This is Ilia's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Ilia's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Ilia
in my own little world...
I love writing fantasy and retail-hell stories.
Recent Activity
Image
From RHUer Seriously, few things piss me off more than when a guest tries to TELL me what to do. Not ask. Tell. It was just yesterday. A guest contacted our hotel through email that he wanted to make a reservation (at a senior rate. Because he's a senior. So he should get a discounted rate. For seniors. Because he is one.) I advised him (in an email) of our actual rate and that we couldn't give him a senior discount on our rates, because they are already the lowest they'll ever be this year and we aren't taking coupons or applying further discounts. (It's a policy. I don't make them, I just follow them.) He didn't like that at all. You could practically hear the friendly but passive aggressive tone in his email back to us. "Thanks........I have no option but to to ACCEPT. But the rate is too high......see, that gives me a shock.....please check with your management, if you can come down to a rate somewhere in between.....say CAD 100." (Those ellipses were actually in the email, as well as the capitalizations.) Um, no. This is not a market, you cannot haggle the price of the room. They are non-negotiable. I replied in a more polite manner that I sympathized with his situation and apologized that it was so "expensive," but reiterated that we could not change the rate. He replies that he appreciates the apology: ".......but see, if a customer is given a discount at any other time except this one, one feels the pinch. My stay is close to the winter months. You CAN make an exception. Anyway TELL your manager how unfair it is, and do what you can to make this better..." He then mentions again how he's a senior, oh and also... Continue reading
Posted 4 hours ago at Retail Hell Underground
Image
From Brad Halsey, Kitchenette There is a man who comes to my Starbucks every single day and orders the most horrible drink in an infuriating way. He purchased 365 Starbucks cards and registered every one of them online with a different birthday so that he gets a “free birthday drink” EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. Even though I know exactly how he “beat the system” there, he pretends that his app is just malfunctioning and it magically gives him the same free birthday drink every day. If he was a nice guy, I might not be so irritated. But he’s not a nice guy. Here is a sample of our exchange when he orders (when you imagine his voice, it should be pompous and creepy): Me, scowling on the inside: “Hello.” Him: “I need a Venti cup and a marker.” Me: “Oooooohkaaaay. Here ya go.” I reluctantly give him the cup and marker. He draws lines and arrows and writes all over the cup while telling me: “Two pumps of white mocha here, then add five pumps of vanilla. That should take us to this line here where you’re gonna add cold heavy cream up to this ridge here...it should be halfway between this line and this line. Make sure to add the heavy whipping cream before the espresso, it changes the taste if you do it out of order. Then add your four shots, three regular and one long shot. That long shot is important, since you guys reformulated your machines, it’s been Hell trying to get my drink right. That long shot helps balance it. Then stir it for me, Mister Brad. Now do me a favor and add ice to the top there and it’ll be easy as pie. I’m not picky so don’t worry about shaking... Continue reading
Posted 8 hours ago at Retail Hell Underground
Image
From eak125, Tales From The Front Desk To start off, it's a Saturday night and my hotel is sold out. I get a call from Sexpedia claiming that a guest made a reservation for the wrong night and asked if I could look up the reservation. I do and it's for 2 weeks out when our rate is $20 cheaper. I know this scam. Book in advance when the rate is low, say it was for the wrong night and get a big discount today. I also notice they used the "if you book in advance, it's cheaper" rate. Luckily for me, that rate is non-cancelable, non-refundable, non-adjustable. I inform Sexpedia person as such and remind them that it's THEIR policy that the room be non-refundable and unchangeable. They hang up. I am prepared for what comes next. Five minutes later, the couple who "booked for the wrong date" comes in. I swear that they had to have been sitting in my parking lot when they booked... They see my "sold out" sign and start the usual spiel. "We made it for the wrong date... Can we check in now? We want a refund... Change the reservation to another date..." [No, read the sign, Nada, Nope.] They asked for a manager... at Midnight... [I'm the only one here.] "Who at corporate can we contact about this?" [Sorry but the big C word doesn't scare anyone here.] "We're an independently owned and operated franchise and OUR management won't be in until..." "So you're saying there's no way for us to get our money back?" [That's right!] "Due to our contract with Sexpedia we are not able to change anything on the reservation type that you booked. There were several warnings about this on their site before you booked telling you that... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Retail Hell Underground
Image
From Steve As goes the neighborhood, I’ve watched my shop get overrun with the kind bougie new-age people that make shopping at Whole Foods the most painful experience ever. This one regular would always come in and ask us about the nit-pickiest details of our food -- whether or not the tomatoes in the soup were organic, the washing method of our single origin beans -- and obviously this woman was gluten-free for no good reason. It turns out she was pregnant for most of the time when I first started noticing her, because she resurfaced a month later with a baby strapped to her chest in some kind of handmade sash she bought for $200 off Etsy. This woman was always bugging us about our alternative milks, none of which were up to her standards. She asked for a latte one day, and before I could ask her if she wanted to give our hemp milk a look, she started to slide a mason jar of off-white fluid across the counter. It was breast milk. It took everything inside me to suppress the urge to jump into traffic and politely tell her that this was the most unsanitary thing anyone has ever asked me to do in my long life as a barista. She was pissed, and I haven’t seen her since then. Good riddance! --Steve Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Retail Hell Underground
Image
From AviGABS, Tales From The Front Desk I recieved a call not long ago from a lady who booked some rooms for her workmates. She had mistakenly booked for the wrong day, so her coworkers showed up to the hotel with no reservation. (This sort of thing happens way too often. Is double checking the date that hard?) No problem, we got it sorted and managed to find a room for them. But since no one showed up on the day that was booked, we had to charge a "no show." Well, the woman, let's call her Miss J, was not happy about this. She called and told me her story, about how unfair it was that nobody called to inform her that no one had arrived the night before, and how now her company was going to make her pay for the room out of her own pocket, and how she has three kids and can't afford it and on and on. She claims that she has worked in customer service for years and is shocked that no one made an effort to contact her. (Because if you don't show up for a flight, for example, of COURSE the airline is going to call your home phone number and ask where you are.) I tell her that unfortunately I don't have the authority to make any changes or enact refunds for no-show charges, and so I pass her along to my GM. My manager is a sweet guy, a bit of a goof who likes to crack jokes. But unfortunately he gets to deal with all the crap the hotel received. I didn't hear any of the conversation, as he was in his office at the time, but he later told me a rough version of what happened; He... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
Image
From lazerdingus9000, TalesFromYourBarista Just kind of a funny little moment for my morning open. The cafe I work at opens at 6am and the openers arrive to prep at 5:30am. We leave our front door unlocked because our bakers walk pastries over from next door while we're setting up for the day. So it's 5:40am, my opener and I are doing our thang, not in uniform, still have our winter coats on and everything because it was freezing. I haven't put drawers in the registers yet, don't even have coffee brewed at this point. This lady walks in, after poignantly looking at our very clear hours on the front door, and proceeds as follows - Lady: "You guys open at 6, right?" Me: "Yes, we open at 6am" Lady: "Okay great!" {walks up to the register} Me: {politest possible 'wtf are you doing I'm confused I literally just told you we open at 6' stare} {awkward pause} Lady: "Oh is it not 6 yet?" Me: "No ma'am, it's 5:40am, we're still preparing for the day and aren't ready to take customers." Lady: "Oh, okay" {leaves and doesn't come back} I'm always amused by the way people function in the wee hours of the morning. --lazerdingus9000 Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
Image
From Puppies In Prada Minor update: Cancer Lady came back. I told both my coworker, and the Store Manager Missy who she was, so both were alerted. It's been two months. I suppose I either scared her off for a while, or she hid out so she wouldn't be recognized, or came in early in the mornings or my days off. In any case, her huffing, puffing, weird walk was down to a minimum today, and wonder of wonders, she looks fine! No sign of hair loss or other Chemo treatment side effects whatsoever! I'm SOO GLAD her cancer never manifested, despite the trauma she experienced in not getting a discount! I smothered my smirk, and politely helped her during her visit. For a wonder, she came in well away from closing time, stayed only briefly, and bought a few things. She was rung up by my coworker, only asked once if there was any wiggle room on the prices, and left without a fuss. Funniest thing about her visit? She wouldn't look me in the eye the entire time. I do believe she recognized me, and knew that I wouldn't take crap from her. Audios, Cancer Lady. May your ridiculous scams never be taken seriously. --Puppies In Prada Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
Image
From AviGABS, Tales From The Front Desk So last week I received an online reservation for our hotel. In the reservation was a message from the guest with a special request; they would like a note [Welcome "nearby city"-ites] with a picture of three cats to be put on the door to their room for when they arrive. It's an inside joke, they explain to me, and they would love it if we could do that for them. Well I love drawing and making people happy, and it's not every day that we get to honour special requests like this! So I take half an hour out of my day to hand draw three cartoon cats, sketch, ink, shade, the whole works. Those cats didn't look too bad. And typed on the piece of paper was the message they requested in big letters. I left a note in the log for the weekend FD folks to have this note ready for the guests when they arrive. The weekend passes and so here I am Monday morning looking over new reviews of the hotel, and what do I see! A negative review online where they complain about plumbing, hot water, noise (granted those could all be legit, our bathrooms are undergoing maintenence) and most of all, how they were handed a picture with three cats on it saying Welcome [nearby city]-ites! when they weren't even from [nearby city]. The only nice thing they said about us was that the location was good. There's definitely a chance that the note was given to the wrong guest, even though I wrote the guest's name and reservation number in the log. And I know I shouldn't take this personally, but I am a bit hurt that all my efforts resulted in a complaint when... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
Image
From othermegan, TalesFromYourBarista Comments We have a girl who drives us crazy. I guess you could classify her drink as a cappuccino but there’s absolutely no milk in there. It’s all foam and it has to be bone dry. Like turn a spoon upside down and it stays thick. It’s 2 shots and ~some mysterious amount~ of vanilla flavor. If you make it even a smidge wrong she asks you to remake it. Which would be fine except she doesn’t know how to articulate what’s wrong with it. A common interaction between her and a new person on bar goes like this: Her: Do you need me to explain my drink to you? Barista: (looking at her order) no. It’s pretty straight forward in the directions. Her: (takes a sip) yeah this isn’t my drink! This is sweet milk. Barista: oh ok. Maybe I added to much vanilla. Do you know exactly how much you want? Her: I don’t know what’s in it. They just know how to make my drink right! At that point she always calls over a veteran and has us make her drink. That’s right. A customer tries to redeploy my baristas because she can’t be bothered to know the recipe for her super high maintenance drink --othermegan Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
Image
From AviGABS, Tales From The Front Desk One of my favorite things to happen at the front desk so far is this one time when I had an incoming guest call me to ask for directions on how to get to our hotel from the ferry. My hometown has two main ferries; a tiny one that can only take ten cars and docks directly downtown, and another much larger one that is used for commutes and such about an hour's drive away. (This is the one that 90% of people will take.) So when she says she's on the ferry, I assume she's on the large one. She asks me, "How do I APPROACH the hotel?" and in my mind I'm like uhh...from the front? but instead I start to give her directions on which highway to take to get to our hotel. She interrupts me and says no, she's on the other ferry, the one that docks downtown. No problem, much less driving for her. But she's confused because my city has a lot of one-way streets and twists and turns that can be hard to navigate. So I'm trying my best to explain how close we are to the ferry, what roads she'll have to take, etc., when she says that they're docking and she has to hang up. Ok, that's fine. She sounded a little stressed but I'm sure she'll make it ok. It's an eight block drive from the ferry to the hotel, max. Sometime later this guest, a middle aged blonde lady, comes in. I gave her the usual greeting and our exchange goes something like this: LADY: I had such a hard time finding this place! I had to around and around and around the block because I couldn't find a place to park!... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
Image
From derxk, TalesFromYourBarista This young bloke comes in today and orders a latte. I was covering someone for a couple of shifts at Paddington so it's an unfamiliar customer base for me. Our store was quiet so I made sure I took my time and made this dude who looks like he finished a few classes at university a perfect latte. Did a Rosetta and everything. All is good. Dude proceeds to go add sugar to his latte and returns back. Let's call him YD for young dude. YD: ARE YOU SURE YOU MADE THIS RIGHT? ME: why what's wrong with your drink? YD: it is full of milk!! confused.jpg ME: and is there something wrong with it? YD: Ya it's full of milk! wtfisthisguyonabout.png ME: that is a late mate, it's meant to be milkier. Perhaps you meant cappuccino which is stronger and had a good amount of foam. YD: No there's hardly any coffee in there, I get this everyday and it's much darker. ME: Your coffee comes with two shots which is standard. You'll have to pay extra for an extra shot. YD: Iwantyoudead.jpeg I get this everyday. Me: I can make it again if you want but it's not going to look any different. YD: takes a sip and storms off --derxk Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Retail Hell Underground