Posts Tagged ‘messages’
One of the first things I do when I get into work is check the messages. Most people who leave messages are inquiring about reservations as, until Sunday, we did not have any other way of making reservations. We just recently installed OpenTable, a popular reservation system that cuts out me, the middle man, and allows people to make reservations online. Given the day of the week there can be anywhere from 5 to 27 messages, as was the case last Friday during Maine Restaurant Week. Twenty-seven messages in the hours from 11pm until 1pm the next day! Yikes.
I could most certainly write a book about some of my favorite messages, but there are also some fairly hilarious consistent faux paus, if you will, that people frequently commit, though they make no sense and most would agree.
- Some people start out leaving their messages very slowly, reiterating every detail, and then, when they get to the most important part, their phone number, they rush through it. “1955722367. Okay we look forward to hearing from you. Have a nice day. Thanks. Bye” It takes them a second to rattle off their ten digit phone number. I then have to listen to the message again concentrating several times on the number part. Which begs me asking the question, why would you say your name twice, the time of your requested reservation twice and the number in your party twice and your phone number only once and really quickly not even stopping to pause in between digits? As long as I have the number, I can call you back and ask you your name, your time request, the number in your party etc. But if I don’t have the number…
- Also, on the topic of phone numbers. I don’t understand why people leave two numbers. I understand that people have busy lives and are often in several different places throughout the day, but doesn’t almost every one have a cell phone? Can’t just that one number suffice? For example: “My office number is x, I’ll be here for most of the day or you can leave a message with my secretary Marge. I’ll be home after 5, my number there is x. But, also you can reach me on my cell all day, at x.” Why not just the cell phone number?
- Another pet peeve, though I find great amusement in it, is when people leave their life story on the answering machine. “Bon jourrr Petite Jacquelineeee. How are we todayyy? This is John Smith. Me and my wife just LOVE your restaurant. We were in there the other week and had an absolutely fabulous time. The service was great. Our waitress, Melissa, was amazing! Anywaaayyy, we were hoping to come in next Friday at 7. It’s our friends birthday. We are flexible with time but would really love to come at 7 and sit in the window. We just love your restaurant and want to show our friend a good time so anything you could do to make it extra special. Our friend is in from out of town. Great. I’ll be around all day so feel free to call me at x. Looking forward to it. Byeee!” Five minute later, me having a panic attack and imagining how many more messages were left on the phone in the meantime.
- And then there’s the “flexible” comments. “We are flexible with time, anywhere between 6:30 and 7:30 would work.” Okay, people, this is NOT flexible. EVERYONE wants to come in and eat dinner between 6:30 and 7:30.
- Some people naturally assume that we are not busy and most certainly can accommodate them, no matter when they’re calling. People will call just several hours before service on a Friday or Saturday night and leave their message saying that they would like a table for 2 at 6:45 and would just like us to call back and confirm to let them know they have the reservation. No. You don’t. We are fully booked until 9 and have been since yesterday.
- Another thing that isn’t necessarily a pet peeve, just an interesting quality trait that some people posses, is when they call and make a reservation referring only to themselves. For example, they say, “I would like to make a reservation at 6 tomorrow.” I assume that this means they want to make a reservation for themselves only. However often they are looking for a reservation for two. Versus most people who say, “I would like to make a reservation for two.” or “I would like to make a reservation for my husband and I.”
- There’s also times when people call and I answer the phone during the day/night and people are trying to make reservations while talking to someone else in the background. Numbers get repeated, I get confused as to what’s being confirmed who’s agreeing to what time, what their name is, if they’re yelling at me or their husband, etc. These phone calls generally give SEVERE rise to my anxiety.
- Now, the WORST, the all time worst, in my mind, is when people call, in the middle of service for a reservation a month away and tell you to ‘hold on.’ They will call in the middle of dinner when I’m trying to seat other people, keep the door closed, help the servers out, and they call and say “Hi, I know this probably isn’t a good time… wow you sound like you’re really busy in there! Good for you guys! Anyway, I’m looking for a reservation for Monday the 8th next month. Oh, could you hold on just a minute…” There is nothing that makes me want to hang up on a person more.
A general rule of thumb, keep it concise and down to the details. My favorite messages are the ones that are, “Hi, my name is so and so, my number is x, again that’s x, and I am looking for a reservation for 2 on Friday night at 6.” Boom. Done. 30 seconds. Point conveyed. In fact I’m more focused on this reservation request because I know exactly what they want and know I can take thirty seconds to call back and say, “Hey Joe, Melissa from Petite Jacqueline. Got your reservation request and we most certainly can accommodate two of you at 6 on Friday. Great. See you then.”