Monday, April 9, 2007

Wardo's Curtain Call

Tonight was my last night to work with Manager Ward. He has taken a job working with Driver Steve at Rent-A-Center. His last day is Tuesday and he will be missed. Ward is a good guy and as much as I give him a hard time, he knows I like him and want the best for him.

Ward has actually come a long way in the 1 1/2 years that I have known him. He started as a server (I called him a waitress) and he became a Hourly Assistant Manager, or HAM. He used to live with his mother and now he has his own apartment. And he just recently turned 21.

I hope that he finds a little more direction for his life and that he develops some ambition, but he is a good kid, very strong in honesty, integrity and loyalty. I told him tonight that I hope he fails miserably and comes crawling back to us, but I sincerely hope this move works out well for him.

His legacy at our pizzeria will be "Wardsticks", or cheesesticks with jalopenos. I plan to explain this, and other secret recipes, in an upcoming post.

Meanwhile, back to tonight's deliveries. In 5 hours I took 11 deliveries, drove 41 miles, and made $24 in tips. That's actually a decent Monday. It was helped by 2 "triples" that I took.

One delivery of note tonight and it was not a good one. Driver Alison was out on a double and I was getting ready to take another double when I noticed a 5th delivery on the screen, to the Holiday Inn.

Now the Holiday Inn is actually not in our delivery area. Our computer won't accept addresses that are out of the area without a manager override. However, if the phone number was already in the system (and theirs was), the order-taker may not realize that it is out of the area, unless there is a notation on the record. And there was not.

Now normally as a driver, I would try to not take this delivery. As a store, we would call the next franchise over that actually DOES deliver there and transfer the order. However the order was paid by credit card so this could not be done. And since my double was actually to the far edge of our area and just a few blocks from the Holiday Inn, I volunteered to take it.

The ticket said room 129 so I walked in, past the front desk, and down 2 long halls until I came to room 129. I knocked a few times and finally called the number on the ticket. It rang at the front desk and I explained that I was the pizza guy and asked them to ring room 129.

I heard the phone ringing, with no answer. The clerk soon came back and said there was no one in room 129 tonight. Weird. The clerk also checked the name on the ticket and there was no one by that name registered at the hotel. The order was paid by credit card so it was not a prank. I called back to the shop and spoke with waitress Stacy who took the order.

Come to find out, she did not type in room 129 or the name on the ticket. They were there from the previous (and only) delivery to that address, way back in November. I asked if she remembered the room number that they did tell her or the name, and she claimed that they did not give her a name or room number. I find this difficult to believe but there I was.

I ended up leaving the pizza, in the hot bag, at the front desk. They were very helpful and I told them that when the customer called us back about his pizza, we would direct him to the front desk. Also I promised to be back after we closed to pick up the hot bag.

With that I finished my runs and headed back to the store. Eventually the customer did call back and I got to speak to him. I apologized for the confusion, told him where to find his dinner, and told him that if there were any problems he could call back and ask to speak to a manager. I then asked if he had wanted to add a tip to the credit card, and, much to my surprise, he actually added a $2 tip over the phone.

So in the end, I can't say that it made me feel smarter, but I did deliver to a Holiday Inn last night.

Oh and thanks to manager Doug who picked up the hot bag as it was on his way home. We also took the desk crew a pepperoni pizza to show our gratitude for their helpfulness.

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