Unreasonable customers breed rude service people?

I don’t know about you, but I feel very hurt each time I get treated rudely by service people when I never even provoked them in the first place.

But when the anger dissolves by the end of the day, I start to wonder why they’re like that. The wounded child in me, of course, would like to think that they’ve got a bee up their toot.

But the rational adult in me, who sometimes pops out uninvited, would say, “Maybe it’s not entirely their fault.”

Don’t you hate it when you’re forced to be sensible about things? It kinda throws a blanket over the flames of fury you’ve been nicely stoking all day, dreaming up creative BBQ dishes in which your enemies are the main ingredients.

Here’s a case in point:

There’s this “Seoul Street Food” outlet in Bugis Junction that serves up skewered meats fried in all sorts of interesting batter.

The price tags advertise one stick for $1.60, while two go for $3.

That day, I wanted to buy about four different ones because they all looked so good. I started pointing out my choices to the guy, “One of these and one of these…”

At which point he cut in impatiently, “Cannot miss!”

My mind drew a blank as I blinked at him. “Cannot what?”

“Cannot miss! Cannot miss!!” he cawed at me with a shrill voice and a frown.

“Cannot what?” I repeated stupidly.

He raised his voice. “This one cannot miss!!”

“What do you mean by miss?” I asked helplessly.

He switched to Mandarin. “不可以参!”

That was when I got it. He’d meant to say “cannot mix” but must have been slightly gutturally challenged.

He was basically telling me, in the verbal equivalent of shorthand, that if I wanted the special price of $3 for two sticks, I’d have to get two of the same sticks, instead of one of this and one of that.

I was a bit slow on the uptake because I didn’t even realise that there was a discount for buying two sticks. (I don’t look at the price tags very carefully as a habit.)

“Sure, no problem,” I said.

Then he grumpily walked off to the cashier to ring up the purchase without even asking me if I wanted anything else.

What the hell was eating him?!

I swear I didn’t so much as wrinkle my forehead or speak in an unpleasant tone.

While he was packing my two sticks, I asked if I could have my sauce separately packed because I was going to be bringing the food home.

(The sticks are usually drowned in mayonnaise and chilli sauce, which actually makes it very tasty.)

He said something in a scolding tone which I couldn’t really catch, and then he passed me the packet without any sauce whatsoever.

A freeze-frame moment happened as I gaped at him puzzedly.

“Er… what about the sauce?” I finally asked.

That prompted him to lecture me about the food not tasting good without the sauce as he snatched the packet back and squirted sauce onto my sticks.

Totally incomprehensible.

My conclusion about this guy is that, apart from having a bee permanently stuck up his toot, he may possibly have been driven insane by customers yelling at him for charging them more than they expected.

In order to pre-empt being scolded by unreasonable customers, he goes directly into defence mode and lashes out first before the customer can lash out at him.

And, no, it wasn’t that he was having a bad day or something, because he was happily gossiping and laughing with his colleagues between customers.

I have a similar story about a taxi driver, but I think this entry is already too long and pictureless, which means I’ve probably lost 90% of my readers by this point. Haha.

So, which came first: Unreasonable customers or rude service people?

Weird service at popular seafood restaurant

Tekong Seafood Restaurant in Changi Village.

Saturday night.

[Eat me]
Photo by Leonardo Menezes.

The boss of the restaurant came to take our order. We ordered our food, followed by drinks.

That done, we waited.

It was early, about 6:30 pm, so there was no crowd. Only one other table was filled.

[Need a holiday]
Photo by Michel Meynsbrughen — not Tekong Seafood Restaurant!

Ten minutes later, our drinks still haven’t arrived. Waitresses were just milling around doing nothing.

We asked one of them to check on our drinks. She came back and asked if we could order again because there’s no record of us ever ordering drinks.

Not wanting to risk a double order, we told her to check with the boss.

Just then, the boss wandered in.

[Run for your life]
Graphic by Lynne Lancaster.

When the waitress told him what’s happening, he said, “Oh, I didn’t take your drinks order. Can you order again?”

*Profound silence*

Then everyone at the table started swearing that we saw the boss acknowledging our drinks order and writing it down.

His reply was, “Oh, I sent your food order in only. I didn’t take your drinks order. Can you order your drinks from this waitress?”


We speculated that the boss must have been either drunk or not interested in doing business.

[Nice t-shirt]
Photo by Konrad Baranski.


Seperate incident that happened in the same restaurant!

My brother was having dinner there some time back. He stopped a Chinese waitress and asked for sambal chilli.

Ten minutes later, the chilli still hadn’t arrived and he wondered what happened to it.

Twenty minutes later, the waitress brought a dish to the table. It was a big chicken dish which no one ordered.

Photo by Kristina Mileva — not actual dish.

My brother said, “We didn’t order this.” (In Chinese)

The waitress said, “Yes, you did.” (In Chinese)

“No, we didn’t.”

You did.”

My brother thought for a bit and then said, “I asked for sambal chilli.”

The waitress said, “That’s right! This is san ba ji.”

(“San ba ji” is the Chinese term for “Kampung chicken”.)

Joke of the year!!!

I guess “sambal chilli” does sound a bit like “san ba ji”.

Be careful what you ask for and who you ask it from.



This restaurant has the weirdest service ever. It’s not strictly bad. The waitresses and boss are actually quite friendly and easy-going. There was no rudeness or anything.

They just gave us the impression that they’re all clueless and not really present.

Strange, because this restaurant is supposed to be quite popular and has been around for decades.

Sorry I had to use stock photos for this post. I didn’t feel like taking photos that night because of the weird service, plus the food is average only, so I don’t really want to advertise for the restaurant. Hah.

Don’t go there. There are better places to eat seafood.

Strange encounter at Polar Puffs

I already twittered this but here’s the full story.

Yesterday, while out shopping, I dropped by Polar Puffs & Cakes at Citylink Mall to have a quick snack.

I told the guy at the counter, “One chicken pie and a cold milk, please.”

I know cold milk is a very unusual beverage to order but it’s there on the menu and I love milk.

He said, “Having here or takeaway?”

“Having here,” I told him.

So the guy went off to get my order while I waited at the cash register. He came back, plonked a plate on the counter in front of me and stared at me expressionlessly, not saying anything.

On the plate were two items, a pie and a puff.

I looked at him meaningfully and said, “One chicken pie.”

He said, “Yes.”

I said again, “One chicken pie,” emphasizing the one.

He said, “Yes. One chicken pie and one tuna puff.”

Scratching my head, I told him, “Er… I only ordered one chicken pie.”

Wordlessly, he took the plate away, put the tuna puff back into the display shelves and then returned with my one chicken pie.

“Anything else?” he mumbled.

I was feeling a little weirded out at this moment because this guy was staring at me with a bored, semi-annoyed expression, as if I was the one who was being difficult.

“Milk,” I reminded him.



He grabbed a plastic cup and asked, “More ice or less ice?”

That stumped me for five seconds. My brain raced furiously to remember a single occasion when plain milk was served with ice.

I couldn’t think of any.

“No ice,” I said.

The guy looked annoyed at that. Then he looked confused. Wavering a bit, he turned around, grabbed a packet of milk that was just standing around at the coffee counter, and poured milk into the plastic cup.

Then he gave me my correct order and collected my money.

Because I was feeling a little bewildered by this time, I didn’t pay attention to the cash transaction. I just gave him a $50 note, collected my change and quickly carted my hard-won spoils to the seating area.

It was only later that I realised I might have been slightly overcharged, but then I can’t be sure because I wasn’t given a receipt and my memory isn’t always reliable.

I know I was charged $4.50 because of the remaining cash sitting in my wallet.

I know a chicken pie costs $1.60 because I’m a fan of Polar chicken pie.

I think I remember seeing on the menu that milk costs $2.00.

So what happened to the extra $0.90?

Maybe the guy charged me extra for not wanting ice with my milk.

Oh, well. At least the milk tasted good and I wasn’t served any of those rubbish low-fat or slim variety.

And the chicken pie, as always, was great.

Cupcake seller is a dumb fruitcake

Here’s an incident that left me so astounded that I threw all my evening plans out the window so I could rush home to blog about it.

Kind of.

I was at Square 2 Shopping Mall in search of the best cupcakes I’ve eaten in my life. (Some months ago, a friend had bought me some and left me wanting for more.)

It didn’t take much effort for me to find the little outlet. A sign was displayed on the counter, proclaiming: “Buy 5 Get 1 Free!”

That was great, because the cupcakes cost $2 each (an outrageous price for their tiny size, but totally worth it because they’re melt-in-your-mouth good).

I chose three flavours and told the girl at the counter I wanted two each.

She took the six cupcakes out and placed them on a tray. That was when I discovered there was another flavour I just had to try. So I ignored my wallet’s protestations and upped my order.

“Two more of the Nutella, please,” I said.

So now I had eight cupcakes on the tray, waiting to be packed.

This was where I received my first clue that the counter girl was clueless.

While packing my cupcakes, she said, “Do you want to get nine pieces? The box is made for nine pieces so it will pack nicely and the cupcakes won’t slide around and crush each other.”

I considered the suggestion. I also considered upping my order to 12 pieces so I could get two free. Might as well, since I was already getting so many, you know.

I asked the lady, “If I get 12 pieces, how are you going to pack them?”

“Six in one box lor,” she explained, as if I were dumb.

“This same box?”


“Won’t they slide around even more, then?”

I wanted to go on to say that the “buy 5 get 1 free” promo isn’t very good if they persuade people to get nine pieces to fill up one box, just to prevent the cupcakes from getting smashed around. Because, then, customers can never get the best deal by buying in multiples of six.

But I wasn’t in an argumentative mood, so I held my tongue and waited for her answer.

“Er… I can pack for you in the small box.” (Small boxes hold two cupcakes each.)

Not a very good solution, but a solution, nonetheless. I went on to consider the state of my wallet, which was now giving me dark looks as I contemplated using its contents to acquire even more cupcakes.

“Hmm. I have eight pieces now. Means, I get one free, right?”


“How much does my order cost now?” (Sometimes I’m just lazy to do mental calculations.)

“You have eight pieces. It’s $2 each.” (Seems I have met my match in laziness.)

Sighing inwardly, I did my own mental calculation.

“My order is $14 because I have a free one, right?”


I thought about it more. Adding one more cupcake just to fill up the box was a bit silly. Getting 12 pieces was a bit excessive.

“I’ll just get these eight, thanks.”

So, the girl finished packing my cupcakes and went over to the cash register to ring up my order. A few button presses later, the cash register displayed “$16”.

The girl said, “$16.”

I stared at her wondering if she was stupid or just forgetful. I took out $15 and held it out to her, thinking that would jog her memory.

A look of confusion crossed her face as she looked at my $15.

“It’s $16,” she repeated.

I continued staring at her, weighing the pros and cons of being rude (funny but bad karma) and being nice (good karma but boring).

“Er…,” I said, while I thought about it.

The girl felt that she had to fill in the conversational gap. “You bought eight pieces. It’s $2 each so it’s $16.”

Faced with such infallible logic, I had no choice but to play my trump card.

I looked over again at the big sign placed prominently on the counter which screamed, “Buy 5 Get 1 Free!”

Then I turned back to her and asked, “Don’t I get one free?”

“Ah?” she looked surprised.

I waited.

Her colleague came over to investigate the holdup. The girl looked at her colleague pleadingly, as if she thought she was serving a moron and needed help.

Both of them had a short discussion in Malay. I didn’t understand any of it but it was clear that her assertive colleague had more of a clue.

The original girl then had a light bulb moment as she said, “Oh!” She turned to me and accepted my $15.

“Here’s your $1 change. Thank you!” she smiled brightly, as if she hadn’t just done the most moronic thing ever.

Oh, well. At least she was sort of friendly.

I didn’t play my rude card, either. I smiled back at her with genunie warmth and said thank you. That had better earn me some karma points.

Anyway, the outlet is called Angelz Cup and is located at Square 2 (beside Novena Square and Novena MRT station). It’s on the fourth floor, just outside NTUC Fairprice.

Try it if you’re around the area. They’re all chocolate based (I think) but they come in exciting flavours like Nutella, Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter, Oreos, Butterscotch and Mocha. I’ve only tried two flavours so far but they’re both great.

Bad experience at Superdog

Last week, I brought The Goonfather to Superdog at VivoCity because I had tried it once and loved it. The Ripper hotdog was crunchy and juicy. The bun was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The sauce was yummy.

But my second trip turned out quite disastrous.

  1. We were overcharged because the counter girl thought she was damn smart.

    We had used two discounted-meal coupons in our order. We also ordered two individual items. But the counter girl didn’t key in the items as that. She split up the items in the discounted meals and keyed in everything individually.

    The Goonfather told her that the tally wasn’t right because of that. She insisted she was correct. They had a ten-minute discussion which I didn’t hear because I was waiting at the seating area. Finally, he gave up arguging and sat down to work out the sums.

    After a while, he figured it out and brought the receipt back to explain. The manager said he would check it out. It took a few of the staff 30 minutes to discuss and check, after which they came back and refunded us $1. *lol*

  2. They used the wrong bun on the wrong hotdog.

    We ordered a Spicy Italian and a Ripper. The menu specifies that the Spicy Italian comes in a soft bun. And I know the Ripper comes in a toasted bun.

    When our order arrived, the Spicy Italian was in toasted bun.

    The Ripper was in a soft bun.

    Both wrong.

    I know the hotdogs actually look quite delicious in the pictures. But read on.

  3. The Spicy Italian was charred and didn’t taste good. It was dry and tasteless.
  4. The toasted bun was dry and hard throughout, unlike the first time I had tried it.
  5. The Ripper tasted wrong. It wasn’t crispy, crunchy and juicy like the last time. It tasted more like cheap canned hotdog.
  6. The Ripper’s bun was coated with sauce when it came. By the time I was done with my meal, my fingers were disgustingly sticky. Aren’t they supposed to put sauce on the dog and not on the bun? (On the plus side, the sauce still tasted as good as before. Haha.)

I’m totally mystified. How could things get so bad so fast? Perhaps it was “one of those days” for the restaurant.

We also had a burger, which was quite nice but not spectacular.

But our overall experience was disappointing. After my first time, I had thought I’d found another nice fast food which isn’t too expensive. I love fast food and was looking forward to becoming a regular customer.

But after this round, The Goonfather swore he would never step back there again. Haha.

Oh, well. There’s always McDonald’s.