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He Constructed His Own Demise

, , , , , | Working | March 8, 2023

I work construction but when work is slow, I deliver pizzas.

I have one very annoying team lead from the construction job. He was the kind of guy that would watch you make a mistake, then berate you and call you an idiot for that mistake. Not a nice guy by any right. He was also prone to using misogynistic, racist and homophobic language, as well as looking down on anyone who earned less than him. 

Another thing he loved to do was brag about how doting his wife was and how she was a homemaker. Nothing wrong with that, but he also bragged about how hot his girlfriend was, and how much they did it when his wife thought he was working overtime. 

I got a delivery with a familiar name. I arrived at the house, knocked, and he opened the door. He looked quite surprised.

Team Lead: “Hey, I didn’t know you delivered pizzas!”

Me: “Yeah, when work gets slow. Anyway, that’ll be $15.”

Team Lead: “Here you go, don’t spend it all at once!”

He hands me $15.05 and looks super smug about it.

I take the cash, am about to turn around and say just loud enough that anyone inside might hear:

Me: “Hey [Team Lead], is this your girlfriend’s house, or you and your wife’s place?”

The color drained from his face, and he handed me an extra $20.

Free Of Gluten, Free Of Thought, Part 11

, , , | Right | March 6, 2023

I work in a pizza place that has large open brick ovens where the customers can see all the pizzas being cooked. I have just sat a family at a table and the mother speaks up.

Customer: “No, no this won’t do. We’re far too close to the oven.”

Me: “Is it too hot, ma’am? I can move you a bit further away.”

Customer: “No, it’s the gluten! I am deathly allergic to gluten and if I am this close to the oven I’ll breathe in the gluten particles!”

Me: *Not even attempting to engage with this level of stupid.* “Okay, ma’am, we can move to you to this table here.”

Customer: “No, this is still too close! I need to be as far from the oven as possible. I’ll take that table there.”

Me: “That table is already occupied with diners, ma’am.”

Customer: “So? Move them!”

Me: “I can’t do that, ma’am. That is their table until they have finished their meal.”

Customer: “So you want me to die, is that it? You want me to die from the gluten!”

Me: “No, ma’am, that isn’t what I am saying. I just can’t move you to that table.”

Customer: “So then you want me to die. Got it. I’ll be writing about this on Yelp!”

At this point I call my supervisor over, as threats of a bad review are usually “mitigated” by management. I explain the situation, he silently mouths a “wow” and then engages with the customer.

Manager: “Ma’am, I assure you that no one is trying to kill you. However if your gluten allergy is as severe as you claim, then I am afraid we cannot help you. You would be best served by another establishment?”

Customer: “What?! You’re not even going to try to accommodate my medical needs?”

Manager: “We always strive to accommodate as many allergies as possible, ma’am, but if gluten waves being emitted from our oven in the back of the kitchen might kill you then I fear what all the other diners tearing into their pizzas literally all around us right now might be doing to you.”

Customer: “I am the customer and you must accommodate my needs!”

Manager: “You haven’t sat down and ordered anything so you’re not a customer. You’re a liability. You threatened to write a bad review on Yelp so you’re the kind of customer who is just looking for something to complain about.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous!”

Manager: “No, what is ridiculous is faking a gluten allergy so severe it’s impossible, just to get the table you want. Well now you get no table. Please leave.”

The customer glares in outrage but complies. The level of awesomeness of my manager’s takedown was only matched by the level of weirdness of the customer’s family just staring at her behavior and doing absolutely nothing. Seriously, I don’t think they even blinked.


Free Of Gluten, Free Of Thought, Part 10
Free Of Gluten, Free Of Thought, Part 9
Free Of Gluten, Free Of Thought, Part 8
Free Of Gluten, Free Of Thought, Part 7
Free Of Gluten, Free Of Thought, Part 6

They’re Not Just Phoning It In

, , , , | Working | March 1, 2023

When I first worked delivering pizza, orders were taken by hand on carbon-copy-like forms. There were no computers nor cash registers; prices were figured by hand by using a pricing guide taped to the front counter. The store where I worked, near a US Army base, had a bank of five phones. Orders were taken either by assistant managers (who also made pizzas) or specifically hired order takers. Drivers were strictly drivers; we came into the store, put our bags down to mark our place in the delivery queue, and then took off again when we were assigned an order or two.

After my second week, I was about fifth in line. A phone started ringing, but evidently, our order takers weren’t in. I went over, grabbed a pen, and answered. As I was picking up the receiver, I saw my store manager gasp in fear that I’d mess things up.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store] at [Location]. My name is [My Name]. How may I help you this evening?”

I proceeded to take the order perfectly: filling out the order form, tearing off the carbon copies, handing one copy to the pizza line, and gluing the rest to a box. My manager came over and gave me a high five. Within two more weeks, he’d promoted me to driver trainer.

A few months later, my manager was transferred to another store, which was at the time the busiest franchise in the world. One Friday night, he asked if I could help at his store since he was short a few drivers.

It was truly a hectic store, but it ran well. At one point, a phone rang. But there were about six people between me and the phones, so I was going to let them answer. After three rings, my manager shouted:

Manager: “[My Name]! Get the phone!”

I answered and took the order, hoping that they were in our delivery area. (They were.) Afterward, I went over to my manager.

Me: “[Manager], sorry about that. I just saw a half-dozen people by the phones, but none of them went for the phone.”

Manager: “Yeah, well, that’s because none of them speak English. But they’re really good at delivery.”

We Keep Going Round In Circles

, , , | Right | February 28, 2023

An elderly lady calls to order a pizza.

Caller: “And I want those little red circles, whatever they’re called.”

Me: “Pepperoni, ma’am?”

Caller: “You kids keep changing the name, but yes, the pepperonomy, thank you.”

Can’t Support Their Argument

, , , , , | Right | February 27, 2023

On one very busy day in 2016, we have about an hour wait for pizzas and are operating at max capacity. We inform all customers of the wait time before ordering.

I organize the pizzas waiting for pick-up, page customers when ready, and make sure they get their orders and any extra condiments and accouterments they need. I grab the pizzas with my left hand so I can hand them extras with my right.

One customer comes to me when paged. I check his order number and match it to a pizza to give to him.

Me: “Here’s your pizza, sir. Do you need anything else to go with it?”

He grabs the pizza with one hand.

Customer: “No, that will be it, thank you.”

Me: “Okay, you’ll want to carry that with two hands.”

Customer: “I’m a chef. If you can hold it with one hand, then so can I.”

He then proceeded to pull the pizza out of my grip.

The thing you need to know about our pizzas is that when they’re not takeout, they’re served on corrugated cardboard disks that are just slightly larger than the pizza. If you hold these disks from just the right angle, they can support the weight of the pizza, but from any other, they will buckle along the lines on the cardboard. If you’ve ever tried to fold a box and seen how it folds in one direction extremely easily, you’ll understand.

He pulled the pizza out of my hands and, as you’ll expect, he had the wrong grip on it. The cardboard immediately folded, and five of his eight slices fell to the ground.

To his credit, he didn’t try to blame me for it and accepted that it was his fault. We made him a remake, and when he picked it up, he made sure to use both hands. But his hubris meant he had to wait almost two hours for a meal instead of just one.