Wait. What? (The Bob Evans saga continues.)


I never emailed these names.  Seriously.  Someone must have sent Jon the text of my blog, or a link to my blog.  My original email contained the names which I then changed to something I thought would be ridiculous and obvious, so I didn’t accidentally call out another real employee.

Am I being trolled?

On Thursday, November 19, 2015 8:54 PM, “0503, BER” <Unit_503@bobevans.com> wrote:

Hello,

                I am following up on a bad review that we had charge to our store.  I was hoping to get some more information, as we believed our location received this review in error.  We don’t have servers by either name mentioned in the review (Maleficient and Lincoln), and would like to find out which store you were actually at.  Then we can send this along to them, so that they can address these issues.  Thank you for your time.

Jon Herrmann
General Manager
Bob Evans #503
Bridgeville, PA
(412) 257-1369

Shenanigans. ☘

I wrote back.  Nothing interesting besides pointing out that I never sent those names in an email.

I also got an email from LeAnn confirming our Dormont address, so I passed along the new one.  I wonder if I’ll get a T-shirt?

If it’s gift certificates, does anyone know of a charity that accepts them or of a family in need?

Maybe they’re sending someone to dispatch of me.  Maybe I should ask King’s to weigh in?

This still makes me laugh uncontrollably:

YOU GET A CRAYON!

Smiling & coloring rule.

I did get a really insightful comment on the last post though. Doesn’t seem like it’s gone down that way so far.

 

Bob Evans: 1 • Eat’n Park: 1½


So, did you read about our most recent experience with a waitress we’ll call Maleficent at the local Bob Evans?  If not, you may want to read that first.

I recently got the expected response from Bob Evans, and it’s nowhere near as enthusiastic as last time.  They are probably more displeased with my over-the-top approach to storytelling than the actions of Maleficent.

——– Original message ——–
From: “Barga, Leann D.
Date: 11/11/2015 9:23 AM (GMT-05:00)
To: me@my.email.address
Subject: Bob Evans – Reference # 1106568

Good Morning Eric,

I am so sorry to hear that you recently had a poor experience at our Bridgeville location.  The behavior demonstrated by one of our servers was unacceptable, and for that we truly apologize.  We expect all of our employees to treat our guests like family, and want our guests to be completely satisfied – it is clear that we let you down with your initial server during this visit.

On the other hand, I am happy to hear that Lincoln ‘saved the day’ and made the rest of your time with us an enjoyable one.

I will be sharing your comments with the general manager and area coach of this location so any necessary action can be taken to ensure that all of our servers are meeting our and our guests expectations.

Sincerely,

LeAnn Barga (formerly Purdy)
Representative, Guest and Consumer Relations
8111 Smith’s Mill Road
New Albany, Ohio 43054
Phone: (800) 939-2338
http://www.BobEvans.com

It seems that Leanne is still rocking it with Bob Evans, now with a new name.  I hope she is doing well!

Not sure what this means (if anything) for Maleficent and Lincoln.  Will anything actually be said?  Will general management or area coaches write back to me directly?  Will I get a dirty look from Maleficent next time we’re there?  Hopefully Lincoln is on the clock.

Of course I can’t just let things like this be, so I reached out to Eat’n Park on twitter. Their response was glorious

Ha.  Eat’n Park for the win.

EVERYONE GETS A CRAYON!

Checkmate.

McConsistency is Key.


Recently for lunch, I had a reconstituted-onion & cheese sandwich from McDonald’s with a little bit of beef on it.  It was extra special because it was pressed.  It was not like a panini press with grill lines, but more like someone sat on it.  There were also pickles stacked on top of each other, sticking out of the side.  Very artful & creative!

This wasn’t even from the West Liberty location.

I recently had a friend send one of his friends’ McTale-of-woe to me, because I have apparently become some sort of authority on all things wrong with McDonald’s customer service.

The reason I told of my recent adventure in lunch, is that it fits with the tale as told by someone who wishes to remain nameless, blameless, & shameless:

From: Pattyless Sandwich
Date: Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 9:29 AM
Subject: The Day McDonald’s Shit All Over My Good Time
To: The Hamburglar

On Sept. 27, 2011 I went through the drive thru at McDonald’s on Mt. Lebanon Blvd. in Castle Shannon, PA. I ordered a number 4 (two cheeseburgers), and I asked for no onion. When I got back to my friends house and we started eating I noticed that the sandwich looked really thin but I just figured it was smashed down a little more THAN NECESSARY so I bit in anyway. As I was chewing, I realized something wasn’t right about what was being smashed around in my mouth. I set my sandwich down and removed the top part of the bun to see the following: slice of cheese on the bottom half of the bun, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. Yes, that is correct, there was no meat on the sandwich. Luckily I had another sandwich, that in fact had the patty, to eat, but they put onions on it. The only thing I asked them to void. Now I understand work is work and if you have a job to live then that is fantastic, but to be the person to put the burgers together at McDonald’s, I feel like you go through a training day to be shown how to assemble them. Bottom bun, slice of cheese (I’m guessing it is on the bottom so the burger melts it, let’s not get crazy this shit isn’t cooked together), HAMBURGER PATTY, and then your condiments. Who put mine together and thought “hm….this looks right. Nothing is missing, I am a brilliant fucking burger maker extraordinaire.”? It’s not a hamburger from a hamburger joint if there is no meat. To quote a smart fast food chain (rhymes with Shmendy’s), “Where’s the beef!?”

Sincerely,
Pattyless Sandwich

And, there’s even a Facebook photo:

Veggie Burger?

Veggie Burger?

Ridiculous.  At least this didn’t come through my contact form from someone thinking I was McDonald’s.

Friends, I seriously wish I could write to the McGiant on your behalf, but all of my insane yet legitimate complaints have fallen on deaf ears, blind eyes, or typical McCustomer-Service employees.

Check out my track record.  While I feel for you, maybe try their McPennsylvania site?  I can do nothing at this point but perhaps share in your misery, my freinds!

OK, maybe I am McDonald’s?


Just kidding.  But Harmony and her husband are convinced that I am indeed McDonald’s, and that Harmony is a certified technological genius.  More on that later.

I was convinced by my friends & followers online to write to Mr. Kausky after his suggestion of thanking a soldier for the freedom to choose fast food.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you need to read “I AM NOT McDONALD’S” and “I’m still not McDonald’s“.

McDonald's on UrbanspoonAt any rate, this is how I chose to respond to the good-natured manager of the Canonsburg McDonald’s:

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Sep 7, 2011
Subject: Re: AiXeLsyD13 / W(aL)D – I’m not McDonald’s
To: Scott Kausky
Cc: pit.05834@us.stores.mcd.com, info@westliberty.mcdtoday.com, sandra.jaeger@gmail.com, krebs955@gmail.com, shovelman11@yahoo.com, pastorskid_tiwtc4u@yahoo.com, Ella.Jones@us.mcd.com, McDonaldsCorporation@mcd.com, McDonalds.CustomerCare@us.mcd.com, kathy.pieroni@us.mcd.com

Hello Mr. Kausky,

Pardon me if I’m misreading the tone of your email, but please calm down.  Have some dip.

My inclusion of you on the original email was because I’ve had pleasant dealings with you & your McDonald’s location in the past.  I’m convinced that you were instrumental in finally getting a response from Ms. Jones the last time I had an issue with the West Liberty Ave. McDonald’s location.  I read you as a man of action, with great pride in your company.

Perhaps you would be better off at a Chick-Fil-A?  They seem to treat their employees better, and you’d never work on Sundays.  You may not be so stressed & jumpy.  Ever notice they always say “My Pleasure” instead of “You’re Welcome” when you thank them?  I can’t decide if it’s awesome, or cult-like.  I’m pretty sure that no one at any McDonald’s ever has acted like it was their pleasure to give me a lopsided cheeseburger.  (Seriously, spot-check that stuff.  I haven’t done a formal study yet, but I’m guessing that 75% of the time, the pickles are stacked on one side of the burger, not placed side-by-side in the middle… and that 95% of the time, there is ketchup and/or mustard on the outside of the bun.)  Although, I have never seen an alarm clock with a subliminal cow penis at McDonald’s… even if you have poorly copied the Chick-fil-A sandwich.

I have four email addresses for people representing the West Liberty Ave. McDonald’s.  None of them have replied to my original email.  This shows lack of pride.  I’m sure you would be disappointed in their lack of response.  That’s…  pit.05834@us.stores.mcd.com, info@westliberty.mcdtoday.com, sandra.jaeger@gmail.com, & Ella.Jones@us.mcd.com.

I’m a concerned citizen, trying to help the confused yet adamant Harmony get in contact with the correct people.  Amber & Shirley need my help too.  Their complaints are valid, and think about this… out of the entire internet that exists out there… these people have managed to find my blog to submit complaints about what I can call possibly the most incompetent McDonald’s location ever.  It’s not their fault that they can’t tell that I am not McDonald’s.

Harmony has her own issues, as she can’t distinguish between an email address and a website… but that doesn’t change the fact that she was not offered a mango pineapple smoothie, and it took 15 minutes to get her additional sandwich and Rolo McFlurry while ¾ of the crew members where congregating by the drive-thru.  (Hopefully they weren’t conjugating… right?)  A mango pineapple smoothie sounds absolutely disgusting, but if Harmony wanted to be offered one that’s her right.

Speaking of rights, I’m not sure how I provoked the antagonistic patriotism and perceived lack of disrespect for our armed forces and freedom.  I apologize if I have offended you in any way.  Were you watching the History channel, election coverage, or perhaps drinking when you received my email?  (I’m not judging, I would imagine one would have to partake in the occasional sip of spirits in order to cope with the stress of running a McDonald’s on top of receiving emails from crazy people.)  

I am indeed glad that I have the freedom to rant about customer service issues and fast food quality on the internet.  You’re right though, I will indeed thank a soldier the next time I see them.  You’ll have to promise to instruct your fellow McDonald’s managers and employees to thank a soldier next time they see them too.  They need to thank them for the freedom to serve poorly constructed sandwiches, cold french fries, and for opportunities to congregate by the drive-thru while paying customers wait (im?)patiently.  While we’re at it, they should thank them for the freedom to dumb-down the populace by changing words like “through” to “thru” and “Night” to “Nite”.  I’m not positive, but I can only assume such offenses would not go unpunished in the former Soviet Union or current Communist blockades like China, one of the Koreas, or Cuba.  I can imagine one being caned in a Singapore McDonald’s for congregating by the drive-thru, or having ketchup fall on the outside of a bun.

At any rate, I would like to share with you my overall adventures in correspondence with McDonald’s.  I hope to amuse and amaze you in chronological order below:

Just so you don’t feel bad, check this one out:  Wendy’s in Dormont (Pittsburgh, PA) – W. LIBERTY #5

I hope you took the time to read all of the comments.  I am not McDonald’s, and I am not alone.  There are more (albeit less electronically vocal) of me out there.  We will not remain silent.  We will continue to consume your poorly assembled meals while grumbling under our breath.  We will contunite to have a mental block when it comes to actual time spent waiting for “fast food” to be prepared & served versus the perceived speed of choosing to dine at such establishments.  We will continue to craft poorly worded and misspelled messages and send them to the wrong people.  We will celebrate the fact that we have the freedom to do all of the above.

So, we have arrived to now.  What’s happening now, is happening now.  I hope you have enjoyed the ride.  Please keep all arms, legs, & other appendages inside the car until it comes to a complete stop.  Thanks for flying W(aL)D Airlines, may the force be with you.  (..and also with you, Amen.)

Your baffled consumer advocate,
-Eric AiXeLsyD
World (and Lunar) Domination

Heh.  I decided to go goofy at the end.  I got his reply, and have decided to leave this poor man alone.  Why?  He actually takes pride in his McDonald’s,  and seems to have a rare killer work ethic:

From: Scott Kausky <skausky33@verizon.net>
Date: Wed, Sep 7, 2011
Subject: Re: AiXeLsyD13 / W(aL)D – I’m not McDonald’s
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Eric
I didn’t send the email you to upset you either.  I represent my McDonalds.  I was just stating the fact that our soldiers give us the freedom to complain.  I’m old fashioned perhaps, if I continued to have issues, I would simply not return.  Thats how I run my store.  We don’t want them to go else where so we do it right and fix the issues that arrive.  The stores that have issues generally might be due to the town they are in.  I appologize if no one responds to your emails.  All I know for sure is come visit in Canonsburg and I’ll make it right for you.  I enjoy my job and serving our customers.  Please dont use my email for any other reason.

With Respect

Scott Kausky

Respect is right.  Misguided patriotic rants aside, Scott Kausky is the man.  I encourage you to support this McDonald’s location.

We still have the little matter of harmony being convinced that I’m McDonald’s.  You can imagine my surprise as this came to my inbox slightly before Scott’s reply above:

From: krebs955@gmail.com <krebs955@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Sep 7, 2011
Subject: Re: AiXeLsyD13 / W(aL)D – I’m not McDonald’s
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

I don’t have much to say about all this McDonald’s stuff, because I work at one currently and everybody else has said it. However, I will say that Harmony is my wife and she has no issues whatsoever. The reason we posted on your blog is because it was on the bottom of our receipt. She is not technologically challenged, and shame on you for assuming what other people’s problems and issues are.

Upon the arrival of this gem in my inbox, I was kind of speechless.  I was also paranoid.  Did they indeed pimp my blog’s address at the bottom of a McDonald’s receipt?  I would have declared this an absolute win for Ella Jones, Sandra Jaeger, and everyone else that doesn’t reply to emails at the West Libery Ave. McDonald’s.  I mean, really, how funny would that be?  Along those same lines… if this is a friend or reader yanking my proverbial crank; Kudos!  You totally got me.

If this is for real, then may God have mercy on your souls, …and mine for teasing you.  Can someone please help me explain this?  I thought I did that with my last blog post/email with the lines..

But, I must say that I’m confused.  You didn’t email anyone, you used the contact form at my website: https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com

Is that what appears at the top of the receipt?

I’m guessing that more than likely it says “ella.jones@us.mcd.com” at the top of your receipt.  I’m not Ella Jones.  You didn’t email me.  You didn’t email Ella Jones.  You did a Google (or Bing) search for the email address, and landed on my page.

McReceipt 09/07/2011

I don't see my email address or blog url on here anywhere. Do you?

Can someone help me simplify that?  Should I even bother at this point?  I’m confused.  Just in case Harmony or her husband find their way back here, I did have to satisfy my curiosity.  I stopped & got two sweet teas tonight, just to get a receipt.  You can seethe full receipt to the left.

It thankfully (and I’ll admit… somewhat disappointingly) does not include my email address or my blog’s web address.

Which one of my theories do you think is the case here?  Do you think they found my blog, & were insulted?  I mean no disrespect.  I’m just trying to help here.  At this point, I’m assuming Shirley and Amber will remain clueless until the end of time.  I have yet to receive a reply from either of them, and doubt I will.  And, I doubt that I’ll ever hear from Ella Jones or Sandra Jaeger.

I also hope that Harmony’s husband doesn’t work at the West Liberty McDonald’s, and that her going online to complain (“complaine”?) about his corporate employer doesn’t cause some sort of marital rift.

Perhaps a visual aid will help demonstrate:

Trust me, I am not McDonald's.

Trust me, I am not McDonald's.

I don’t think I’ll ever convince them.  Think I can get a McDonald’s hat or something?  Maybe a name tag?  Something?  Perhaps I should just start writing back to people pretending that I am indeed McDonald’s.

McDonald's on Urbanspoon To compound & confound even more, this is what happened on my latest adventure into this McDonald’s on a mission to obtain a receipt & ultimately verify that I am not McDonald’s:

I pulled into the parking lot somewhere around 8:30pm and the lot was quite full.  Most of the cars in the lot were at the outer edge, toward the bottom of the lot, and most likely there for Malone’s Too or Señor Frog’s or whatever that bar is called this week… blatantly ignoring the signs to the effect of “McDonald’s Parking Only” or whatever.  I even saw a guy walk out of the bar into his car.  Oh well, that’s not really in their control… or is it?

The drive through lanes were both backed up pretty hard, and I’m sure people were cutting in front of each other unhindered as usual… so I opted to just pull into a parking spot & go inside.  Bad move?  Perhaps.

Once inside, I took my place in line behind a woman and her daughter at the one open/operating register, and a lone dude in front of me.  The woman & daughter were mid-order, and there was something going on about apple pies being dropped (in what I can hopefully assume was the fryer) and only one pie being avaiable.  They were told there would be an approximate 10 minute wait, but that “it goes fast”.  The woman slid to the side as her daughter went to fill their drinks, and I assume find a table.

While this was happening, I saw another McDonald’s employee come up to a register, glance annoyedly at me and the dude in front of me, hit some buttons, then walk away.  I’m sorry.  Do these employees know that to make money, McDonald’s sells what they pass off as food… and that in order to pay her salary they need to sell vast amounts of lopsided hamburgers with ketchup all over the outside of the bun?  I was surprised at how backed up things had become as the drive-through appeared quite frantic & another potential customer came in behind me during a completely non-meal-rush time of day.

Leaving the sole struggling fellow employee at the line register kind of seemed like what I would call a “dick move“.  Alas, the mother moved to the left, and slid her tray containing rapidly cooling french fries along with her.  Up next?  Dude in front of me.

Dude must have also ordered apple pies… as he was told they just dropped.  When he asked what that meant, he was told that it meant there would be a ten minute wait for apple pies.   Was the young lady at the register trying to use a Jedi mind trick to dissuade the man from ordering apple pies?  I’m guessing that she was simply telling a customer that they didn’t want what they ordered.  I honestly don’t know why anyone would want to order one of those nasty mucus-like hot-pockets that are supposed to resemble a pie… but if he was willing to shell out his hopefully hard-earned cash for them, I say give them to the man!  Order begrudgingly placed, and man moves to the left… overcrowding the woman with her lone order of increasingly algid fries.

I was up!  Finally.  I was asked what I wanted to order, I requested two sweet teas.  I was actually told “Oh, thank you for being an easy one” much to the dismay of the dude directly to my left.  He was visibly not amused.  I struggled to internally process what had caused such dismay in the poor girl behind the counter as I was handed my receipt… but I was (and still am) at a loss.

Mission complete.  I had a receipt in my hand.  My name, email address, and blog url are not on the receipt.  Success!  “Just give me my cups” I thought, as the girl walked away.  A kid was leaving his shift… she told him goodbye and proceeded to walk over and talk to the remaining employees about how popular the departing employee was this evening.  It somehow turned into a rant about thinking that someone was going to come through the drive-through window at her.  Perhaps some other unsatisfied customers earlier this evening?

Then one of the other employees told the girl who had taken my order that it was time for her break.  “Break?” she exclaimed, and started to leave.  The one with some semblance of sanity said “but first I need you to take care of all these orders.”

I tried to shift to my left, but apple pie guy was holding his ground as I blatantly invaded his personal space.  Perhaps his movement was hindered by the woman in front of him with ice fries.  The woman behind me was a champion.  She pushed ahead to the register like a metal fan in a mosh pit.  I think her purse touched my bum.  I just want some cups.  The girl who took my order looked at me quizzically.  Perhaps I looked befuddled.  I know where the drink station is.  I know how to get ice.  I know how to work the knob on the iced tea dispenser.  I just need two of those Styrofoam sweet tea cups.  At this point, any cups will do.

Steely in her resolve to go on break, or perhaps obliviously, she took the order of the woman behind me.  Snack wraps.  She broke the code.  No apple pies.  Smart move, purse push lady.  Smart move.  The order was punched in, and she started to yet again walk away.

“C… Can I just have some cups?”  The words were out of my mouth before my brain knew that I was forming them.  I don’t know if I was anxious, or this was my flight response in order to remove myself from the chaos all around me.  The girl who took my order paused, and looked at me.  I’m sure ice fries and pie guy looked at me too, wondering why I should get my hands on some sweet tea before they were handed their precious disgusting pies.  For a split second, I was almost scared.  Had I crossed a line?  Had I invoked the wrath of a McDonald’s employee mere moments late for her break?

Relief.  She grabbed two Styrofoam cups and filled them with ice, then went back to her conversation about the drive through window or something that seemed to annoy her fellow employees.

The girl who had looked at us with disdain earlier while tapping a few buttons on the register reappeared, and asked ice fries what she was waiting for.  Ice fries lady (who’s daughter probably had come to terms by now that she was surely abandoned) said something to the effect of… “I’m waiting for pies, but can I have my sandwiches now, & have someone bring out the pies?”  This was like a record skipping in a TV show.  Several employees stopped and looked at her.  I’m not sure if there was an answer… but I did hear that “the pies would be ten minutes.”  Surely three to five of those ten minutes had already passed, but who was I to argue?

“Hooolllly coooowww!”  I did it again.  The words escaped me before I could contain them.  Damn you, Ernie and the Berts practice, for amping me all up.  By this point, I was looking around for hidden cameras.  Was I on a TV show?  I think I heard pie guy say “I know” but perhaps he feared the wrath of a pie-less future as it was almost imperceptible.

I was handed my iced teas… I’m guessing the tea dispensers over by the pop machines aren’t filled at night?  Makes sense.  Even though there was one of me and I ordered two drinks…  I wasn’t offered a drink carrier.  I wasn’t handed straws or napkins.  I sure as heck wasn’t going to ask for any.

I hastily made my was over to the condiment & drink station, got some straws & napkins, then walked back past the counter to the exit, ice fries, pie guy, and snack wrap lady still there… probably envious of my escape to sweet freedom.

I couldn’t help it.  As I walked by, I muttered a sing-song like “♪♫ Good luuu-uuck… ♪♫” to my fellow McConsumers.  I hope they were amused.

Eu não sou McDonald’s. Ich bin nicht McDonald’s. Io non sono McDonald’s. Jag är inte McDonalds. Je ne suis pas McDonald’s. Jeg er ikke McDonalds. Mimi si McDonald ya. Nem vagyok McDonald’s. Nid wyf yn McDonald’s. Nie jestem McDonalda. Níl mé McDonald’s ar. Non est McDonald’s. Yo no soy McDonald. Δεν είμαι της McDonald’s. Я не Макдональдс. אני לא מקדונלד ‘ס. मैं मैकडॉनल्ड्स नहीं हूँ. 저는 맥도날드 아닙니다. 我不是麦当劳。 私はマクドナルドではない。

I’m still not McDonald’s.


The McDouble, a cheeseburger from McDonald's.

Image via Wikipedia

Have you heard that I’m not McDonald’s?  I decided to write to my new friends in McNeed, and I got a great response out of Harmony.  She is apparently convinced that I am McDonald’s.  I got a somewhat puzzling response from Scott, the manager of the Canonsburg store.  I’ll share what’s transpired.  This is me, trying to clear up the message…

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Sep 1, 2011
Subject: AiXeLsyD13 / W(aL)D – I’m not McDonald’s
To: krebs955@gmail.com, shovelman11@yahoo.com, pastorskid_tiwtc4u@yahoo.com
Cc: pit.05834@us.stores.mcd.com, Ella Jones <Ella.Jones@us.mcd.com>, info@westliberty.mcdtoday.com, sandra.jaeger@gmail.com, skausky33@verizon.net

Hello Harmony, Shirley, & Amber,

 Thank you for taking the time to write to me!  While I understand your frustrations with your McDonald’s visits, I have to say… I am not McDoanld’s.

 I’m not sure how you all arrived at using the contact form for my website whilst thinking the message was going to McDonald’s.  While I applaud your vigor, it is sadly misdirected.  I do however feel that it would be an injustice if I left the messages fall upon deaf ears (or blind eyes as it were).  So, I am copying this message to the known addresses of several people representing the McDonald’s location on West Liberty Avenue in Dormont.  Hopefully they will follow-up with you directly about your respective incidents; runny oatmeal, lack of napkins & ketchup, lackadaisical manager (Jeff), and all.  Chaos apparently still abounds at this location.  It’s been quite some time since I have been there.

If you’d like to know what I’m talking about, or where this email is from… I encourage you to check out my blog:  I AM NOT McDONALD’S.  It also contains other avenues to explore (namely Twitter) should this email prove to be no help.

Until then, since the nearby Wendy’s is under construction and possibly worse than this McDonald’s, I encourage you to try Dormont Dogs, SLICE on Broadway, or Tom’s Diner.

Good luck in your journey form consumer advocacy to customer satisfaction, may you be amused along the way, & find what you’re looking for eventually.  Consider me your GPS.

 Don’t argue with the Garmin,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD
World (and Lunar) Domination

Simple enough, right?  Harmony is not convinced:

From: krebs955@gmail.com <krebs955@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Sep 1, 2011
Subject: Re: AiXeLsyD13 / W(aL)D – I’m not McDonald’s
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

That is interesting since your e-mail address is on the receipts there lol.

It was almost immediately followed by this:

From: krebs955@gmail.com <krebs955@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Sep 1, 2011
Subject: Re: AiXeLsyD13 / W(aL)D – I’m not McDonald’s
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Thanks for the helpful info though.

Can someone get me a receipt from that place, just so I can be sure?  I’m guessing that Harmony is using a phone, and thought she emailed Ella Jones… & didn’t realize she was using my contact form.

I’ve had positive interactions with Mr. Kausky before.  Apparently my repeated use of “I am not McDonald’s” pushed a button.

From: Scott Kausky <skausky33@verizon.net>
Date: Wed, Aug 31, 2011
Subject: Re: AiXeLsyD13 / W(aL)D – I’m not McDonald’s
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Dear Sir,

I am also NOT MCDONALD’S.   I do however, represent the Canonsburg McDonald’s.  I can assist you with anything from that perspective.  I might suggest however, to take the time and thank a soldier that gives us the freedom to criticize in the land of the free and be thankful that we can peacefully drive down the street and stop by and pick up a quick meal if one so desires.

 Thank You.

Scott is apparently unamused by my insolence.  The reason I copied him is that he’s the only one who gave a response before, and seems to actually take pride in his store.  I believe it also helped get a response from Ms. Jones.

I don’t know where thanking a soldier came into play.  I never voiced any disrespect for the government or military.  Both of my grandfathers fought in WWII, my dad served in the army, and I have uncles that served in the Marines & Air Force… as well as many other friends & extended family members who have served in active duty much more recently.  I appreciate all of their service, and the fact that I’m here and able to whine about the quality of fast food service because of them.

If we’re invoking patriotism inappropriately here: Maybe the next time a McDonald’s employee is screwing up an order, they should thank a soldier that they have the freedom to screw up that order.

I haven’t written back to Mr. Kausky yet, but I did fire this off to Harmony & company:

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Sep 1, 2011
Subject: Re: AiXeLsyD13 / W(aL)D – I’m not McDonald’s
To: “krebs955@gmail.com” <krebs955@gmail.com>
Cc: shovelman11@yahoo.com, pastorskid_tiwtc4u@yahoo.com, pit.05834@us.stores.mcd.com, Ella Jones <Ella.Jones@us.mcd.com>, info@westliberty.mcdtoday.com, sandra.jaeger@gmail.com, skausky33@verizon.net

Hello again Harmony,

No problem for the contact info, good luck in your quest for customer satisfaction!

But, I must say that I’m confused.  You didn’t email anyone, you used the contact form at my website: https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com

Is that what appears at the top of the receipt?

I’m guessing that more than likely it says “ella.jones@us.mcd.com” at the top of your receipt.  I’m not Ella Jones.  You didn’t email me.  You didn’t email Ella Jones.  You did a Google (or Bing) search for the email address, and landed on my page.

If it does say “https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com” at the top of a McDonald’s receipt, I’d love to see a photo of that.

Rock on!
-Eric

No response as of yet from Harmony, Shirley, or Amber (who all thought or still think that I was/am McDonald’s) …and of course as expected no response (to me anyway) from Ella Jones, Sandra Jaeger, Rick Sapko, or anyone representing the West Liberty Ave. McDonald’s.

Should I write back to Scott & try to clear things up?  Should I leave well enough alone?  I know that pressing Sandra, Ella, & Rick will get me nowhere.

I AM NOT McDONALD’S


I am not McDonald’s.  I’m just sayin’.  This isn’t the 1st time this has happened.  I got this message in my inbox today:

From: Harmony Krebs <krebs955@gmail.com>
To: me_at_my@email.addre.ss
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 6:59 PM
Subject: W(aL)D Feedback

Name: Harmony Krebs

Email: krebs955@gmail.com

Website:

Message / Comment: First, the oatmeal was filled to the top with water and extremely runny. The order taker didn’t offer a mango pineapple smoothie, and when I went back up to order an additional sandwich and small rolo mcflurry, it took 15 minutes to get them. There was only one guy taking orders, while 3/4 of the crew members were over by the drive through just talking and congregating.

How’d you find my blog?: It was on my receipt.

Time: Wednesday August 31, 2011 at 6:59 pm

IP Address: ##.###.##.###

Contact Form URL: https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/contact/

Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

Odd.  You may remember this gem:

From: shirley kelly
To: me_at_my@email.addre.ss
Sent: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 7:33 PM
Subject: W(aL)D Feedback

Name: shirley kelly

Email: shovelman11@yahoo.com

Website:

Message / Comment: went in Imperial store on Aug. i,2011, the service was horrible . They acted  as if they were doing us  a favor by waiting on us .There were no napkinks out , no containers for ketchup  both myself and  another had to ask for napkins,  when they gave them to us  it was like an effort to do so  The management at night is horrible

How’d you find my blog?:

Time: Tuesday August 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm

IP Address: ###.###.###.###

Contact Form URL: https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/contact/

Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

Really weird.  I AM NOT MCDOANLD’S.  I think I see what’s happening here, at least with the message up top.  See if you can follow along with me…

  1. Where I started my “WTF?” journey was the line “How’d you find my blog?: It was on my receipt.”  Um, I highly doubt that https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com was on your receipt.  So, we go to the next step…
  2. The WordPress stats page is awesome.  The only McDonald’s-related search term that landed someone on my blog today was “ella.jones@us.mcd.com“.  Avid readers know that Ms. Jones’ email address does indeed appear at the top of a receipt.
  3. What we’ve learned is that Ms. Krebs above has typed “ella.jones@us.mcd.com” into Google, and discovered my blog.  Luckily for Ms. Jones, the 1st for things that pop up (today anyway) send people to my blog.
  4. Here is where we have to make some educated guesses.
    1. Ms. Krebs thought that all my ramblings about McDonald’s were some sort an official complaint form.
    2. Ms. Krebs is unable to distinguish a web browser from a mail client (or webmail, as it is a Gmail address), or an email address from a URL, which could break down (even further) to…
      1. She thought ella.jones@us.mcd.com was a url, and the contact form on my site was to contact McDonald’s.
      2. She thought that by typing the email address “ella.jones@us.mcd.com” into the Google or Bing search bar, she was indeed sending an email.
    3. Ms. Krebs thought she was commenting on my blog, & instead of using the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom, she hit the contact link at the top.
    4. Ms. Krebs has a Smartphone, and no idea how to use it.

That was fun, wasn’t it?  Do you think I’m close?  I may have to change to look of my comment page to let people know who I am, and that I am not McDoanld’s.

I do love the interaction.  As a blogger I feed off of comments, replies, and feedback.  I do appreciate & empathize that you were so wronged by McDonald’s that you feel the need to express your frustrations via written electronic communication.  I totally get that.

If you have had a bad experience, and want to vent… please, I encourage you to share the experience (hopefully with a humorous bent) here with me & all the other people who’s McDonald’s-related Google and Bing searches have led them to my humble corner of the internet.

That being said, there are a plethora of comments on my blog: A day in the life of McDonald’s #5834 (West Liberty Ave. – Brookline/Beechview/Dormont)

A lot of those comments seem to be directed at McDonald’s.  I am not McDonald’s.  I try to reply to each commenter to let them know where to direct their anger… but they must not have checked the “Notify me of follow-up comments via email” box while they commented or ever check back, because they never seem to get my reply.

Wow.  As, I’m typing this blog… I got something in my inbox that is so amusing I’m going to pee my pants:

From: Amber Ross <pastorskid_tiwtc4u@yahoo.com>
To: me_at_my@email.addre.ss
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 10:01 PM
Subject: W(aL)D Feedback

Name: Amber Ross

Email: pastorskid_tiwtc4u@yahoo.com

Website:
Message / Comment: Hello, i would like to inform you that i have visited your store twice today and both times the service has been extremely slow and very disappointing.  Both times i have waited twenty minutes in line and both times it was for something small. The line had at least eight people in it, that were not helped and the manager (Jeff) was at the drive thru window drinking a pop and not caring that people were waiting. i also would like to inform you that i will not be returning to your store along with my entire family. Thank You.

How’d you find my blog?:

Time: Wednesday August 31, 2011 at 10:01 pm

IP Address: ##.###.##.###

Contact Form URL: https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/contact/

Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

Seriously?  Is someone playing a joke on me, or is my website really at the top of McDonald’s receipts?  Ha ha.

I hope your disgruntled McSearch leads you here, because, I’d like to let you know that (say it with me)

I am not McDonald’s.

If you would like to read my McDonald’s-related ramblings, may I suggest the following?

If you’d like to contact McDonald’s, there’s a myriad of ways you can do so, although I cannot guarantee you a satisfying reply (or a reply at all):

McDonald’s #5834 (West Liberty Ave.):

McDonald’s #4856 (Canonsburg):

The McDonald’s Twitter Team plus a few more:

Here are even more contacts, gathered from my Comments:

Oh man, I forgot about this genius:

jeffrey s miller jr | December 17, 2010 at 12:51 am | Reply | Edit

I was very unhappy with my visit from store 10848 delmont 6526 route 22 pa the servise was the worrise that i ever had and i had only had three things two frys and a fish sandwitch and i had a pice of chees on mu fish and the frys where cold and when i asked for ketchup they said i had to pay for it pleas email me back or i will call and complaine

Jeffrey; I am not McDonald’s.  While we’re at it… “sandwitch” & “complaine“?  …and “worrise“?  You clearly have issues to address, my friend.  Best of luck with that.

Wow.

Please, share your experience below (but, note… again, that I am not McDonald’s)!

I’d also love any theories on how/why peopel are using my contact form and comments sections… thinking I’m McDonalds.  (Which I’m clearly not.)

FAAN & Food Allergy Guidelines


Yeah, I know I just blogged about Food Allergies, & I try not to beat that subject to death, but Twitter was blowing up this morning on this subject, so I felt that I needed to say something.

Here are some tweets & re-tweets:

What does all this mean?  As far as I can tell, it’s just a coming-together of the powers that be in the food allergy world to say, “Hey, if we’re gonna get anywhere with awareness & treatment, we’re gonna all need to get on the same page so we can move forward.”

If this is of interest to you… I urge you to check out the following links to read-up on what it means for those afflicted with food allergies:

Hopefully, you’ll find the time (like I hope to) to be able to take that all in and see what it means for you & your friends or family members who may be deathly allergic to something that’s in kitchens, food processing plants, grocery stores, & other food venues all over the place.

 

McObservation


McDonald's on Urbanspoon

I’d love to think that I had something to do with this, but hopefully it stemmed from many other customer complaints about this place to the right people and not just from my persistent prodding.

I saw a tweet last night from another McCustomer in my area that made me laugh out loud:

Hey @AiXeLsyD13, went to the West Lib McD’s today. They had some bigwigs in monitoring operations. They had stopwatches & everything
15 hours ago via web

Thank you for the tweet, Heather!  I know Heather and a few other people from the area have expressed their exasperation with this McDonald’s via Facebook, Google, Twitter, & I think even Urbanspoon… and in the comments section in one of my blog posts about the West McLiberty location, and maybe something has been pushed through by Mr. Kausky since the last time I heard form Ms. Jones, although Ms. Jones did mention someone coming to help them turn into the “well-oiled machine”.  I doubt my tweeting had anything to do with it.

I encourage everyone to keep writing to this McDoanld’s and to corporate until customer service is at an acceptable level (like that of the McDoanld’s in Canonsburg).

McDoanld’s corporate contact form on the Web: http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/contact_us.html

McDonald’s #5834 (West Liberty Ave.):

McDonald’s #4856 (Canonsburg):

The McDonald’s Twitter Team plus a few more:

More shocking & disguting revelations from your serving staff…


I wish I was done.  Perhaps this blog will wrap up all of my current thoughts on the subject.  Thanks for hanging in there, my friends.  And, I have received some comments on Facebook at Pittsburgh Beat, please comment here too!  Thanks to Trista & Dave for not being shy.  If you have no idea what I mean, this is a follow-up to my last two posts…

You may want to read those 1st.

The first article/slide-show that I’d like to tackle is also called 20 Secrets Your Waiter Won’t Tell You and linked to from one of the articles as 20 More Secrets Your Waiter Won’t Tell You. Apparently originality is lost here.

I’ll tackle the most appalling slides here..

What You’re Really Swallowing
In most restaurants, after 8 p.m. or so, all the coffee is decaf because no one wants to clean two different coffeepots. I’ll bring out a tray with 12 coffees on it and give some to the customers who ordered regular, others to the ones who ordered decaf. But they’re all decaf.
Charity Ohlund

Ridiculous.  What’s so hard about telling people of this policy, or cleaning an extra coffee pot?  Don’t they have dish washers for this kind of thing?  Any kind of secrecy is just wrong.  Granted, the opposite would be much worse for someone with a sensitivity to caffeine… but according to this  butthole, it happens quite regularly.  Is it too much to expect to get what you order?  Really?  I work hard for my money just like you, and ought to get what I want when I spend in your workplace.

What We Lie About
If you’re a vegetarian and you ask if we use vegetable stock, I’m going to say yes, even if we don’t. You’ll never know the difference.

I like that this is from someone anonymous.  Whoever you are, please take comfort in the fact that you are one of the lowest forms of human life on the planet and that there are not too many out there worse than you.  You’re sick.  You have a mental illness of some sort or a form of antisocial personality disorder… specifically the following symptoms:

  • Apparent lack of remorse or empathy; inability to care about hurting others
  • Tendency to violate the boundaries and rights of others
  • Disregard for the safety of self or others
  • Persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social rules, obligations, and norms

This is a serious illness, and I implore you to seek help.  This is just completely unacceptable behavior towards your fellow man, besides not doing your job correctly or with any sort of pride or responsibility.

I’m certainly not a vegetarian.  In fact, serve up any animal that’s not shellfish, an insect, or  having an opposable thumb, and I’ll most likely eat it or at least try it.  I love red meat… and white meat too… but there is not much better out there meat-wise than a nice steak, roast, or even a burger.  PETA annoys me to no end.

Still, I respect their life choices, life style, and dietary needs.  I have several friends and acquaintances that are vegetarian or vegan.  It doesn’t matter if their diet is because of personal choices, dietary needs, religious beleifs, or allergies. If I know they’re coming to my house for anything or if I’m taking food to a common event with them… I go out of my way to make sure that the food doesn’t contain animals or animal products.  Over the past few years, I even learned about things that I never thought of as animal products like gelatin-free sour cream.

I harp on the allergy thing because it affects me, but someone out there may have a severe allergic reaction to beef or chicken… and if the stock was made from fish or shellfish and someone lied to me about it… well, I might not be around to complain.

I just can’t imagine that in this day and age that anyone would think lying about something like this was acceptable.

What You Don’t Want to Know
Now that I’ve worked in a restaurant, I never ask for lemon in a drink. Everybody touches them. Nobody washes them. We just peel the stickers off, cut them up, and throw them in your iced tea.
—Charity Ohlund, Kansas City waitress

Explains why I’ve gotten so many lemons with stickers on them in my iced teas.  Aren’t there health codes or inspectors out there?  I’m vehemently against big(er) government, but I would gladly pay higher taxes for inspections to be more frequent and with higher penalties.  In fact…  I’ll sign up to do them at an incredibly reasonable price.

What You’re Really Swallowing
Skim milk is almost never skim milk. Very few restaurants outside Starbucks carry whole milk, 2 percent milk, skim milk, and half-and-half; it’s just not practical.
—Chris

Skim milk is gross, but…  Again, why with the dishonesty?  Why not just tell people you don’t have skim milk, then let them make the decision if they want it or not?  I’d leave a bigger tip if my server was honest with me about something like that.

What Drives Us Crazy
The single greatest way to get your waiter to hate you? Ask for hot tea. For some reason, an industry that’s managed to streamline everything else hasn’t been able to streamline that. You’ve got to get a pot, boil the water, get the lemons, get the honey, bring a cup and spoon. It’s a lot of work for little reward.
—Christopher Fehlinger, maître d’ at a popular New York City restaurant

Wow.  I love hot tea, but don’t order it out much.  From now on, every time I feel a waiter or waitress is treating me poorly, I’ll be sure to add to their aggravation and order this.  Also, I find it funny that this is from a maître d’.  Shouldn’t they be held to an even higher standard?  And again…  I don’t care what it is… if it’s on the menu, I should be able to order it, and it should not affect your attitude or opinion because… buh-bahhh IT’S YOUR JOB.

What We Want You to Know
In many restaurants, the tips are pooled, so if you have a bad experience with the server, you’re stiffing the bartender who made your drinks, the water boy who poured your water, sometimes the hostess, the food runners, and maybe the other waiters.
—Christopher Fehlinger

This isn’t common knowledge by now?  Surely everyone knows someone who works at a restaurant.

What You Need to Know About Tipping
The best tippers tend to be middle-class or people who have worked for everything they have, not the really wealthy or the kid who inherited the trust fund. Which is not to say that we mind if you use coupons. But when you do, tip on the amount the bill would have been without them.
—Judi Santana

Makes sense… people at about your level who work for all that they have.  The coupon thing makes sense.  Save a few bucks on the restaurant’s dime, not your server’s.

Well, those articles led me to Frothy Girlz where I looked for an apparently old blog post that keeps coming up to annoy the writer.  I didn’t find the original post, but I did find a gem entitled In The Weeds: There’s a Food Allergy Community? Really?.

People just love them some communities.  I mean, they must.  After my Reader’s Digest piece was picked up by both the Today show and Msnbc.com, the “food allergy community” opened up a peanut and gluten-free can of whoop ass on me.  Some scolded me for not caring if their children died, others asked for a full retraction and apology to the community, and others reminded me, again, that they could die.

Who knew there was a food allergy community?  Can you imagine the poor restaurant that is chosen for their weekly meetings?  The waitress nervously approaches the chef with an order the size of the Bible with all the special notes and codes and the words “COULD DIE!!!” hand written on half the tickets.

I’m disgusted by the cavalier attitude here.  I can’t imagine being a parent with a small child that had to deal with this.  It’s bad enough when it’s my own problem.  Yes, there’s a bunch of us out here, and we’re growing more vocal day by day.  Why?  Any more, it’s the small groups who have to power.  Wait until we start referring to ourselves ans a minority, and our right to eat out in comfort a civil right.  Wow, could we ever abuse that if we got it out at the right place and time to the right politicians.

I have dealt with a lot of food allergies in my serving career, and I care, I really do.   Every case was handled with extreme care.  I would go talk to the chef, who would roll his eyes and then have to stop the line and talk to every cook.  I then had to stop and tell every other server, busser, and assistant to make sure not to touch any plates at table 53 without washing their hands of any and all potential allergens.  She could die!  Meanwhile, the restaurant is completely packed and crazy and this person has put her LIFE in my hands and I have to trust – no, SHE has to trust – that all 95 people who could possibly come in contact with her or her food will completely sanitize their hands, the silverware, the plates, and the very air she breathes of any and all peanut dust.

A chef rolls their eyes?  That’s sad.  I think they’d get into the business wanting people to love their food, not die from it.  Sadly, in with the rest of this, she’s right on.  It should not be solely the responsibility of the server.  Restaurants everywhere need to be made aware of the inherent dangers of cross contamination in food preparation, cooking, & serving.  People suffering from severe food allergies are a small percentage of the population, narrow down the allergy & it’s smaller still.  I run into people that aren’t aware of allergies or their possible severity all the time.  Some people are taking steps to correct this, many others will be needed to join in & raise awareness.

But it’s too much for you, allergen sufferer, isn’t it?  I mean, if you could truly die, how do you throw caution to the wind and hope that your 12 reminders have done the trick?  Balls, you.

Yes, balls me.  Again, you have to weigh this against the social pressure to dine out, and desire to be like everyone else.  It’s much more than just the allergy that’s bothersome, and who doesn’t like to dine out every once in a while, especially in a place that doesn’t have a drive-through or a mascot?

That blog contained a vlog from this guy, who at best needs kicked in the teeth.  I can’t really go point-for-point because I don’t really feel like typing out transcripts.  If you’re interested in seeing what I mean, check out Would You Say “No Butter” to Julia Child!?.  He speaks of how I shouldn’t eat out because I can’t trust anyone but him… even though he’s an ass.  He does make one good point saying that people saying they’re allergic to things when they just don’t want them in their food is doing nothing but trivializing it for the rest of us.  But, “Anonymous waiter in Hollywood, CA”, don’t pass the buck, you’re still the arrogant bastard here.  Yes, I get it, you say things for shock value and to gain new readers… like I just said you need kicked in the teeth.  I’m sure you’re fine with that though, & enjoy the reaction.  If you’re teaching us to be better customers, who’s teaching you to be a better waiter?

Apparently people complaining upset the “In The Weeds” writer, and she posted another blog, again venting…

1)  From Shellshock: “Wow. The author is going to kill someone with the attitude towards allergies. I guess the terms anaphylactic shock and death are words not found in the author’s vocabulary.”

I covered the topic of food allergies already, but again, if you can DIE from someone messing up your food, you might as well ask your waitress to perform your next open heart surgery.  It’s really the same risk.  I’m not insensitive to your plight.  I’ll do my best.  But it really sucks that you could die.  Because if the Mexican kitchen workers don’t understand what I’m saying about “anaphylactic shock”…. damn.

Again, why not do your part and suggest to the owner/manager/chef that everyone be trained on food allergy awareness?  No one’s asking you to perform open heart surgery… we’re just asking you to be clean.  That’s all.  Don’t let dirty stuff touch clean stuff. Shouldn’t that be in practice anyway?

I mean this stuff is genius…

Education | For Food Industry and Service Professionals

To prevent allergic reactions, individuals with food allergies rely on accurate ingredient information and safe food handling procedures. The material in this section will provide food industry and service professionals with the information they will need to safely prepare, cook, and serve food to a guest who has food allergies.

Would that really be all that difficult?

Well, maybe I have one more blog left.  One dedicated to tipping… and my take on it.  I really hope to hear from some people in the industry about that one.

Mellon Arena – Customer Service WIN.


I guess saying something does get you somewhere (other than the satisfaction of venting) sometimes.  I’m sure you read my email to Mellon Arena about the tickets we had purchased for Star Wars: In Concert… and if not, read it now!

Interestingly, in frustration, I copied my email to a few news outlets… and it had an every so slightly different subject line.  The reply that I got from Mr. Scalzott (Mellon Arena Event Coordinator) had the same subject line as the email that I sent to the news outlets… so he had to obtain the message from someone other than me.

  • To Mellon Arena Directly: Horrible seats for Star Wars: In Concert
  • To The News Outlets: Horrible seats for Star Wars: In Concert @ Mellon Arena

At any rate, a positive reply is a positive reply… so I’m happy with the outcome.  And, hopefully it’s as interesting/entertaining to you as it is to me.

There’s actually a few exchanges here, so provided you’ve read the 1st one, these should all make sense.  I’ll start with the initial reply:

From: Derek Scalzott  DScalzott@mellonarena.com
To: me@myemailaddre.ss
Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 2:52:23 PM
Subject: RE: Horrible seats for Star Wars: In Concert @ Mellon Arena

Hi, Eric –

I would like to take the time to discuss your seating situation over the phone.  Is there a number at which I may reach you?

Thank you,

Derek Scalzott
Event Coordinator
Mellon Arena
66 Mario Lemieux Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
email: dscalzott@mellonarena.com
phone: 412.642.2189
fax: 412.642.1905

The phone?  Ah!  My secondary response…

From: Eric Carroll  me@myemailaddre.ss
Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 4:07 PM
To: Derek Scalzott  DScalzott@mellonarena.com
Subject: Re: Horrible seats for Star Wars: In Concert @ Mellon Arena

Hello Derek,

Thank you for taking the time to read my message & initiate a response.  I’m not much one for phone conversations, and I’m not sure if I really have anything else to say other than what I’ve already written.  I just felt the need to express my disappointment, and that it was echoed by several other concert-goers around me.  I understand that viewpoints and seating have become an issue over the years, and that it will be (hopefully) fixed by the creation of the new building.  I’m sure that you & your staff have nothing but the best intentions when hosting an event… but sometimes things like this seem large enough to not be overlooked.

I would look forward to any comments that you may have on the matter.

Thank you,
-Eric

…And we have a coherent, intelligent, apologetic and gracious reply:

From: Derek Scalzott  DScalzott@mellonarena.com
To: me@myemailaddre.ss
Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 4:57:12 PM
Subject: RE: Horrible seats for Star Wars: In Concert @ Mellon Arena

Eric,

First, I thank you for taking the time to express your disappointment and, furthermore, to articulate it so clearly.  Sometimes, though it is unfortunate for both us and the occasional guest in your shoes, it takes a patron’s voice to point out an oversight on our end.

I’d like to first attempt to explain part of our procedure in order to clue you in on what happened for your own reference, elaborate on what I would have hoped to have had happen, and, then, explore our next step.

During a normal concert, one more typical than this Star Wars production, our box office works to pinpoint every seat in the house that is anything less than full-view.  Normally, a limited-view seat is one that has an obstructed view of the stage itself.  The same was done for this Star Wars show, but because the screen played an integral role in the production, the box office had to dilligently account for both the stage and screen in deciphering full-view seats from limited-view seats.  However, certain areas including your section were mistakenly labeled full-view because the stage itself was completely visible.

In an attempt to best serve our guests, we hold back a small number of tickets so that we can remedy any seating issues like this one.  Ideally, your situation would have been brought to the attention of management on the spot.  I only wish now that we would have had the opportunity to relocate you upon your discovery of the frustrating seat location.  I understand that patrons often question confronting event staff with problems, but I would certainly encourage you to feel free to voice your concerns in any building in the future!  It only helps us to make your stay better, which is our goal in the end!

Regardless, I understand that the show has come and gone and that the experience cannot be reclaimed.  Unfortunately, I am unable to refund your money for the Star Wars tickets since it has been passed along to their organization.  However, I wish to try and compensate you by inviting you back to another non-hockey event at Mellon Arena compliments of us (we do not control Pittsburgh Penguins tickets).  I am happy to offer (4) four tickets to Harlem Globetrotters, Sesame Street Live, Shrine Circus, or Disney On Ice, for example.  Please let me know if you have any interest and we will look forward to better serving you on your next visit.

Again, Eric, I apologize for the less-than-desired experience and I hope to have the opportunity to provide a better experience in the future.

Sincerely,
Derek Scalzott
Event Coordinator
Mellon Arena
66 Mario Lemieux Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
email: dscalzott@mellonarena.com
phone: 412.642.2189
fax: 412.642.1905

Well, I think you’ll agree that’s an awesome reply, no?  Not only does he acknowledge the problem, but explains where & how the error occurred, and how I could have perhaps handled the situation on the spot.

Sadly by the time we realized that our view was so bad, I didn’t think we had the time to remedy the situation before missing out on any of the music.  This will be a lesson to me though in how these things work.  Address the issue immediately, get immediate results.  It’s interesting to me that no money for a show can be refunded once it’s passed on to George Lucas and friends.  Ha ha ha.  Not that I was looking for monetary compensation.

Offering us 4 tickets to an upcoming event (albeit not for a hockey game which would be sweet) is over-compensating.  I didn’t do this for a refund or free stuff. I did it because I just felt that someone needed to know.  Not that I’d insult the man by turning him down…  but I don’t think the circus is coming any time soon, and it’s about the only thing on that list I’d be interested in.  The Globetrotters might be cool…  I saw those guys when I was a little kid.  Remember how they were all over Scooby-Doo back in the day?

Oh well, I’ll send off a reply and let you know what happens!