Or, "My Punishment for Ordering Pizza"
We rarely do this. At least in recent history. But, on a Thursday night, after a long day at work, where I sustained a minor injury due to my own clumsiness, my husband suggest we order pizza to be delivered. I succumbed, against my better judgement. We discuss who we should call, because we live in something of a pizza delivery wasteland, where the only options are chains, so we attempt to select the best of the worst...Sarpino's.
We used to order Sarpino's when we did order delivery pizza, and it wasn't bad, and their service was decent. We stopped about a year ago when all that changed. We suspected this particular franchise might be under new management, which caused the quality and service to go downhill. It happens. We just started making pizzas on the grill, and we like them a lot. But, on this ill-fated day, we decide to give them a second chance.
Sarpino's has an online ordering system that gives you updates on the status of your order. Very cool, except that it sets an expectation of when your dinner should arrive. We received an email at 7:11 stating our pizza was "out for delivery." In my world, that means in the driver's car, on the way to my house. And in the past, that usually meant he was at our house in 10-15 minutes. So, tick, tock....
Thirty minutes pass, then forty...we start peeking out the door, wondering if the delivery driver is at the wrong house. I am just about to call the store, when we hear a knock. Hooray ! Pizza ! My husband answers the door, takes the credit card slip from the driver, and asks "So, what happened, that it took 45 minutes to get here ?" The driver, stands there, stunned. Ray signs the slip, and asks, "Has the pizza been riding around in the car for 45 minutes?" The driver then says "Just give me the receipt!" grabs it, and the pizza, jumps in his car and drives away. Huh ?
We stand there, stunned. What just happened? Our pizza took 45 minutes to get to our house from a storefront 10 minutes away, and now we stand here, credit card charged, and no pizza. I call the store, ask to speak to the manager. A nice, young man, by the name of Alex, comes on the line. I explain what happened, and Alex says, "I don't know why he took the pizza." OK, me neither. I ask that he make sure our credit card doesn't get charged, and ask if he can explain why it would take 45 minutes for a pizza to get to our house from his shop. Alex tries to explain that the email is automatic (of course it is), and that just because it goes out, doesn't mean the driver actually left with the pizza. This makes no sense to me.
I tell Alex we have a problem now, because we have now been waiting over 2 hours, we have no dinner, and we're upset. He offers to send the driver back to the house with the pizza, but quite frankly I don't want a pizza that has been sitting now for well over an hour, nor do I want to wait another hour for a fresh one. I tell him just make sure the card isn't charged, and email me confirmation of this (which he claims he can't do). Again, he offers to have the driver bring out the receipt. I don't want this driver anywhere near my house, he wasn't scared when he left here, he was ANGRY! So, we agree the best course of action is just to leave it at that.
We order another pizza, from another place, and the waiting begins again. Approximately 45 minutes later, there is a knock on the door, and we think it is our fresh, new pizza from the newly selected restaurant. No, it is someone from Sarpino's ! A nice, more mature gentleman presents us with a pizza and a gift certificate and says, "Alex would like you to have this, with our compliments" and leaves. I am stunned. It was a nice gesture, yes. But now we have another pizza on the way. We are ravenous by this point, so we open the box, and each take a slice. It's horrible tasting, undercooked, and slimy. And at some point, Ray looks at me and says, "You know, they might be angry with us, and messed with this pizza in some way." We both put down the slices of pizza and grimace. And now we have a gift certificate for a place we really have no interest in patronizing again.
The whole experience kind of put us off pizza in general. We had a ton of left over pizza this morning as I left for work, my original plan being to take some for lunch. I couldn't stomach it, but I am not sure if it was the actual pizza or the experience that made me feel that way.