Stuck In The Twilight Calzone

, , , , , , , | Working | September 18, 2018

(There’s a small Italian restaurant and bar just down the street from my apartment that offers dine-in or takeout. My roommate, who’s lived in this area longer, raves about the place, commenting about the fresh ingredients that aren’t chemically preserved, the brick oven for baking the pizzas, the friendly staff, and more. One day after work, I finally decide to try it. I drop into the apartment to ask my roommate what he wants, and after also getting input from his visiting girlfriend, we agree on two calzones and a pizza. With a knowing look, I tell him I’ll go alone so they can have the apartment to themselves for a bit, and that I’m walking over. Once I get there, I almost immediately place my order at the bar and specify that it’s a takeout order, and the waitress disappears before I can ask anything, such as, “How long until my order is ready?” Since it’s Friday and there’s a baseball game on, I elect to sit at the bar and enjoy the game and some bourbon while I wait. The bartender, the waitress, and I — along with a few other people in the area — chat for a while about bad decisions by the club and criticize the current game, all the while making sure my glass is full. After finishing my third glass, I tell the bartender I’ve already had more than I should and that my order’s probably almost done, so I’ll just enjoy the game until then. At that point, I casually glance at the clock, and I realize I’ve been sitting here for an hour and a half. I confront the girl at the counter about my order, and she disappearances into the back to check. Returning in her place is an older woman with a scowl on her face.)

Older Woman: “Why didn’t you come get these sooner?”

Me: “Why didn’t you notify me when they were done?”

Older Woman: “You didn’t leave your number!”

Me: “I’ve been sitting at your bar the whole time. The waitress who took my order has been by the bar repeatedly and spoken with me repeatedly. At no time did anyone tell me this was done.”

(Thankfully, the woman doesn’t seem to have a comeback. As expected, the items are stone cold. Despite the treatment I have received and the cold items she has presented, she’s genuinely amazed I don’t leave a tip. I share the whole experience with my roommate as we’re heating up the food, who seems genuinely surprised that the woman — who has apparently gone above and beyond for him in the past — behaved so negatively towards me. About a month later, when we both have our girlfriends over for a movie night, he decides he wants to try again, certain that things will be different this time. I bet him the price of the bill that he’s wrong unless he orders, and he bites. This time, I have my girlfriend place the order, from her phone, and have her specifically ask how long that should take before she confirms her order. The response is, “Forty minutes.” After timing it carefully to ensure she will arrive forty minutes later on the dot, I send her on her way and have her set her phone to record so we can play it back later.)

Girlfriend: “Hi. I placed an order about forty minutes ago. It should be under [Girlfriend].”

Hostess: “Sure, let me go check.”

(Seconds later:)

Bartender: “Miss? Can I get you anything?”

Girlfriend: “Just waiting on my order.”

(Roughly one minute later:)

Girlfriend: *hushed* “Still no sign of my hostess, but I think the bartender’s talking to the manager.”

(Moments later:)

Older Woman: “Y’know, these take a long time to cook!”

Girlfriend: “I know! My boyfriend had to wait an hour and a half last time he ordered this much from you! I’m so thankful you were able to do it in less than 45 minutes this time!”

(We subsequently agreed on two things. First, no matter how good the food is — and believe me, it was magnificent — we’re not going back ever again. Even my roommate joined the boycott now that he knows he was only special because he was a regular. Second, I’m not to let this girl go.)

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