You may recall Ted Storck from his greatest hits here in Morris: he’s the guy who donated the chimes that annoyed everyone for years, who wrote bitter letters to the local newspaper when asked to turn them down, who complained when a vandal cut the wires (OK, that was wrong to do, but he also accused me of having done it), who, when the chimes were finally silenced by the city council, whined about how he should never do anything nice for the community, before stomping off to his retirement in Arizona.
I thought we were done with crotchety ol’ Ted — the chimes are gone, he’s moved away — but no! He’s taken to writing cranky letters to the local newspaper, about things that have annoyed him. And the paper is publishing them! Ah, Morris.
Last October[Note: he’s complaining about a meal 6 months ago], my sister took an out-of-town guest and me[Ted: you’re an out-of-towner now, too] to a restaurant in Morris. Two of us ordered the taco salad, only to discover it was the worse[“worse”? <twitch>] taco salad we had ever eaten or not eaten. The next day I called and told the male[Be precise. “Male Homo sapiens“] who answered the phone of our dissatisfaction. His response: “We have never had a complaint about our food.”[If accurate, that’s not a good response. Every restaurant gets complaints. You can have a place with 3 Michelin stars, there will be someone who dislikes it.]
Then about six weeks ago, there was an article in the paper here about how to keep customers happy; the writer pointed out he had gone to a new restaurant, and he was extremely unhappy with the meal. He wrote that his first thought was to leave, never return, and, of course, tell his friends how unhappy he was. Then he said, “I decided to tell the manager.” He said the manager took care of the problem and now he goes back three to four times a month. He said had he not said anything, and had the manager not made things right, the restaurant would have lost his business, plus others he would tell about his unhappiness.[“The Morris paper confirmed the importance of my complaint, therefore I will complain some more.”]
So, I sent this article to the Morris restaurant[Note timing: he writes to the restaurant 4½ months after his meal to complain], writing about my displeasure with the taco salads[It’s just been eating at him all these months. That bad taco salad! He lies awake at night, its badness gnawing at him.]. Well, no answer from them. So, you can be certain I’ll never climb those stairs to eat there again.
I learned when I owned radio stations[Yeah, Ted Storck is one of those people who polluted the American air waves with talk radio], you always kept the advertisers happy. That was so even if I felt there was not a problem. A happy customers returns. That is why my radio stations were so successful.[Because you pandered to advertisers, not listeners? OK.]
Businesses in Morris need to keep their customers happy. It appears that is not happening as Alexandria and other towns each week fill the Morris Sun Tribune with ads enticing folks to shop there.[What? That businesses in other towns advertise in the largest town in the county is a sign that Morris businesses are bad? This makes no sense.]
It didn’t use to be that way.[Why, in my day, everyone ignored Morris! Other communities shunned us! We didn’t need no foreign trade with Shelbyville!]
Take care of your customers, and they’ll take care of you.[But we know from our experience with the Storck Chimes that making Ted Storck happy makes everyone else miserable. Maybe the restaurant was making Morris residents happy by driving the Tedster away. I know I’m more likely to eat there, confident that bilious ol’ Ted won’t be there.]
The restaurant he’s whining about is our shiny new Mexican place, Mi Mexico, which is actually quite good and a happy addition to the dining choices in our small town. It’s tasty food, and a good choice if you’re passing through. There were complaints when it first opened — service was overwhelmed, because everyone in the county wanted to go there the first few weeks — but otherwise, it’s been great.
And now, suddenly, I have a strong craving to try their taco salad. I’ve never had it before, but I’ve heard it recommended.
Too bad it’s closed on Sundays. Maybe later this week…