Update – November 3, 2015
This morning I had the opportunity to speak with the owner of Main Street Pizza in Hudson MA. I summarized for him the story I tell below. His response was awesome. He appologized for the treatement I received and said he would address it with his staff.
I have no idea if he will or will not as I don’t plan to go there for pizza any time soon. But if he does, and the woman in question learns the error of her ways, than I am more than willing to say, if you like pizza and subs, Main Street Pizza in Hudson MA has good food. If the service improves, even better.
Just leave your cell phone in the car. 😉
I will never eat there again, and I warn you to be cautious if you do.
I Just Wanted a Sandwich
It was November 2, 2015, 4:00 PM EST. I was driving home and was hungry. Given that I had to pick my son up from school in an hour, I figured I would stop by a local pizza shop to order a sandwich. Like many times before, and because it is on the way to my sons school, I pulled into the parking lot at Main Street Pizza in Hudson, MA.
I was on the phone at the time talking to my sister. The shop was virtually empty with one person who appeared to be a customer and two woman working the back.
I walked in, and did laugh a little at something my sister said. I wasn’t rude or obnoxious, but could tell the woman behind the counter seemed a bit turned off by it. No problem. I put my sister on hold and ordered my sandwich. Then I went outside the pizza shop to continue my conversation.
Was it the phone?
After a bit of time, and while I was waiting for my sandwich to be prepared, I went back into the shop, still talking to my sister on my phone, but not loudly at all.
The woman was behind the counter when I took my money out of my pocket and placed it on the counter. At this point it might be interesting to note that she was not busy, and was just standing there waiting for my sandwich to be done in the oven. (I ordered a toasted sandwich.)
It is also relevant to note that when I placed my money down my hand made a slapping sound on the counter. It was not done intentionally, or with any type of hidden intent or agenda, but it did seem to irritate the woman to some degree.
My immediate sense was that she had a hair across her ass for what she perceived to be my rudeness talking on the phone.
It is important to note here that this is a hole in the wall run of the mill pizza shop with no signs posted re cell phone use. The place was empty anyway. What happened to me next might explain why.
“I can see it.”
Now that my money was down on the counter, it seemed to have occurred to this woman that I was ready to pay. She, as if I was presenting a huge inconvenience to her, made her way over to the cash register, which was directly in front of me.
I help the money up for her convenience to which she snarled and rolled her eyes. So, I placed my arm on top of the bottle of water, resting it until she came around to making the time to actually take the money.
Well, she wasn’t satisfied that I understood her angst, so, in her infinite wisdom, she literally yelled…
“I can see it!”
Apparently she was deeply disturbed by my very existence. So much so that the very thought of me holding my money in the air, making it easier for her to collect it, made her mad with anger and rage.
And whats worse? She wasn’t yet satisfied!
“Do you want your sandwich?”
I could tell, given that I am a shrewd judge of character, that she was upset. While I was a bit blindsided by her rage, I maintained my tone and tried to point out to her that my arm was not suspended in air, waiting impatiently for her service. It was in fact only suspended by the bottle in front of me because I am lazy and didn’t want to place the money down, or hold it up.
She looks at me, after I tried to explain, and literally yelled…
“Do you want your sandwich?”
OK, now at this point, I have enough. I am the customer. I am trying to give her money. And now she is threatening that if I don’t confirm to her fucked up view of reality that she was going to deprive me of my food???
While she was threatening me, I was asking her if she saw my arm, and naturally, I was heated. Her response? To slam my change down on the counter just before she went to retrieve my sandwich from the oven.
I was beside myself wondering what the hell was going on.
So I asked her, “Do you own this place?”. She said, “No”. To the other woman in the back, who apparently, with a simple grunt, while doing nothing but sitting on her ass, seemingly in agreement with the way I was being treated, I said, “Give me my money back, I no longer want the sandwich.”
As I left, I could hear the two woman chattering in disgust at my lack of wanting of their sandwich or treatment. There was not even close to a sense of humility.
Was I Rude?
It is always possible that I am not reading the situation correctly. I was on my phone which these days does aggravate some people. However, I paused to order and then went outside.
Was the way I handed the money over a problem? Maybe. I did slap my hand down, but not with malice. It was just a sound a hand makes when it comes into contact with a counter top.
Did I need to hold my money up in the air? Well, to be honest, I AM THE CUSTOMER. I should be able to pay for my food when I am damn good and ready to pay, and as long as I am not yelling and screaming, how I want.
I don’t really give a crap that she was deeply offended by either my call, my hair style or my money. I don’t care because it was a 7 dollar sandwich at a 7 dollar pizza joint. This wasn’t the Ritz. Neither she nor I should expect to be treated like the president of the United States.
More than that, absent my being over the top offensive or mean, I am the one whose position should be deferred to. I am the dude offering money for food. Since that is the model of this business, it behooves the owner to hire people who place a high value of serving my needs over their own.
I left. Went a mile down the road, and ordered my sandwich there. Not only did Main Street Pizza in Hudson MA lose my business today, it lost it for good. And why? Because the cognitive distortion of a middle aged woman who couldn’t put her personal feelings aside for even a small moment in time to take the money from a customer who basically pays her wage.
She is not the owner yet acted with the certainty of a business owner who was saying, “I don’t need your business.”
I can assure you, Main Street Pizza in Hudson MA is not a business without competition. I am sure the business owner would not be happy to learn that his sandwich counter girl is making executive decisions as to who they will or will not serve.
In the end, the owner of Main Street Pizza in Hudson MA lost a customer over a $20 dollar bill suspended in air, hovering, waiting to be stuff into the register: a capital acquisition that was never to be.
If you go there, be warned, if the woman who served me is working, hide your phone, don’t smile, and whatever you do, don’t offer her any money until she explicitly tells you she is ready to receive it.