Friday, May 7, 2010

Strange People

In my job, I meet a lot of strange people. Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about, even though this isn't a recent example. I knew I'd been at my job too long when I started to know where people were, even when they gave me a bad address. In one such instance, I had to take a delivery to an apartment complex. Even though the address I had was wrong, I knew where the complex was. I even had a unit number. All I needed now was the building number, but I figured I'd call when I got there.

When I arrived, I did indeed call. I got voicemail. The good news was that the name on the phone message matched the name on the delivery ticket, so I knew I had the right person. I left a message, and waited for a few minutes. When I didn't hear back from her, I decided to try the front office. Unfortunately, the front office was closed. When I got back to my car, I called the woman again. This time she answered. When I asked what building number she was in, she spoke very slowly and carefully. "Building number six seven zero." I also confirmed the apartment number. I happened to be parked right in front of that building, so I told her I'd be up in thirty seconds.

The apartment number she'd given me was on the third floor. I rang the bell and knocked. No answer. I waited, and then rang and knocked again. No answer. This was a first for me. I dialed her number again. No answer. I didn't know quite what to think about all this. Usually, when someone orders pizza, they're waiting and ready. Perhaps I'd caught her at a bad time, or something. I ran and knocked once more, and then called again. This time, I left a message, and said I'd wait another five minutes, but after that I had to take this pizza back, and if she wanted it re-delivered, she'd have to call the store.

I sat in my car and waited. No callback. Finally, I headed back to the store. I didn't hear from this woman again until I'd taken two more deliveries. She called me on my cell, sounding harassed. "You coming?" she asked. I explained that I'd tried to deliver the pizza to her and she hadn't answered her door. "I told you, building six five zero," she said, sounding annoyed. "I've been standing outside my door waiting."

I guess the moral of this story is this: if you order pizza, get your address right the first time.

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