blogging gobbledygook and such

Affirming is Good

On New Year’s Eve, I cajoled my friends into having lunch at Tony Roma’s after class, thinking that they’d be having their set lunch menu (which would cost about RM20 per person), since it was a Monday, and it’s definitely a working day.

Clever me forgot to confirm this with the hostess and I only realised when they didn’t give us the set lunch menu, but the usual one instead. We were already seated, so it would be kinda embarrassing to leave before ordering ‘cos then we’ll look kinda cheap right? And anyway, since this was my friends’ first time at Tony Roma’s, they decided to try whatever’s cheapest on the menu and make the best of my mistake. 😦

Well, the food was good as always (it’s my third time there), and at that price it better be! In the end it cost us about RM30 per person, which is about twice as much it normally costs us eating at our other usual eateries. But we got to gawk see some local celebrities who were having lunch there too, so in a way there was some consolation!

So before we left, my friends camwhored while I played cameraperson because I refused to be photographed together. Don’t want any more of my ugly photos ending up on Facebook or Flickr (without my permission or knowledge), that’s why. πŸ‘Ώ Am not a good cameraperson to begin with because have the tendency to shake the camera, so my friends have to hold their smiles at some poses while I took and re-took shots.

I took an unflattering shot of one friend, so we had to take another one. I was laughing at that shot, which made me shake the camera and the next shot naturally turned out blurry. So one final shot. My friend uttered, “Faster lah. Gusi sudah sakit!” (My gums are hurting – from smiling obviously.)

I started roaring with laughter. I went up to the table and said sotto voce, “I thought I heard you said pussy sudah sakit!!” :mrgreen: Do you need translation for that??

In the end got a good shot lah. πŸ˜› I’m not that terrible! (Although it took me a while to stop laughing.)

Before we got back to campus, we passed through a place selling old stock books. There were a pile of Mills & Boon going for RM5 each. Seeing the red-labelled ones, I couldn’t resist and started flipping the pages, looking for the sexy bits.

I soon found one, and told my friend to read it out loud. She read the suggestive dialogue; the next paragraph went:

The other was stroking…

“Huh, how many people are there??” my friend asked in a bewildered tone.

I roared with laughter again.

“It’s the ‘other’ hand lah!” my other friend and I exclaimed. My innocent friend was obviously not well-acquainted with the premise of Mills & Boon sex scenes.

In case you’re wondering what’s all these got to do with the post’s title, here’s the reason: while still in the carpark, I told my friends that I was sorry that I didn’t check for sure to see if Tony Roma’s had the set lunch menu that day, but I also thanked them because I enjoyed their company. This is something I wouldn’t normally say; if I felt that way, I’d have kept it inside before.

Well, I don’t know how much they appreciate the gesture, or even if they do, but I think I should do this more often. At the very least, they know how I feel, and I think knowing goes a long way sometimes.

(All that rubbish above, just for me to chronicle a memory of good company. πŸ™‚ )

*

I told my friend, who is working at Tony Roma’s, about my experience, and he was surprised. He told me that he’d ask the manager of the branch I lunched at today for an explanation, since he knows him. I love that my friend is such a dedicated worker for Tony Roma’s – Tony Roma’s, you guys should feel so lucky – but I’m very disgruntled by this experience, that I sent feedback via their website. Here’s what I wrote, you’ll understand why I’m miffed!

I had lunch with my friends at the TR branch in Cineleisure on 31 December 2007 around half past one in the afternoon. I recommended TR to my friends, who were there for the first time, because of the affordable set lunch. I even asked my friend, who works at another TR branch, to make sure that the set lunch would be served. (To my understanding, the set lunch menu is available every weekday but not on weekends or public holidays.) Imagine to my surprise when the server told us there isn’t any set lunch menu available today. We were already seated, so it would be stupid of us to have left the restaurant without ordering our lunch.

While I understand it is New Year’s Eve, it is still considered a working day and definitely not a public holiday. I was at TR in Sunway Pyramid on Christmas Eve and the set lunch was available! I’m very disappointed in this misleading policy practised by the Malaysian TR. I absolutely love your food, but I won’t go back anymore because of this experience. I hope to get a response. Thank you.

*

I got a reply hours later from the US headquarters of Tony Roma’s.

Thank you for contacting Tony Roma’s Guest Relations. Please accept our apologies for the disappointment you had at Tony Roma’s in Malaysia. Each guest plays an important role in helping us maintain the standards by which we operate and we appreciate your feedback. Your message is being forwarded to the franchise owner/operator and the Director of Franchise Operations. Management would like to discuss your visit and will contact you at the earliest opportunity. Thank you.

Martha Killion
Guest Relations
Romacorp, Inc.

She also forwarded my complaint to two executives of the Malaysian Tony Roma’s franchise.

I change my mind. I will definitely go to Tony Roma’s in the US one day to try their famous pork ribs. (In Malaysia, they don’t serve the pork ribs but beef ones instead.) This is the first time I’ve made a complaint to a company and got a reply, let alone a reply in a matter of hours!

*

Derek, the man in charge of the Cineleisure branch, called me up and promised me a free Tony Roma’s meal! I’ll post here again when I get my free meal.

Man, this is freaking awesome customer service.

Comments on: "Affirming is Good" (14)

  1. That’s a great story! I surely would agree with your post’s title. It’s cool that you acted on what you felt was right, and I think what you said to your friends afterward is good, too. They may not overtly “get it” at first, but these things tend to build up their own energy. I’ll be interested to know if those friendships start changing in suble and postitive ways.

    sulz: yeah, but i’m still trying hard not to feel too embarrassed by saying soppy stuff like that! πŸ˜› malaysians are people who aren’t very good with expressing their feelings, like many asians! but we can change that, one person at a time. πŸ™‚

  2. pork ribs – that’s my speciality! Standard food for Kentucky Derby day at my house.

    The Tony Romas by us has the slowest service I’ve ever seen. We can’t even go there on lunch hours because it takes longer than that to get served. I always loved their buffalo wings.

    Also really enjoyed the book part! πŸ™‚

    sulz: that means the food’s good? malaysians always like to dine where it’s busiest because it’s an indication of good food to us, haha!

    naughty! :mrgreen: (says the girl who searched the book for the sexy bit in the first place!)

  3. I know how frustrating it is to go to a restaurant and discover that they aren’t serving what you thought they would be serving…especially during New Year’s. Totally ruins your mood! πŸ™‚

    I went to a small Italian restaurant here and it was quite cheap too. I was surprised that the food was that good.

    This is the first time I’ve made a complaint to a company and got a reply, let alone a reply in the matter of hours!

    Most of the American firms take such complaints very seriously. πŸ™‚ Good to know that they cared to reply to your email. It definitely made Sulz a happier girl.

    sulz: well, i was worried because of my friends, but they were gracious enough to make the best of the situation. and we did have a good time despite the pinch in our purses. πŸ˜‰ hey, sometimes the cheap food are the best!

    yeap, i was happy that they responded, but i’m still living in malaysia and i’m waiting to see what the malaysian execs are going to tell me. if they’re going to! πŸ˜‰

  4. i’m going to scan your blog for your pics. chepat! chepat! bagi keywords! πŸ˜›

    sulz: you got to find the post yourself! that’s what my other readers did last time too. clue is the link to the link (of the pics) is definitely on the front page of the blog. πŸ˜‰

  5. pussy sudah sakit, ROFL. And then you have the guts to call me a perv!

    I’ve had my share of restaurant woes. The worst one happened at Pizza Hut. We were going there first time and one of our friends was leaving the city so we decided we could give him a party. Turned out it was so expensive that we couldn’t even afford garlic breads for everybody. Ultimately the guy who was living the city paid for his own farewell. Obviously I felt like a jerk because I had recommended Pizza Hut. But it was all my fault, unlike your case.

    Mills and Boons, I’ve read quite a number of them thanks to my brother who went to the States and had quite a collection hidden in the cupboards. He’s a cousin and used to live in a different city and whenever we’d go there I’d smuggle one book and read it. Not to mention, they were fun. So most of the friends grew up watching porn, I grew up reading Mills and Boons. The covers were teh shit (sorry about saying this again and again lol)

    sulz: hey, takes one to know one. πŸ˜› haha, that was one bad memory for you! lol, funny to hear a guy reading mills & boon!

    you know, teh in malay means tea. πŸ˜‰

  6. Thank you for contacting Tony Roma’s Guest Relations. Please accept our apologies for the disappointment you had at Tony Roma’s in Malaysia. Each guest plays an important role in helping us maintain the standards by which we operate and we appreciate your feedback. Your message is being forwarded to the franchise owner/operator and the Director of Franchise Operations. Management would like to discuss your visit and will contact you at the earliest opportunity. Thank you.

    Martha Killion
    Guest Relations
    Romacorp, Inc.

    That’s a standard reply – could be auto trigger when you sent your feedback via web.

    Of course, it’s good that TR also fwded ur complaint to local outlet. Did the local outlet contact you after this?

    sulz: yeah, it does sound like it, but how does it know that i’m complaining? haha. nope, so far haven’t. if i haven’t heard in one week’s time, i’m complaining through the website again. :mrgreen:

  7. lovelyloey said:

    Ay why Tony Romas so cheap there? I pay SGD30 per person here. And I don’t even like ribs. 😦

    And I have never heard of Mill & Boon. Ought I be ashamed of myself? Haha

    sulz: told ya everything’s cheap here. πŸ˜‰ the shopping too, mind you! oh, i don’t eat the ribs, i just eat the other stuff on the menu.

    yes, a bit lah. :mrgreen: it’s famous! or rather, infamous, because of the bimbotic romantic template for the romance genre. you ought to read one just so you don’t have to another for the rest of your life. and it’s very cheap. πŸ˜›

  8. Guy’s don’t usually read ’em? I didn’t know that.

    sulz: nope, they don’t. but you’re not the usual guy, are you? πŸ˜‰

  9. aiyah… cannot find la. i give up. -.-‘

    finger painful click click here and click click there

    sulz: tsk tsk! you may be a brilliant linguist, but a lousy treasure hunter. :mrgreen:

  10. omg… kejam!

    “you have to search in the archives for a day with two posts (have never posted more than one post a day)”

    dec 21 apparently has 2 entries. i give up la. cannot tahan already… -.-‘

    and… eh eh…me brilliant? ya kah? haha! you should meet my colleagues. i feel stupid in their presence.

    sulz: haha! how is dec 21 a significant date for almost anybody in the world? clue: we just partied on that night to celebrate the holiday the next day… memang hint yang so besar kalau tak nampak… !!

    heh, notice the use of the word may in my previous reply… πŸ˜›

    aiyah, e-mail me lah. i’ll send you the link. in my about page there’s a contact form.

  11. Yer, I’m not the usual guy I guess. πŸ˜›

  12. err..labour’s eve? (when ah? April?) christmas eve? valentine’s eve? deepavali eve? gong xi fatt choi eve? selamat hari raya eve? *scratching head* dunno la… so ambiguous la the answer. (you flouted the griceian maxim of manner). πŸ˜€ so…memang tak nampak. i’m blameless!

    ‘may’ always seem elusive to me… O.o

    btw, pics of your younger self are so adorable… anyone would wan to kidnap. nyek nyek.

    sulz: you’re not blameless, you tak pandai. :mrgreen:

    cheh, young that time only mer. now old already like badak sumbu. hahaha!

  13. That’s cool, so you can go on only a one on one dinner or take friends along as well? Brands really are really careful about their image these days.

    sulz: i think it’s only for me since i made the complaint. :mrgreen: honestly, in malaysia brands do not care. tony roma’s is clearly very different and i shall patronise them more often in the future! i just received the e-mail, hehe.

  14. Free meal? :mrgreen: I’m flying to Malaysia! Happy for you!!

    sulz: haha! thanks! πŸ˜€

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