Today’s office view. (at KCLS Kirkland Library)
Just took back my loaner car, a 2012 Camaro. Fun to drive modern muscle car, but don’t go over any speed bumps! This thing has no suspension travel, especially in the rear. It got 20MPG. Straight line performance was nice, with strong acceleration. Had to really pay attention on the freeway, though, as the car would track uneven surfaces like a marble. – View on Path.
My Nifty drive for my MacBook Air arrived!!
At CES 2013, I made my annual trek to the Illy at the Palazzo. My team likes to go there and enjoy some crepes, before catching the shuttle over to the Convention Center. I had a really bad experience there and decided to complain. The following email was sent directly to the location and Illy’s corporate email.
I wanted to alert you to the incredibly poor service I received from your location at the Palazzo on January 10th at 9:35AM.
Every year my team makes the trek to CES and we spend a lot of time at the Palazzo/Venetian property. It’s sort of a tradition to stop at your establishment, at least a couple of times, for crepes and espresso. Our last visit was so bad, the traditional will cease.
First of all, we visited your store twice during this visit: once on the 8th and once on the 10th. Your staff simply turned this into a bad customer experience during both visits. They had bad attitudes and seemed annoyed that there were so many people ordering. They created confusion with the way the line was set up, they ignored customers who weren’t in the line and I didn’t see a smile on any of their faces.
During our visit on the 10th, two of us decided to grab crepes and lattes. The lattes come in glasses with small bases and wide openings at the top. When they set the lattes on the counter, I went to grab them, slipped on a pen that was on the floor and bumped one of the glasses over. I apologized profusely and felt terrible for the mess I had caused. One employee, a tall man, came by and said pleasantly, “it’s ok, don’t worry about it,” but no one else even acknowledged the situation other than cleaning.
I brought the other latte over to my co-worker, who was sitting. When the crepes arrived, I delivered them to the table. I stood at the counter where food and drinks were coming out and waited, waited and waited with no acknowledgement. Finally, I asked the dark-haired woman standing behind the counter, “Will you be making me a new latter?”
She responded, “no, you will have to buy another one,” and pointed to the growing line at the cash register.
I’ve been to thousands of coffee places all over the world. There’s one basic rule of the restaurant business: if a customer has an accident, the restaurant will make a new one, gratis. Apparently, Espressamante Illy doesn’t enjoy caring for their customers and just wants to collect more money.
This was quite annoying. I just wanted to throw the crepe at your staff and walk out.
I asked for a cup of water and the same woman poured me a cup out of the sink’s faucet. If I remember correctly, there’s a sign on that sink that warns this water is for cleaning only. The water tasted horrible. Why didn’t she give me a cup of water out of the filtered water system? They would do this at any Starbucks.
All in all, I have notified my 1,200+ Twitter followers and another 20-30 people face-to-face to avoid your establishment and Illy in general. The customer service was atrocious and the attitude of your employees on both days was terrible. No one seemed to care about customers. I get 1,000% better service at the worst Starbucks location.
For what its worth, I went to the coffee place that serves Lavazza by the Blue Man theater. I asked the cashier, “if I dropped my coffee on the counter upon picking it up, would you remake it at no charge?” She replied, “Absolutely!” and then wondered why I had asked, with legitimate concern. I told her the story and she smiled and assured me that I will enjoy my experience there.
Please thank your asshole employees for wrecking our tradition and destroying how I’ve perceived Illy in the past. Your store is like the DMV of coffee houses. No one I’ve encountered during this trip cares about the customers or the brand.
My business would be long out of business if I treated customers like that. I’m guessing if you keep this level of service up, your location will be replaced by a Starbucks next year. A shame, indeed.
UPDATE #1: After a friend forced me to call Illy’s customer service line and make a verbal complaint, the situation improved dramatically. I spent quite a long time speaking with their regional director, George, and received a very nice email from the store’s owner Vladi. Illy even sent some coffee beans to me to make up for the incident. Vladi swears things will be different this time and thanked me for the heads up. We shall see the next time I’m in Las Vegas.
New Post has been published on http://paulsalzman.com/blog/2013/01/28/thoughts-on-the-gun-issue/
Thoughts on the Gun Issue…
Alex Lindsay is a man I respect immensely. He wrote a very thoughtful piece reflecting his view on guns, based upon his rural upbringing in Pennsylvania contrasted with his adult life, mostly living in San Francisco. His post on Google Plus is worth a read here.
Here are my thoughts, and the comment I posted responding to Alex’s excellent post.
As far as what to do about gun control, I don’t think this can, or should, be resolved on a Federal level. The State and local governments should be making laws applicable to what’s relevant to them. To your point, people and behaviors are different in relative places, why have a sweeping law the protects–or unprotects in many cases–the citizens in that geography? Just as we don’t have a national speed limit within cities, we don’t need gun laws regulated federally.
In contrast to your childhood, I grew up mostly in the city and except for about 6 years, spent my entire life in cities and suburbs. My past views on guns have mostly echoed the lyrics of Pearl Jam’s Glorified G: most people don’t need them and the ones that do carry them to feel manly. This view has changed almost entirely in the last 5 to 6 years (although I still like the song)–around the time my first child was born. Although I lived in a relatively safe neighborhood in SoCal at the time, I realized if someone came into my house to abduct my kid, we were basically defenseless. A baseball bat, a shovel, a knife and my 911 call would be all I had to defend myself. I started imagining scenarios, escape routes, etc for how a possible home invasion of any sort would play out in my house. My conclusion: I’m at a serious disadvantage. My family is at a serious disadvantage. The crooks will always find ways to procure weapons, especially in the variety of one that shoots bullets, so why shouldn’t I be able to combat the crook with a weapon of my own, to achieve some level of equality?
The media has turned this discussion into a frenzy. People feel helpless from all the recent madness and want to do something about it. People in government feel they have to do something for political reasons, so they look good. But, there’s no single right answer. A worldwide prohibition of guns or ammo is impossible, so we need to focus on better programs with the purpose of keeping the nuts out of society and away from guns. Yet, if one of those nuts tries to hurt me or my family, I should be able to reciprocate their intentions.
Why punish the law abiding citizens who could fall victim to the small percentage of destructive, gun-wielding nut cases?
Bacon pancakes?! I’m speechless.
I’m glad they’re loving it. Every time I come here I wonder why I did it. #regrets (at McDonald’s)