Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Customer Relations 

It was driving home from Kill Bill, the other night, that I was reminded of my favorite customer service experience. It goes all the way back to when I worked at a little place called Upper Crust Pizza. During the golden days of Upper Crust, the place was run by a guy named Jeff, though everybody called him Wade Boggs. See, everybody had a baseball name. The owner -- Antonio -- he was Big Stein. Me? I was Billy Joe Robideaux. Eh, what can you do?

So there was this regular customer who would always come in for a pick-up (we were a strictly pick-up or delivery joint). She was a 50-something woman who was very straight and strict and liked her pizza ready now and thank you very much. But every time she came in to pick up her pie, I couldn't do it -- I couldn't bring it out to her and take her money because I was laughing too hard. And that's kind of a constant in customer service -- not a great idea to laugh at the customers.

No one else could do it either. Not anyone else there could take this woman her pizza, which is when, of course, Wade Boggs stepped in. When the order came in that fateful Wednesday at 5:00, we all told Wade Boggs, "I'm not doing it. I can't." So to stick it to us, he says, "All right. I'll show you how easy it is."

It was about 15 minutes later that the woman with the unfortunate name of Mrs. Kuntz walked into the Upper Crust.

"Pizza for Kuntz, please."

The poor bastard manning the register just stumbles into the back, holding in the laughter. Wade Boggs runs out front.

"Was that a pizza for Koontz?" he says, real fast, straight-faced, already moving back to the kitchen. To this day, I don't know how he did it.

"It was a pizza for Kuntz."

From the kitchen, now, out of her sight: "Oh, pizza for Koontz?"


Louder now, from the back of the kitchen, with the rest of us cooks and drivers rolling on the floor or hiding in the walk-in freezer: "Was it Koontz?!"


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?