On a recent visit to my local cafe in BKLYN, I was served just too many weird things that totally blew my mind. I opened the door to the café, and a young man stood right in the middle of the doorway, not moving as I opened the door. I said “Excuse me,” and tried to squeeze past him, but he didn’t move an inch! I just walked “through” him, bumping him a bit, and then he “woke up” from his phone chat and slightly moved to one side.
I approached the counter only to find the cashier’s head ducked down beneath it! What could this mean? It turned out she was chatting on her phone and didn’t look up until I said “Excuse me, may I order, please?”

The Problem
I’m not sure where to begin. It feels like everywhere I go—cafes, restaurants, spas, hair salons, retail stores, department stores, you name it—the overarching problem is that no one gives a sh!#, and if they do, I’ve begun to think they must be weird! I’ve become so used to bad service and people not paying attention that if someone behaves in a courteous manner, エロ動画-無修正 I think they’re flat-out strange and/or on “happy drugs.”

The Fix:
We need to make a major social behavioral change before it’s too late! Here are my suggestions:

  • Companies in general (whether in the service industry or not) need to change their training manuals and limit the use of cell phones at work. Maybe they can establish a bonus system nudecamshd.com where points are awarded if you leave your phone in the locker room or a bag.
  • Parents need to teach their children manners, including proper etiquette about how to respectfully address and behave to others.
  • Formal training on how to address and speak to others might be a good addition to kindergarten, middle school, and high school curriculums.
  • A lesson on eye contact could be useful – look up, not down.

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 elporno.org 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!

Two weeks ago, one of the Fiskur Bistro partners in Manhattan announced that they had closed their 7th Avenue South location in New York City. I was so bummed out to hear it, as I really enjoyed the atmosphere, food, and cocktails (especially their signature cocktail Viday).

On the bright side, rumor has it that they might reopen in a different location under new management. Once it’s confirmed, I’ll be counting the days until they open 🙂 and I’ll be one of their first guests!

Good luck Team Fiskur,

My favorite service experiences this year—shown in order of my devoted love for each brand:

Curio Concept: This unique boutique caters to those who aren’t afraid to take an individual style stand as well as those who aren’t typical brand whores.
Curio is all about individuality, culture, and fashion democracy.
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/curio-concepts/

Calphalon: No BS service promises here. If you buy their pots, pans, or other kitchenware, their lifetime warranty is a promise you can count on—and they mean it! They rock!!! Read my post and you’ll understand why I love this brand so much: http://tertiaryreport.com/calphalon/

Leather Spa: There is no other company in NYC that can repair shoes, handbags, belts, and other leather goods as well as Leather Spa. The service in their stores is lacking somewhat in the amount of attention they give to customers, but their repairs are beyond belief! The shoes I got repaired this fall (some are over 10 years old) look exactly the same as when I first wore them.
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/leather-spa/

 

My least favorite service experiences this year—shown in order of my devoted dislike for the brand:

American Airlines: Hands down, the worst service and safety experience I’ve ever experienced in my life! Which places them below airlines I’ve been on in Cambodia, Iran, Vietnam, Burma, and Fiji, to name a few. I’ve never felt so unsafe and uncomfortable on a flight: therefore, I’ll never step foot on an AA airline ever again!
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/american-airlines/

The Whitney: One of my favorite architects, Renzo Piano, the master behind the Pompidou in Paris, made me really sad when I visited his latest building in NYC: the Whitney Museum in the Meatpacking district. What an utter flow crash, with no concept of lighting, color, or the spirit of the art. The modern art on display is badly curated, placed in such a way that you just want to throw up and take a shit at the same time— meaning I almost felt hungover rather than being refreshed and inspired by the art.
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/the-whitney-museum/

Aire Spa NYC: Love the concept and the interiors of the bathing area, but unfortunately, the chlorine smell overwhelms the experience. Nor is the staff helpful, and by staff, I mean everyone from the front desk check to the masseuse.

Also, the temperature in the massage rooms is totally off and the music can be so loud that there is no way to relax and enjoy an aromatherapy massage. In fact, I was so tense during my massage that I came out of it feeling in worse physical and mental shape than when I walked in. It’s not worth the $300 unless you just want to experience a beautiful space full of the smell of chlorine.

However, I do believe with a few tweaks this place could be amazing. The first thing to do is to change upper management and train the staff to shut the f(*$ up while attending to their clients.
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/aire-spa-nyc/

My new favorite restaurant in town, Fiskur (which means “fish” in Icelandic) Bistro, is the go-to place for the freshest fish ’n chips, langoustine, arctic char, cod, shrimp salad, and gluten-free dipping crackers that are freshly made in their kitchen daily. The best part: the fish is caught in Iceland in the middle of the night, then airfreighted directly to NY that same day! Can it get any fresher? Not to my knowledge. Oh, and let me tell you: their cocktails are out of this world! My favorite, Dúfa (which means dove or pigeon), is made with Icelandic schnapps and other scrumptious ingredients that I won’t list here—you just have to try it.

The Problem
On a recent visit, I sat at the bar with a friend of mine, whose favorite drink is called Videy (an island in Reykjavik bay), a cocktail mixed with Brennivín and some sort of dill infusion. We had a few drinks and appetizers, and the place was happening. When we were ready to leave, we didn’t see a single staff member and no bartender was visible. All the staff members had disappeared, while there were at least 30 people in the restaurant, not including the bar scene. We waited a good 5 minutes before we found a manager who could bring us our check. Oh, dear. I emailed the owner (whom I know through a family friend) and expressed my concern. Of course, she wasn’t happy to hear my report. No one was fired, but they really had to step up their game, and they have somewhat done so.

The Fix
The staff needs a mentor on site all the time, meaning: don’t hire a young person who doesn’t have a stake in the restaurant’s success or someone who hasn’t been properly trained in hospitality. The immediate fix is to also set a rule that no one should leave the floor without checking in with the customers. It’s as simple as asking: “Can I help you with anything before I step away for a moment?” Train the staff to look up and scan the room, not stare at the floor. The waiters shouldn’t be lingering while waiting for their orders to be filled but rather they should be walking the floor and returning to the bar with (hopefully) more orders. These are such simple fixes, and yet this kind of attention can make or break a bistro! I, for one, hope they’re here to stay!

Or shall I say icetails?
On a recent school night, my best friends and I went to Rosa Mexicana (18th street, NYC) for virgin and non-virgin margaritas while catching up on business, life, travel, and everything in-between. But we soon discovered something that I wanted to write about here on TR before I forget! We ordered margaritas, and I ordered a club soda as well, as I like to thin out my drinks to pace myself. Here’s what happened: our alcoholic drinks arrived first, but by the time the chips arrived, we’d almost finished our drinks. I thought to myself, “WOW! Did I really drink this whole glass in 10 minutes?” Then I realized I hadn’t— it was all ice!!!

The Problem
After finishing our first round, we all paid close attention to the second round, particularly at how much ice was in the glasses (of both virgin and non-virgin margaritas). They all had one thing in common: too much ice and no liquid to speak of. AHA! Okay, I get it, they are struggling, so they’re sacrificing the quality I remember from back in 2003, when they took real pride in their mixology. Now, it’s long gone, probably never to return.

The Fix:
If your landlord is too greedy, move, and reestablish your pride in the quality of your food and drinks. The food was mushy and bland, lacking in flavor, and there was no appetizing aroma when it came out. I didn’t eat much, wanting to gag, as it looked like baby food!

On a recent visit to a private club I belong to, I had some downtime between meetings and decided to sit at the bar with a latte to work on my pitch deck. Next to me were a couple who had just joined the club. They were discussing rules, the service, and the workings of the member benefit program with the head of membership.
The couple were asked if they had any food allergies or restrictions, and they said “Yes, we’re pescatarians.” I thought, “Oh, just like me,” and I almost walked over to introduce myself, but then a dish welcoming them emerged from the kitchen, so I stayed put and continued working.
After an odd silence, the new members asked, “Um… is this chicken?” The head of membership had left by then, and it was up to the bartender to tell them it was. Oh dear, this was painfully embarrassing for the club’s entire staff—as well as to me, as a member!

The Problem
The club has recently gone through a major staff restructuring, hiring kids with limited experience to run membership, operations, and the kitchen. Rumor has it that there weren’t any transitional training periods, where the “old” staff could train the new kids. It was clear to me from what I overheard that the head of membership had no clue what “pescatarian” meant!

The Fix
The club’s CEO made a fundamental mistake in letting the whole staff go and hiring a bunch of untrained youngsters to take over the entire operation of an elite private club. The obvious fix is to either train them yourself (@CEO) or make sure that you’re not pissing off your loyal staff and/or firing them on the spot. Make sure the old staff and new staff overlap and do everything you can to ensure a graceful transition so your operation doesn’t suffer. As one of my favorite architects once said, “God is in the details.”

I went to the Met the other day to see the Irving Penn show, “Centennial,” before it closed. As a New Yorker, I know not to go to museums on Sundays unless it’s a “go or miss it” situation! So, my friend and I (who decided to join me at the last minute) braved and survived the mad crowd. Thank god we had pre-purchased tickets that got punched at the visitor’s desk. We raced straight to the southwest wing and were delightfully surprised by the well-curated show and the impressive body of work that Irving and his wife, Lisa, produced.

We walked down Madison Avenue as we discussed the amazing photos. My friend suggested we stop at the Met Breuer, designed by Marcel Breuer, as it’s one of our favorite modern architectural spaces in NYC. Of course, I agreed, and as soon as we arrived, the ceiling in the lobby area caught my attention — ceilings are among my favorite things to admire.

After enjoying the architectural beauty, my friend suggested that we grab a bite and a drink downstairs at the Fiore restaurant, but I was reluctant: the last time I’d eaten there, I’d spent way too much money on awful food and service.
Though he was reluctant as well, he suggested we try it once more. If it sucked, we’d vow never to return. I said okay!! We went downstairs, and to our surprise, the bar and dining area looked completely different. The interior design was refined, with an edge, and it recalled Irving Penn’s design sensibility, which we much appreciated. Now, onto the restaurant experience: after settling in at the bar of the dining section and perusing the menu, we realized this place was no longer called Untitled (which I’ve always thought a strange name for a restaurant), but rather, Fiore.
The bartender attended to our orders immediately, professionally pouring a very dry Grüener from Austria and a bottle of location-made sparkling water (basically, filtered water carbonated in a Soda Stream, which I’m totally fine with rather than shipping gassed water from Europe). Our food came out before we finished our drinks, which, in my books, shows that their staff is professional and coordinated, not waiting until you order a second drink to serve your food. All in all, I’m so pleased that Fiore has replaced Untitled in this amazing Marcel Breuer-designed space. He’d be so pleased!

The fix: Unfortunately, I think that Untitled might have tarnished the location with their bad and inconsistent service, sloppy food, and overrated reviews. It saddens me to think that I almost didn’t experience Fiore’s amazing food and wine. My suggestion is that everyone reading this should go to Fiore and forget about what was there before. Fiore will not disappoint you!

A few years back, a friend and I went on a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Montevideo, Uruguay to see friends, get a taste of culture, and sample the cuisine. We mostly hung out in the Palermo district of Buenos Aires, in restaurants that locals only visit, sipping fine wines, nibbling on amazing food, and wandering from boutique to boutique finding interesting designer stores, jewelry ateliers, art galleries, and furniture stores. After a 3-day stay in BA, we took the high-speed ferry to Montevideo and spent some time with a friend who showed us around the city. Again, we discovered amazing wine, food, and architecture.

What an amazing trip! Unfortunately, it was tainted by our on-board American Airlines experience. It started with the greeting when we walked to our seats. First, we were “greeted” by elderly air hosts and hostesses who “looked unhealthy and not in the best physical shape.
There were no smiles or welcomes. It felt like walking into an old bar that smelled of urine, puke, and mothballs. Walking to my seat, I looked down and noticed that the floor covering was held together with duct tape! I considered turning around and getting off, but then just closed my eyes and sat. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared — especially knowing I’d be sitting in this flying weasel for 12 hours!

After takeoff, the flight attendant insisted on keeping the seat belt sign on for over 2 hours and didn’t offer us anything to drink — not even water! When dinner finally came, it was basically thrown in our laps without any drinks. When I asked the grumpy attendant if we could have a glass of red wine and a glass of water, she said, “We are out of both.” I asked if she had any white wine, and guess what? They were out of white wine, too! I really had to bite my tongue not to say anything nasty. But when the gentleman seated behind us asked for a glass of red wine, she paused, said, “I’ll be right back,” walked to the kitchen, and returned with a glass of red wine. I rang the bell and asked a different hostess if we could each have a glass of water and a glass of red wine. She went huffing and puffing to the galley and brought us one glass each!

What?!? On a 12 hour flight, you don’t stock the plane with water and drinks? Do you want your passengers to suffer from dehydration at 35,000 feet?! This happened not only on the way to Buenos Aires but also on the trip back to JFK. When we landed in JFK, my friend and I agreed: NO MORE AMERICAN AIRLINES! Sure enough, we haven’t flown this grumpy airline in over 5 years and we never will!!

The Fix: Clean your planes properly and stock them according to flight length. Get rid of any grumpy, old, overweight staff members who have no desire to help anyone on board. Make it mandatory that your staff stay fit so they can help passengers in emergency situations (some of these airline hostesses wouldn’t have fit through the emergency exits by the wing!). Train your staff to be attentive and to regularly walk up and down the aisle to make sure all passengers are comfortable (no matter what class they are seated in). Most of the flight crew sat in the galley, chatting and reading magazines (which I only know because I kept going back there for more water — which magically, suddenly, became available!).