"Didn’t realize ‘Pizza, Pizza’ was literal…"

After a long drought of socializing together, this Friday marked the return of E and I hanging out together, drinking wine, laughing at stupid DVDs of bad television and just having an all around fun time. We intended for it to be a recipe night, where we’d both try recipes and see how they turned out (it’s like an old 70s Tupperware party, but no cheap plastic containers or money changes hands). Plans changed, though, and I ended up making bread pudding (which turned out horribly), while E suggested we order a pizza. Fine by me.
So I get on my PC and log into the Pizza Pizza website to place my order online. It goes through without a hitch and we settle back in to our TVCarnage DVD, never suspecting the drama that was about to unfold in my apartment.
The pizza itself arrived on time (as in under the 40 minute guarantee) and I got up to answer the door with E’s $20 in hand (he was paying). I opened the door to find a slightly distraught delivery man with his heated pizza bag in his left hand and a bag of 3 Pepsis in his right. He handed me the cans of pop in a plastic bag and opened his pizza carrier. I could already see, sprawled across the side, the address of the building next door. He looked up and said, “I’m sorry, I delivered your pizza to my last location and now this is their pizza.” Opening it for me to examine the pizza, clearly in hope that I would want it anyway, I kind of turned my nose up and he closed the case.
“I’ll go back and get your pizza and bring it here for you,” he said.
“Ok then,” I replied and closed the door.
I put the cans on the kitchen counter and then E came up to me and said,”He’s gone to the other place? You don’t want a pizza that’s been sitting in someone else’s apartment for at least 15 minutes.”
And so began my phone call to Pizza Pizza. I got into touch with a customer service rep and explained the situation, quite calmly and succinctly, telling her that I didn’t really like the idea that I was going to get a pizza that’s sat in someone else’s apartment for however long, etc.. The customer service rep was really helpful and said, “No, that’s totally fine.” She proceeded to replace my order free of charge so that there would be a fresh pizza for me. The woman apologized and said she would put me in touch with the store directly. I waited on hold for a bit but eventually was put into touch with someone else who I explained the entire story to again. They also understood my point and replaced the order. I asked what I should do if the delivery guy comes back and they said to explain the situation to him and he’d come back to the store and redeliver a fresh pizza. Fine by me.
About 10 more minutes passed and there was a knock at the door. Shit, the delivery guy with my pizza from the other apartment. I opened the door and sure enough it was him, with a pizza box in hand. He tried to hand it to me and I told him about calling customer service because I didn’t want a pizza that had been in someone else’s place and about the reordering, etc. He tried to hand it to me again and said, “This is the pizza.”
Confused, I looked at E and asked how long it had been to which he replied, “Like 12 minutes.” I turned back to the delivery guy and said,
“This can’t possibly be the new pizza.”
“Oh no, this is the one from the other apartment.”
“Ok, because I phoned and they’re making me a fresh one so you can take this one.”
“But sir, you take this one,” he said, pushing it to me again, “And I’ll go back and get you the other one.”
“I don’t need this one and I don’t want it after it’s sat for however long on someone else’s counter.” I pushed it back to him.
“No, just take it. I’ll bring you the new one, too.”
“Um, okay,” I said and pulled it towards me.
“Just so you know,” he started to open up the box I was now holding, “They did eat one piece.” With that, he opened the box enough to reveal a lovely pizza with a piece missing, marked by a pile of crumbs where it had once been attached to the rest of the pizza.
“DUDE!” I shouted, pushing it back towards him, “I don’t want a fucking pizza that someone else has had a slice out of, got it? Take it back to your store and bring me the new order they’ve placed for me. I do NOT want this.”
Slightly dejected, he took the pizza and put it back in his carrier bag. Then he looked up at me and put his hand out. I looked at him quizzically and said, ‘Yeah?”
“The money for the pizza, sir.”
“I don’t have a pizza, so why should you have money? I’ll pay you when it gets here,” I said, forgetting that they’d told me it was free of charge, but frankly, at this point, he was so out of line, I wouldn’t know my ass from my elbow.
“But you pay me now and I’ll bring it back for you.”
“No, you go back, get my pizza and then you’ll get money. No pizza, no money.”
“Sir, you can trust me. I’ll take the money now and bring your pizza back. Trust me.”
“No. Go back, get the pizza, bring it back and then I’ll pay you. Goodbye.” I closed the door and I turned to E, who was as shocked at the audacity as I was. I was willing to let this go – I mean, the guy is just trying to make a living and is probably not paid that much, so whatever, right?
Another 15-20 minutes later and there’s a knock at the door again. I get up and open it to the delivery man standing there. He pulls out a nice fresh pizza with the correct address sprawled across it’s side and I grab it. As I’m about to put it down, he pulls out the bill and I say, “That’s free of charge, right?”
“Uh, no – it’s $17.94.”
“I phoned customer service and they told me they’d replace the order and it would be free of charge.”
“But sir, that’s customer service – it’s in some office somewhere – that’s not the store.”
“I don’t care if its the store or not because the people I placed the order with just told me that because of YOUR mistake, I’d get a fresh pizza free of charge.”
“That’s not right, sir. That’s not the store.”
“I don’t care if its the store or not, that’s what they told me. The reason you’re here with a fresh pizza is because of that phone call, so is the bit about it being ‘free of charge’ suddenly unimportant?”
“Sir, that’s an office somewhere, its not the store.”
At this point, I was completely livid that this douchebag, who is clearly inept at his job, was giving me a hard time, but I was willing to see what else he had to say for himself.
“So you’re saying Pizza Pizza lied to me and that I actually have to pay for the pizza?”
“No, but that’s not the store.”
“Do you want me to call them right now while you’re standing here?” This comment clearly set him off, especially as I think E was reaching for the phone in the background. He now switched gears entirely.
“No, sir, you don’t have to call them, but you’ve already called once and I’ve gotten into trouble. Then you’ll call again and I’ll get into more trouble.”
“You’re standing here telling me that your customer service department has no bearing on what you do, but you’re afraid of getting into trouble if I call them? Something is not right here.” E came into the conversation at this point and brought up the fact that the person we spoke to spoke to the store. The delivery guy was having none of it, though.
“Sir, you know, I made the mistake and I brought you the pizza back. Its my fault, but I brought you back a fresh pizza.”
“A FREE OF CHARGE fresh pizza. And only after I had to FORCE you to take back the one you tried to imply was a) new and then b) uneaten, when in fact neither was the case. I don’t want a fucking pizza that’s sat on someone’s counter for god knows how long. So I called and the woman told me she’d resubmit the order FREE. OF. CHARGE.”
“But she doesn’t know sir – it’s not the store.”
“Yeah, I heard it already.”
“You know, sir, I am a student. I’m studying for my PhD in Engineering. You make more money than me – I can’t afford to pay this.” From this point on, he took on a pouty, almost tearful tone.
“Then I guess you shouldn’t have fucked it up, huh? Seriously, this is ENTIRELY your fault but I’m being made to feel like I’ve done something wrong. I’m the injured party here. I don’t care how much money you make or if you’re a student. You made a mistake. Period.”
“But sir, its only $18, I’m a student.”
“I don’t care. Honestly, if that’s such a blow to your finances maybe you should get another job. And frankly, if you fuck up so often that free of charge pizzas put you in financial ruin, you should look for something else.”
“Sir, you make so much more than me and now you’re telling me that you won’t pay. You’re a regular customer.”
“YOUR COMPANY TOLD ME NOT TO PAY and it’s YOUR mistake. What does it have to do with MY behaviour?! This is your mistake. You made the error. You delivered the pizza I ordered to someone else. End of story.”
“Sir, I know it’s my mistake, but I’m a student.”
“DUDE! Go speak to your manager if you can’t afford to pay for your own mistakes.”
“But, you…”
“No. They said it was free of charge.”
“So you’re not paying?”
“No. What’s your name?”
“It’s Sam.”
“Good. Bye.”
“Okay, fine sir,” he said, looking pissed off. I closed the door and looked at E, totally flabbergasted. We were pretty much in shock for a good couple seconds, but then I decided that the fucker was gonna get in real trouble if that’s his attitude when he fucks up. I called customer service again and explained the story, including his attempt to push a pizza on us that was already eaten, implying that I was a liar and made special reference to the fact that he kept repeating that the customer service department didn’t dictate what happened in the stores. The woman was utterly appalled that he would try to give us a pizza that had been in someone else’s house and was missing a slice. I continued, explaining the entire shouting match in my hallway and the fact that he tried to imply that my (relatively) larger income made me less worthy of receiving good service. I then told her that I wasn’t looking for a free pizza or a coupon or anything, I just wanted them to know that this guy was totally out of line and embarrassing. She said she’d immediately phone the manager of his store as soon as she got off the phone with me and I left it at that. We did end up enjoying the pizza, despite the disastrous delivery incident.

Cut to Saturday night and Ian and I are leaving to go out for our weekly drinks outing. We get on the elevator and the thing stops at a few floors on the way down. Eventually we got to the 7th floor and doors open. Who gets on? You guess it – the delivery guy. He looked at me for a second and then averted his eyes. Ian wasn’t there, so he didn’t recognize him, but it was more than my life was worth to stop myself from saying, “So Ian, I guess he didn’t get fired, then.”

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~ by seangstm on July 31, 2006.

6 Responses to “"Didn’t realize ‘Pizza, Pizza’ was literal…"”

  1. OMG this is too funny! Maybe this student should take an ethics class!

  2. Oh, I know…I honestly kept the argument going for about 5 minutes just to see how long he would argue it for.

  3. Holy mother of god! I’m surprised you kept your cool for so long. I think I would have punched him – no lie.

  4. On a positive note, the chicken/pepperoni combination you chose was “magically delicious”!

  5. So where are you going to get your pizza from now? Or are you cool with spit?

  6. Wow, the fact that this guy advertised that he is a PhD student in Engineering is amazing.

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