me (faedreamer) wrote in bad_service,

The Mystery of the Missing Driver

This is super long and convoluted but there's really no way to consolidate lol.

So last night at around midnight, my wife and I wanted to order something to eat while watching a Top Chef marathon. The only place open at that hour on a Sunday night is a calzone place. We like them so yay, steak and cheese calzones on the way! An hour goes by before we start to wonder if something's amiss, but they've been slow on other occasions so we just assume everyone else is ordering too, since they're the only game in town at that hour.

Finally, we get a call from the driver. Now, this is a bit of a sticking point between us and delivery drivers in general. We live in an apartment building and it's our belief that the drivers ought to still come to the door. Some don't, but we always ask them to initially. Usually as long as they at least come to the lobby we don't mind coming downstairs to get it. This guy says no problem, he'll use the call box so we can buzz him in.

Fifteen minutes pass. Hmm. He said he was right outside when he called, he ought to have buzzed by now. The phone rings and it's the driver on his cell again, wanting instructions on how to use the call box. Because it's not at all printed right there ON the box (pro tip: it is). But we tell him how - punch in the apartment number and we will buzz. He seems extremely relieved to have this complicated procedure explained to him and hangs up.

Ten minutes pass. No call for us to buzz him in. Umm... So at this point my wife decides to go down to the lobby and just get the food herself. Possibly the box is broken? But no! Just after she leaves, the driver finally figures out how to work the call box and rings the apartment to be buzzed in. I inform him my wife is on her way down so just wait for her. He cheerily agrees.

Then my wife calls me from her cell downstairs - the driver is nowhere to be seen. She goes so far as to go outside and check to see if he's parked far from the door, but no one resembling a delivery person is there. I put her on hold and call the calzone place to let them know their driver has left without giving us our food. The manager I speak to puts me on hold to call the driver, then comes back to say the driver says he went back to his car for a cigarette, but is there outside our building now. I click back to my wife to see if he's shown up and she says nope, he's not there. I tell the manager his driver is either lying or invisible. He suggests maybe the driver has the wrong building. A fine theory, except the driver had to have been in our lobby in order to use the call box to our apartment like he did. So no, not the wrong building, he's just gone.

Confused, the manager says he will refund our money and send out a new order for us. It's now almost 1:30 in the morning, but we're night owls and plan to be up for another few hours at least so we say okay. If nothing else it can be reheated for lunch.

Twenty minutes later, the phone rings and it's the original driver on his cell. He claims he's downstairs and has gained entrance to the lobby and is "trying to figure out how to get upstairs." I direct him to the elevator and, when he still seems confused about how to get upstairs, I instruct him on the use of said elevator (push the up button, step on, push the number three, voila). Admittedly snotty but seriously, it's been almost 2 hours since we ordered and nearly an hour since the first phone call from him saying he was there with our food. He again cheerfully thanks me and says he'll be right up.

Do you want to guess what happened then? If you're thinking he doesn't show up, you're correct! Fifteen minutes later I call the calzone place and inform the manager his driver appears to have fallen into some sort of space time continuum vortex previously unknown in my building and perhaps they want to send a rescue party for him. Note please also, that it's now forty minutes since our replacement food was supposedly being resent and still no food.

We assume no food is ever going to arrive so we head to bed. You'd think that would be the end of the story, but oh no, dear reader, not quite! At precisely 2:30 am, there is a knock on our door. We climb out of bed and answer only to find a delivery driver. All I could think to say was "Are you even serious right now?" I received a befuddled look before the guy informs me he's a different driver. The other apparently found his way back to the restaurant and somebody realized at that point we'd never gotten any food. I genuinely could only laugh at this point. On the bright side, they did include a free two liter of coke. o_O

ETA: (from the comments) OMG I forgot to put the last part in! The driver who finally did show up told us the first guy claimed he'd gotten to the elevator and, before getting on, had a panic attack cause he's claustrophobic and, like, bolted or something? I...didn't know whether to believe that was true or not. If it was, I wish he'd said so because we'd have come down a second time to try and get the food. But I'm skeptical based on his disappearance the first time before he ever got into the building, let alone to the elevator.

tl:dr delivery driver goes missing in various ways and I now suspect there may or may not be a vortex of lost time somewhere in the elevator shaft of my building.
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