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Rock Ruminations

"The Rock" - Newfoundland's nickname, attributed to the granite and rocky landcapes which wrap around coastlines of the province. It is an affectionate term towards Newfoundland, and highlights the significance of environment. Ruminations - the act of pondering; meditation.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Statistics for February

Wow! I actually have a readership. A small one, but one nonetheless.

This past month there were 19 unique visitors to this blog - 18 first timers and 1 repeat offender (thanks Lisa!).

It appears that most came on 19 February, I guess to see my entry Still No Love From Hard Rock.

Anyway, thes 19 people came from the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Croatia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Australia, Israel, and Singapore.

Until next month...

Tags: blog, blogging, blogs

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Still No Love From Hard Rock

As a follow-up to my last entry (see Love All, Serve All... But Not All Of The Time), I have heard back from the electronic complaint that I left throughout the Hard Rock Cafe website. In fact I heard back twice, once from the website people to tell me that they had forwarded my message to the general manager of the Gatlinburg location and then from the Assistant General Manager for the Gatlinburg location.

It is interesting, and while I appreciate the fact that I did get a response, I have to be honest and say that I am still left unsatisfied with the complete interaction. Some of the key, but hollow lines that were included in his e-mail included "...I can honestly tell you that the standard is the same weather busy or not." and "The Gatlinburg Cafe works and strives to maintain a very high level of customer service and we take much pride in doing so, that is why it is very disappointing that you had this experience."

I guess the most disappointing thing about the entire experience was the resolution that this AGM of the Hard Rock Cafe decided was necessary:
The management team discussed this lapsed in service and we will use your experience as a focus point to "Coach" not only our Host but to re-focus our Team Members to understand that there commutations may be miss-understood.
Basically, other than an apology and a personal invitation to come back and visit them sometime, they are going to use my experience as a coaching situation for their staff. Quite disappointing, because if all they are looking for are coaching situations, I can sit down and write a dozen or more for them. I guess I was looking for a reason to come back, for example every time we go there to eat we get a chance to fill out a survey that gives us a coupon for $5 on next purchase here. Now $5 on a meal for two that is typically $30-$50 isn't a lot, but it keeps us coming back - or at least has in the past. I'm not so sure about the future now.

I suppose another disappointing thing about the whole situation was that in my response to him, I informed him that at one point, when the song YMCA came on all three individuals that had been manning host/hostess stations left their posts to join in with the dance. This meant that no one was left to watch the front of the restaurant for these three to four minutes. While I doubt the paper with our names was lost at this point (which is what caused our lengthy wait in the first place), as we had been waiting for over forty minutes by the time the song came on, there were three other parties that came into the restaurant while there was no one to greet them. Even though this was sent well over a week ago, I have not received a response at all.

Finally, and I guess this deals with customer service as well... You have an upset, fairly regular customer that you have to contact to address an complaint that he has made. One would think that it would be common courtesy to at least spell check the e-mail first. I mean you would do it if it was a letter being sent out on official letterhead, so why not when it is sent out through an official "@hardrock.com" domain. I doubt that I would find words like "weather" (instead of "whether"), "miss-understood" and "demo strait" aren't things I would expect to find in the writing from my secondary students (when I was teaching in a high school) or my undergraduates now, let alone from an Assistant General Manager sending out an official response to a customer complaint.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Love All, Serve All... But Not All Of The Time

Well, Lisa and I are here in Gatlinburg for the weekend. My birthday is on Sunday and Valentine's Day is on Tuesday, so we thought we'd head up to the Smoky Mountains for the weekend. Plus Gatlinburg is one of the few places that has a Hard Rock Cafe in the southeast that we didn't have a souvenir glass from yet. Prior to this trip, we had twenty-one of these in our collection.

Anyway, so we decided to go to the Hard Rock Cafe this afternoon for lunch. We arrived at 1:30pm and checked in. It was going to be a 30 minute wait for either the first available or a non-smoking table, so we opted for a non-smoking. FIFTY-FIVE minutes later, after at least three couple who had arrived after us had been seated, we noticed a man go up to the front and ask about howmuch longer it would be. When the girl who was working there - who was also the one who checked us in and supposedly wrote down our name - checked her list, she ended up seating him, his wife and their child right away.

So, Lisa gets up and inquires about how much longer it will be for us. From the girl who wrote down our name when we first arrived FIFTY-FIVE minutes earlier, she looks down to her list and we aren't on it at all - which apparently was what happened to the man, his wife and their child before us. So, she seats us right away - in a smoking section right in the line of traffic in and out of the restaurant.

After we sat down, a quick conversation determined that this was just not acceptable and we decided to leave as our server was arriving at our table. We informed her that we had waited 55 minutes after being informed that it would only be thirty minutes, only to be seated at a smoking table when we requested a non-smoking table. This server, who I supposed did now have a full appreciation of everything that had happened to us commented, "Well, maybe you can come back and visit us when we are less busy." So, the customer at the Hard Rock Cafe in Gatlinburg should only expect good service when they aren't busy, and when they are busy what? Anything goes? I'm sorry, this was just not acceptable.

As a side note to this story, after we left the Hard Rock Cafe and went to this place called Legends By Max. The service was great, the food was good, and the atmosphere was lovely.

Addendum - My best line of the trip thus far, as we are leaving Legends By Max I look up at the television in the corner and see a hockey game on. I mention this fact to Lisa, as there was only basketball on the televisions that we could see, and she asks who is playing. After first responding that it was some Olympic game, 90 seconds to two minutes laters, I comment "It is either women's hockey or two European teams, because no one is hitting anyone!"

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Statistics for January

Well, I haven'treally given you much to read here in the way of content, but there were still 26 unique visitors to this blog over the past month, 25 first time people who stumbled upon me using Blogger's "Next Blog" feature and 1 commited reader. Thi works out to about 1 visitor per day.

Once here, most left in less than five seconds -pretty much all of the "Next Bloggers" I'd imagine - but nine people did stay for 30 seconds to 5 minutes and five people got up and left their computers after finding this blog (cause they were here for more than an hour).

We had people from the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Switzerland, Croatia, the United Kingdom, and Indonesia drop by for a visit. While here, they looked at the following entries the most:

That's all for this month, until next time.

Tags: blog, blogging, blogs