to do, nor thought could happen…but it did…TWICE! And both came back to bite me…
Incident#1…about 9 years ago, I worked in the lobby of our building and I managed all corporate functions for execs and employee’s, both offsite and onsite. Our HR group was planning a big party; so it was my job to find a local restaurant, order the food, drinks, etc. I worked diligently with the employees at this particular restaurant, Christina River Club, which has since closed. The event went OK, however, they were not prepared for such a big party, and kept running out of food, and our waitress was less than professional…after all, we are spending a couple grand on this. So, after the event was over, my boss insisted I go and tell the manager how disappointed I was and to make mention of the poor service from our waitress! I seriously hate controversy and certainly did not have the balls to go do such a thing, but she told me to ‘step up to the challenge’, and this was ‘part of my job requirement’…FINE…so I went spoke to the owner and in a nice, professional way, explained our issues.
The next day, as I sit at my desk in the main lobby, where everyone can see me, in walks none other than, the waitress whom we complained about from the night before. She proceeds to tell me that I got her FIRED…gasp! She’s NOT happy, she’s leaning over my desk, in my face…telling me she needed that job, she has kids…my heart is pounding, she’s screaming, yet, in my head, I’m slowly tuning her out, as I’m envisioning my obit…clearly this lady was going postal on me…god knows what she was packing under that trench coat…I could barely speak, but I kept saying, in my most professional voice “I’m sorry to hear this, I did not ask for you to be fired, but simply felt that your service yesterday was less than desired for the event we had planned”….Please god, someone MUST see this and HEAR her going off on me…where is said BOSS lady…get your arss in here and fast, this is YOUR fault…and where the hell is the panic button at my desk…where is security!?! Since this was pre-9/11, our security guards were very lax. FINALLY, after what felt like an agonizing HOUR, my boss came out and escorted the lady out, telling her she would talk to the owner and try and fix this issue…O.M.G. I truly saw my life flash before me…THEN, after she is gone, good ole’ security comes in and takes my statement and whatnot…too late you idiots…the freak LEFT…!! I mean, I felt horrible she got fired…I never thought that was going to happen, so I can see her reason for angst…but you never know what people will do in the heat of the moment!!!
She did come back in a few weeks later to apologize to me, and said she found a better waitressing job….WHEW!
What I did learn is to speak up when there is poor service. It has proven very beneficial to me every time. For instance, I had a big family party in Dec and ordered some catering from Olive Garden. When got the food and brought it home, they forgot my bread stix…HMMPH!!! I was so mad…so I wrote a letter to them, expressing my thoughts, and they gave me a $75 gift card for that restaurant! I had a similar incident with Season’s Pizza…ordered catering, disliked it, wrote a letter…got another $35 gift card. Not too shabby!!!