Customer Service Nightmare

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If you haven’t seen the Dunkin Donuts You Tube Video that’s been making the rounds, I encourage you to do so. It will give you an appreciation for how low some people are on the food chain. If you haven’t seen the Dunkin Donuts You Tube Video that’s been making the rounds, I encourage you to do so. It will give you an appreciation for how low some people are on the food chain.

I’ve been in the service industry most of my life, as a waiter, bartender, an O’Hare-Midway chauffeur, and on and on. I have also been “served” by hundreds of individuals of various skill levels and attitudes. I have been amazed by some and disappointed by others. However, at no time in my life – regardless of how angry or upset I was – have I ever stooped to the level of the person in this video. If you’ve seen it, you probably understand what I’m aiming for. If not, let me give you a brief overview.
The video starts with a woman at a Broward County Dunkin Donuts recording her interaction with an accommodating employee. She had apparently visited the restaurant the day before and failed to get a receipt, which – as all of us Dunkin Donut regulars know – means your order is free. When she brought this oversight to the attention of the employee that delivered her order, that employee told her she would need to speak with the manager the next day. This is what prompted the second visit…and the video. From the beginning, you can see this “person” is completely out of her mind. She makes statements about having contacted her lawyer and that she has a business degree, both of which come into doubt the longer she speaks. Yet these statements are just the tip of the iceberg. Soon the profanities begin spewing forth, some of which made ME blush. Now…I’m not a prude…but her prolific use of the “C” word was something that may have made a pirate take pause. I usually save that one for special occasions. REALLY special occasions. There are eight minutes of video to go through, and at several points she actually turns her phone to record her face and commentary, as though there is an entire world of idiots waiting to hear from her. Please…take a moment to view this video.
I am a pacifist, and generally speaking it would take a threat to my family for me to turn violent. However, as I watched this video unfold, I was consumed with the overwhelming desire to drive to Florida, seek out this troll, and smash her face…literally. What is taking place inside her head that makes her think this is okay? And please…near the end…listen to how she berates the woman she identifies as the one who wouldn’t give her the order for free the previous day. Not only did it give me more reason to want to punch HER, I wanted to get into a time machine and go back 27+ years – find her parents – and punch THEM. Better yet, I would convince them NOT to conceive this spawn to begin with, thus ridding the future of her pathetic existence.
Looking at the facts, this person goes into a chain restaurant where workers probably earn something near minimum wage and places her order (by the way…listen to what she orders. I’d be embarrassed to be that demanding at a Dunkin Donuts), and seems to receive her order with no complaint. It falls apart when the employee forgets to give her the receipt and then doesn’t give her the order for free. She eventually contacts the restaurant and receives assurances that they would make good on her next visit, which sounds like the right way to handle it. Yet she launches into a profanity laced video filled with racist taunts, all of which she gleefully captures on her phone. I could go on and on, but this is a blog post and not a study in human ignorance.
My experience in the wonderful world of service has taught me that, regardless of the best efforts or intentions, the service industry is run by people, and that people – by nature – are fallible. We all make mistakes, and if you are a person who thinks you don’t, then you are mistaken. The key to dealing with mistakes is to TRY to avoid them but KNOW how to recover from them. I think crew at Dunkin Donuts did well in their attempt to recover. I think the You Tube videographer will NEVER recover.

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Dale Schahczinski
Goal driven team leader, with industry experience spanning all aspects of operations and administration.