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People Don’t Have Unlimited Time, You Know

, , , , | Working | September 22, 2022

I decided to try a chain pizza joint for lunch today. The place has been slowly going downhill for a few years now, even before the global health crisis, but I had some rewards points to use up, so I took the chance.

I put in my order online, scheduling the pick-up for 12:45 pm since I had some errands to run first. The restaurant has a drive-thru pick-up window, so I pulled up at 12:44 and rang the doorbell near the window to let them know I was there. After a few minutes, an employee came to the window and took my order details.

Employee: “Your order’s not ready yet? Could you please pull into a parking spot? I’ll bring your food out when it’s ready.”

I parked my car facing the door, got out my phone, and waited…. and waited… and waited. Nobody ever came out with my food, so at 1:05 pm, I finally got out of my car and headed inside.

A different employee with a name tag identifying him as the manager was at the register.

Manager: “Can I help you?”

Me: “I had an online order for [My Name].”

Manager: “Okay, let me look.” *Checks and comes back* “It looks like everything is just about to go into the oven, so it’ll be about fifteen minutes.”

Me: “Actually, can I just get a refund? My order was supposed to be done at 12:45. It’s already after 1:00, and I have other things I have to do.”

Manager: *Getting defensive* “Well, this is the lunch rush, and we only have two employees. We’re kind of slammed.”

Me: “I get that, but my food is already more than twenty minutes late, and I don’t have any more time to waste waiting around for it. Please just give me my refund so I can get food somewhere else.”

Manager: “Don’t blame me; blame [health crisis]. Give—”

Me: “I’m from [Town we’re in]. I’ve lived here my entire life. Every other restaurant in town right now has enough employees to at least cover the basics. If you don’t, that’s your problem, not mine. Please just give me my refund now.”

The manager grumbled a bit more, but he finally processed my refund. I walked out, got back in my car, and managed to get through a fast food drive-thru in the same time it would have taken for my food to be done at the pizza joint.

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