I was in the mood for pizza, and went to the little Italian restaurant in my shopping center. I had been there many times and had gotten yummy food and good service. Their pizza slices are known for being tasty and inexpensive food.
It was about three in the afternoon. After the lunch rush.
This time, they had a new employee. A woman in her forties or fifties, who was, um, not very familiar with the theory of take-out food. She was staring at the slices of pizza in the case in front of her. I said "Hi!" and, a moment later, she looked up.
"Hi. Do you need something?" Alrighty then.
My order was one slice of pepperoni pizza and one medium Coke to go. Really complicated.
First she had to ask a coworker if they offered takeout. She had apparently missed the large sign and the register they have set aside for takeout. Besides, don't all pizza places offer takeout? And hadn't she already gotten through the lunch rush, when half the people coming in wanted a slice to go?
Then she had to ask where the takeout cups were. Someone pointed them out. She then filled the cup with ice and soda, carefully placed the lid on, then put it in a plastic bag and tied the bag at the top. I managed to keep a straight face when she handed the thing to me.
Then she had to have help in figuring out how to re-heat the slice of pizza. With assistance, she was able to get the slice onto a tray, then into the rotating pizza oven.
Then she stood there with a blank look on her face as everyone else rushed around her, making food and helping other customers.
I had to remind her to take my pizza out of the oven. "Oh, I have to take it out? I'm sorry." She seemed annoyed that I had interrupted her reverie again.
She then needed instruction on how to retrieve the pizza, and pack it. She was warned to keep the pizza slice level as she sandwiched it between paper plates then placed in a paper bag. And she kept it perfectly level, with exaggerated care.
And tipped the slice on its end as she handed the bag to me. And walked away from me and stared at the wall.
Desperately fighting laughter, I handed the plastic bag back to another employee saying that I didn't need it for my drink. And asked him to ring me up. I assured him that she had not, in fact taken my money, when he asked to make sure. He stared at the bag - now wet with condensation, heaved a deep sigh, then cheerfully took my payment.
When I got back to the store, I found that the slice of pizza had been bent in half in its mishandling, and that my drink had three ice cubes.
For some reason, I never saw her again.
Not the worst service, but pretty damn clueless. I was laughing for the rest of the day.