Customer Service Hell Blog

Monday, September 01, 2003

Kentucky Fried Chicken, #1 An Observation

A KFC-Chickenless Memoir: by Kevin Michael Grace: (reprinted without permission from The Ambler)

"So it’s 10 after 3, I’ve walked four miles down to Douglas Street, and I’m feeling hungry. I was going to grab some 99-cent pizza slices downtown, but then I remembered I was a couple of blocks away from Mayfair Mall, its food court and KFC. I wait in line for a couple of minutes, approach the young man sporting the backwards ball cap behind the counter and say, "A two-piece combo with coleslaw, please." He turns his back on me and exchanges words with someone behind the partition. I think he’s going to tell me they’re out of coleslaw. He says instead, "We’re actually out of chicken now."

Pause. I chuckle and depart. It’s best that way.

I considered responding, "Do you know what KFC stands for?!" but thought better of it. If they’re "out" of chicken, they’re "out" of chicken—outrage won’t get me any. Later, however, I meditated on my "server’s" curious declaration. (I also noted that he neither apologized, nor did he attempt an explanation. But am I inured to such fry-pit insolence.)

What did "out of chicken" mean? An absence of chicken on the premises? What could account for that? Fire? Power outage? Seizure of the KFC delivery truck by pirates? "Culture jamming" by anti-globalist saboteurs?

Possible—but unlikely. What my "server" likely meant was that this KFC outlet had no cooked chicken pieces ready to sell at that time. But if that was the case, why didn’t he inform me as to how long it would be before this failure would be rectified? And how did it happen that this KFC outlet had not anticipated the amount of cooked chicken it would require to fulfill the needs of customers on the Sunday of the Labour Day long weekend?

I suppose the answer to these questions is that the KFC at Mayfield Mall is staffed entirely by idiots. Or by people that don’t give a toss. Or both. But this raises a more interesting question. Why? I am certain KFC hires the best employees it can get. But why are incompetents the best employees KFC can get?"

(The KFC in question was in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. No complaint letter was written, other than this essay. No satisfaction recieved.)


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