by Carol Ritter

I posted a picture of my vacation on Facebook and wrote, “what a glorious week,” and it really was. The sun was shining, the beach was amazing and although we got caught in the rain, it became a family joke as we ran through the downpour. Glorious is not how I would describe our customer service at many eateries, however.

The first day we went to Lunch at Doc’s. The waitress ran from table to table greeting guests, taking orders and the service was outstanding. So were the crab, shrimp and lobster tacos. Glorious.

The next day we went to the national chain restaurant Cracker Barrel. The server took my order for oatmeal and then came back a few minutes later with butter and syrup, because she “knew that I’d end up not getting them.” Oh no!

On our third day, we stopped by a local spot called The Breakfast Joint. After entering the place, the waitress asks me the customary number in my party, after telling her I request a seat by a window. She again angrily asks me “how many?” I tell her four, and she says “follow me” to which I said “excuse me?” Her response was another angry “I said, follow me!” Rude.

The day after that we went to The Green Man. We were the first customers to arrive and ordered a green drink and waited. And waited. And waited. We watched other guests arrive and get served before us. The Green Man opens at 8 a.m. and we didn’t even get our drinks until 8:30 a.m. How can that happen?

Day five we went to Obie’s and I ordered a turkey burger with no onions, no bun and coleslaw. I got my order with onions, a bun and fries. They handled the mix up politely and apologetically. Glorious.

On day six we went to Victoria’s. We were seated, waited 15 minutes for the waiter to come over because he was talking about himself and living in Jamaica to another table. It got so bad that the hostess was embarrassed, kept getting us more water and eventually got the supervisor. He got “the tap” from his boss and finally came to our table. Rude.

On our last day, we ate at Salt Air and found my glorious customer service while we sat at the bar and ordered scallops. The bar tender handled a pestering customer with good humor and when I remarked on her excellent people skills she bought me a drink. Definitely glorious!

You may want to pay attention to customer service when you are on a long trip. Sometimes we just start to accept bad service as the rule and not the exception it should be.

Carol S. Ritter, past President of the National Speakers Association in Philadelphia, is an accomplished professional speaker, coach and educational consultant specializing in innovative leadership, outrageous fundraising, million-dollar marketing and building organizational alliances throughout the country. FMI on Carol’s creative leadership with bulletproof ideas for recruiting more members, more money and better leaders:, 610-442-4545,, “Like” Carol on Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches.


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