Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF
FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-
In previous Culinary no-no blogs, I have urged readers to be kind to their servers. Because they have such a tough, thankless task and since I’ve seen them belittled far too many times by condescending clods, I tend to sympathize with their lot in life (Culinary no-no #18 seems unavailable on-line so its content might require a future blog).
That’s not to say like the rest of us they’re above committing errors. Though normally I bend over backwards to give servers the benefit of the doubt, a fairly recent experience at a
It was a Friday night. I had just finished taping InterCHANGE at Channel 10. Often I’ll meet Jennifer and Kyla at a predetermined location. Such was the case this particular fish fry night.
I beat the girls there so I approached the man at the check-in podium to inform we had reservations.
“We don’t take reservations on Friday nights,” I was told.
Odd. That’s not what the young woman told us on the phone earlier that day. The maitre d was unflappable, telling me he’d seat us when he could.
OK, I’ll do what anyone would do in that situation. I’ll wait at the bar.
Sans wife and child, I found an empty seat next to an elderly couple. They were regulars because the woman said to me you had to practically send up a flare to get attention.
Eventually one of the female bartenders noticed me and approached, not looking all that enthused.
When I gave my drink order, a common cocktail that any bartending school graduate should be able to master with ease, I got a snotty reaction. It was as if the woman had suddenly sucked on a lemon.
“Ewwww!” she exclaimed with a countenance that looked as though she had been stabbed.
She inquired why in the world I would seriously consider drinking that specific cocktail. Admittedly, I was stunned for a moment as she quickly walked away to pour a beer for someone else.
I was ticked.
After flagging her down, a practice I never employ, she again approached wishing she were cleaning toilets somewhere in
I told her in no uncertain terms that when any customer orders a drink that she should not pass judgment or criticize and should happily take the request and fulfill it. She was aghast, accusing me of being rude. I replied that she was actually disrespectful to me and once again, she took a powder.
The woman next to me begged me to complain to a higher up for fear the behavior would continue, and yes, she and her husband were regulars and had seen this type of customer service occur before.
By now, Jennifer and Kyla and shown up, and my wife who knows me quite well could recognize things weren’t going well. I think it was the steam coming out of each ear.
Miss Bartender of the Year was off helping other customers and I noticed the other female bartender was mixing what appeared to be and was my order. Sure enough, she sauntered over to me with an apology and a question as to what happened. She also thought she recognized my wife from a local gym. To prevent World War III, I will refrain from comment.
My drink turned out to be gratis, I left a tip, and we were then seated and proceeded to have terrific service and delicious fish fries.
During our meal, the owner came to our table, obviously tipped off by the second of our two bartenders. He wanted an explanation, so I gave it, at the same time telling him that as a new owner of a new restaurant, he really wouldn’t want his customers treated this way. Also, I made it implicit that I wanted no disciplinary action taken, that this should be a learning, teaching moment for an employee.
He then insisted I send him an e-mail detailing what happened. I said I just told you what happened. He wanted it in writing. I decided later I just wasn’t going to do it. A few weeks later we returned and bartender #1, the one with the snippy attitude who never apologized, was still behind the bar, hopefully not handing out potable advice.
Though I usually attempt to empathize with the over-worked, under-paid server, this time I simply could not. Take my order, fill it without critical review but with a smile, and go on to your next customer.
I mention because I happened across a CBS News online article from 2011 about an incident at, where else, a McDonald’s, this one in
A CBS writer advises even when you're right, you can be wrong, the faster you admit to the mistake, the better, and if you think this mistake is painful, it's not nearly as bad as failing to learn from it.
CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES
Feet in lettuce photo gets Burger King employees fired.
To some , it would be a no-no. But I'd try one.
Really? The farmer's market? A no-no?
What's the price of a home-cooked meal?