We’d Like To Give Them A Pizza Our Mind

, , , , , | Working | January 21, 2021

During a busy day at work, I decide that I don’t feel like cooking tonight, so I decide to try ordering a pizza online from a new pizza joint in town. Like most restaurants, the website gives you the choice of when you want your order to be ready for pickup, so I enter my usual dinner time. It’s about five hours into the future, because I still have four hours to work for my own shift.

After work, I run some other errands to kill time and then pick up my pizza and head home to eat. With the first bite, I realize that something is off; this is definitely not a fresh, hot pizza at all. I call the pizza joint to complain and ask for a fresh pizza.

Employee: “Hello, [Pizza Joint]. How can I help you?”

Me: “Hi, I ordered a pizza online earlier today. When I picked it up and tried to eat it, it was almost stale. I would like to return it for a fresh pizza.”

Employee: “Okay, can I please get your name?”

Me: “[My Name].”

Employee: “Okay. You ordered a [specialty pizza], correct?”

Me: “Yes.”

Employee: “And what was wrong with the pizza?”

Me: “It’s barely lukewarm, and the crust tastes like it’s gone stale.”

Employee: “I see. Our records show that you were almost five hours late picking up your pizza, so unless there’s something actually wrong with it, there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Me: “How could I be five hours late when the pizza wasn’t supposed to be ready until 6:00 pm?”

Employee: “Our records show that you placed your order online at 1:00 pm; is that correct?”

Me: “Yeah, but I chose to have it ready at 6:00.”

Employee: “Um… sir, that’s not possible. We don’t have that option on our website.”

Me: “Yeah, you do. I’m literally looking at the receipt for my order right now. It says 6:00 pm pick-up.”

Employee: “Well, the order came in at 1:00 pm, so we made your order at 1:00 pm. If you wanted a later pickup time, you should have ordered later.”

Me: “Is there a manager I could speak to, please?”

Employee: “Sir, the only person above me here is the owner. I guarantee you he will only tell you the same thing. You were late picking up your pizza. If there was nothing wrong with it, we can’t replace it. Goodbye!”

The employee actually hangs up on me. Frustrated, I drive to the restaurant, pizza in tow, to speak to the owner, who turns out to be the employee’s father. He sides with his son/employee in claiming that I was just too late picking up my order, even after I show him the email receipt that very clearly shows I wanted my order at 6:00 pm. I decide to just get my money back, and after ten minutes of arguing, the owner finally gives me my money back.

But wait… there’s more! When I get home, I leave an extremely negative review on the restaurant’s Facebook page — nothing nasty, just a thoroughly detailed account of what happened — and end up reading similar negative reviews from other customers. About an hour after I leave my review, the owner chimes in on the post, in true Not Always Working fashion, to try and refute my order. Of note here: I am a black man while the owner is white.

Owner: “[My Name], for the last time, we do not have that option on our website. Never have, never will. Maybe if you used regular time instead of [racial slur] time, you would get fresh pizza.”

I chose not to respond any further, but I did report the owner’s response to the local Chamber of Commerce. I live in a very politically liberal area where racism is absolutely not tolerated by local authorities. The pizza joint’s business license for our county was revoked, and they were forced to shut down.

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