Monday, May 10, 2010

On the warpath

I'm not one to complain. OK, that's patently false.

Correction: I'm not one to complain about bad service or the like. Call it inferiority or passive-aggressiveness or the belief that it won't make any difference or whatever. I just don't do it very much. My dissatisfaction may manifest itself in other ways--I refused to shop at Kroger's for years after they introduced a shopper loyalty card (and am not proud at breaking down)--or I may simply fume about it or let it go.

Not today, although both matters I dealt with were at least a couple days old. First was something I couldn't ignore. Last Wednesday an automated machine in a parking garage took my $10 and didn't give me the $7 in change I was owed. I'd been meaning to call about this but kept forgetting. Turns out it should be a fairly easy resolution. I faxed a copy of the receipt and my information to the appropriate person and expect to get the money mailed to me.

Drunk with a sense of righteousness, I then fired off an e-mail to McDonald's. On the way home from the Reds game on Saturday night I stopped to get a little bit to eat and a coffee to help keep me alert for the late night drive. (It wasn't my first choice, but the place I wanted to stop at was closed.)

Like I said, I'm not one to complain, but the service was terrible. Cold fries, no dipping sauce that I specifically requested, no napkins or straw, no cream or sugar in the coffee or the bag, and an exceptionally long wait--ten minutes minimum--with only a car or two ahead of me. The attendant didn't seem to know what my order was. Oh yeah, and no receipt, which usually has a customer satisfaction number.

Drop one or two of those factors, and I may not have bothered to voice my displeasure. In this case, though, I went to the trouble of looking up the location information and filing a complaint through the company's site. I haven't heard back and don't necessarily expect to get anything other than a form e-mail response, but hey, I told them! Politely, of course.

What inspired such backbone over relatively minor things? Probably it's my aggravation with not being fully recovered from what I initially (and foolishly) thought was an injury-free car accident. I'm not in terrible shape from the whiplash by any means, but I'm irritated that it's still lingering. Bad McDonald's drive-thru workers just got caught in the crossfire. (I still would have hunted down the seven bucks the parking garage owed me.)

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