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The Customer is Always Wrong
by Jackie K. Cooper

This is an absolutely true story. I kid you not. A few days ago my wife and I decided we wanted Italian food for dinner. We went to a chain restaurant whose specialty was Italian food. When we entered, the receptionist asked, "How many?" I replied, "Two for non-smoking."

She immediately took us into a side room where there was one other couple eating. They were sitting in a booth against the wall. The receptionist seated us at a table right inside the door.

"Could we have a booth?" I asked.

"No," she responded. "We don't have any servers for the booths."

"What about in the other sections?" I asked.

"No," she answered.

"What about in the smoking section?" I asked, getting angry.

"Nope, I just checked. None there," she said.

"Well, how about putting us in the booth next to that couple and then the waitress serving them could serve us?" I asked, keeping my temper in check.

"No, that booth belongs to another server," she said.

"But you said the server wasn't here," I stated.

"He isn't, but he will be here at five thirty, and that is his booth," she said, as if it were all very logical.

It was now five after five and I didn't want to wait for twenty-five minutes, so I did what I should have done from the start. I asked to speak to the manager.

The receptionist left, came back in a short time, and said, "He will be here in a little bit."

Meanwhile, the waitress who was waiting on the couple in the booth came up and asked what the problem was. I explained the whole situation to her. "I can serve you," she said. "Go ahead and take the booth."

When we were seated, I told her, "I still would like to talk to the manager."

She said okay and took our drink orders. Eventually the manager came to our table. I explained what had happened. "I am not even going to try to defend that," he said. "But you have a good waitress now, so I am sure everything is going to be fine." Then he left.

Now, I appreciated the manager coming over and agreeing with me, but what happened to making the customer feel better about the inconvenience? He didn't actually apologize to us. He didn't offer to give us a free meal or even a free beverage. It was just okay, I agree, and then he was gone.

In this world of much competition you would think businesses would try to please the customers, but sadly most do not. It is mostly just a "come on in and pay your money" concept. Have a good time and don't ask for anything special or, even in some cases, ordinary courtesy. And as long as we put up with it and keep frequenting places of this type, this situation is only going to get worse.


Jackie K. Cooper was born in South Carolina and now lives in Georgia. He is the married father of two sons and the proud grandparent of a boy and a girl.

He is familiar to people living in the middle Georgia area as the "entertainment man" since his entertainment reviews run in newspapers and are shown on television there. His short stories have also been used as commentary on Georgia Public Radio.

Cooper has lived an exceptionally interesting life. Portions of it were contained in his first book JOURNEY OF A GENTLE SOUTHERN MAN. Now the journey continues in his second book titled CHANCES AND CHOICES.

Write Jackie Cooper at this e-mail address
and be sure to visit his excellent web site: jackiekcooper.com.

~Read more of Jackie's stories at USADEEPSOUTH~
Alzheimer's: The value of humor
Jackie White
Online Dating
Finding Your Face
In Praise of Red-Headed Girls
Fear Itself
Men and Their Automobiles
It's All About Me!
Moments of Memories
Greatest Generation
Never Too Old To Hurt


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