Here’s an email sent to Chipotle after experiencing bad service:
I don’t visit your restaurants very often. Although your food is good, your service has always been a little “unusual” for my taste.
But I did visit last night and it was such a deep personal experience that I felt compelled to email you.
The time was 9pm.
There was no one in line. Only me. However, 4 employees walked passed me without so much as acknowledging me. Obviously, they were proponents of the “tough love” movement.
I was grateful to them for being willing to help me improve my character by teaching me patience.
I stood there for 10 minutes looking at them while they cleaned. Okay, maybe 12 minutes. I don’t want to sell them short. It was magical. Please forward them my gratitude.
Obviously, something traumatic had happened before I’d gotten there. They were out of everything and there were tidbits strewn all over the counter. It was like someone had murdered a burrito.
Don’t worry. I get it! A bad burrito is a bad burrito and it must be punished. Insubordination spreads like a cancer among burritos, and it’s best to stamp it out immediately.
Not everyone gets to be a chimichanga, no matter what your parents tell you.
Anyway, while I continued to stand there, the whole staff vanished into the back for what seemed like forever.
Hey, sometimes you need to get away.
After a time, they all returned to the counter carrying nothing.
We all stood together looking at the metal containers in the burrito assembly station. They were still empty. No one spoke.
It seemed important for everyone to be together, perhaps taking a moment of silence honoring the burritos who have come and gone before us, those who have contributed selflessly to our greatness as a society.
Most of the awful in life can be fixed with a really good burrito. Not a lot of people know this, but I do.
So, I stood in solidarity with your staff.
A kind woman approached me from behind the counter and said, “Would you like white or brown rice?”
“Brown,” I replied as I reveled in the warm sunlight of her attention.
“We don’t even have any,” she said.
And I left without saying a word, knowing that I’d been part of something amazing. The lessons I’ll slowly digest for years to come.