I’m planning another trip to Vegas later this year, so I emailed a poker host at the hotel/casino where I want to stay. I gave her the dates, my credit card number, and my loyalty club membership number. She emailed me back the next day, asking if I knew my loyalty club membership number.
Really? I sent you an email that was only three sentences long, and you couldn’t read all the way to the end?
I replied that I’d included everything in my first email, and she wrote back apologetically, saying no problem, I was all set.
I used to have this problem with publicists at publishing houses. I would email them a request to have one of their authors on my radio show. I would specifically tell them the day and time, how long the interview would run, and that it would be live over the phone. Inevitably, I’d get a response asking what day and time, how long it would run, and whether it would be live or taped.
As my wife says whenever we see a team screw up on “The Amazing Race,” “You didn’t read the clue all the way through!!”
Yesterday, I went into Crazy Bowls and Wraps, a local St. Louis chain that we’ve liked and ordered from for many years. Of course, in the food industry, it’s hard to keep people on the job, and CBW is no different, with a lot of employee turnover. So, I didn’t know the woman at the counter, nor did she know me. But this was mid-afternoon, when there weren’t many customers in the place, so I had her full attention as soon as I walked in the door. Or, at least, I thought I did.
Looking right at me, she asked what I’d like, and we had this exchange:
Me: “A regular-sized bowl with chicken, broccoli, jasmine rice, and garlic-ginger sauce, please. To go.”
Her: “Okay, that’s a stir-fry bowl. What size would you like?”
Her: “And you said brown rice?”
Me: “No, jasmine rice, please,”
Her: “Would you like any sauce on that?”
Her: “Is this for here or to go?”
Let’s recap. Of the six elements of my order, she hadn’t heard four of them.
Perhaps she was new to the job, perhaps a lot of things were on her mind, but foremost among them wasn’t pay attention to the customer!
But I didn’t say a word — just waited a few minutes for my order to be prepared, then took it home, where I told Martha about yet another person who would never make it to the finish line to collect a million dollars from Phil Keoghan.