Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Introduction

Customer Service, I'd like you to meet Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Albuquerque, this is Customer Service. I'm sure the two of you will be good friends.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I've just come three days in the ABQ for work, and if I may say, there is a reason that it's only a place you pass through to get to your actual destination. Let's start with our Hotel.

The Hotel Albuquerque.

Nice place. Parts of it are beautiful, actually. There are two restaurants and a nightclub in the hotel. The restaurant service was hit-or-miss. Catherine, who served there in the evenings, was absolutely lovely. There was also a gentleman on breakfast service who was delightful. Otherwise, it seemed that all of the servers would rather be somewhere else.

For some reason, my key kept getting de-sensitized and I could never get back into my room and had to do up and down the elevator to get that resolved. It was not that big a deal on its own, but taken together with everything else, it was frustrating.

The worst thing was on Tuesday evening we went to hang out in the Q Bar after dinner. It's a lovely place, decorated well, comfortable, etc. However, I'd called their food and beverage manager and left a voicemail asking for a place to be reserved and never heard back. When we got there I asked the bartender about it. He said they had no reservation for us and the place was pretty full. I said I had called and never heard back and the response was that if I didn't hear back, I didn't have a reservation and there was no place where we could sit together. Sweet. So we found a back room with a pool table and proceeded to take it over. No problem...

In struts a cocktail waitress, demanding that we all proffer IDs, b/c it's New Mexico law. Fine. The head of our group, P, who is visibly over 35 and I (also visibly over 35) were the only ones who didn't have them on us. We told her that we wouldn't be drinking but she said she didn't care and that to be in the bar we had to have IDs. Here's the thing - I had had one of my aforementioned key snafus and could not get into my room to get my ID, which I told her. I also told her that the manager was going to bring my my key and that when he did I would go get it. Time passes. The boys play pool, we chat. The manager appears and I assume he has my key. He comes in to tell us that the server has told him that some of us were REFUSING to show ID and that it was state law and we absolutely had to. Since P had gone to get his, she could only be referring to me. She thought I was LYING and went and TATTLED on us to her manger. So I said to him, DUDE - YOU HAVE MY ROOM KEY. I CAN'T GET MY ID. He apologizes, says he's getting conflicting stores and that he'd bring back my key shortly. Whatever.

Now when P had been asked for his ID his response was, "You're kidding." When she said, "No," his response was "That is so f%@&ed. " Which it is. No one is going to bust that bar for him not having ID, I don't care how strict the regulations are. Think for yourself, lady. So, during all of the tattling mess, the music on the PA had gone off. My boss was all, "Dude, wtf? Where's the music." So he goes out and asks her if the music is off on purpose. Her response was, "We close at 10, so we're winding down." The nightclub closes at 10. Alrighty. His response, "But it's 9:30." She proceeds to go into a tirade about her not making the rules and how she doesn't appreciate being cursed at and she now doesn't feel comfortable coming into our room.

Here's the thing - You're a cocktail waitress, not a preschool teacher. From what I understand, drinking is a big deal in New Mexico, and we really weren't being jerks. She's got to have experienced worse. She may need to consider another line of work.


We went to Subway for lunch yesterday. The boss got a bottled Coke (not realizing that they had fountain drinks) and asked for a cup of ice, after we'd paid. The dude at the counter tells him that he's got to charge him another $1.59 for the cup of ice b/c when they sell drinks they're really charging for the cups. He had just paid for 4 people's lunch and the guy can't step outside the box and give him a frigging cup of ice? Ridiculous.

Airport Shuttle

Last night I booked a shuttle to take me to the airport at 7:30. I came down to the front desk about 7:40 having received no notification of a shuttle. I checked with the front desk, no record of me booking a shuttle. The lady at the desk calls the company. Turns out the guy pulled up outside without notifying anyone, waited 5 minutes and left. Awesome. So they called a cab and I only had to pay the shuttle price for the cab. Who the HELL does that? If your whole job is to take people to the airport, wouldn't it be part of the program to LET THEM KNOW YOU'RE THERE?

I've not been to ABQ for almost 20 years, and most of the times I'd been before that it had been to pass through. Because of my department's working relationship with our office in ABQ, we may be having a second date, and I have to say, ABQ, you had better shape up, go to charm school and learn to treat your guests with respect.

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