GETTING MORE TALE #467: Harvey’s
Do you like a good hamburger? No? How about the best veggie burger around? If you answered “yes” to either question, but do not live in Canada, then kick yourself because that means you don’t get any Harvey’s.
The story is only tangentdentally related to Record Store Tales but the core of it is all about customer service.
According to my journals, this story took place on July 27 2005, a Wednesday. I didn’t normally work the night shift at the Record Store on a Wednesday but that week I did. I had a rotten start to the day — I had been trying to sell some magazines on eBay to some idiot who couldn’t seem to provide a valid mailing address. That morning, he emailed me to complain the magazines hadn’t arrived yet. A couple hours later, they came back to me in the mail for the second time! “Undeliverable” because the address wasn’t right. I asked him for a new address because the prior one he gave me was no good, but he just gave me the same one again. I refunded his money; to hell with that guy!
Working that afternoon and evening, there were no bosses in the office to breath down my neck, which always helped the day go smoother. I decided to treat myself to a take out burger on my way home that night, so of course that meant a stop at Harvey’s. I’m pretty easy to please; I almost always order the same thing. That night it was a double original with bacon and cheese. My toppings are (in order) lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayonnaise. Lots of mayo. No ketchup, no mustard. That’s my burger — the LeBrain burger. That week they were doing a promotion where you got a free candy bar with your combo.
I pulled into the drive through, usually a dull experience. However, as I’m ordering my combo five, the guy says, “Sorry sir we’re all sold out of that.” A pause; I’m baffled how they could be out of original burgers and bacon. He quickly came back on. “I’m just kidding, combo five.” Then he asked what candy bar I wanted. “Sorry sir we’re all sold out of that.” He laughed and then said, “Just kidding, drive through for your Snickers bar and combo five.”
I thought that was pretty funny. I talked to the guy at the takeout window for a few minutes as they made my burger, and it was a nice little chat. Some guy earlier told him to “fuck off” about some mustard that wasn’t supposed to be on a burger, so he was just trying to lighten up his night a bit. Lord knew, I got that! I had enough bad experiences slinging the rock at the Record Store. When you work behind the counter anywhere, you’re a target for abuse. There’s no excuse for telling somebody to “fuck off” when they’re in customer service, but it happens and it sucks. A little levity doesn’t hurt. At least he picked the right guy to joke around with in me. Humour is a fine line. If he had the wrong person at the drive through, he could have ended up with some humourless bastard who wanted to speak to the manager about the joker working there. When in doubt, err on the side of caution!
That chance encounter brightened up my night and I made sure he knew that. In my journal I noted that I drove home, listening to Stand Up by Jethro Tull and thinking it may have been the greatest British rock album of all time. Hot beef and hot rock, I was in a great mood. And that brings us back full circle to the rock.
Treat those who work in retail with the respect a human being deserves. Just because you’re the customer doesn’t give you the right to be a jackass.
And now a selection of Harvey’s burgers, from some of my favourite people. Each burger is a beautiful thing in itself!
The Greg burger: Bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions.
The Mike Lukas: Ketchup, mustard, pickles, relish, onions.
The Uncle Richard: Onions, mushrooms*, cheese, bacon, and mild banana pepper rings with mayo, mustard, and ketchup.
The D-Law: “Seriously, I put EVERYTHING on it!”
The Angela: Not a vegetarian, but preferring Harvey’s (excellent) veggie patty, here’s the Angela burger. Veggie with mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, pickles, tomato, onion, lettuce and hot peppers, sometimes cheese. “Perhaps next time I’ll try bacon on it. I’m thinking that would be a unique order!”
The JT: Everything except mayo and ketchup…triple pickle.
The Tiffany: Original with cheese and bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard and mayo. “Now I want one…”
The Deke: “Harvey’s pulled out of T-Bay…too bad, they made a good burger, but man they were slow…and the place would be like a 1/4 full…”
The Scott: Bacon, cheese, onions, two slices of pickle, a little lettuce, mayo, ketchup, and hot sauce. “I like my burger sloppy.”
The Mandy: Cheeseburger with ketchup, mustard, relish, mayo, lettuce and extra, extra pickles.
The Mrs. LeBrain: Double original, with ketchup, little bit of mustard, extra onions (“I miss the old white ones – purple isn’t right”) and pickles.
The Danny: Double original, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles!
The Chris: “I usually get everything with double relish!”
And the Cliff, otherwise known as the Party Pooper: “Totally hate the place. Last time I was in the drive thru they charged me six bucks for a cheeseburger with ketchup (not a combo). And they didn’t blink. I also think their meat sucks. Much prefer Dairy Queen. Sorry for the rant, but I did want to voice a ‘none of the above’ vote in your topping selection.” [Vote counted sir!]
*Mushrooms generally only available on special seasonal burgers such as the Swiss mushroom melt.