Customer's don't always come in the form of anonymous strangers that you'll probably never see again. Sometimes they appear as family members, or worse yet, family members of friends. These dastardly relatives by proxy can be rude, drunk, cold, selfish and callous, and there's little to nothing an employee can do to better the situation or improve the experience. If I were to react hostilely, I would not only be punished by my employer for accosting a customer or for having a shitty behavior, I would be verbally assaulted/black-balled by the related co-worker that can't seem to figure out how to reign in their terrible bloodline from being a terrorist.
A shift runner of mine recently had her brother-in-law place an order with me. That's perfectly acceptable if said brother-in-law decided to be pleasant on the phone, at home when I delivered the order, and aware of who I was when I arrived.
You see, I arrived at my shift runner's flophouse of a home only to find the house empty. (Weird, considering there's a small colony worth of people that should be committed to a court appointed rehab living there.) I tried to call the brother-in-law to see where he was at and, as one would expect, I was promptly directed to voicemail. I spent the next handful of minutes just sitting in my car and contemplating the notion of driving my Civic through the side of their house. Right before my fantasy was about to become a reality, a lifted truck pulled up loaded down with a hot wife, a kid and a guy with Dickies shorts, a cut-off T and a bro-hat. An attire that screams of class, sophistication and a penchant for ripping bong loads and impregnating minors at high-school parties while rolling around naked on a pile of unemployment checks.
The guy walked up to me and said, "Sorry bro, I went to Chase to get money for the pizza."
First off, Chase is less than a block away from our store. All this crack addicted version of Carson Daly had to do was go across the street from Chase and pick up his food for a fraction of the price. Why would you travel four miles to be a school bus's length away from your pizza, only to travel another four miles to not be home when your pizza delivery guy shows up? It was like he was doing all he could to actively avoid his food.
He then followed up that gem by saying "It was fucked up. That guy Wayne on the phone wouldn't hook me up."
You know what's wrong with that statement? First off, I'm Wayne. Congratulations for inadvertently shit talking the guy standing right in front of you. Secondly, I'm not allowed to hook anybody up for delivery. Nobody is. We can give discounts to family for carry-out orders, but that means you have to pry your lazy ass up out of your recliner and make the long and perilous journey to our store. Oh, that's right. You already did, but instead you simply opted to go to the ATM and leave me stranded at your house.
He made to sure to end our conversation on a high note by saying, "Wayne told me you guys were going to be like 30 minutes. Wayne's a fucking liar, man."
...............I decided at this point I wasn't going to tell him I was Wayne. I wanted to see how far the shit talking was going to go. To my utter dismay, it ended there, but not without still managing to draw my ire. I mean, when did telling somebody you'd be at their house within the next 30 minutes lead to them being pissed if the arrival occurred sometime before that. I mean, it seems like customers should be pretty stoked to see their favorite fast food arriving early. I'm essentially recreating the very definition of what I'm delivering. It's FAST FOOD. Not slow to middling food. A speedy delivery means I'm doing my job well. It's not like I'm DirecTV and I'm giving you a three week window in which I'll make an appearance. I'm giving you a 30 minute time frame. I don't think that it's all that much of a challenge to hold your ground for all 1,800 seconds that I estimated that I'd take.
The most infuriating part of all of this nonsense is I got back to the store, complained to the related co-worker and was promptly me with nothing more than a hearty laugh. I didn't get an apology or even an insincere feigning of disappointment. I simply was laughed at. See, this is what I don't understand. If my brother-in-law came to my place of work and gave the business to our insiders, I would've never stopped apologizing for his behavior. For whatever reason, I would feel partly guilty for being associated with a cretin that decided to ruin the day of someone that I worked with. Instead, I received an apathetic and an uncaring response. All from the manager of a pizza parlor. Who would've thought, right?