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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Follow-up From Swiss Chalet Fiasco

Published January 31, 2011 - 2 Comments

I was pleasantly surprised to receive a call from the owner of the local Swiss Chalet restaurant today, regarding the feedback that I left yesterday.  The gentleman was extremely down to earth, and apologized for the incident.  He also informed me that the employee involved had been disciplined because of his actions.  That was never my intention.  I hoped that the matter would be addressed, but I wasn’t trying to get anyone in trouble.  Still, it is what it is, and hopefully the message gets through to the employee.

And the question everyone seems to ask… no, the owner did not offer me anything as compensation.  That was never my intent, either.  Yes, it would have been icing on the cake, but all I really wanted was for the someone to take responsibility and deal with the issue, and as far as I’m concerned that is what happened.

I’m satisfied with the outcome.

Worst Customer Service Ever! Swiss Chalet

Published January 31, 2011 - 16 Comments

If you know me at all, you know that I don’t generally bitch and complain about customer service.  It usually takes a lot to piss me off, and even when that does happen, I just shut my mouth and carry on.  And eventually sit down at my computer and blog about it!

Today I went to one of my favourite family restaurants, Swiss Chalet.  I brought a friend with me who isn’t typically a fan of the place, but I convinced her that it wasn’t nearly as bad as she imagined it was.

Boy, was I wrong.

I’ve never had such poor customer service in my life.  I’m not just saying that.  It’s true.  Our server, Dale (hey, I call ’em as I see ’em), was completely uninterested in us, rude, and unprofessional.  I don’t exactly have a real high bar when it comes to what I consider to be “good” customer service.  If the server is friendly, checks back to see how things are, fills my water, and wishes me a good day… that’s pretty much standard for good service.  Of course, I’ve had EXCELLENT service which goes above and beyond that, but I’m satisfied with good service.  What we received today (well, technically yesterday, as it is now after midnight) could only be classified as poor service.  I was not happy.  Not happy at all.  I considered speaking to a manager at the end of the meal, but my tendency to bite my tongue prevailed.

So I filled out their customer satisfaction survey instead.

First, please understand… I am not someone who complains about poor service on a whim.  I have never filled out a customer survey form negatively before this, but my experience today was so poor, I feel that I must address it with someone.

I have never received such poor service anywhere.  Generally I love going to Swiss Chalet.  The food is very good, and I feel that I get great value for what I pay.  Today I brought along a friend of mine who generally does not like Swiss Chalet as much as I do, and by the time we walked out of the restaurant I was embarrassed for having brought her there.

Our server was curt, unprofessional, and rude.  He made no attempt to act friendly toward us.  He did not check with us once to see how things were.  He barely paid attention to us.  He somehow managed to set one of the finger bowls down on the table too hard, causing the water to splash over the table, and my friend and I. Worse, he didn’t realize that he did it, because he wasn’t even looking at us when he set the bowl down.  When we asked for something to clean the table with, he told us “Oh well, it’s only water”.  There was no apology.

My friend was not satisfied with her salad, and asked for it to be returned.  When he brought another one, he did not give her a fork, and simply walked away.  He did not come back to the table to ask how we were doing.  I eventually got up and took a fork from an empty table.

When I paid for the meal with debit, he handed me my slip, and turned and walked away.  He did not thank us.  He did not wish us a good day.  He did nothing.  My friend and I felt as though we were an inconvenience to him.  I was so embarrassed for taking my friend there, and know that I will never be able to get her to come back to that location with me.  I question whether or not I plan on going back.  Certainly I will NEVER allow myself to be served by that individual again.

As a last note, I have always enjoyed bringing my small children to Swiss Chalet.  I am so glad that they were not with me this time, because I would hate for them to have witnessed that kind of rude behaviour, and think that was acceptable in any environment.

I am quite dissatisfied, and have been discussing this with friends through Twitter and my blog www.whataboutstephen.com.  I want everyone to know that the restaurant is generally an excellent place to eat… but after today’s unfortunate experience, I suggest people think twice about going there.

Stephen Belyea

A World Without Bieber

Published January 29, 2011 - 2 Comments

Bieber and Ozzy? WTF??

Imagine this for a moment.  Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a perfect utopia?  A world where peace prevails, everyone has enough food and clean water, and you don’t have to hear about Justin Bieber every time you turn on the TV or surf the internet?  Wouldn’t that be nice?  Sure it would be.

I’m getting just a wee bit sick and tired of seeing Bieber.  The kid might have some appeal to teenie-bopper girls, but his hyper-inflated fame is getting out of control.  When I heard that Justin Bieber and Ozzy were teaming up for a Super Bowl commercial, I almost choked on my tongue.  I still can’t believe it, but look… there’s the picture.  Ozzy really isn’t my thing, but I thought he had a little more self-respect than this.  I’m secretly hoping that he bites Bieber’s head off.  Now that would be a memorable commercial! 

I can tell you this.. whatever product they’re promoting I will never buy!

Bieber, you suck!

Is Windows Still Relevant?

Published January 29, 2011 - 5 Comments

I’ve been Microsoft Windows-free in my house for almost 3 months now, and I can’t say that I’ve really missed it at all!  My main machine is the iMac in the office.  For my portable computing needs, the Dell Inspiron that I loaded with Ubuntu works amazingly well.  I’m not a Linux geek, but they’ve pretty much brought it to the point where you can install Linux and not even realize that it’s not Windows.  You can also argue that my third computer is the iPhone, and I don’t think you’d be wrong.  It’s a very capable replacement for my laptop when I’m on the go.

So if I’ve managed to break away from the Microsoft Windows trap, and feel no particular need to ever go back… it begs the question that many have asked before me.  Is Windows still relevant?  

I used to think so… now, I’m not so sure…

5 Days and Counting…

Published January 28, 2011 - 12 Comments

I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, considering I have such a poor track record with this, but I accepted the Coke-free challenge, and am now on Day 5… It’s been 5 solid days of no Coke… and no fast food (although fast food really wasn’t part of the challenge, and I don’t aim to never eat that junk again.. only to cut back to a more reasonable level).  How’s it going so far?  Pretty good!

It’s like something clicked inside of me very recently.  There’s been an ongoing sadness as I feel that I’ve crossed a few mental/emotional bridges that I’d been doing everything in my power not to face.  And because of that, I’ve seen a decrease in my cravings of many things.  Point in case: There were two 2 litre bottles of Coke in the house that I told my roomie to drink.  I’ve walked past them, and honestly… not once have I wanted to open them.  I’ve even picked them up to move them to where the pop is supposed to be, and nothing.  Normally I’m fighting the urge to down a glass… but not now.  I feel somewhat “numb” to it at the moment. 

Tonight is my first night shift at work, and it comes with its own stresses… it will be interesting to see if I can go the night without drinking any Coke.. especially since there are 2 cans in my locker, left over from before. 

I’ve been taking my blood pressure readings faithfully since I first posted about it.  Today was about normal for me… 143/95.  It’s still high, but it’s not as high as it has been lately.  I also managed to put on a pound, but I’m not really worried about that right now.  As for the pneumonia, I took my last anti-biotic day, and things seem much better, but I made an appointment to see my doctor next week because there seems to be just a little bit of “yuck” hanging on. 

And that’s my life…   Hope everyone is doing well…

Dead Blogs, R.I.P.

Published January 27, 2011 - 3 Comments

There aren’t too many blogs that I read on a daily basis, so I definitely appreciate those of you who do stop in here regularly.  I do, however, bookmark quite a few blogs that I like to take a peek at from time to time.  Many of these are personal blogs, and I think that it’s important to try and keep current with the lives of my friends.  If someone is going to take the time to write, then I’d like to afford them the courtesy of reading what they have to say.

But it’s not always an easy task to stay on top of things, and keep your blog current.  I’ve noticed quite a few of the blogs that I have bookmarked haven’t posted anything in months.  I understand the way things work… just like starting a new business.. the vast majority of blogs will fail within a very short period of time.  It can be nearly impossible to carry the initial enthusiasm onward… and eventually the blog will become stale.. and die…

Have you ever wondered just how many dead blogs and/or websites litter the internet?  I have.  But even I’m guilty of neglecting some of my projects.  It happens.


So to all those blogs that started out strong, but have long since died off…  R.I.P.

I Think I Might Live, Afterall

Published January 24, 2011 - 3 Comments

Piss off!

Today is easily the best that I’ve felt since everything started to fall apart before New Year’s.  I guess that means that today is my best day of 2011!  Whohoo!  My chest and back are still sore, but nothing like they had been… even yesterday.  So this is good news!  And to celebrate, I’ve decided to give some more thought to the whole cutting back on grapefruit thing…  Yeah, yeah, I know… it’s a sacrifice that I shouldn’t take lightly… but I think that it might be time for us to part ways…

Ha!  I went searching for a picture of a grapefruit to add to the blog, and this is the first thing that caught my eye.  He does NOT look happy!  I have to assume that the photographer was behind a barrier of some sort… or is now covered with deep scratches…

Anyway, obviously I’m no fan of grapefruit, so I will have to find something else to give up.  The numbers don’t lie.  It is what it is.

I’ve walked by the Coke a couple of time today, but so far haven’t opened it.  I had 3 glasses of milk at lunch, and will drink water and juice this afternoon.  For supper, it’s salmon and salad.  Neither of those things come naturally to me… so give me a little credit… there is some effort there.  Baby steps…

As always, the hardest part will be going back to work, especially those damn night shifts…

I Ventured Outside Today

Published January 23, 2011 - 1 Comment

Yeah!  I went outside today!  It was cold, but it was still nice to get out a little.  After the last couple of days cooped up inside, I really needed to get out of this place.  Fortunately, the stabbing pains in my chest have subsided quite a bit.  I still get them from time to time… a reminder that I’m still sick.  The biggest problem now is the pain in my back.  I’m assuming that it’s related to everything else that seems to be breaking down… although it could be from sleeping on the couch… that probably doesn’t help.  But mainly I think that it’s just part of the pneumonia refusing to go quietly.

I took the last of my 8 pills/day steroids.  Thankfully!  Those things are horrible.  I still have another 5 days of antibiotics to take, but they’re fine.

I just took my blood pressure reading for today… wow…  My doctor isn’t going to be pleased.  I’m going to assume that my fancy dancy blood pressure monitor is screwed up, and 175/107 isn’t the true reading…  yup.. that’s it… denial is my friend.  Head in the sand.  I suppose that I’m a little stressed today, but those numbers still seem a little high to me.  Then again, I haven’t taken THOSE pills yet today.. but one day shouldn’t really matter that much, right?

I’m going to go shovel the blood pressure pills into me now.  I should also put all my savings into pharmaceutical stocks… These things are great!


Newest Robotech Fan

Published January 23, 2011 - 6 Comments

Veritech Fighter in Battloid Configuration

One of the great things about being a parent is watching your child’s interests develop as they get older… and take on certain similarities to your own…

I wasn’t sure what my little guy would think of my favourite childhood cartoon, Robotech.  OK, maybe “childhood” isn’t really the right word.  I was a teenager when the show was on.  But it remains one of my favourite memories of that time.  I remember getting off the school bus every weekday and rushing up to my parents’ house, down into the basement, to plop my skinny ass (yes, that’s right) in front of the TV.  And I still remember the horror of the day when Jem and the Holograms came on instead of Robotech.  Oh, was I not happy!  That was when I discovered I could pay $20US for a VHS tape with 6 episodes on it.  And so the collection began…

The Robotech that we’re familiar with in North America is an 85 episode series that combines 3 separate Japanese story-lines into 1 sequential time-line.  If you missed an episode, you missed part of the story.  And Robotech really is about the story.  It’s more than just humans in transformable robots, fighting to save their planet from alien invaders.  The first series revolves around a good ole fashion love triangle.  The second and third series have their emotional elements as well, but in my opinion the first series will always represent Robotech to me.

Robotech was also ahead of its time in that characters actually died.  It was not another GI Joe, where an epic battle somehow resulted in no casualties and the bad guys dropping their weapons and surrendering.   No, Robotech was “real”.

Zentraedi Female Power Armour

One day when my kids came to visit, I introduced them to Robotech.  I wasn’t sure what they would think of it.  Not surprisingly, my daughter wasn’t really thrilled.  She’d rather watch one of the many Barbie movies that we have.  That’s ok… I wasn’t really counting on her to like it.  I was more interested in what my son would think of it.  He loved it!

I picture him going to school and telling his friends that he watched Robotech, and them not having a clue what he’s talking about.  But it’s great!  As soon as he gets here, he wants to watch another episode.  I actually had to restrict him a little because he was hogging the TV and it was getting a little excessive.  But I’m glad that he likes it.

The strange thing about me and Robotech is that I never finished all 85 episodes!  The television station that aired them in the 80s didn’t show them all.  Once it reached a certain point of the 3rd series, they went back to episode 1 of the first series.  And even though I have the entire thing downloaded and sitting on my hard drive, I’ve never sat down to watch the end of the 3rd series.

Now my little guy is ahead of me!  He’s seen all of the TV episodes, and is dying to watch the Robotech movie The Shadow Chronicles.

I’ve stopped him there until I can catch up.  I’d like to make it a Daddy-Son bonding time.  I think he’d like that.  Or maybe he’d just want to watch the movie, and won’t see the significance of the moment.  That could be too.

But I’ll enjoy it.

A Little Mortality

Published January 22, 2011 - 7 Comments

Contrary to my best medical opinion, I’m still here.  Not much has changed since yesterday.  If I lay perfectly still, I feel pretty good.  The second I start to get up or move to one side, my chest wants to explode.  So the cure is obviously to stay in bed!  Everything is better in bed.

But I managed to drag my ass off the couch (I thought that I might sleep on my back better if I was on the couch) and have a hot bath.  I thought that maybe I’d feel better laying there.  It didn’t really help.  But it did remind me that I said I was going to step back onto the scales again, and find my blood pressure monitor.  I bought it a couple of years ago, and used it faithfully for about 3 days… and then packed it at the back of a closet.

222.8 lbs.  That’s actually a couple of pounds lighter than I was expecting.  My weight tends to hover at 225lbs but I’ve seen it peak at 230lbs not too long ago.  Not that it’s a huge difference, but any number that is lower is better than higher!  Then I hooked up the blood pressure monitor…   (Mum, you should stop reading here)   I took the best of the three readings..  143/95.  When I put those numbers into my little iPhone blood pressure tracking app that I recently purchased, the little dot changed from green to a skull and cross bones… just kidding… but it did change from green to redI’m guessing that it’s trying to tell me something.

There’s a little spot that I can add notes, so I put “Have pneumonia.  Stressed.  Chest hurts”.  That’ll give the medical examiner a place to start looking.  Yeah, I know that it’s kinda morbid, but that’s how I deal with things… shrug them off… and if one day something ever does happen, people can say “That was kinda ironic… he never dreamed he’d get gored by a bull! Snowplow? Yeah.  Pneumonia? Yup.  Food poisoning.  You betcha!  But not a bull… what’re the chances of that?”

So tomorrow I’ll check my blood pressure again, and input it into the little program.  Then I can start tracking the patterns.. there’s even a spot for it to email me and my doctor… now all I have to do is convince her to give me her email address!  Yeah… I don’t think so.

Just finished the bottle of Coke as I was writing this…  I think it might be time to send the roomie out for another.  Thank goodness the store is just up the road!

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