Monday, November 12, 2007

Did that just happen??

I realize it's been a few days since I have posted, and I also realize that the last 2 posts have been without photos, which I know makes them somewhat boring to read. I'm afraid this one is going to be sans photo as well because I don't have one to go with this post. I wasn't sure what I was going to write about today seeing as how I spend most of my weekend running errands and going to Stake Conference (more on this later). Lucky for me, I have just been inspired through work.

I work on a team that has relationships with caterers due to the many receptions and meetings we plan for Bank of America. A caterer is a person who has a company that "caters" to its clients with food, beverage and other items. It is their responsibility and, dare I say job, to do what the client asks. We have 2 caterers that we use. One of them is easy to work with, always accommodating, generous and brings us lunch once a week. The other is difficult to work with, generally unprofessional and takes 2 months to bring us a snack - when we ask for it. I haven't been using Caterer B for our receptions because they are so difficult and their food never looks very good, which is ironic because they run a very nice restaurant whose food is quite excellent. Unfortunately, I had to use them for a reception this week because it was a late starting event, and we have issues with the freight elevators after 6 pm. (This is another post about unprofessionalism. The building we are leasing at the moment is quite unhappy with the Bank because we are building our own building on 42nd street, therefore vacating their building and causing them to look for tenants who wish to pay the 2nd highest commercial rent in the city during a real estate slump. Thus, they make a lot of things difficult for us.) Caterer B happens to be housed in the building and has their own elevator, which is why I had to use them. I had sent them the client's choices for hors d'oeuvres this morning, only to receive a most appalling response from the catering manager.

"I just have a favor to ask – we have another reception that night – rather large. Is it possible to do the same hors d’oeuvre as them?"

She prodeeded to list the hors d'oeuvres they were serving for the other reception, most of which were not even close to the ones my client had selected, and suggested we use the same ones because it would make it easier on the chef. Are you kidding me? It's their job to make the hors d'oeuvres we choose. It is their job to be accommodating. Is that not their business? This is only 1 of the 3,647 reasons why we hate using them. My co-worker Jen, who was as appalled as I was, said, "That's like going into a restaurant and ordering only to have the waiter come back and tell you he doesn't want to make that but could you choose X because we have a lot of that." Well said. That would never happen unless the restaurant was trying to go out of business.

Perhaps this just falls in line with the main issue we have with this caterer. The man we work with seems to have blurred the line between professional and personal. He wants us all to be friends, but in so doing he treats us like friends and not clients. Not cool. Not professional. This isn't the first time something like this has happened, which is why we use them less and less.

My response to the catering manager was simply that our client was paying a hefty amount of money and should have the hors d'oeuvres they requested. The chef should understand that. It is not my job to make the chef's job easier. It's his job to make and create food. If he can't do it, then perhaps he should find another job. The incompetence astounds me. How do businesses like this survive?


April Lowe said...

Nix - I MISS YOU! I wish we lived closer. Will you be in Las Vegas over the holidays?

Ann said...

I hear ya. On a similar note--I am constantly amazed at the horrible customer service that I see everywhere I go. How DO these businesses survive? How do the employees not lose their jobs? Is it even too much to ask people to smile and look at you when they are supposed to be serving you? Give me a break...