Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More mediocre service - coming right up!

Get ready America! It's coming!!



In case you haven't heard, Tim Horton's is trying desperately to push into the US market. Tim Horton's is a Canadian coffee and donut chain, much like Crispy Cream or Dunkin' Donuts.
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It's very popular in Canada, and it's rival is Starbucks. Although Starbucks has a certain snob appeal, I find most canadians, do in fact prefer Timmy's (as we affectionatly refer to it) to Starbucks due to the 'proudly canadian' factor.
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There is only one little teeny tiny problem. The people who they hire to work there!
As part of the pre-requisite to work at Tim Horton's you must not have graduated high school, and above all, you must not (I repeat NOT) speak english.
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If you meet the two critiria, you will most likely pass the interview - conducted by a manager and a fellow highschool drop out with no handle on the english language- with flying colours!
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(NO, it's not a spelling mistake, we spell colour with a 'u'. Same with neighbour, and labour too.)
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This little hickup does not stop hundreds of hungry commuters from lining up each morning through the drive through, most of us just grabing the standard 'double double' and a bagel.
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(double double is what Tim Hourton's calls their coffee. 2 cream, 2 sugar. Catchy, right?)
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I am one of those faithful, if completely frustrated customers, and I go by each morning at 6am and get my double double. Each morning it is always the same. I can put money on how it'll go.
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Tim Horton's Employee (In frightening Darth Vader voice)
"Welcome to Tim Horton's can I take your order?"
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Me (wondering why they all sound like Darth Vader in the damn speaker)
"A double double and a toasted bagel please"
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T H Employee:
"Would you like to try our new B.E.L.T bagel?" (Bacon Egg Lettuce Tomato)
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Me: "No"
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T H Employee: " Would you like anything else?"
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Me: "Still no."
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I get to the counter drive through. I go to pay. The lady who clearly wasn't listening the first time asks me to repeat my order. So I do. Slowly.
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Then she reaches out into my car handing me the bagel wrapped in a plastic-y type napkin. At this point I always ask for a bag. She sighs. Hands me the bagel AND a bag.
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I then proceed to put the bagel into the bag on my own. Next comes the coffee. Again, she attempts to hand me the hot drink. I ask for a sleeve or I'm going to have blisters on my hand before I even get around the corner. She visibly rolls her eyes, but complies.
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This ritual has gone on every single day for over a year. Same people at the drive through counter, same old me in the car. Same scenario every time.
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It just kills me. WHY can't they just bag it without being asked?! And why won't they put a sleeve on the coffee without being reminded?! Are we saving a few pennies for the corporate giant by cutting these corners?
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Then, of course are the days -like today- when I pay with cash instead of debit card. I try not to, because they sometimes run out of fingers and toes and I have to wait for someone else to come by and take off their sandals before I get my change.
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Today my order came to $3.25 I gave her a $5 bill. She got me my food/drink (after doing our little bag and sleeve dance back and forth first) and started giving me my change.
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I saw a quarter in my ashtray and handed it to her. That was my first mistake. She moved her hand back and had a puzzled look.
"You already paid." she said.
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Me: Yes I know, I'm trying to get less change so I'm giving you a quarter.
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TH Employee (so observant) But you already paid.
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Me: Yes, you are correct. But now I would like a toonie as change instead of all of that in your hand. ( a toonie is a 2 dollar coin we have)
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TH Employee: YOU PAID!!
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Me: We've established that. I am going to give you a quarter back and you can give me a toonie.
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TH Employee: I am going to get the manager.
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Me: Oh, for Fuck's sake.
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Manager comes back, (with the translater in tow)and asks me what the problem is. I tell them that I was trying to get less change and that I wanted to give her a quarter so that I could get a toonie instead of a bunch of coins.
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He pauses. Seems to be thinking. I hold my breath. Looks at her, then at me. Then he says to me "we don't do that here ma'am" and gives me back $1.75 in change.
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I just about dropped my coffee into my lap and shook my head.
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There was no point continuing, as I fear explaining it further would have made me late for work.
And that, in a nutshell, is TIM HORTON'S.
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Coming soon to an American town near you!

19 comments:

Jazz said...

Ah! but Timmy's isn't Canadian anymore. It was bought by Wendy's a while back...

Is that when it started going downhill?

Sayre said...

I don't go to coffee places very often unless they're attached to bookstores - but on my one and only experience of driving thru a Starbucks, I noticed that the folks waiting on me were very cheerful and looked like they'd been mainlining caffeine since before birth. Talk about an instant eyebrow lift - theirs were nearly at their hairlines.

tweetey30 said...

I have to say I dont go to Starbuck even though there is one just up the street from us and I will have to say after this they wont be getting my business after this little stint either.. LOL.. No way. Most places you shop at let you give the right amoun of change afterwards. I have done that many times over.. People.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

Yeah....well....Starbucks is all of that...with a distinct look of disdain from the high school dropout that is serving you the coffee!

As if I need attitude on TOP of my $10 coffee price! :)

TD said...

We have this great coffee place, called the Sweetest Things, they are great. no attitude, always freindly and they can remember my order when I walk throught the door. Either that or they remember 3 loud kids and they want me to hurry up with my order and leave??!?! To go to starbucks it is a 30 minute drive north or south!!

That girl said...

Jazz - You are a wealth of information!! I didn't know that it wasn't canadian anymore? (they should remove the 'proudly' canadian sign, eh?)

Sayre - True. Very true. Coffee will give you that eyebrow lift. No botox needed.

Tweets - I don't go to Starbucks either. But if I snubbed everyone who gives bad service, I'd never be able to shop retail anymore :-)

Queen - But, the attitude is free right? That's complementary. I hate going to starbucks, I don't have the fancy orders. Just coffee, 2 sugars and 2 creams. That always gets me a funny look.

That girl said...

TD - You were commenting at the same time I was!
There is something to be said for a small business...usually way better service than the big giant franchises.

Dave said...

I refuse to go to a chain coffee shop. I avoid McDonalds, Wendy's, etc.; though, I occasionally succumb.

First rule of going to an establishment that uses the phrase "do you want fries with that" or any equivalent is to pre-think the event.

"Put the bagel in a bag and a sleeve on the coffee. Here's $5.25, give me one of those Canadian currency things that's more than a one and less than a five. Thank you very much."

VV said...

Oh my gawd! That is too disturbing for words! They have a Tim Hortons in Ohio where my sister lives, but not being into coffee, I've never been there. Me being the smart ass I am, I would have made them do the math with me, "let's take this slowly now, what is $1.75 plus .25? You can use a calculator if you need to."

That girl said...

Dave - (I always get exited when you comment, it's a treat) Next time I go there, I'll take you with me in my head, and I'll repeat those exact words. We'll see how that goes.

VV - You are so right when you say OH MY GAWD!! That is exactly how I feel every morning when I drive away. (Jp is in charge of hiring where he works, and some lady brought her resume in. Past experience? Tim Horton's. I almost shouted at him "NOOOOO!" when he told me. Needless to say, she didn't make it on the short list)

Evel said...

Wow...you really need to come to the Maritimes. There is the odd idiot working here, but not complete incompetents.

Seriously, when I pull into the drive through, if the girl spots me, she already has my triple triple waiting for me before I get to the speaker.

HamiHarri said...

LMFAO -sooooooo true..

My fiance and I have a good laugh everytime we go in (we *heart Timmy's). There are Timmy's on every corner in Ontario :( I miss it - they have tons of drive thrus there too :) miss that too Although they don't take debit (or at least they didn't when we were there in Sept).

I had to laugh at the response "we don't do that here" WTF?!?!

The only positive part about the staff is that they are giving those with developing English language skills employment - when many others would not...My new job is at MEIA - you wouldn't believe the stuff I have seen so far re:employment ;p

PS thanks for the tips on flooring. kids and doggies where main reasons I was reluctant to go purely dark ;)

HamiHarri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HamiHarri said...

PS Have you seen the movie Trailer Park Boys (I'm sad to say I have, twice). Anyhoo, I usually hate the show, but there was one part in it where one of the guys is bragging about his wife/gf great new job "at Hortons'" LMAO!!!

Eileen said...

Michelle, you crack me up. Is it the one at 230th or 202nd? I don't think it matters, they are both the same.
Where I work in Toronto, we have Starbucks, Tim's, 2 Second Cup's and Timothy's, all within a block and a half. I used to go to Tim's, but Leah changed schools and I don't walk the extra steps. Now, I get off the subway and walk into Second Cup. They see me and get my breakky ready right away.
I know what you mean about the lack of high school and english. It is SO true!
The one thing I do like about Timmy's...they seem to promote a good team environment...they appear to work well together.
Well, I have to say SOMETHING positive!

Diesel said...

I always point to stuff like this as evidence that the economy must be doing ok, because apparently anyone can get a job.

Dave said...

Michelle, more posts more comments, and thank you. Life has choices: give up your life and post to your blog, or enjoy your life. I'd choose the latter.

Laura said...

Oooh, good lord, that's worse than the usual bad service I get there. But the donuts are worth it!! Anyway I say next time when you're finished your coffee, take the sleeve off the cup and leave it in the cupholder in your car. Then you won't have to ask them next time. Plus, reduces the number of coffee sleeves you have to use :)

Ann(ie) said...

I have to admit that I am a Starbucks freak. I go there daily....sometiems twice....on a bad day three times. It's insane and I'm a damn addict and I don't even want to total what I'm spending. But, today pissed me off b/c I had a similar experience to yours. ug. I told her that it'd be cool if I could get a little better service since I'm probably going to be paying for the down payment on her first house. She just looked at me with a blank damn stare. F. I said screw coffee and went home and opened some wine. =)