So we’re clear from the beginning, I’m talking about the pizza place.
Just about twenty minutes ago I had, for the first time in my life, a very disappointing experience with pizza chain giant Dominos. I want to be clear in stating that I have always been a fan of their pizza (even though some of the food snobs in my life deride it is “fake”). Hey, you eat what you like, I’ll eat what I like. I have an even greater respect for the company’s founder, Tom Monaghan, and his philanthropic giving, especially in the name of his (and my) Roman Catholic faith. No, this, I hope, is just an isolated incident.
Mrs. Harvey has been gone most of the day. You see, today is the day of her mother Wilma’s mastectomy (please say a prayer). Being the courteous wife and mother she is, she had planned ahead for dinner. She set up an order for a couple of pizzas from Dominos and paid with a credit card. Wasn’t that nice of her? When the pizza arrived I made my way to the door where I greeted the delivery man. As he handed me a bag that had a bottle of soda (she thought of everything) he posed a strange question to me.
“Do you have the card you ordered with?”
I replied: “No, sir, I do not. My wife ordered it because she was going out. She’s got the card with her.”
“Oh, well…” he said. “I’ll, uh, I’ll have to call my manager and see what I’m supposed to do.”
OK, buddy, you do what you feel you have to do. Now I understand that he’s only a delivery man and it probably is some kind of corporate policy. But you had to involve the manager? Whatever. I went back to chasing after my darling children who were actually being quite delightful.
Almost five minutes later he returned to my front door. “I’m sorry, sir, but my manager says that I can’t leave the food.” I put that in quotes because it is a direct quote. I remember thinking about how odd that phrasing sounded. You can’t “leave the food”? Made it sound like I was some kind of indigent beggar or something. He continued, “Listen, next time you order from us you need to have that card with you.” Now he was just plain scolding me which I found extremely off-putting. “Oh that’s quite all right, sir,” I responded. “There won’t be a next time.” I guess that isn’t what he wanted to hear because he started to fumble for a different set of words. If I hadn’t been closing the door I might have heard them.
You know what bothers me most about this (other than not getting my pizza and having to tell the kids we were having something else for dinner)? It’s the absolute lack of common sense. Years ago I worked in a department store. I remember being told by the managers that we, as sales associates, were empowered to make on the spot decisions if those decisions would benefit the customer. In the past I don’t recall having to show the actual card with these folks. But clearly, he was fixated on that one thing he had been told in delivery man training — namely “get the card!” He could have suggested I put my wife on the phone to verify the card number. Hell, I would have asked her to snap a picture of the card and send it to me if he only needed to “see” it. But he couldn’t move past the card, the card, the card.
And so after tonight, I don’t know if I’ll be focused on ordering pizza from Domino’s again. It’s sad, really. Here in Texas we don’t really have authentic pizzerias like I had growing up so we have to rely on chains. Already, the Papa John’s won’t deliver to us because of we’re apparently “too far out of their zone”. News flash: we were farther from their shop when we lived in our last house; yet they still delivered there. I wonder if that house having been inside a gated community had anything to do with it.
Oh well, perhaps I’ll learn to bake pizza on my own…