On a rather cold and snowy day, I decided to warm up with a latte and a Grand Marnier at a private club I belong to in midtown. A dear friend joined me and I told her about my blog, “The Tertiary Report.” She instantly exclaimed, “Oh my god, I have to tell you about the saddest and worst service experience I have had so far!” Here is her story…

I love stopping in Le Pain Quotidien on my way to work as I think they have the best croissants and lattes in midtown. Working in midtown can be challenging in terms of finding good food and drinks at reasonable prices. At LPQ, everything smells delicious and the flavors are just as incredible as founder Alain Count envisioned…right???? Well, maybe not. See more at hughesairco.com.

The Problem
On a few of my morning visits, I experienced rather un-welcome service. Staff members seemed more interested in chatting with each other than with helping the line of customers that snaked out the door. Nor were they paying any attention to the volume of guests walking in and waiting to being served. Once they “woke up” from their chat(s), the staff members seemed very annoyed and were so unfriendly that they pissed off the remaining clients, some of whom left without their orders!!!

This experience was so uncomfortable that I decided not to go back, and, in fact, I stayed away for 3 weeks. One morning, figuring it might just have been a bad day, I went back to Le Pain Quotidien 53rd Street for my favorite latte and croissant.

When I walked in, all the staff members had their back to the register and were busy chatting or texting. Hmm….I thought, this is weird. Should I wait for them to turn around? Finally, one of them did and the unpleasant attitude I got was appalling. The worst part? When I asked for my croissant to be heated, I got a really evil look. Nevertheless, the sales clerk took my croissant and said “Okay.”

I waited about 7 minutes for my “heated” croissant, which seemed excessive. After 5 minutes, I asked how much longer my croissant would take, and the sales clerk said, “It’s in the basement”! When I asked again, 3 minutes later, another sales clerk said, “I called your name twice and you never responded and the croissant has been sitting on the counter for 7 minutes!” What? I was standing next to the register the entire time. They could have easily handed it to me when it was ready. Furthermore, no one ever called my name!

I ended up not eating the awful, dry, and not-warmed up croissant, immediately vowing then and there to never go back. And I haven’t ever since!!! What a shame…

The Fake Fix:
My friend was so upset by this experience that she decided to find out who the manager of the 53rd Street Le Pain Quotidien was online and called.

Much to her surprise, he wasn’t really shocked by her complaint, repeatedly stating that they were working through a change that would take some time.

My friend is a humble person and she was very apologetic about calling. She almost felt guilty for shedding light on the LPQ staff’s poor service with regard to heating up a croissant and making a nice latte.
The manager gave my friend a $25 gift certificate and a free breakfast (with anything she wanted to order) in attempt to keep her as a client. But guess what: 3 weeks have passed and she still hasn’t gone back—and she probably never will!

The true fix is this:
Go back to the founder and creator’s mission and vision 21 years ago. This used to be about simply serving grandma’s bread and pastry recipes to the local community at a reasonable price with friendly service. Don’t let success go to your head. And make sure to get your old staff training manuals out!

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is something that Unilever has embraced in their worldwide office remodeling. I find this absolutely super cool and I wish that more corporations in this country and around the world would embrace it as well.

One of Unilever’s US locations is in New Jersey, where I was recently invited to a meeting. I was positively impressed with the building, furniture, and the overall infrastructure.

What struck me the most was that I didn’t spot any plastic water bottles or any printed paper material anywhere—plus, エロ動画-無修正 they encourage you to bring your own coffee cup for your morning brew.

Their offices are open and bright, and no one who works there has a dedicated office – it’s truly an open office community with a bunch of alcoves, meeting areas, meeting rooms, and board rooms.

The Problem
I was invited in several times to consult on a brand that Unilever seeks to revamp. On my 3rd visit, as I was looking around (not snooping!), I spotted a display shelf with all the products Unilever owns/represents and I thought: Wait a second, why don’t they own/represent more organic and/or sustainable products? And why aren’t they making an effort to cut down on product packaging and plastic use? For that matter, why aren’t they changing their product formulations in order to make them less harmful to people and the planet? I had a lot of questions.

I couldn’t help it, my head was spinning: Is this all a “brain wash,” or are they just holding on until they get this battleship turned around so that they can eventually own only 100% organic and sustainable brands?

It was awkward thinking about this as I was hired to help them re-position one of their legacy brands! I was also a bit confused. Clearly, they mean well, but at the end of the day, they also have to sell products to keep the battleship afloat.

The Fix:
There is no instant fix as Unilever really doesn’t have the means to change anything that isn’t broken (at least from the corporate point of view). Money is flowing in and they keep their employees happy, providing them with flexible hours, environmentally friendly offices, and opportunities to travel and work abroad. Who wants this to change? No one!

Fixing the product formulations and the packaging would drastically change the dollar amount on their bottom line, not to mention the cost in time and manpower! Then, there is the geauxmaids.com home cleaning re-branding, re-marketing, and re-positioning work, including crafting the brand’s manifesto! The to-do list is lengthy and expensive.
My suggestion is to start small: one by one, begin to kill the current unhealthy brands while investing in start-up brands with healthy and environmentally conscious products. This is the way to remain a corporate leader, by caring for our children’s future as well as the planet’s!

VS2

While packing up for my trip to Tampa, FL., to escape the icy, frigid weather in NYC, I was so excited by the thought of wearing light clothes and bathing suits that I completely forgot to pack my knickers! To my utter shock, I unpacked and found I’d left them all at home! I immediately opened my laptop, Googled the nearest mall, and found a Victoria’s Secret 8 minutes away from my hotel.
Thanks
to Uber and Google maps, I found my favorite knicker provider, Victoria’s Secret, in a ginormous mall. I stormed into the store, found a sales clerk, told her what I needed and in what size, and I was done in 2 minutes flat.
Phew… Done (I thought).

The Problem:
I walked to the checkout desk to pay, and to my surprise, there was only one active sales clerk. The other one was on the phone talking to a customer (or so I assumed). There were 3 people in front of me, and within 5 minutes, I was second in line—but there were 6 guests waiting behind me. Meanwhile, the second sales clerk was still on the phone!!

No one showed up to help. It was getting a little ridiculous, as the person in front of me was returning a bunch of items and the active sales clerk was getting frustrated and seemed to be arguing with the customer! Oh, dear… I really don’t have time for this, I thought, and almost left, but then, seemingly magically, the other sales clerk hung up the phone and screamed, “Next customer, please”!!!

The fix:
I’m not sure where to start, but there seems to be a global problem with the VS staff and their training. There seems to be no attention to courtesy, integrity, or pride. I’m starting to think that this attitude comes from upper management and is trickling down to the sales floor.

It seems to me that management needs to be shaken up (for a lack of a better term) and the staff training needs to be both increased and more rigorous in order that the employees and sales clerks can feel pride in the organization they’re a part of. Right now, the attitude seems to be that no one gives a F*&^% 🙁 It’s a bit sad to see this…

A few weeks back, I was super excited to get the opportunity to travel to Tampa, FL for business and the chance to escape the frigid NY winter weather. Phew…a very much needed break from 26 º Fahrenheit to 72 º and sunny 🙂 A mani/pedi + bikini wax were required before my departure as I planned to spend some time by the pool between meetings.

I arrived at the Hyatt Tampa Bay in the late afternoon after a rather eventful flight, checked in, and immediately got in my bathing suit and went to the pool.
Oh, what a delight, I thought as I swam my 30 laps which felt amazing.

The Problem:
After my swim, the team decided to get dinner at nearby restaurant so we rendezvoused at the hotel bar for a drink before going to the restaurant. We sat at the bar for about 45 minutes and I noticed that I was really cold. I ran upstairs to get my winter coat and noticed my nose and arms were turning blue with cold. Then I saw that the room AC was on full blast! Wait, I thought, it’s only 62º outside—why is the AC on full blast?
When we got to the restaurant, it was the same situation: the AC was on full blast and I wasn’t sure I would last a whole meal without ordering a hot soup and a cup of tea – which I ended up doing because by the time the waiter showed up, I was shivering! My colleagues were freezing too, and we asked if they could turn down the AC. The manager came over and said that they had turned it down, but unfortunately, we couldn’t detect any difference 🙁 We got the check and left.

The fix:
If hotels and restaurants are going to insist on making “green” claims, such as: organic ingredients, non-GMO, farm-raised protein, and “we don’t change towels in your room unless they’re on the floor” (which is a big BS in my mind, just a typical Greenwash), why don’t they devote any thought to the energy they’re wasting? Do they ever think about how much CO2 goes into the atmosphere from cooling (and heating) buildings? If they really want to be “green,” then climate control is an issue that management must focus on!

I’ve been flying with JetBlue since its early inception and I flew with them every other week from SF to NYC from 2000 – 2008! I truly loved flying with them, and they loved me. I was even greeted by name by some of the flight crew as they all seemed to have seen me at least twice on this route. Some of them joked that I should come and work for the company as I knew the aircraft as well as they did! What I liked about JetBlue was they had a really friendly crew, a friendly ground staff, and they were forward thinking in terms of what they served onboard, such as Blue Chips, health snacks, and interesting drinks. The staff seemed to be well-trained and super proud to be part of the JetBlue Family.

The Problem:
Fast forward to 2018… JetBlue has lost its charm, hiring crews that don’t seem to have any interest in their job or any care for their customers. On a recent flight to NY, it was disappointing to see how ungraceful and inattentive the crew members were. If a question was asked, the flight crew members barked back bitterly.
The pilot only came on the PA system once, and the flight attendant walked through the cabin to take orders only once. After serving the drinks, the attendants quickly walked through the cabin with trash bags (or rather, they bitterly walked through the cabin after serving the drinks and snacks!), only to sit and read or chat amongst themselves.
When my colleague rang the bell to ask for more wine, the flight attendant came over and asked, “What do you want?”!!! What happened to “How can I help you”?!?!

The Fix:
Whatever training manual was used in early 2000 should be brought back!!! HR should probably demand a fitness test before hiring crew members and a seminar on hospitality etiquette would also be helpful.
Advertising
and sales/marketing strategies can only take you so far if you don’t have a strong team of employees both on the ground and at 30,000 feet!