Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category
One of my absolute favourite things in this world is a good cup of coffee. A Starbucks Americano is about as close to a good cup of coffee a Flygirl can obtain in an airport. The nice thing about Starbucks is that things are generally pretty consistent no matter where you go. Some stores have better service, more interactive Baristas, but all in all the Starbucks experience is pretty much the same no matter where you go. This is why I was shocked and dismayed by my experience on May 20, 2012.
I arrived at the Winnipeg Airport at approximately 1730. I had about an hour to hang out at the airport before meeting up with the crew I had been called in to join. I sat and people watched. I made a phone call. As I was chatting on the phone, I decided that I should get myself some coffee. I wandered over to the Starbucks. There were 3 employees (two in Uniform, one just hanging out talking) off to one side, having a very indepth and animated conversation about a party. There was also one other employee very busy cleaning the floors. She was doing an amazing job at it – scraping by hand whatever it was that would not come up with just the mop. I took a quick look at my watch – yep – still lots of time. I stood there. I stood there some more. I listened to the party conversation. Oh to be that young again!! I watched the poor girl doing the floors – wondering why she wasn’t included in the party group. I made mention, rather loudly, to my phone companion that I was not being acknowledged at the Starbucks. This didn’t work. When I looked at my watch again – I had actually been standing there for 5 minutes. As it neared the 6 minute mark, the floor-cleaning girl looked up with a start, and came over to help me. She took my order, quite obviously flustered.
And then… She started to make my drink.
Now, please know that I am NOT a germ-a-phobe. I have a pretty good immune system for the most part, and I think this is partly due to the fact that I am not scared of a few germs here and there. It happens. However, this girl had been SCRAPING BY HAND the gunk on the floor. I had to say something. I had to ask her to wash her hands before she made my drink. This shocked myself, my phone companion and the girl! I explained to her that she had been washing the floors, and that I would just feel better if she washed her hands before she made my drink. Thankfully she started the process over again after washing her hands, brand new cup and everything.
In all of this, the group off to the side had not moved.
I took my Americano, and left. I said my Good Byes on the phone, and went to help the Agents at the gate. One of them went over to get drinks for the 3 Agents. Party Group still didn’t budge. Thankfully Floor-Cleaning Girl was there to step in. When my crew arrived, one of THEM went over. Guess What?? Same thing. This time, it was found out that the girl was NEW. I was dismayed. Not only was she cut out of the Party Group, but not one of those other employees thought it would be a good idea to help out the new girl. They had her doing the grunt work, as well as the fun work. Poor Thing – she had to do ALL of the work.
Shame on all of you, Party Group.
Work Place Karma will get you.
Lessons learned on this day. Airport Starbucks have some of the most awful service. I could write for another hour on the service received at the Starbucks on the Secure Side of Terminal 3 at Toronto Pearson Airport. I also now watch my Baristas very closely for hand washing.
Where have you had good Starbucks experiences? Bad?
Let me know.
Anyone who has followed me for any length of time knows that I am a self-declared “Fairmont Girl”. If it’s a Fairmont Hotels and Resorts property, I love it! I sing the praises of their service levels, their staff and their properties. Any negative experiences I have had have been dealt with in such an amazingly professional and thorough way that they leave me feeling positive and even more in love. So I was as surprised as you all will be when I encountered an experience that certainly rivalled, if not out-shone, a Fairmont Experience last night. This experience happened at the Sparks Lounge at the Delta Ottawa Hotel and Suites.
This is a lady who is a career server for sure. And why wouldn’t she be? She was AMAZING. She knew the menu, she knew her drinks and more importantly, she knew how to read her customers. She helped us decide on our meal, knowing we weren’t looking for anything heavy. She didn’t try to force us into an expensive dinner. She recommended we share Tapas. She recommended her favourite Tapas. She joked. She smiled. She laughed. She didn’t hover when we were talking, nor did she allow our beverages to get too low before offering more.
She made us feel welcome.
She made us feel appreciated and important.
She was a perfect example of excellence in Customer Service.
Her excellence is simple. She took pride in her job, and her place of employment. She genuinely likes people, and takes the time to develop a relationship with her customers. She made her job fun. She made sure her customers had fun. She was genuine and real.
I don’t often frequent the Lounge at this hotel. I have a good friend who lives up the street, and when I don’t visit with her, I tend to go outside of the hotel. However, now that I know Betty, and know how amazing I will be treated – I will be back. I will encourage my crews to join me. I will encourage my Ottawa friends to join me there instead of elsewhere around the area.
Betty has turned me into a part-time Delta-Girl.
I hope Fairmont doesn’t mind.