My mother (Lives in Janesville) and I (Chicago Suburb) often meet in the Lake Geneva area to spend a day, as it is a decent drive for both of us, without either of us having to make the full trip to the other. Our most recent trip was yesterday, and after taking my daughter to a movie, we decided we needed a treat to satisfy the sweet tooth, which is clearly genetic.
Rather than hit one of our regular haunts, we decided to go on "an adventure of taste" as my six-year-old put it, and blindly drove from the theater in search of something delectable. After only a few short minutes, we spotted this little strip mall wonder.
Having never visited this venue before, we weren't entirely sure what the system was. The menu boards listed only vague items (Pie, Sandwich, Quiche, etc), and prices were posted NO WHERE. Do we order at the counter without knowing what was offered? Do we sit and get a menu? No idea.
We went to the counter and told the girl standing there that we hadn't been in before, and didn't know the system. She said "You want a pie?" as if we were idiot aliens from another planet. We explained that slices might be nice, and asked if they had other treat items we could offer to the little lady we had with us.
This poor girl had no idea what she was doing. None at all. After guessing at what types of pie slices we had available, she finally pulled out a cooling rack, to look at the pies themselves, and list off the options. Strawberry/Rhubarb, Cherry, and three different variations of apple. She looked at us expectantly.
Mom and I looked at each other. The variety was weak at best, but we are troopers, so we figured we'd make the best of it. At this point, we still didn't know prices of ANYTHING, and had not been informed of what (if any) differences existed between the three types of apple pie. (BECAUSE THIS PLACES LISTS PRICES AND DESCRIPTIONS EXACTLY NO WHERE)
We told her we needed a minute and walked away to discuss. Once we'd decided, we went back to the counter to order. The girl who had originally helped us with was other customers, so a second sales girl came up.
Now, I understand that "Service with a smile" has long since gone the way of the dinosaurs, but this girl took it to a level I have not seen. Ever.
She scowled at us. As though she could not BELIEVE that we would DARE expect her service while she was here AT WORK. My mother asked for a coconut creme pie, and was told "We don't have any of those." I stepped up and smiled, confused, and said "Yes you do. It's right there in the display."
If looks could kill, I would have been dead on the floor of the Lake Geneva Pie Shop. The girl stomped over to the case, pulled out the pie in question, and LITERALLY flung it onto the counter. Hard enough that the pretty creme topping splattered up and stuck to the lid of the pie plate. "I thought you wanted a big pie, I didn't realize you wanted a small one" she spat, then walked away.
It was about two minutes later before she came back. "You.... Need anything?" She asked angrily and glared at my mother in such a way that the poor shocked woman said "Did I do something wrong...?" My mom was both hurt and confused by the actions of this sales girl.
"No." She said, with a tone that defied the word completely. Not willing to give up yet, my mother ordered a coffee. At this, the sales girl rolled her eyes and walked away. We thought she was going to get to work on the coffee, but instead, she stood beside the first sales girl. She didn't talk to her, she didn't talk to the customers, she just stood there, not doing anything.
A clear sign to me that this girl wanted nothing to do with us or our money.
I wish I could say the food was amazing. I wish I could say the the pie was good enough to make up for what was THE WORST service experience I have ever witnessed.
But I can't.
Because I took my daughter's hand, apologized to the first sales girl, and with my mother at my side, I walked right out of this establishment.
If all of the people I loved most in the world planned a "WE LOVE YOU" party for me at the Lake Geneva Pie Company, I would boycott it.
You couldn't pay me enough money to take one more step into this building. Not if my life depended on it.
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