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The Gillian Clark and Robin Smith YouTube Videos


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Rude Youtube videos = boo.

(Really though, I'm happy to be mocked if the end result is meatloaf and donuts.)

From Washingtonian Chat:

NoLo, DC:

Have you seen Gillian Clark's youtube videos? (if not, search for chefgillian63 on youtube). The bulk of them, under the title "A General Store Re-enactment" seem to consist of Gillian and Robin mocking their customers.

Chef has always been, shall we say, a bit high-strung. And I have to admit, I used to like the table tents at Colorado Kitchen containing rules for children. But this public mocking of the people who want to give her money seems to be beyond the pale.

I was looking forward to the new place opening on K, but I really don't see how I can support her at this point... Any thoughts?

Todd Kliman:

I just watched it, and I'd have to agree with you.

(Although how in the world would anybody ever come across a video like this if they weren't actively looking for a reason to be angry at the restaurant? It'd be different if it were posted, say, on a food blog with lots of readers or something. But anyway.)

I guess the main thing for me is, it's not funny. If it were funny, I think it wouldn't be a big deal. It'd be a little like sharing an in-joke with customers. As is, it really does come across as mockery.

So the point is that the dude, rather than wait and hold the door for his wife, simply left the door open. Why shouldn't we mock that behavior? It's not chivalrous. In addition, it's a terrible waste of energy and inconsiderate to other diners. I've had to sit next to doors at restaurants with people holding the door open and blasting my food and me with frosty air. I don't mind being a little cold but don't fucking mess with my food!

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From Washingtonian Chat:

So the point is that the dude, rather than wait and hold the door for his wife, simply left the door open. Why shouldn't we mock that behavior? It's not chivalrous. In addition, it's a terrible waste of energy and inconsiderate to other diners. I've had to sit next to doors at restaurants with people holding the door open and blasting my food and me with frosty air. I don't mind being a little cold but don't fucking mess with my food!

Seems that this would be a far more effective solution for the problem than ridiculing their current customers - which appears to me to be a less than effective way of attracting future ones.

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Why shouldn't we mock that behavior?

My problem with these videos is not that she is mocking bad customer behavior. My problem is that she is filming it and putting it on the net, thinking it's funny, or at least worthy of notice to anyone beyond her and Robin.

She monitors the net for anyone saying anything less than adulatory about her places and swoops in (or sends Robin swooping in) to belittle the poster, yet she feels it is ok to publicly mock her customers.

Look, we all know that customer service is hard and frustrating and that the general public is often idiotic and deserving of mocking. But not always. And frankly, if you want customers, you need to be polite. Or at least civil!

I loved her food at Colorado Kitchen, but gave up going there after one too many instances of not just bad service but flat out mistreatment. She's berated me else-net too. Now I hear she may be opening a place on the corner of my street (Not this place - the Petworth place), taking a spot that might otherwise go to a place with decent service. Grmph.

I just don't understand people who aren't willing to be civil to their customers. No, I don't expect fawning service or needless kissing up. I just expect polite and pleasant and helpful. I treat restaurant staff respectfully. That should be reciprocal.

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Look, we all know that customer service is hard and frustrating and that the general public is often idiotic and deserving of mocking. But not always. And frankly, if you want customers, you need to be polite. Or at least civil!

But you don't have to be honest or treat your employees well, do you? Case in point.

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But you don't have to be honest or treat your employees well, do you? Case in point.

I am not sure I follow how this is germane to this topic. It seems as though you are implying that saf is somehow dismissive of employees being treated poorly or in some way complicit with it happening, I see neither in the thread to which you linked. Or did you just want to excuse poor customer service by pointing out someone that is less than honest?

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I am not sure I follow how this is germane to this topic. It seems as though you are implying that saf is somehow dismissive of employees being treated poorly or in some way complicit with it happening, I see neither in the thread to which you linked. Or did you just want to excuse poor customer service by pointing out someone that is less than honest?

Not trying to call our saf at all. I was trying to show, rather poorly, how one chef is getting beat up for pointing out/mocking rude customer behavior while the other's poor behavior is basically ignored.

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Not trying to call our saf at all. I was trying to show, rather poorly, how one chef is getting beat up for pointing out/mocking rude customer behavior while the other's poor behavior is basically ignored.

While I agree that the behavior of the chef you pointed out via the link is poor, its poor to the restaurants other staff. I don't know if I'd include that in a comparison on childish behavior directed towards patrons. While both are certainly negatives, I think they probably merit discussion separately.

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But you don't have to be honest or treat your employees well, do you?

Two different questions - employees are NOT the same as customers. There are plenty of places with bad service that treat employees well, or places with good service that do not. Treating one group appropriately does not mean you do or do not treat the other appropriately. With no evidence in either direction, I cannot comment on how Ms. Clark treats her employees.

That said, I won't go to Mr. Donna's establishments because of his behavior. I also won't go to PS7 because of the "can't identify the culprit so I'm firing all the women who worked that shift" incident.

In general, I expect civil (and legal) behavior from the universe and try very hard to behave civilly (and legally) myself. It matters.

(OK, there have been a few instances of civil disobedience, but I was polite about it!)

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Meatloaf and donuts = yay.

Rude Youtube videos = boo.

(Really though, I'm happy to be mocked if the end result is meatloaf and donuts.)

are good meatloaf and donuts really that hard to find? I've never had her food, but i've always wondered how amazing it must be to keep her in business despite behavior (youtube videos, the whole fuss over the washington post article a while ago, etc.) that to me seems horribly unprofessional and just uncivil. I guess those donuts are pretty amazing.

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I've never eaten at any of Gillian Clark's restaurants, but I saw the videos. Watching one could lead the viewer to conclude that an amateur videographer was having some fun in a restaurant setting. Watching the whole, set, however, leads me to conclude that there is some basic level of contempt for customers.

Hey, I get that people can be rude, incompetent or indecisive; and restaurant employees may be subjected to more of it than other customer service employees. And I know that owners/employees dish privately about their customers in every industry. But to put a series of unfunny videos in a public forum to document your obvious disdain for your customers just seems childish and unprofessional. It's not like they're letting the customer in on the joke. It's a bad business decision.

This series makes me think that I'll spare Chef and Robin any undue inconvenience and avoid their restaurants on the remote chance that I might do something to become the subject of another lame video.

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are good meatloaf and donuts really that hard to find? I've never had her food, but i've always wondered how amazing it must be to keep her in business despite behavior (youtube videos, the whole fuss over the washington post article a while ago, etc.) that to me seems horribly unprofessional and just uncivil. I guess those donuts are pretty amazing.

They can't be better than the doughnuts at Lyon Hall. And they don't make fun of their customers.

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Look, we all know that customer service is hard and frustrating and that the general public is often idiotic and deserving of mocking. But not always. And frankly, if you want customers, you need to be polite. Or at least civil!

I just don't understand people who aren't willing to be civil to their customers. No, I don't expect fawning service or needless kissing up. I just expect polite and pleasant and helpful. I treat restaurant staff respectfully. That should be reciprocal.

This.

I've worked in customer service for a long time. Blowing off steam to coworkers is one thing. Making videos explicitly mocking people who come to your business and spend their money, and then putting them on the internet so that other people can laugh at them strikes me as a really bad idea.

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I've never eaten at the General Store, I live not to far away from there.

I see why they did it, but to post it on the web may not have been a smart choice, things like this can end up biting one in the hind quarters. Take for example people who post pictures of themselves in the nude, or how about Facebook status'? Future employers, critics, and potential and past customers check things like this out. There have been people who lost high paying jobs, lost their business', or didn't get into school because of something posted on the web.

A video like this maybe funny to some but offending to others. Again, I understand why they did it and having had to deal with obnoxious customers, I really don't think this was a wise decision to post this. It's even worse if it goes viral.

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"Not being offended" is not a right. :)

While that is certainly true, I am not sure that anyone here has said that the creators of the films do not have a right to make them, just that they show rather poor judgment on their part. I for one would say that I am far from offended by these imprudent videos, but the poor taste exhibited in publishing them gives me one more reason not to spend my finite time or money with them.

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When we get pissed off at someone at the brewery, we just draw a picture of a person, put it up on the dart board and well, you get the picture. It's a great way to blow off steam with out the picture looking too much like anyone. We make a game of it, drink some beer. Perhaps Gillian needs to invest in a decent dartboard, you can get one a Target for about $40. We play Cricket on the dart board as well, it's not always about Voodoo darts.

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When we get pissed off at someone at the brewery, we just draw a picture of a person, put it up on the dart board and well, you get the picture. It's a great way to blow off steam with out the picture looking too much like anyone. We make a game of it, drink some beer. Perhaps Gillian needs to invest in a decent dartboard, you can get one a Target for about $40. We play Cricket on the dart board as well, it's not always about Voodoo darts.

At work I have a "stabby box." I write something that's pissing me off on it, then stab it repeatedly with a letter opener. Certain long term projects end up as large holes.

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In one of the re-enactments, Robin Smith draws a mustache on her finger and places her finger under her nose. I just saw on Bryan Voltaggio's Facebook page that he did the same thing. Is there something that I'm missing?

I think the issue is the content of the video, not the use of a finger to depict a mustache, but what do I know?

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