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Old Wives’ Tales Go Best With Pizza

, , , , | Right | October 2, 2019

(I work in a pizza restaurant. Our busiest nights are Friday and Saturday, often with phones ringing off the hooks and the lobby being packed with customers and the occasional local school team, making the place incredibly noisy. During these busy nights, we usually have three or four cashiers manning the two phone lines, taking orders for pickup or delivery. With the old system, a pickup order only needed a name, while a delivery asked for a phone number before we confirmed the address. I’m standing at the front register taking care of the long line of customers when an older, sour-faced fellow comes up to the till.)

Me: *with a tired smile, but still loud enough to be heard over the crowd* “Hello, sir. What can I do for you this evening?”

Customer: *grunting, mumbling* “Picking up.”

Me: “Okay, what was the name?”

Customer: *gives a generic first name, such as Mike or George*

(I cringe, as I already know I’m going to have to search. This evening, we have about four orders with the same name — among others — and none of the other cashiers have included a last name or identifier.)

Me: “All righty. And what was the order for?”

Customer: *looking disgusted with me* “It was for a large cheese — extra crispy — cheese sticks, and [salad].”

(I view each order under the name, and none of them match the order he has given me.)

Me: “Okay, sir, I’m having a little bit of trouble here finding it. Could it be under another name? Perhaps a last name, or something?”

Customer: “No! It’s [Generic Name]!”

Me: “All righty. Give me just a moment.”

(Because of the noise, it’s very possible that the name could’ve been misheard. So, one by one, I open up each of the nearly 35 other pickup orders in the computer, looking for a matching order. After about 30 seconds, the man gets snappy.)

Customer: “What’s taking so long?!”

Me: “Well, sir, I’m checking all of the other orders to see if the name was accidentally misheard. We do have another location in [Neighboring City]; is it possible that the order might have accidentally been placed there?”

Customer: “No! We only order from this location!” *starts grumbling about being incompetent*

(The entire time I’ve been speaking, I’ve been continuing to search the orders. Eventually, I come upon a matching order, placed about an hour ago.)

Me: *smiling brightly* “All right, sir, I believe I’ve found it! It was [order], correct?”

Customer: “Yes, that’s it.” *frowning at me* “What was it under?”

(I’m a little surprised, as most customers are just happy that the order was found, and are too hungry to care what it was under. Seeing the name that it’s under, and judging by this man’s attitude, I’m a little hesitant to tell him.)

Me: “Uh, it was under… Nancy.”

(The man gave me a glare like I’d just kicked his dog, and his neck started to turn pink. He shook his head, paid, and stood to the side while I grabbed his food. The manager saw what had happened and went over to make sure everything is okay. The man complained that picking up an order shouldn’t be this difficult, but didn’t ask for compensation. My boss listened to him, assured him that we would try to do better next time, and thanked him for his business. After the man left, my boss commented to me that it sounded like maybe his wife had placed the order in her name but hadn’t told him. I never saw the man again.)

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