When You Know It’s A Scam But You Have To Play Along

, , , | Right | September 20, 2020

I work at a nicer place, with pizzas more expensive than you’d think, so most customers we attract are pleasant. Most.

It’s midday, rush just ended, I’m cleaning up, and my coworker beckons me to the phone. It’s someone upset but coworker’s not sure what to make of it; I’m just wondering how much energy I’ll need to muster so I can sound convincingly friendly over the phone.

Me: “Heya, this is [My Name], the manager today. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah uh…so our food was messed up, uh, twice, yesterday. Uh wondering if we can get that… remade.”

Oh… so I’m dealing with this now?

Me: “I’m sorry, could you tell me more about that? You said yesterday? What happened?”

I’m nice to a fault, so I’ll give him a chance. A slim one.

Caller: “Oh, yeah, we ordered a sub? And it was, like, cold. So we needed another one, uh it had tomato too, wasn’t supposed to have tomato. And we got the second one but it was the same, had tomato on it. And uh… you were closed so I couldn’t call so…”

Funny how they always say they couldn’t call because we were closed. I begin casually rambling, seeing how he’ll react. I’m starting to have fun.

Me: “Huh, well the tomato would be our fault, I agree, especially since we did it both times, that’s on us. The sub being cold though, it’s possible they put too much meat on it. We keep it cold, see, in a refrigerated unit, so too much piled onto the sub might be cold in the center even after cooking. Experienced that myself a few times, I always love extra ham, but it does have its drawbacks. It could keep the oven from heating it up fully, keeping the middle cold, kinda like a microwave not heating leftovers correctly. Next time you order, you could try asking for the sub to be cooked well done. That’ll toast it up more. See if you prefer that? If not, we can work from there, see what works better for ya.”

The dude isn’t even phased.

Caller: “Okay…yeah, but uhh, whaaat can you do for us??”

Okay, 100% fishing for free stuff. Game on, bro. Let’s tango. He starts haggling, and I cut him off with a tantalizing:

Me: “Well I can’t remake the sub since you ordered yesterday and all, but I suppose I could possibly give you a two-dollar credit. What phone number—”

I was going to pull up yesterday’s records so I could make a show of not finding his order in the system, act all confused, really put him on the spot, but the dude latches on as soon as I mentioned something I could do for him.

Caller: “Oh sweet, use [RANDOM NUMBER THAT DOESN’T MATCH CALLER ID]. Name’s [Fake Name].”

Me: “Ah, you’re… ordering right now?”

Caller: “Oh, yeah, let’s see, I want a medium pizza—”

Record scratch.

Me: “Sir? Sir, the discount I mentioned was only for the sub if you were to reorder it.”

He isn’t going to get this anyway since I know I wouldn’t find his supposed order from yesterday.

Me: “If you want a pizza, I can’t apply the discount. Just giving you a heads up.”

Caller: “What? Whatd’ya mean, how’re they different?”

Me: “A sub is a sub. A pizza is a pizza. The discount would have been for the sub, since we messed it up yesterday. I can’t apply it if you’re ordering a pizza—”

I hear the sweet, satisfying click of him abruptly hang up. Game over.

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