I started this blog to help local businesses maintain integrity and stay in business. In this blog I will relay my experiences with local businesses, both my positive and negative experiences. As many people often seek and covet my opinions unfortunately this blog will have an emphasis on negative dealings, but that should be helpful for intelligently run local businesses in the long run. And keep our community strong and fair. I feel all honest customers should be treated fairly by local business both large and small.
I feel this is an important forum because those businesses I say to myself, “I won’t go back.” Often do go out of business, and this forum allows them to be better businesses and stay in business.
I am not saying bad businesses will always stay bad, often given complaint they change for the better. And when I get time I will post an article about one that changed to my surprise and for the better. Because I have something good or bad to say one time does not mean the next time I write something it will also either be good or bad respectively.
And therefore consider the review to be ongoing although historical comments are to considered set in stone. Those businesses resentful of complaint are often of noteworthy mention. I intend to be objective and fair and if I stray from this it is because of human nature.
When you eat at a local restaurant you should not expect to get sick. You expect the food to be prepared and cooked safely and to a standard that is higher than your own, as you most likely not in the business of professional food preparation.
You expect the food to be consistently prepared and cooked thoroughly.
This blog will cover local businesses but also other aspects of a community such as community and civil services that are often strongly influenced by local businesses. Local Businesses are invited to post a response. Remember, when I speak the truth no matter how objectionable to you it might seem I am protected by Freedom of Speech. In other words I have the freedom to protect others in this country from the dangers I feel you represent yourself as.
I write this to notify you of businesses that will give you the run around or what you come to feel was a negative experience.
What prompted me to write this blog was the manager of Kopps Custard on Port Washington Road being disrespectful to the vice president of the United States of America who was a customer of Kopps. And then to boot he gets an appearance on Fox News to gloat some more on how he was disrespectful and Fox news praising him for it and lambasting Biden for chastising the leering manager for what amounts to Biden telling him, “to mind his own business.” Have we got the right Vice President of the United States, you better believe we do!
Customer Needs and Support:
Does the business indeed focus on your needs as a customer of that business? Or do they bait and switch, up sell or down sell to you a product for money that does not fit the reason you came to use the business in the first place. These can be very subtle points to think of and often broadly characterized or classified behavior. For instance the following might fall into the area of fitting customer needs.
If the restaurant is a Chinese restaurant and they have no MSG available should you be the one to have to ask for it if you do not remember? MSG can cause many health problems. Often people get a delayed headache from eating this and have no idea why. MSG is sometimes in powder form and added just like salt, and too much can put you in the hospital. Furthermore most salt substitutes contain the same ingredient that Doctor Kevorkian used to assisted kill people. Does the business owner use common sense and judgment in his dealings or has blatant disregard for this been a cause for your complaint. Does he/she indeed have the capacity to listen or are they just trying to get past you and your issue.
Sometimes it is hard to complain or voice your concern because of the anomalous situation you are put in. These are situation when the truth takes awhile to realize and/or you have to question your own sanity before you realize it. We don’t need these types of diableros in our country or the world for that matter. These are the types of businesses that get the, “I won’t go back rating.”
Facility Conditions Cleanliness and Safety:
How clean is the floor? How clean are the restrooms? Do the bathrooms smell? How easy is it to dry your hands after washing them? Here’s a hint, if it’s not easy for you, it is not easy for the workers also, workers who might just have something to do with your food, in the case of a restaurant. Does the business owner take care of his facilities? Do the facilities meet your personal safety standards? For instance I once shopped at Sendiks on Oakland, the one just north of Capital Drive. As I walked around the place there was a nail sticking up out of the floor by what looked to be 2” it was bent over and had been there for quite some time, because as people had walked over it, it had spun a circle into the wood in the floor. I notified management three times, the nail was still there two weeks later. Does this business cater to our community by tripping elderly people that come to buy food, I asked myself. Incidentally my car was keyed, and that means scratched with a car key when I visited here. I notified management and they directed me to their insurance company to file a complaint. If your car is ever vandalized in a parking lot you have little recourse. The insurance company only serves as the Stonewall Jackson function for the business in this regard, and for the fruitless frustration they present you with they should not exist in this capacity or form. If your car is vandalized at Home Depot you will be directed to call a phone number that no one ever answers. You would think that good management might offer you at least some consolation when this happens, such as a pizza, but this opposite is indeed what happens. You are made to feel like you should have never shopped there in the first place by their abject disconcern.
How truly understanding are the owners to your complaint? How do they listen?
I always try and offer suggestions for improvement to business, sometimes in the products they carry. How does the business owner view your suggestions, resentfully or respectfully? Once again do they listen or even want to listen to you as a customer. Do they say or imply they will do one thing and then not live up to their implied or verbal assertions or promises. Do they try and argue semantically with you? Don’t we all just love these types, well call them they lawyer wanted to be salespersons. They try and make you feel not as smart so that they can betray your belief in self and charge you more money, and this generally relates to services more so than off the shelf sales.
Does the owners breath in and of by itself make you sick, I suppose we should tell them right out on this one for their own good, but I haven’t got around to doing it yet because when it happens I am usually very repulsed.
Control of Business:
How well does the business tolerate trouble makers, those that are not there as a customer or a potential customer of other future products. In other words punks and trouble makers, and unfortunately these come in all ages. Do they get on the same page with them or you as a customer? Or on the contrary if you came to buy one product and are looking at others in the store, do they try and speed you along nervously?
Another valid complaint to have, are prices that change for the same product from week to week for no apparent reason. For instance if it is listed on the menu as $17 it should always be $17 not $15 one week and $18 the next and back to $15. In other words is what you would expect to be a fixed price changing for no apparent reason?
Another issue with regards to pricing; are their businesses that you go into and you come out feeling like you paid with more than your money? This should not be the case.
Do they use hard sales tactics whereby they lesson your opinion of yourself and thereby get you to agree with what they are telling you, which incidentally costs more and often gives you less. Do they use the sales tactic of attrition?
How much of what you consider the employees job do you find yourself end up doing as a customer? To be fair to this question, sometimes I am willing to and look to pay a lower price under these circumstances.
No lady or Gentleman wants to shop at a business when they are funning “Yah” or that treat you as a second class member.
Sometimes the behavior is only of the employees, but most of the time the behavior of the employees is fostered by the culture of the owners or proprietors.
Do the employees act like the non-typical stereotype of construction workers? In other words how long does it take to fix a road that is five blocks long anyway? I’ll tell you, it takes 6 to 9 months, while workers that sound like castrated swine smoke and bitch about every ounce of work they have to do and then look in resentment at every passing driver. While they are consumed with this attitude they wonder why they never made it to professional sports. No wonder the roads cost so much.
Getting back more to the general point of employee attitude, do employees of other types of businesses that you patronize present themselves, act and behave in this same manner?
Employee Behavior and Treatment:
Do the employees of the opposite sex flirt with rudely with you? Do you yourself treat your employees with respect? If you are a man and a customer do the women employees treat you like the gal in the Clint Eastwood movie, when she spouted out her famous line, “Bottle of whisky for courage and the manners of a goat.” To the person from out of town.
Do you see the employees being treated objectively or are they being personally insulted?
Some managers and owners complain, “It is so hard to get good help.” What is a much worse problem than this for our country is to see innocent and fresh new help corrupted or harassed? In other words, “Is it hard to get good help because young new workers are often dissolution by the personal insults of bad management?” A happy employee will work for you forever. It is also in your interest that they are not abused by rude customers or trouble making punks.
If you can’t adequately explain and express yourself articulately when teaching so that you see an employee understand you should not be in business. Also if you thrive on personally insulted and degrading employees for your own sick perversion you should not be living in this country. Don’t personally insult young employees out of jealousy for the potential future they have in life.
If it gives you a sense of elation or high by making people miserable what community should we label you as belonging to?
Like most families my father took our family out for dinner every so often when my sister and I were young. He would often complain that the place was a “clip joint” and we would revolt at him saying this.
I can remember one time when we ate at a pizza restaurant on Port Washington road. Baranbees (sp?), very good pizza but the restaurant disappeared long ago.
My father ordered a steak and it was wrapped in wire and he cut his mouth on it.
My father’s wisdom regarding clip joints has become more prevalent today than it ever was. Typically it is not wire that we have to worry about in our foods today, but germs and viruses. Remember it is a felony to put a foreign substance in foods. I would go so far as to say that people convicted of a felony should not be allowed to work in restaurants in any capacity. E-coli we make you gravely ill. Mayonnaise is often laden with germs as it is the perfect breading ground. If the water tastes like it came out of the toilet it is no better for you than if it did. Filthy kitchens overstaffed with dirty workers that were never taught any sense regarding cleanliness or personal hygiene are the norm of today and a product of our movie culture sensationalized with graphic violence.
We expect a fair bill also, itemized to what it said on the menu when you ordered. In other words nothing about the place should leave you feeling pissed off afterwards.
My father almost died of food poisoning when he was a young man and I have been made ill by a lot of restaurant food. It happens far more often than it should. And these businesses feel they are above a non-enforceable law with regards to standards. They have been allowed to run free rein by Republican administrations that made for a smaller government that can effectively oversee them. And this is the way they want it. They do not like to be told what to do as they feel this is beneath them. Our government put in place by the people to protect the people is no longer there, it has been given back to the rich in the form of tax cuts from Republican administrations’. The only thing there is available to protect the people today is what is called the Fourth Estate, and that is writers like me. That is of course until they take away our right of free speech. Once that is gone all of our rights are gone and we are no longer a democracy but something lesser that will not last or survive on its own. By the time you are gravely ill from food poisoning you will not be able to complain any more. The time to assert your rights guaranteed in this country is today.
General Restaurant Reviews and Advice Regarding Them:
When reviewing restaurants I will take the point of view of whether the food is fit for the health conscious or more to add costly and “miserable” calories.
I might also be somewhat biased because I have learned from eating at these restaurants that there are certain foods that cumulatively over time I have found out not to be for me. Now I have been to a gastroenterologist and he couldn’t find anything wrong.
Advice, when eating at any restaurant, be wary of Mayo. It often sits at room temperature, is germ ridden, artery clogging and serves no heath function. What is Mayo? It is eggs and oil blended together. Incidentally how are viruses grown and replicated in the lab, eggs. Who in their right mind would leave eggs blended with oil made to look uniformly white out at room temperature and eat it? It does not make any sense at all but the majority of Americans do it every day. And it is in special sauces on hamburgers, etc. Would you get up every morning and put the mayo out by the kitchen stove and leave it out all day, and how can we be assured of the status of the mayo in prepackaged containers. Due to Republicans forcing their way there will never again be the oversight to test mayo in restaurants, if indeed there ever was. The health of this country would benefit from a broad sweeping reform regarding it, and those who curtailed its oversight.
Do the young employees resent working and customers? Do the young people think George Bush’s fated service economy is below their means and resent it? Do they think the only jobs that will ever be available to them in this service economy will not pay a true living wage?
Watch what the employees do, you get good at this if you have had supervisory experience. Don’t be afraid to look when they don’t want you to and be looking when they think you aren’t. Due they take a bag of uncooked French Fries and through them on the floor, thinking you did not see, before they cook them.
Or are they courteous with a sincere smile and attitude. Due they take the dirtiest white towel turned brown and wipe the grill with it before they cook the burger? Do you yourself know what proper standards are?
Face it once they make you gravely ill from food poisoning you will not likely be able to complain anymore.
God Bless Those Who Think
Thomas Paul Murphy
Copyright 2010 Thomas Paul Murphy