Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Finally Paid for Lunch (and an Apology)

I just got back from a work trip in Dallas/Ft. Worth. I work for a company called E-Z MIX, which manufactures different accessories for the automotive paint industry. I'm telling you this so you can understand that being both under the age of 25 and a girl, puts me in a very small minority when it comes to the industry and in my opinion, a very big advantage.

Anyways, one of the hardest parts of my job is taking our customers to lunch. I know, you're thinking, "THAT'S the hardest part of her job!?" Allow me to explain. As a manufacturer's rep, I should be thanking our customers for their business by buying them lunch. But usually with 2-3 guys aged 30-65 it's hard to convince them to let me foot the bill, even though it's a company card. Call it pride, but these guys are stubborn.

But this week I managed to pay for lunch... twice! A huge accomplishment in my opinion, and it makes me think my persuasive skills are improving-- which certainly doesn't hurt.

This brings us to Monday, three of us were having lunch at Dave & Busters, when I managed to pay. Our server, Linda brought the check, I gave them my company card, they returned, I entered the tip (a decent sized one might I add) and signed my name. I put the merchant copy back in one of those black holder things and laid it on the corner of the table.

Fast forward a couple of hours. The rep I was working with and I are en route to another customer. I reach into my bag for a pen, and what do I see? The black holder thing from the restaurant, pen, check and all. I must have absentmindedly picked up the thing as we left and stuck it in my bag. It makes no sense I know, but how else did it get in my bag?

So then I was paranoid that Dave & Busters and American Express were attempting to hunt me down. Linda our server was probably furious. She probably added an extra $50 out of spite. What if the other guys saw me stick it in my purse and just didn't say anything!? I finally manage to pay for lunch and I can't even do it right. Of course I was embarrassed for myself (which isn't uncommon) so I just stuck the thing in my bag to be dealt with later. Fast forward again to when I'm back at the hotel. I tracked down the Dave & Busters and called.

Me-"Hi this is Lauren Hyman, I was in there earlier and I guess I accidentally left with the signed copy of the check, a pen and that thing that holds the check."

Guy who answered the phone-"How do you accidentally leave with the check holder?"

Me-"I'm not sure, I guess I must have grabbed it and stuck it in my bag without thinking." (feeling stupid)

Guy-"So why exactly are you calling?"

Me- "Umm because I want to make sure that you guys don't need the signed copy to be able to charge me."

Guy-"Nope, we will just charge you for the bill, your server just won't get her tip."

Me- "Oh, okay! Could you tell the server, her name was Linda that I'm sorry... I feel really bad that she won't get her tip!"

Guy- "You want me to tell her that you are sorry you accidentally put the check in her bag and that she won't get her tip?"

I'm gonna bet he didn't tell her. And what's with the attitude? I was just calling to make sure they could get a payment! Sheesh. This is what I get for paying for lunch. I just thought you'd like to know, in case, you know you accidentally stick the check holder in your bag, too. Your server just won't get her tip. Sorry, Linda.

This kind of stuff happens all the time right?

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