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It’s Lonely At The Top… Because You’re Bad At It

, , , , | Working | January 5, 2022

My husband and I are regulars at this popular global pizza chain outlet. We always ask to be seated at the same set of tables because of this awesome waitress. She’s always smiling, she’s super attentive, she never gets the orders wrong, and she has great customer service overall. Every time, I compliment her in person and to her manager and leave fabulous online feedbacks.

During the course of about three years, I gather that she is studying in college and works here part-time. Once, I ask her about her wages, and I am upset because she doesn’t get paid a lot. My husband is a manager at a global footwear chain and I persuade him to hire her as they pay considerably higher. He just says that he would rather consider her after she’s finished her college degree as she can join as a manager-trainee rather than a store assistant — that’s if she is willing.

Then, just like that, we start eating more at home and we do not visit that restaurant for about a year or so. One afternoon, we are both back from work early and plan to meet at this restaurant for a quick lunch. The place is not so busy. There is no host, so we just seat ourselves at our usual table.

A new waitress brings us the menu. I am a little disappointed that we do not have our regular waitress but do not mention that. We place our orders: two meals (one drink, appetizer, and a personal pizza), one additional large appetizer, and a pasta. The waitress seems a little stressed out in general. We talk about the old waitress and think that she may have graduated and left this job.

We wait for a few minutes and our drinks have not arrived. We flag down our waitress and she signs at us that she’s getting our orders. Soon, she brings our drinks and just two appetizers that come with the meals. The large appetizer is missed out.

Me: “Hey, where’s the additional appetizer?”

Waitress: “Sorry, ma’am, it will take a while.”

Me: “Okay, no problem. And I ordered my drink without ice. This has ice in it.”

Waitress: “Oh, sorry, let me take it back.”

I never order drinks with ice because I start wheezing. When my drinks get mixed up, the staff (at all restaurants I have ever visited) usually remake the drink without ice, or, if it can’t be made without ice, they suggest me an alternate one. This drink can definitely be made without ice, so I send it back for a new one.

And we wait! After a long wait, the waitress is back. By now, we have finished off our appetizers.

Me: “Hey, did you just remove the ice from my old drink?”

Waitress: *Without missing a beat* “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “But I had taken a sip out of it. Even otherwise, why would you do that? Don’t you just remake it?”

Waitress: “No, ma’am. We are not allowed to remake drinks. You can place a fresh order, but we won’t replace this one for free.”

Me: “But my order said, ‘No ice’.”

My voice is stern and the waitress looks like she’s about to cry.

Husband: “You know what? Leave it here. Get a fresh one without ice this time. And please bring our appetizer soon.”

She looks relieved and goes away.

Husband: “Before you say it, I know; you were right and she was wrong. But she looks like she’s having a hard time.”

Me: “It’s not even crowded. Why would she be so stressed?! [Old Waitress] was super awesome; we never had trouble!”

After a while, the waitress brings our pizzas out. There’s no sign of our large appetizer and my fresh drink at all.

Me: “Hey, what about the appetizer and fresh drink?”

Waitress: “Ma’am, I’m really sorry about the delay. I will get them for you right away.”

Husband: “The pizzas are already cold!”

She just looks at us in tears.

Me: “Never mind. Please go and get the rest of the food.”

We eat the cold pizzas with no drink. We have waited long enough to just want to go away now. We flag her down again.

Me: “Hey, you know what? Please cancel the rest of the orders and get us our bill. We’d like to leave.”

Waitress: “Bu, ma’am, the appetizer is ready; I can bring it out.”

Me: “Go ahead and bring it immediately. But please cancel the others.”

She goes away teary-eyed and comes back with the appetizer, which is awfully cold already. I can’t take it anymore!

Me: “I do not want this; it is cold. Please return it and do not charge us for it.”

Waitress: “Ma’am, the manager will not allow it. You have to pay for what you have ordered.”

Me: “But we have only eaten cold food and you have gotten every order wrong so far. We have never had this bad an experience here.”

Waitress: “Okay, let me check with my manager about what can be done!”

Every time she goes inside the kitchen, she comes back looking worse. She’s now almost in tears again.

Waitress: “Ma’am, the manager does not agree. We will bring you the drink and pasta, too. We cannot cancel anything as it has been so long since it was ordered.”

Me: “Exactly, that’s the point. It has been so long and we just want to get away now.”

The waitress starts sobbing slowly.

Husband: “Hey, are you okay?”

Waitress: “Sorry, sir! The manager is cooking today as the cook has called in sick. She’s slow and has been getting all orders wrong since morning. We are having a tough day.”

Me: “Oh, no! That explains your stress. I’m so sorry for being harsh on you. Calm down; it’s not your fault anyway. Please get your manager here. We will explain the problem and cancel the rest of the stuff.”

She goes away to bring her manager. I hear someone screaming from the kitchen that the orders cannot be cancelled. A minute later, the “manager” walks out angrily with the waitress in tow.

My husband and I look at each other in disbelief; it’s our regular waitress! The moment she sees us, she’s all smiles.

Old Waitress: “Hello, ma’am! Hello, sir! How are you?”

Husband: “Well, not having a good time, as you may know by now.”

She looks sheepish.

Me: “You cannot remake drinks, orders are delayed, and food is cold. And you cannot cancel the orders?”

Old Waitress: “Ma’am, it reflects badly on our sales metrics to cancel orders.”

Me: “But you did it all the time when you were a waitress.”

She’s struggling to explain!

Me: “You knew that you couldn’t just take the ice out of drinks. Is that even allowed? That’s so unhygienic!”

Old Waitress: “Well, I made some changes since I took charge. But I can remake the drink now. We will get your food out soon. We will fix it, ma’am!”

Me: “No, you gave our waitress a hard time all this while and now you want to fix it. You have changed so much, haven’t you?!”

Husband: “Just cancel everything and give us the bill for our food. We are done here.”

She tried hard to convince us to wait, but we were beyond done by then. When we just placed the money on the table and started leaving, she was forced to give us the bill.

We tipped the waitress and apologised to her for the hard time she had. We really felt bad for her for having to deal with that obnoxious manager. I did give feedback about our experience and we haven’t been back to that place since.

My husband dodged a bullet by not hiring that lady. Now, any time we want to talk about someone moving up the ladder and becoming rude and obnoxious, we use her name!

That’s… Still Not Really Good

, , , , , | Right | January 2, 2022

I deliver pizzas. Once, during rush hour, I had four deliveries at once. It took me an hour to get to the last one. The guy is a massive jerk.

Customer: “I’m not paying because you’re late. If I wasn’t on good behavior right now, I’d mess you up.”

We blacklisted him.

They’ll Be Back Vegan And Again!

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: TheFiredrake42 | December 31, 2021

I work for a pizza franchise as the assistant general manager. One night, it’s just me, an insider, and two drivers, and things are slow, so I’m letting labor get a little high for the sake of getting some monthly deep cleaning done, which is a pain but necessary.

In walks a pair of middle-aged women, holding hands and discussing what they can order — not “should” but “can”. After looking at the menu for a minute, they just ask me:

Couple: “What would you recommend for a vegan pizza with no sauce? We don’t like tomato sauce, but normal, fresh tomatoes are fine.”

Me: “Does that mean no cheese, either?”

Couple: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay. Have either of you ever tried our garlic sauce? It’s canola-oil-based, not dairy-based, and I really like it.”

Couple: “No, but we could try it if it’s vegan. May we see the bottle?”

Me: “Of course!”

I grab the big jug to show them the ingredients and squirt a little into a deli cup so they can taste it. Their eyes LIGHT UP! They’ve apparently been eating dry pizza with no cheese for years because our ranch, BBQ, and buffalo sauces all have dairy, honey, and/or egg. This is a revelation!

I modify our veggie pizza for them after asking about their tastes and making some suggestions. I ring it up in a way so they will get to use a special, and I tell them so. I end up making them a large pizza with a regular fluffy crust, a spiral of oil-based garlic sauce, a sprinkle of dried garlic granules, Italian seasoning, baby spinach, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, banana peppers, diced Roma tomatoes, and black olives. I make sure all the spinach is as covered as possible so it won’t burn; this is normally what the cheese does but there’s no cheese.

After thinking, “There’s nothing on here to hold these toppings together,” I throw caution to the wind and add a little more garlic sauce on top. To be safe, I only cook it three-quarters of the way, and the sauce on top actually does crisp up the veggies and kind of stick them together a little.

I then show them the whole pie.

Me: “Is this done enough? Without cheese, a full run might start to burn everything.”

Couple: “It looks and smells wonderful!”

Then, at the cut table, I put more garlic sauce on the crust and season the crust with a zesty Roma seasoning, cut the pie, and show it to them again.

Me: “Be careful when you pick up a slice; without cheese, there isn’t really anything binding the veggies to the crust, and they might fall off.”

They nod. They’re so happy that I took the time to do all this, they decide to sit down right in front the counter and try a piece before taking the pie home.

Both take a few bites, make happy sounds, and come right back to the counter.

Couple: “Can we join your rewards program?”

Me: “That’s a great idea because I can actually save that pizza under your phone number. Then, other employees can pull it up if you want to order it again.”

They both signed up and I added the pie to both profiles. It only took a minute. Then, they left, thanking me profusely for introducing them to a pizza that wasn’t just overcooked veggies on a plain, dry crust. They began ordering every two weeks or so online, for pick-up at our drive-thru window, and I was usually the one that made their pizza. They always tipped me $5 if I was the one on shift when they drove up, which went into our tip pool for our insiders.

Sometimes they’d order one of our salads with no cheese or extra garlicky breadsticks seasoned with zesty Roma seasoning instead of grated parm when they earned free rewards like that. They once said that, because of me, they never ordered from any other pizza place anymore.

I left about a year later and heard from old coworkers that they’d asked about me and were sorry I’d moved on, but they stayed regulars. It’s a nice feeling, knowing that putting in a little extra effort to help out and take care of someone had such a large impact on them, even a whole year later.

Pepperoni, Cheese, And Disproportionate Rage

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Unusual-Researcher70 | December 30, 2021

I’ve worked as a pizza delivery driver on and off for the past couple of years. I’m in my early twenties, so obviously, I’m still getting the hang of being in the workforce. But I’ve worked in this industry long enough to have at least a few campfire stories to share of the world’s pizza-ordering crazies. Here’s one of the worst.

It was a busy Friday night. It was only me and a couple of other drivers working. We had a few call out and one had just simply quit, so we were already running on a skeleton crew, and the deliveries just wouldn’t stop coming in. It was so busy that the managers had to clock us in and out on doubles and triples just to stop the “numbers from looking bad”. Even though we were all hauling a**, the orders were still arriving late; we were just that shorthanded that night. But we were doing our best.

I got a delivery to a suburb that is not that bad of a tipping spot; it has some of my town’s nicer residents in it. It’s even got a public park and a ballpark nearby. My town has less than 10,000 people in it, and it’s a southern town, so usually, people are pretty nice. I pulled up to the customer’s place and parked in their driveway. It was a credit card order with no tip. That’s fine by me; they usually leave cash or write one in if there’s no pre-tip.

I approached the door and it seemed they were having a party inside, based on all the vehicles lined around the block. I figured it would be a happy drunk tip or something. But the lady that came out had a different vibe from everyone else inside the house.

Customer: “TWO G**D*** HOURS I HAD TO WAIT FOR THIS FOOD! WHAT THE F*** IS WRONG WITH Y’ALL?”

She approached me, snatched the receipt off of my delivery bag, and demanded that I hand her the food immediately. Her drunken husband appeared, as well, and backed his wife up by asking if the food was free. He didn’t seem aggressive, but he was not happy, either. At this point, my mouth was completely zipped. I usually greet all the customers and ask about their day, but obviously, there was no point here.

As I was opening the bag, the lady grabbed the bag from me and yanked it open. She jerked all her food out and handed it to her husband, right before SHOVING ME OFF HER PORCH and screaming in my face.

Customer: “NEXT TIME, I’LL ORDER MY S*** FROM [RIVAL PIZZA RESTAURANT]! TAKE YOU’RE A*** OFF MY PROPERTY! THIS IS D*** RIDICULOUS!”

It took literally every bit of willpower in the universe not to physically retaliate against this woman. While my mother raised me to never even think of raising a finger to harm a woman, she never said I couldn’t defend myself. And had the lady continued on to actually physically harm me more, I would’ve done so. But it was just a light shove. And even though she was totally in the wrong, I took one for the team and just left. All without saying a word. At the time, I felt that was the right thing to do.

I got back to the store and laid out the entire story to my managers, and their response was to immediately call the police. Not a surprise. I didn’t think of doing it at the scene of the “crime” as I wasn’t actually hurt, but I feel like I could’ve done it if I’d wanted to. You shouldn’t assault people, period, let alone your delivery driver, just because your food was late.

The police said nothing would end up happening legal-wise, mostly because I left, and that I should’ve been the one to call, etc. I wasn’t too worried, though; I just wanted to be sure I didn’t ever have to deliver to that address again. Could you blame me? My manager made sure we blacklisted it and made it so they couldn’t even place a carryout order under the same name. Since then, we haven’t heard a thing. And ever since then, on busy nights, if I know an order is already late, I call the customer to inform them I’m coming. It takes a couple of extra minutes, but I’m sure it saves me from the potential assault.

Magical Multiplying Pizzas

, , , , , | Working | December 27, 2021

I’m going to surprise my spouse by ordering pizza. I prepare to sneak out the door to go pick it up.

Spouse: “Pizza’s on the way. Hurry back.”

Me: “What do you mean, ‘Pizza’s on the way’?”

Did the toddler rat me out?!

Spouse: “I ordered pizza. It’ll be here soon.”

Me: “I ordered pizza.”

Spouse: “We both ordered pizza?”

Me: “How much did you spend?”

Spouse: “$30 for two from [Company #1].”

Me: “That pizza had better be fantastic, because I spent $15 for a large three-topping and cinnamon thingies from [Company #2].”

Spouse: “Yeah… I didn’t want [Company #2], and it was delivery plus tip.”

Me: “Welllll… Guess I’ll go pick up my order and we’ll just have $45 of pizza.”

Spouse: “I’ll call my brother and see if he’s hungry.”

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

I get to [Company #2]’s location. I head in.

Me: “Hey, I know I’m early. The pizza’s probably still in the oven, but I just wanted to let you know I’m here whenever it’s ready.”

Pizza Guy: “Oh, we haven’t even started your order. Our computers have been down all day. We’ve just opened. We’re an hour behind on orders. We’re calling everyone now to see if they still even want their orders.”

Me: “Oh.”

Pizza Guy: “We’ll go ahead and get started on your order right now.”

A lightbulb pops on in my head.

Me: “Actuallyyyyy… funny story. My spouse and I both decided to surprise each other with pizza for lunch. His is being delivered, so I came out to pick up this one. I truly would much rather pay you guys for the pizza, but I don’t really need both orders.”

Pizza Guy: “Haha, that’s great. You hear that, [Coworker]? Don’t worry about that order. We’ll go ahead and cancel it for you.”

BUT IT DOESN’T STOP THERE!

I head home and the delivery guy shows up.

Delivery Guy: “Just sign this and here’s your pizza.”

Me: “Oh, okay, here you go. Weren’t there supposed to be two pizzas?”

Delivery Guy: “Uhh… yes… Ah… Let me check my car… I might have mixed up the order with someone else’s pizza back at the store. I’ll be back with it as soon as I can.”

Me: “Oh, thanks. Sorry for the mixup!”

Delivery Guy: “Me, too!”

A short while later:

Delivery Guy: “Here are your pizzas. We went ahead and credited your account for two free pizzas next time you order.”

And that is is how you get two free pizzas by trying to buy too many pizzas.