The chili incident

This happened last month, and someone who knows that I blog said, “That’ll show up in your blog.” It had not occurred to me, frankly. But since I do the Ask Roger Anything feature, I’ll give it a go.

There’s a cafeteria in the building where I work in Corporate (frickin’) Woods. The staff is generally friendly, and the food is at least adequate, most of the time. I was not interested in the featured meal, or a sandwich. But I opted for the chili, which they don’t always have, and which I’ve enjoyed in the past. There was some shredded cheese in a bowl next to the vat of chili, and I added a soupcon of it on top.

What I couldn’t find, though, was a lid to put on the container, lest it spill. The friendly woman at the register, seeing my puzzled look, yelled across the room that the lids were by the register, several yards away. Huh?

I purchased my lunch, which seemed higher than I had mentally calculated, then went to the dining room to start eating. Then the woman who thought I ought to blog this, came to me and said: “You know why the tops were by the register? Because the cashier was directed by management to charge extra for the cheese.” This rather cheesed me off, pardon the pun. It seemed petty; if I had gotten an extra ounce of chili, that would have cost more than the ounce of cheese I used? There was no signage that I saw to indicate this, either.

What had occurred to me is what would I do the NEXT time I got chili there. It would have been easy to put in some cheese, then some chili, a little more cheese, then top it off with plenty of chili, rendering all signs of the dairy product invisible. What would YOU do?

As it turned out, the management has been replaced, so the chili lids are by the chili, and so the question is moot. Except that I still serves as an example of bad customer service.

3 thoughts on “The chili incident”

  1. In a lot of places, it would be illegal to charge extra for the cheese without telling people upfront. As it should be. Regardless, it’s an example of a situation in which obsession with being paid pennies can actually cost them dollars of bad will.


  2. What I’d like to think I’d do: be polite and civil and normal and add a sprinkling of cheese to my chili.

    What I’m pretty sure I’d really do: find out how much the cheese costs and get my money’s worth of cheese. Bury that chili.


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