I always keep a special eye open when I travel because I don’t generally know anyone and the customer service stories abound.

Omelet Line – So, I walk up to the omelet station, grab a plate and a woman comes up behind me and starts huffing and puffing like a teenager. I glance at her and she says, “I hate when someone gets in line in front of me.” Even though she wasn’t in the line when I got there I offer for her to go first. She moves in front of me but is visibly uncomfortable. She starts talking fast and says, “You took my spot in line.” I said, “I didn’t see you and I would never do that.” She says, “I really hate when someone goes in front of me.” I go silent, sometimes the best strategy. All of a sudden she leaves. The chef asks me what kind of eggs did she want. I didn’t know what to say since I was already on her bad side. No where to be found I tell the chef to give her regular eggs. Now the chef is huffing and puffing because this lady ordered an omelet and then left. Suddenly, she bolts over to the line, gets in front of me and six other people, grabs the omelet, throws a dollar at the chef and leaves. Now, the six other people are shaking their heads in disbelief.

Buffet – Off to the rest of the buffet and I see that they have fresh red beet juice, I took one sat down and began to drink. A big lump of something was in my mouth! Not good….I had to spit it out and called over the waitress. She and another waiter (I named him ‘Chuckles’) are figuring out what to do. He was headed to the kitchen so she asks him if he will please take the remaining juice to the kitchen and tell them something is wrong. He says, “NO, it’s your table, you do it.” OMG, teamwork at its finest. She didn’t want to leave my table until the manager came by. She could not have been apologetic. Mr. Manager came over, apologized explained that the Chef is supposed to taste the juices every morning and obviously didn’t. He offered to pay for the breakfast and took my name in case I needed anything else. I was pretty sure I didn’t swallow any but it’s an awful feeling having that slimy stuff in your mouth.

The moral of the omelet story – there was clearly something wrong with the woman. I didn’t know that at the time, but tried to be polite, speak softly and let her go first. I could have argued with her, denied the line jumping and made her even more angry. Never jumped a line in my life, not starting now, but it doesn’t feel good to get accused of something you didn’t do. – LISTEN – SOFTLY REACT AND LET HER HAVE HER WAY IN LINE

The moral of the buffet story – While waiting for the manager I was chatting with the waitress and told her that I write a column on EXTREME CUSTOMER SERVICE and I might include “Chuckles’ in the article. He was not a team player and was quite rude to her in front of me. After she left she went and told him he might be featured in my article and boy did he perk up. He actually even put his arm around her, started smiling and developed a hustle and bustle in his step. MS. WAITRESS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE ACCOMMODATING, EMPATHIC AND POLITE – she received $10 tip. MR. MANAGER DID THE RIGHT THING – I’m sending a letter to the restaurant’s owner. Chuckles, well, he just ended up in my column this week, but my guess is his customers had a great day with him once he found out he was on the HOT SEAT!

Carol is a Motivational Speaker, Executive Coach, Fundraising Strategist, Social Media Quarterback and Small Business Advisor. She is Lehigh Valley’s sought after consultant who assists organizations with results driven growth. Her strategies can be easily adapted to a for profit or non-profit environment. Carol specializes in high impact leadership, million dollar fundraising, smash the box marketing, and creating word of mouth epidemics for her clients. Visit Carol’s website at and “LIKE” Carol at Caroltalks on Facebook. Carol S. Ritter, Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia and past board chair for St. Luke’s University Hospital Visiting Nurses Association & Hospice.

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