I have been out a couple of times this week and was stunned and amazed by working people who, to my way of thinking, did not know their jobs very well.
Thursday night we go out for a special beer promotion at Toronado. Brasserie d'Achouffe has a representative there to promote their beers. She looks really cute in her gnome hat and is great at handing out keychains to everyone... but she can't tell me a damn thing about the different beers they are promoting. The most descriptive she gets is saying that the Mc Chouffe is a "dark beer" and that she likes dark beers. She can't tell me that it's a Scotch ale (which I was able to surmise from the name) or anything else about it. Greg overhears someone asking her about the beers later and all she tells them is that they are listed up on the board. Now if I worked for a brewery, I would KNOW what the beers were that we were selling in case someone asked me about them. Hell, even if I just had a cheat sheet with name, style, ABV and IBU on it... I would damn well have some info about the beer in case someone asks me! Now, I know that this girl might have just been hired from a temp agency or something, so this may be the brewery's blow it for not getting her more informed on the beers, but it is bad form either way.
Next we went for Beer for Breakfast this morning at Small Bar for another glass giveaway, this time for Brewery Ommegang. First we have one bartender tell us it's keep the glass - one glass per Ommegang beer purchased, then another bartender takes Greg's empty glass from him. The bartender that took the glass asks Warren and I if we want another round and she tries to take away our glasses. I ask her "isn't it keep the glass on these?" and so she verifies it with the first bartender. She comes back and takes our glasses, fills them WITHOUT RINSING THEM, spills a beer while setting it down and does not top it off, and gives Warren my glass and vice versa. None of these things are real big mistakes, but it is not the usual level of service that we receive at Small Bar. I am used to having the bartenders give me a fresh glass for each pour, or at least rinsing the glass before refilling it. Things did get all sorted out at the end and we each got 2 glasses to keep (since we had each ordered 2 Ommegang beers) but I am still a bit peeved. Even if Greg, Warren and I always taste each other's beers it still doesn't make it OK to bring my beer back in Warren's glass. You are probably thinking, "why didn't you guys just swap the glasses when she gave you the wrong one?" and the reason is that I didn't notice until we started drinking that Warren's glass had my lip prints all over it. I know this may all sound like we made a big deal over nothing - but if I am paying for something I expect to get what I paid for, and I expect that my beer will not be polluted by the flavor of the last beer that was in the glass.
Bottom line: know your job. Try to be ready for the questions people might ask you, and know before coming on shift what is happening in your establishment. Commitment to quality is what will keep customers coming back. ( And glass giveaways. I'm a sucker for "keep the glass" events.)