Service of Full Measure

September 2nd, 2010

Categories: Accommodation, Food, Full Measure, Hidden Charges, Restaurant, Treats

I love to feel as though I’ve received my money’s worth and like to surprise people by giving them more than they expect.  So that may be why when I feel short-changed, I’m really irritated.

There’s a boutique takeout place in a nearby village that charges a premium for a small container of soup and when you get it home, the container is only three-quarters full. It happened twice–I figured it must have been a mistake the first time.  I don’t care for this approach so in spite of its stellar reputation, I’ve never been back. [Soup is one of the most profitable things on any menu so on discovering the skimpy portion I thought, “You’re testing my patience” when I should have been thinking, “um um good!”]

When I order wine-by-the-glass, I’m amazed by the difference in the amount of wine I get from place to place and in my experieince, the less I pay the more wine I’m served. And it has nothing to do with leaving plenty of room for a fancy red varietal to breath or because the goblet in an expensive place is bigger than in a reasonably priced one.

Dinner portions have a way of being amusingly tiny in some of the more expensive restaurants as well. Nobody needs enough roast beef to provide leftovers for a family of four [though dinner the next night is a treat!]. Yet to leave hungry after someone’s spent $100+ makes a customer feel duped as well as the brunt of a proprietor’s joke.

If I’m paying top price, I also like a nice big dollop of ice cream in a cone, even if I can’t finish it all.

If you speak with a lawyer or psychiatrist in an office or over the phone you are charged to the minute. Shouldn’t it be the same for everyone else who charges for their time–no more, no less? Here are examples of both instances:

**A friend recently signed up with a trainer at a well-known sports club. She pays $45 for half an hour and she has a $700+ contract. She works hard for her money and her clients get the best of what she does and she expects the same from the people she hires. She lets the trainer know every time he tries to shortchange her by five minutes at the end. She also makes him give her the time when he starts late because he’s finishing up with someone else. And she’s right! She’s paying $1.50 a minute so why toss away $7.50?

** Some PR staffers work at agencies where clients are charged for their time, billing in the $hundreds per hour. Accurate time cards are essential. Some write fiction–you know who you are. I’m always amazed when clients don’t speak up or weigh a hefty bill against a skimpy activity report.

When you feel you don’t get full measure, do you care or shrug it off? Are there instances that particularly irk you?

4 Responses to “Service of Full Measure”

  1. Hester Craddock Said:


    I agree completely with the point you make, but want to add that, at least when it comes to restaurants, an excessively full measure can also be annoying. I was brought up to eat everything on my plate, and I’m not fond of taking food home where it often sits in the icebox for days. I’m a touch plump, and I’d much prefer a fair portion to a full portion.

    One place I’d also like to see a fair measure is in what our leaders say to us. I’m sick to death of being given a diet of half truths about what is happening in the country and the world,

    For example: If the truth is that one consequence of globalization will be that our workers will have to be content with lower wages and a lower standard of living, tell us that.

    It’s not just in stores that people cheat.


  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Many of us were brought up being forced to finish food we didn’t want–eating when you are not hungry is a sure path to overweight. But I assume you are no longer a child and as an adult, can make your own decisions so you don’t need to eat everything on your plate anymore! We didn’t divide up our garbage when I was young and perhaps your family didn’t either, but does that mean you don’t do that now?

    I LOVE restaurants that give me the option of selecting half a portion for the main course: That gives me a chance to enjoy dessert!

    As for telling people the truth, I hate to be so argumentative–maybe the moon is full–as I love hearing from you and don’t want to discourage you from commenting in future, but I can’t believe that nobody understood that taking jobs from here and moving them overseas didn’t mean changing the entire economy in this country. I kept saying, “If manufacturing is moving overseas so that the stuff at Wal-Mart is cheaper, who will be employed here to be able to afford the stuff at Wall-Mart?” and people looked at me as though I had lost my mind.

    We are in the midst of a huge gear shift. Soon, the only people being paid will be those performing services that must be done in place–dentists, surgeons, garbage collection. Hedge fund types work their magic using the computer and need little help. Most of the rest of us will be selling apples on street corners until we figure out how to get the appropriate jobs back here.

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    During a temporary stint with GE years ago, a memorable notice appeared on the bulletin board. It had to do with the dissatisfied customer – the one who didn’t complain, and didn’t come back. That, the notice maintained, was the greatest loss to a business.

    GE was right, since the silent one doesn’t give the company the chance to make amends. For years, American Airlines had my luggage waiting for me in the reception area, after my launching a highly audible and indignant complaint regarding a (temporarily) missing bag, coupled with a rude stewardess who left me with a banana peel in hand upon landing. Complaints, when accurately stated are worthwhile. Using emotion is tricky, but if used in proper doses,can be highly effective.

    Cheating should be discouraged. The best way to stop it in its tracks is to grouse. This exercize not only shines in the self help department, but discourages a business from pulling the same stunt on others.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I think that short-changing a customer or client is a form of cheating.

    As for grousing over being stiffed–it takes too much out of me so I pick my battles and often speak up but find that the most effective way to express myself is by speaking with my feet.

    My friend and her trainer who may not even realize he is skimping on her time with him is a different story, as she’s already paid for the service and she can’t walk yet, so she must let him know.

    There are so many places to buy ice cream or soup or to eat dinner or order a glass of wine that I prefer to go to the businesses that welcome me in all the ways that are meaningful to me. Obviously, thousands of other people don’t care about portions because they support and keep many of these places open.

Leave a Reply