Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ordering Food Should NOT be That Difficult!

On today's "As the Mug Turns", ordering food should NOT be that difficult!  I often hear people complain about the stupid people that take their food order at restaurants.  Well, sometimes folks the stupid is on the other side of the counter trust me! We often say taking an order is sometimes like pulling teeth.  A customer telling us they want a Lot-O-Burger could mean that they want just a burger or a combo.  We are just supposed to know.  Granted that exchange should have them telling me if they want it dressed, with or without cheese, fries or onion rings, and what kind of drink do they want.  I guess we are just supposed to know!  If someone were to tell you I just want mayonnaise on my sandwich what would you think?  If you assume that they only want mayo you may or may not be correct.  Sometimes the genius is telling you by saying mayo only they don't want mustard.  YES I KNOW THAT IS STUPID.  I have had people tell me they want their burger plain.  So we make it plain, meat and bread, and then get yelled at because they wanted pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce.  How is that plain?  The answer to do you want cheese on the burger is often met with a blank stare or the wrong response repeatedly.  For example, do you want cheese on that.  Their answer I want a coke or I want fries.  Sigh.  The question gets repeated until I am given the correct answer.  Surprisingly I have not strangled anyone yet over this.

In addition to our counter inside, we have 3 windows outside all are clearly labeled - Order Here, Pick Up, and Phone Orders.  I particularly like the customers that literally plaster their face to the Pick Up window and wonder why no one is taking their order.  It is also always fun to have a customer ask for a paper menu and watch them read it RIGHT in front of the menu on the window in front of them. 

Another problem is the inability of people to read and comprehend.  I will watch people read the menu for over 5 minutes and then proceed to order things that simply DO NOT exist on the menu.  I want a large fry or onion ring is typical.  We clearly only have one size.  We have a large and a small burger, but we often have people ask for the medium burger.  Really?

This "As the Mug Turns", will be continued with more ordering stories soon!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

If It Isn't Nailed Down....

On today's "As the Mug Turns", If It Isn't Nailed Down....the employees version.  Well I have already brought up the customer version of this and now it is time for the things that go missing from employees!  It seems through the years a few employees have used us as their one stop shopping  I think that they thought we were FrostMart.  We have had anything from toilet paper (really if you needed it that bad just ask) all they way to an entire case of shrimp and just about anything in between.

There are the obvious incidents like taking a case of shrimp.  There are also the not so obvious like either giving away food or charging the customer and then pocketing the money.  All of these things led to cameras and having to staple the ticket from the register showing an order was rung up.  Even with all of that things go missing.  A few years back I could not figure out where the red beans were going.  I knew what would were selling and it didn't add up.  After an employee didn't work here anymore it dawned on me she was taking it outside and bringing it home at night.

I am sure there are plenty more things that don't know about.  I guess sometimes ignorance is bliss but for goodness sake just ask for the toilet paper!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

If You Call in Sick - Hide!

On today's "As the Mug Turns", what happens when you call in sick and are NOT sick AND we catch you!  Ok, I am certain the number of times employees have called in sick over the years and were NOT sick probably greatly outweighs the times that they were actually sick.  A personal favorite is when an employee asks for off and we need them that day so they simply get a horrible illness that day instead.  Of course calling in sick is better than many that just don't show up. 

Well, you would think that the story I am about to tell you made me angry.  Oddly enough it mad me laugh when I should NOT have laughed and is one of my favorite memories.  I won't use his name but if he wants to confess to it he should feel free!!  Ok, the employee calls in sick on a Friday afternoon.  Great we are shorthanded - nothing new.  Later my sister who worked at LaPlace Elementary stopped by Frostop. She asked why we were shorthanded and we told her our employee called in sick.  She said that she had just passed his house and he was out washing his car.  REALLY?!?  So my Dad calls his house and gets his Mom on the phone.  She said he was out for the night and had no idea.  So wow he was busted.  What I did NOT expect was to come into work the next morning and find a note the employee wrote apologizing for what he had done.  I was FLOORED.  In all of the years and all of the employees that had NEVER happened.  You would not believe how many parents would lie for their kids.  Poor thing came into work that next morning and you could tell he was tired - I bet he didn't sleep much.  I avoided him as much as I could because what I wanted to do was laugh.  I could not be angry with him even if I tried.

So thanks for the laugh that day and every time I have thought about it since!  Tomorrow on "As the Mug Turns", employees stealing what isn't nailed down.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The End of Video Poker....

On today's "As the Mug Turns", how we got rid of video poker and almost got hauled off to jail!!  Let's go back to getting video poker in the first place.  We finally got the poker machines in 1994 after first getting a beer license and then the poker license.  You have to be fingered printed and apparently the prints were done wrong in LaPlace so my parents and I went to the State Police headquarters in Baton Rouge to do them a second time.  The trooper doing them seemed surprised we knew what we were doing and asked if we had been fingerprinted before with a puzzled look on his face.  Yes, in fact, we have been - just incorrectly.

In the years that we had the machines, there was crazy paperwork and once we had to actually prove we were a restaurant.  Seriously, can't you just send someone in here to look?  I had to send an entire years worth of bills and a menu.  What a brilliant use of my time and someone at the state level. 

We were always on top of things making sure that people didn't go into the booth with kids.  Honestly we never had a problem with underage people playing.  So we have the machines from 1994 until 2008 with NO problems.  Well in November of 2008, the state police sent in an underage person to play and we didn't catch them. Obviously the girl didn't look young but it was what it was.  We immediately said we wanted the machines out.  They didn't make much anymore and were a hassle.  My Dad pulled the plug.  The video poker company said you can't do that.  So they were plugged in and an out of order sign went up until the could be officially turned off.  Well the day they were set to be turned off was on a Monday that happened to be Veteran's Day so we would wait one more day.  Of all the days in all of the years we had them on THAT day 2 troopers come in to check the machines.  My parents and I told them what happened and how upset we were.  We did not raise our voices and of course no profanities were used.  The troopers left and the next day the video poker guy told us the troopers said we were VERY close to being arrested.  Seriously?  Can you see my Mom, Dad, and I being carted off to jail?  Well, we do know how to be fingerprinted!!  Just another day of "As the Mug Turns" the Cops version!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Wildlife at Frostop!

Today on "As the Mug Turns" the wildlife of Frostop!  Goats, snakes, armadillos, horses, dogs, and cats are an odd thing to have turn up in your restaurant's parking lot but it happens, as least in Laplace it does.  Years ago, there were horses across the airline from the restaurant that would get loose and run up and down the Airline in front of us.  Very interesting to call 911 and have the operator immediately ask you, "Is this about the horses?" 

The horses are just the mere tip of the wildlife iceberg!  Many restaurants have dogs and cats dropped behind the building and we have had our share of that through the years.  We have actually gotten a few great pets that way.  But what goes beyond the normal would be snakes, goats, armadillos, and of course the horses. 

I once encountered a snake in the back hallway a few years back.  I screamed for my Dad who trapped in a pickle bucket and then he spent the afternoon showing it to customers he knew trying to identify it.  The better snake story happened last year while both my Dad and I were not here.  We were only gone 2 hours and came back to find out that a snake made it almost all the way from the back to the kitchen.  Apparently my head cook heard the other cook, who was 7 months pregnant at the time, screaming.  Her first thought was I hope she isn't in labor!  Well, she went to see and finally figured out that she was screaming SNAKE!!  My head cook managed to wrangle the snake into dust pan and set it free before we returned.

I have had the pleasure of poking at an armadillo to get it out from under my car and out of the parking lot away from customers!

The goat appearance happened twice last fall.  There are people that keep horses on the land behind Frostop.  Well, I guess they have a goat. I also now know that the goat's name is Jasper!  One day we are busy during lunch and I see my Dad leave the front and head out the door.  I asked what is he doing we are busy.  I DID NOT expect the response to be he is chasing a goat in the parking lot.  He along with a customer managed to corral it in the fenced in area next door.  About another month later Jasper was back and actually made it all the way to standing on the picnic table before my sister (who knew Jasper) took him back to his home.

You just never know what a day at "As the Mug Turns" will bring!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

No Sign for Stupid

Today on "As the Mug Turns", there is no sign for stupid.  We had video poker from 1994 - 2008.  It certainly brought in the money in the beginning,but it also brought in some strange people.  We constantly had to babysit the strange cast of characters that played.  Some people would insist on only playing with $1 bills but playing hundreds of them as if they weren't spending as much.  We had people bring kids and grandkids while playing and let them run wild.  Yes, they were asked to leave! Once we had a "couple" that thought we couldn't see them and would make out in the poker booth.  Duh, folks there is a camera right above your head and it is recorded.  My Dad told them that the video was monitored by the State Police.  We never saw them again.  Something tells me they were married but NOT to each other!

The best was a couple we had one Sunday afternoon.  They came in to play poker and immediately were annoying.  They started with why don't we have free food and beer for them since they were playing like at the casino.  Uh, because we are NOT a casino.  I was already annoyed with them when I looked up to see the man standing on the bar stool in the poker booth fooling with the ac vent.  We kept it closed so that it did not drip condensation on the poker machines.  I go into the booth and ask him to get down.  He proceeds to tell me we should have a sign saying you can't stand on the chair. That was the last straw for me.  I told him we also should have a sign for no idiots so that people like him didn't get in the building.  I then asked them to leave.  I am still shaking my head to this day

Thursday, April 10, 2014

There is NO Stealing at Frostop!!

Today on “As the Mug Turns”, we need to nail it down so they don’t steal it.  It clearly seems that back in the day people really liked to steal Frostop mugs with the logo.  I mean there are many people with one or two old mugs in their possession.  I see them at flea markets from time to time and on ebay.  We even sold some with our LaPlace Frostop logo from 1993 – 2004. But the majority of mugs were stolen.  I went to someone’s house years ago and they proudly opened up a cabinet FULL of old mugs.  I think the only thing I said was wow.  I was thinking to myself – they have more old mugs than we have!  It also made me wonder how they would feel if I opened and entire cabinet of stuff I stole from them and proudly showed it off to them.   Also, one night in 1994 a customer told me that a group of guys had walked out with mugs hidden so that we didn’t see.  Well, I of course, ran out into the parking lot and asked for the mugs back.  They looked at me like I was insane until 2 of the guys that worked for me (big guys) followed me out.  I was handed back the mugs immediately!

In addition to mugs, dishes, silverware, ketchup, salt & pepper shakers, Lucky Dog painting, and the speaker from outside have been stolen.  The speakers that we call numbers on outside had been here as long as we can remember but sometime in the months after Katrina it disappeared.  We went to call out a number and guess what just wires are hanging out there.  Really?  The police said guys put them under the hood of the car for sound.  Ok so we replace the speaker and it is stolen again.  At this point my Dad is putting the speaker up every morning and taking it down every night.  Yes, there were mornings he forgot till the first number was called!  Well he forgets to take it down one night and boom stolen again.  It was at that point we had a special cage built to cover the speaker and it is bolted to the canopy.  Problem solved.  I wanted to rig it to shock someone if they stole it but apparently that is illegal.  Don’t get me started on that matter!

The funniest incident of stealing was late one night shift.  As a bunch of teenagers were leaving I went to clean their table and noticed that everything was missing – the napkin holder, salt, pepper, ketchup, and hot sauce.  I was fast enough to get their license plate as they drove off.  My Dad had a local deputy run the plate and we got a number.  It was a home in Metairie.  So, my Dad calls the house and gets the Dad on the phone and explains the situation.  The man says he had been out of town and would look around the house.  Sure enough the entire set of stolen stuff was on his table at home.  He apologized and brought back the stuff!!  He even stuck around to talk to my Dad for an hour. 

The lesson here folks is don’t steal from us and if you do steal from us DO NOT let us catch you!