Friday, February 22, 2008

A Perk of the Job


I told my friend, Mary, when we met last month at the local Atlanta Bread Co., that since 1999, my job is to get people in trouble for not doing their jobs right, like Quality Assurance At Large. After giving a few examples, our conversation lulled and we went to the counter to order our food, the woman mistakenly charging me for the potatoes that come with my omelette.

Three employees later, I'm finally back at our table. "See what I mean?" It was all because the young woman who took my order hadn't bothered to learn the menu well enough to know that omelettes come with a choice of potato. Since it was only my second time there in three years and my first time looking at a menu, it isn't as though the menu is difficult to comprehend.

Like any other job, the routine can feel old. Sometimes, I feel like this country's going to hell in a handbasket not because of immorality or violence or other types of ungodliness, but because I encounter so many who aren't conscientious enough to do the job they're getting paid to do. "For the want of a nail...a kingdom was lost." I already posted about the last time I got groceries in "Little Foxes." Then, there was the $1.00 overcharged by an employee I hadn't seen before at the Chinese place I like.

She told me the amount then rang up my bill for a dollar more. Was she giving herself a tip? It might have been a simple mistake like a typographical error except the numbers were across the keypad. Because it wasn't busy, being close to 3 P.M. on a Wednesday afternoon, it's not reasonable that the bill for my food got mixed up with that for another customer especially since she took my order and had me pay right away.

It doesn't matter. Since I wrote $1.00 on the charge slip for a tip before I realized I'd been overcharged, all I had to do was report the overcharge to the other lady who promptly gave me a dollar after verifying the subtotal, tax, and total on a calculator with an apology for the first woman who disappeared after receiving my payment.

This evening, it's a little different. I'm tired of eating in and it's too cold and rainy for me to go out. What to do?

A coupon for two pizzas and a call to Pizza Hut is the answer. When my order arrives, I have a strong feeling to check the pizzas before signing the charge slip. Sure enough, the crusts are wrong and each pizza is missing a topping. After discussing the situation, during which I mention that the man who took my order said the computer was acting up with the driver responding, "No, it's his fault. I've been taking orders, too, and we haven't had any computer problems," I tell the driver to take them back and that I'll sign the slip when I get what I ordered.

After calling the restaurant to report the error and shorten the wait while my pizzas are made, I contemplate how ordering online might have avoided the situation. But if I had, I'd be avoiding doing my job and that employee wouldn't have been exposed for being so careless and trying to cover his butt in advance by telling me the computer was acting up.

A few minutes later, the shift manager calls. "I didn't realize you sent the pizzas back," he says. "You could have kept them."

"That's okay, I don't want them," I reply.

"It's our policy that we remake the pizzas and you get to keep the wrong ones," he explains.

Kewl! Four pizzas for the coupon price of two.

"But I don't want them. Both the crusts and the toppings for both pizzas were wrong. Probably the sauce, too, since it wasn't on the ticket. I'm guessing that regular sauce was put on them because the ticket didn't say easy sauce. Anyway, I don't want them."

Maybe if the crusts were different...

But, even if they were halfway appealing, what am I supposed to do with FOUR large pizzas? As it is with two, I'm going to be eating pizza for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for almost too long. I certainly don't want to be out in the cold, dark, rain knocking on neighbors' doors trying to give the extras away, nor do I feel like calling around and waiting for people to come get them. Neither way works for me and I don't want the extra pizzas hanging around here until the trash goes out.

When the driver returns, he explains that he didn't know he was supposed to leave the other pizzas with me and apologizes.

"Oh, no, it's okay. I don't want them and this way works for me," I say as I sign the slip for the voided charge and hand him the cash for a generous tip.

Two large pizzas for only the cost of tipping the driver. Sweet!

(Please read Malachi chapter 3.)


1 comment:

Heidi said...

Just as an fyi in case this ever happens in the future--take the extra pizzas. Wrap the slices in foil and throw them in the freezer. When you are ready to eat them, put them in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (a couple extra minutes if you use a toaster oven--not in the foil--unwrap them and put them on a baking sheet). It keeps you from eating pizza for every meal for days and makes for a handy meal when you don't feel like cooking. :)