By Yako and Krystal

April 9, 2014, 9:18 am

 

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Customer Service in the United States is great if you compare it to, for example, The Netherlands.

Here, you hardly ever have to deal with impolite or unprofessional staff in restaurants, bars or clubs. Sometimes you get an attitude that is simply corrected by calling in a manager, but it is nothing compared to Europe where you will have to deal with impatient and rude staff in 50% of the cases.

I do miss Europe though, and as far as customer service experiences go, recently in Brooklyn, I felt as if I was back in my home country for a minute.

Have you been to Milk River yet? I was there for the first time last weekend, attending a birthday party in the upstairs lounge. I heard about the place from several friends who all came away with different experiences, so I was curious and happy to receive the invitation for the party!

Conveniently located on Atlantic Avenue with a spacious, trendy, professional feel, Milk River promises a lot for a great customer experience. I was impressed by the lounge-like ambiance of the restaurant section on the first floor. The fusion Caribbean/American menu also seemed appealing — will try that another time, if they still let me in (read on).

Before gaining access to the upstairs lounge, a bouncer searched me, and to my surprise, told me that I was not allowed to bring in cigarettes or a lighter. I realize that smoking is bad for you, so what am I complaining about? I just didn’t understand why I had to hand them in. As if I was going to light up a cigarette inside the club? I’ve never seen anybody do that.

In order to solve the problem for both the bouncer and myself, I told him that I would just check my cigarettes and lighter with coat and be done with it. But he insisted that I would hand them over right away as if I was carrying a bomb! The coat check was right next to him! Anyways, I gave him my ($500) lighter and cigarettes and mentioned that I would collect them upon departure.

The lounge area was great with sound, lighting, and decor well executed. Most men looked well dressed and the women revealing. Not surprising considering the dress code: high heels for the ladies and button down shirts and shoes/ no sneakers for the men.

Had fun at the party with my friends, danced to good Soca, Hip Hop and R&B music and enjoyed slightly overpriced drinks — $12 for a vodka seltzers in small plastic cups and $250 bottle service (that Ciroc did not taste like Ciroc, but that might have been my taste pallet).

Around 2:00am, the party migrated from the lounge to the restaurant since Rupee was about to start his performance. I danced a bit more, but when it took too long for Rupee to appear, I decided to go home.

I collected my coat and approached the same bouncer who took my possessions to get my cigarettes and lighter back. They were gone. Yes, gone. Apparently thrown away. This of course is not acceptable, but I was not able to speak to a manager or anyone else in charge for that matter.

The bouncers asked me to take it outside and of course I fell for that. They gallantly let me exit first and promptly closed the door behind me. Smart move to keep things from getting out of hand inside the club, but it pissed me off even more, because now I felt robbed and stupid.

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I don’t really have a problem if clubs have policies in place about what you can bring inside, but at least have a working system that allows staff to give proper explanation and actually return items to owners. A place that charges Manhattan prices should be able to provide similar service.

To make a long story short, this whole experience brought sentiments back from my homeland, and I do want to thank Milk River for that (although I would appreciate my lighter back).

Yako


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About The Author

Yako: Born on a farm in The Netherlands, Europe, I was always on quest for adventure. As a small boy, I was already interested in learning about other cultures and pretended I was fluent in American (I later learned that Americans speak English). At the age of 23, I traveled to South Africa where I lived for seven months to finalize my thesis for my master's in Business Administration. After that, I worked for eight years for a bank in Amsterdam, but I became restless and decided to quit my job and make the big leap across the ocean to New York. Studying arts and culture management at Pratt Institute helped me eradicate some of the prejudices I had of Americans. I never thought I would stay this long. But now eight years later, I'm still here. I live in Central Brooklyn and work for Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation with great satisfaction. So far, my life feels as if I’m on one big adventure. | Krystal: As a native of Michigan, I moved to New York with a limited perspective of the depth and importance of social differences. Having a passion for creativity, I accepted the various ideas behind expression and equality that poured out from this beautiful, diverse place called Brooklyn. After graduating from Pratt Institute in 2006 with a degree in Communications Design and barely surviving the effects of forced independence, I started an open relationship with the nonprofit world and began to willingly become my own person. Since then, I have been employed and freelance as a graphic designer, with tons of exposure to the things that fascinated me as a child. Living in two culturally different environments has granted me a faceted understanding of social norms and injustices that I feel compelled to speak on. Though visual art and design have been my concentrations since grade school, writing and sharing thoughts socially has been my core calling. In keeping my promise to my parents, I have finally decided to write for social impact. Standing up for my truth while seeking and discovering the truths of others is the way in which I've chosen to take that on. So far, I've discovered that the most direct route to societal improvements begins with the coupling of self-awareness and humility.

Yako: Born on a farm in The Netherlands, Europe, I was always on quest for adventure. As a small boy, I was already interested in learning about other cultures and pretended I was fluent in American (I later learned that Americans speak English). At the age of 23, I traveled to South Africa where I lived for seven months to finalize my thesis for my master's in Business Administration. After that, I worked for eight years for a bank in Amsterdam, but I became restless and decided to quit my job and make the big leap across the ocean to New York. Studying arts and culture management at Pratt Institute helped me eradicate some of the prejudices I had of Americans. I never thought I would stay this long. But now eight years later, I'm still here. I live in Central Brooklyn and work for Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation with great satisfaction. So far, my life feels as if I’m on one big adventure. | Krystal: As a native of Michigan, I moved to New York with a limited perspective of the depth and importance of social differences. Having a passion for creativity, I accepted the various ideas behind expression and equality that poured out from this beautiful, diverse place called Brooklyn. After graduating from Pratt Institute in 2006 with a degree in Communications Design and barely surviving the effects of forced independence, I started an open relationship with the nonprofit world and began to willingly become my own person. Since then, I have been employed and freelance as a graphic designer, with tons of exposure to the things that fascinated me as a child. Living in two culturally different environments has granted me a faceted understanding of social norms and injustices that I feel compelled to speak on. Though visual art and design have been my concentrations since grade school, writing and sharing thoughts socially has been my core calling. In keeping my promise to my parents, I have finally decided to write for social impact. Standing up for my truth while seeking and discovering the truths of others is the way in which I've chosen to take that on. So far, I've discovered that the most direct route to societal improvements begins with the coupling of self-awareness and humility.

One Response

  1. Audrey

    A lesson for everyone… the minute any aspect of the war on smokers rears its ugly head it’s a red flag to refuse to be treated as a third class citizen and walk away. Taking my cigarettes and lighter says that they think less of me as a customer. Why would I award them my business. Meanwhile, I’d be back there raising holy hell for your lighter.

    Reply

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