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A Dissatisfied Customer Speaks Up 
Sometimes, the best way to really see how good customer service relations are for a particular establishment is to not bring any phones and or cameras. Then with their guard down on iPhones constantly instagramming and facebooking every waking moment, you can really see how the staff treats its customers and how efficiently they really serve them.
After the Nat Geo Run with my family, I was really hungry and en route to the parking I found something interesting: Auntie May's Angus Beef Salpicao. With only a hundred pesos in my pocket for an order of Php 150, I went back to the car to get more money. When I came back, there were at least three people ahead of me and some causes of service delays were misspelled names. With three letters to my order name of Kat, which is also far easier to spell than Paula [POW-luh], how could anyone go wrong?
Finally, it was my turn to give my order. I placed it and when I gave the name of “Kat” for the order, they put in “Kate” instead. They told me before calling the next customer in line that my order will be ready in 10 minutes. I called their attention about the typographical error but it fell on deaf ears after several corrections they had to make for the previous customers, perhaps? So I chose to be patient, decided to let it pass for now, and put in mind that for Auntie May’s, I was Kate and that when my food’s called, I should listen for “Kate” to be called. But seriously, how phonetically similar are “Kat” and “Kate?”
But later on, after ten minutes and several failed attempts at getting drinks at the other Mercato stalls, I came back and my order was still not ready. What’s worse is that the box containing my order was lagging by around five boxes behind the order of the lady previously in front of me at the ordering queue. Thing is, the lady before me had only two boxes ordered. There was another customer who wasn’t lined up while I was ordering earlier whose order of three was between that lady’s and mine. It seems because they couldn’t keep track of the orders, people who ordered later than we did were being served ahead. How inefficient! 
If anything, the worst part of this experience was how the lady who seems to be the owner not only scowled at me for pointing out an error in their process, but how deliberately discourteous she was upon handing over my order. I can understand that their stall is in high demand and is super busy but that doesn’t excuse them from inefficiency or rudeness to even just one customer. So just because I point out an error how I was served today, I get to be mistreated? That doesn’t seem fair at all.
Yes, I concede that the salpicao tastes good for the price of Php 150. The serving size is decent and it’s not too salty. The rice was a bit scanty and dry but it wasn’t too dry for me to return to the stall. But what makes a good restaurant isn’t only how good the food tastes or how special the ingredients are; it’s also how you take care of your customers. Not just the customers who compliment your product. But also the customers who point out what is called “room for improvement.” 
If anything, it’s not my loss at all if the staff and management of that stall in Mercato Centrale don’t take my word for it. I just hope their work ethics, or lack thereof, won’t affect their relationship with other customers, as well as customer patronage of Auntie May’s. 
So… Bottomline. Would I recommend Auntie May’s @ Mercato Centrale? 
If you want good salpicao and/or beef tapa with sub-par and inefficient service, yes. Otherwise, it might be a better option to pay more at a place like Dulcinea or Chocolate Kiss. 

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2013.03.13 

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ― Maya Angelou


And my first year of medical school is finally over.