Should Have Told Her Before It Actually Happened

, , , , | Right | August 15, 2018

(When we take an order for room service, we always close the call by saying, “Your order should be up for you within half an hour.” In this story, the bellman has just come to ask me to call the guest and tell them that the front line in the kitchen is down for some reason and the food is going to take a bit longer. I immediately call the guest. The guest ordered their food about 15 minutes prior to this.)

Me: “Hi. This is [My Name] calling from Room Service. I’m so sorry, but I’ve just been informed that the kitchen is unable to make food at this moment because of a technical difficulty. They’ll hopefully be up and running very soon; would you like to wait a little longer for your order or cancel it?”

Guest: “Well, is there something else I can get? I mean, I’ve been waiting for my food.”

Me: “I’m not sure if they’re able to make anything right now, but I can go ask—”

Guest: *interrupting* “Like maybe a cheese plate?”

Me: “We actually don’t have a cheese plate on our menu here.”

Guest: “Yeah, well, most hotels have them, anyway.”

Me: “I’m afraid we don’t offer a cheese plate, but I’m happy to go ask the kitchen—”

Guest: *interrupting* “Well, I’ve been waiting for my food. You should have called earlier.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I called you the moment I found out. Would you like me to ask the kitchen—”

Guest: “I could have ordered a pizza. But now I’ve been waiting for my food. Maybe if you had a cheese plate… Or isn’t there something else you can get me? I wish you’d called me earlier.”

Me: “As I said, I called as soon as they informed me. But I can ask the kitchen if there’s anything else they can make.”

Guest: “I just wish you’d called me earlier. Isn’t there anything else I can get?”

(Realising I’m not getting through to her, I give up trying to explain that I need to talk to the kitchen.)

Me: “Please hold, ma’am.”

(I go to ask the chef if they can make anything else for her, and they inform me that the line is actually up and running again, and they’re making her food right now.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’ve actually just spoken to the kitchen, and they’re making your food right now, so that will be along for you in about five minutes.”

Guest: “Well, I wish you’d told me earlier, because you said it would be half an hour and it’s been way longer than that now, and I could have ordered a pizza.”

(It has been about twenty-five minutes since she ordered.)

Me: “As I said, ma’am, I called you as soon as I found out. Your food is on its way now. We are sorry for the inconvenience.”

Guest: “Well, it had better be here soon, then, because I’ve been waiting. You should have called me earlier.”

(My manager ended up comping her meal.)

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