Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sighting of the rare & elusive Customer Service

Last night, as Terry craved Buffalo wings, we decided to go to the TGI Fridays that recently opened in the Galleria mall. We placed our order, our server repeated it back to us, and yet when the meal came out mine was something completely different. Grrrr.

The manager came over, and in lightening Russian apologized for the mistake and said the corrected dish would come out, if we had the time and could stay, in another 10 minutes. At least, I think that's what he said as I caught about 2 words in each sentence. He repeated himself in English and as we had plenty of time to kill and at that point I really wanted the dish I'd ordered, we decided to wait.

#1: The manager apologized for a problem in our dinner.

Terry and I then got to discussing the manager's possible background, as his English was both excellent and accented American - most Russians speak with a British English accent. When he came over later to ask if the meal was OK and if it came within the time he'd promised, we asked and learned he had studied in Ohio and was never able, later, to shake the Americanisms out of his accent and vocabulary. He and Terry bonded over Cleveland, where both had spent some time. And then ....

#2: He offered a complimentary dessert or cocktail for our inconvenience.

Is Customer Service beginning to migrate into Russia? Will such sightings become more frequent? One can only hope. Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

I though most Russians speak with a Russian accent, which could sound a bit British, but probably isn't.
As someone with a real Britified Russian accent I feel slightly offended now.

Lynne said...

Ummm whenever learning a foreign language we all strive to speak that language with as much of a "native" accent as possible. In Petersburg, that means English is normally spoken with a British, as opposed to American, accent. In fact our Russian-English children's dictionary has Russians pronouncing "stork" as "CTOK" ... that's not how Americans say it. I'm not really sure what part of this offends.