An open letter to all Tim Horton employees

First off let me say that I really do appreciate all you do. You are there for us 24 hours a day and are responsible for ensuring that hundreds of thousands of Canadians get their morning off to a good start. How many times have we heard something to the affect of “I can’t function without my morning coffee”? Most of you happily prepare our coffee, tea and bagels and serve it to us with a smile. Ninety-nine percent of the time I am a very happy customer and the only thing that puts a damper on my morning is the fact that I have to wait in a lineup of 40 cars before it is my turn at the speaker. This is completely out of your control and only serves to validate how essential your products are to our lives.

But there’s that one percent that really bothers me and it seems to be the same few things that happen. I’m a tea drinker and have been for many years. Lately I’ve switched to decaf, especially after Tim Horton’s introduced steeped tea and tried to eliminate orange pekoe bagged tea. Without fail about three times a year I receive my tea double cupped with the bags in (just as I ordered it) but for some unknown reason someone has poured coffee instead of putting hot water into it. By the time I hit home or work I have failed to realize your error and get a taste of the most god awful hot beverage I have ever tasted. I usually have to wipe down my computer monitor due to the resulting spewage.

The other thing that bothers me is when you make a mistake and blame me. I’m not just picking on the local locations (Peterborough, Ontario) because it’s happened to me in several other locations in cities across Ontario. This morning I place my order, the same order I have place for the last four or five years. The young lady who took my order had asked me to repeat things a few times because of the wind and perhaps I was speaking a bit too fast for her. It was for two beverages and a breakfast sandwich so nothing complicated really. After repeating portions of the order for a third time I figured we were quite clear. When I got to the window I was asked again what my beverage order was. I wasn’t impolite because I would rather have my order correct. The window closes and a conversation ensues between the window lady and the girl taking the orders.

At which point I read lips saying “That’s not what he ordered” followed by “He did not say that”. This was then followed up by a pretty good stare down with me through the window. The old adage that the customer is always right failed to pop into this employee’s head even though it was absolutely held true in this case.

We all make mistakes and I didn’t have a problem with it. I would rather avoid spraying my computer monitor with tea-offee or having something prepared wrong. The correct response in a situation is “Sorry sir, we’ll get that fixed up”.

I still love you Tim Horton’s.

Chris Lahay

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