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Park And No Recreation

, , , , | Right | June 15, 2021

I cash a woman out at the drive-thru. The order is something that can take a couple of extra minutes to prepare, so sometimes we ask people to park if they order it. However, we happen to have a fresh one ready that has just finished cooking, so I do not tell her to park.

Me: “Here are your drinks. I’ll be right back in a moment with your food.”

I turn away and walk over to the bagging station to get her order ready. Again, the food is already cooked, so I’m only waiting about thirty seconds for the kitchen to put it together. I happen to glance back over at the window and see that she’s gone, and my next car is at the window.

We’re located on one end of a plaza, and the parking lot stretches for a good 250 feet from one end to the other. It’s also packed. I can’t leave the store since we’re busy, but I do try to spot her from our front window as best I can. Not seeing her, and thinking she drove off, I tell the kitchen to cancel the order. People have done this before, so I think nothing of it. We finish off the remaining orders.

Ten minutes later, the customer comes stomping in.

Customer: “Why didn’t you bring me my food? I’ve been waiting out there for ten minutes and you said it would only be a moment!”

Me: “Ma’am, I had your order ready. When I turned back to bring it to you at the window, you were gone. I looked but didn’t see you in the parking lot, so we cancelled the order.”

Customer: “But you told me to park! Why didn’t you look for me?”

Me: “I didn’t ask you to park. I said I’d be right back. I did look for you, but because we were busy, I couldn’t leave to walk around the parking lot to find you. I can give you your order right now, though, if you don’t mind waiting a moment for us to get it back together.”

She agreed to take her food now, still complaining about how everyone always makes her park and how I should have gone on an expedition to find her. 

I handed over her order, and since the rush had died down, I watched her leave just to see exactly where she’d parked. She was at the opposite end of the lot; I had to walk out our front door and past three other stores to see her.