Saturday, May 15, 2010

Friday Night Phone Call

The kitchen at the restaurant where I work is small and can only do orders take-out pizza if the cooks aren't already overtaxed by orders from diners sitting in the restaurant. So when people call to see if they can get pizza to go, we have to double check with the kitchen to see if they can take the order. We try not to say no, but for the good of the diners, sometimes we must.

This is all to set up the following phone call. Mind you, I can set it up, but I cannot explain it.

I happened to answer the phone during a busy spell. The man calling wanted one pizza to go, so I told him I'd check with the kitchen.

I came back with the verdict.

I'm sorry. I'm afraid the kitchen can't accommodate any to-go orders right now. But thank you for calling, I said.

But I'll come pick it up, he responded.

Well, no. The kitchen can't do any pick up orders right now, I repeated.

Can I get a pizza to go? he persisted.

I began to wonder what I was saying wrong.

No. We try not to say "no" to take-out orders, but right now we are quite busy and can only make pizza for people sitting in the restaurant and dining. There are no pizzas to go right now. None.

I used my most amiably authoritative voice.

And then he delivered the punchline:

Well, then can I get two pizzas?

It was the punchline, but he wasn't joking around.


You'll be most impressed by the fact that I did not hang up on the caller nor call him a moron. Though both were tempting.

Remind me not to answer the phone anymore.

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