In the course of human events, there are evenings when making dinner oneself is an unfeasible task, and circumstances necessitate the ordering of a pizza.
Despite the convenience of delivery, it is cheaper, and often easier, to order from home and send someone to pick up the pizza.
This appears an even better plan when one person is on their way home from work and willing to stop by on their way home from work.
On the day in question, I drove the 90 mile round trip to and from work, instead of using the bus as usual, so I could return home in time to assist my sister with setting up for our friends bridal shower. In order to expedite dinner, Mom ordered pizza when I was about 20 minutes away, and I went directly to the pizza shop.
It was on my way home.
It was simple.
The pizza shop was a typical franchise storefront, with a narrow waiting area, and a large industrial kitchen dedicated to the mass production of pizzas. Most employees are young, high school or college students, some more awkward in their youth than others. The cashier embodied the stereotypes of the American Pizza Shop Employee, similar to the workers at Pizza Planet in Toy Story. This teenaged young adult was doing the best he could with the trifecta of phones ringing constantly, one of two cash registers broken, and no one to assist him with taking both in-store and phone orders.
I stood at the counter for about five minutes, before I used my “assertive, I’m not angry yet” voice to say I’d been there for a few minutes. The cashier looked increasingly frazzled and overwhelmed while another employee retrieved the pizzas my mom had ordered online. I received the boxes, and wondered why there was only one pizza and not two. I called Mom, she checked the online receipt. One of the pizzas had somehow gone missing between the check-out and receipt page. There may have been a wormhole involved.
I opened the one pizza, and it did not match the order.
I was presented a series of dilemmas:
- I was running out of time before we needed to leave to set up for the bridal shower.
- The online site is a corporate service, while this pizza shop is run by a local franchise owner. It is not the fault of the young cashier that the online site made our pizza disappear.
- However, it was the fault of the store that the one pizza we did have was not the right pizza.
I stepped forward and took action, deciding to forgo the second pizza problem, and deal with the one that was the store’s fault. A young woman, fresh to her shift, showed poise, courtesy, and intelligence and took care of it.
However, this left me waiting another fifteen minutes.
And another dilemma: Did I demand remonstration for my wasted time and frustration? In other words, would I berate the manager on duty, explain my frustration, and demand a free pizza to soothe my wrath?
On one hand, my role as part of the American Capitalist, consumerist society is at play. I am right, for I am the frustrated customer. You need my business and word of mouth to maintain business. I deserve the free pizza.
On the other hand, I believe in Christ’s words, “Love one another,” and am a fan of Gandhi and other leaders of non-violent movements – all which center around the dignity of all human beings. Also, I have worked in retail. I have manned the cashier during the madness of Valentine’s Day and the lead up to Christmas in a Hallmark store. I have stood, berated by a customer frustrated by their outside worries, all culminating in shouting at a minimum wage cashier trying to do their best customer service in the face of immovable forces.
This stereotypical cashier and his bright eyed co-worker are not the ones who developed the pizza corporation’s website. They are not the ones who made one of the two cash registers fail. Nor did they decide the person manning the front counter also needed to take phone orders, forcing the cashier to choose between the person in front of them or the loud brrrinng of the phone, taunting them, letting them know they are just not fast enough to do it all.
Ultimately, do I choose between making this young cashier’s day harder and more stressful in order to gain a free pizza, or do I step back and let it go?
After all of this thought, I received the corrected pizza.
And made my way outside.
At first I agonized over my decision, wondering if I had been too passive, if I should have let my greed take over.
However, later, after having the chance to eat, and to let the emotion fade, I’m glad I did not pursue the free pizza.
This may be a small thing in a world full of dark and unspeakable crimes against humanity. However, it also millions of small things put together which make this world a brighter, better place.
The bridal shower went very well, and everyone had a fantabulous time. The couple have now been married nearly three weeks, and are having a great time. As a bonus, here is a picture of me at the non-scandalous bachelorette party.
SIDE NOTE 1:
This week is Independence Day in the US. That means a great excuse to watch shiny fireworks and eat ice cream. Happy Birthday, USA! You’re 237 years old, but still only look 29.
SIDE NOTE 2:
I saw this Infographic For Authors on The Queen Creative, and thought it was fun and worthy of sharing.
SIDE NOTE 3:
Work In Progress Editing Update: 69,000/90,000 Words (about 21 hours)
I am nearing the Epic Conclusion of the book. That means a lot of action scenes to make sure aren’t repetitive.
SIDE NOTE 4:
As many others have heard, 19 firefighters in Arizona were killed in the line of duty. Out of respect to them and to their families, here’s a link to a local organization accepting donations to relief to families: 100club.org
If you can’t afford to donate, I am sure they will accept prayers (regardless of religion or denomination). Prayers and good thoughts are always free.