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Little things such as service go a long way

Segull Street, Wendy’s examples of how not to do it

I am tired of poor atmospheres and bad service at restaurants, whether it’s at a classy place such as Seagull Street Restaurant or a fast-food place such as Wendy’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers.

For a poor college student such as me, eating at Seagull Street, 5410 Academy Rd. N.E., is a treat that is only permitted on special occassions. With shrimp cocktails that cost almost $9 and dinner plates that start at about $15 and work their way up, Seagull Street is a moderately sophisticated eatery.

With dark, mood lighting, decorative plants and wait staff that calls everyone “sir” or “ma’am,” I expected a certain quiet, relaxed atmosphere when my companion and I visited the business Saturday evening. That ambiance was the reason we went there in the first place. Yet, when we were seated, mellow and relaxed were not the vibes that surrounded us.

Instead, we were jolted out of our conversation by the screaming and hollering of a young child. No, the child wasn’t whimpering or screaming once and then sitting quietly, the child screeched for 15 or 20 minutes, and no manager said anything to the child’s guardians. My companion tracked him down and said that we were being disturbed by the noise and asked if he could please say something to the people at the loud table.

I don’t know if the manager spoke with the people or if they were finished eating and just left. However, 10 minutes later, the restaurant quieted and we did end up having a nice dinner.

My problem is with businesses that allow boorish, rude patrons to disrupt other people who are acting courteous, respectful and polite. Why, in today’s society, is it rude for a member of a restaurant’s staff to say something to these people, but it’s not rude for obtrusive and annoying people to ignore the well being of everyone else in the room?

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I don’t think it’s too much to expect a restaurant that prides itself on its ambiance to ask disruptive people to leave. As in most cases, the good of the many should outweigh the good of the few. And, just because you have children who you think are little darlings doesn’t mean that the rest of the world wants to hear them.

On the other end of the spectrum, certain things are expected from a restaurant even when patrons are only spending 99 cents on a cheeseburger. The Wendy’s across from the UNM campus, 1808 Central Ave. S.E., is the worst at getting orders correct.

Monday, my friend and I ordered through the drive-thru and, upon later inspection of our sandwiches, realized that our orders were wrong. Our orders were not just a little wrong, but completely wrong. And, it’s not as if this were the first time this has happened at this particular Wendy’s. It has happened too many times — which, honestly, is almost every time I go there — whether I go inside or through the drive-thru. It has happened so often that I have decided to boycott the business and ask my friends to do the same.

I may be crazy, but I think that even people who work at fast-food restaurants should show some amount of respect for the people they serve and for themselves as employees.

Working at Wendy’s may not be a life-long dream or make a person rich, but that doesn’t mean employees should put forth such little effort. Even Wendy’s promises food made right the first time around. I don’t think Dave Thomas would be at all impressed with the UNM area’s Wendy’s.

No longer will I be silent when someone is infringing upon my rights. As an American citizen, I have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It does not make me happy when businesses do not live up to their promises. From now on, I will make my voice heard, and you are all welcome to join me.

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