Saturday, 28 May 2016

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Husband biking a mountainous 80km tomorrow so deserves nice dinner with lots of carbs.

Other dinner guests also could use comfort food at this moment.

Call Very Reliable Italian Restaurant and take-out place with the burgundy awning that I have never done business with, but that everyone raves about. 

Woman On Phone exceedingly patient with me as we review menu items that need to be ordered in advance and are therefore unavailable to me eight hours before I need them, menu items that are mispriced, and those that are only available for large catering jobs.

Finally settle on a Vegetarian Lasagna for 20 (we are 12, but hungry), a side dish and two fancy desserts.

Will not deliver for less than $250. We will need your credit card number to process the order. Oh, and Lasagna will not be hot when you pick it up, says Phone. 

Sure - blah blah, expiry, blah blah code on back. And no problem, I can reheat it. How long will that take?

An hour and a half. It's not a reheat. We assemble it, and you will have to cook it at home. We will have it ready at 5 o'clock.

Lasagna will be ready at 5. Guests coming at 6:30. With a longer than usual drinks period, this will work out exactly.

At 5pm I am walking out of my office and getting into my car.

At 5:40pm there is absolutely no parking anywhere near the restaurant.

Call to ask if anyone can bring it out to my car while I double park.


Is the order ready and waiting?

Yeah, yeah, no problem.

So I can just run in and it will be there?

Yeah, yeah, no problem.

Call boys at home and ask them to preheat the oven so that will waste no time getting that lasagna a-cookin'. 

17 year old son B says Mom you are being ridiculous. Why don't you just order pizza, it's Dad's favourite food anyway, and forget about the Lasagna.

I can't just forget about the Lasagna! I already paid for it! (possibly may have wailed) And I couldn't find a spot to pull over on Sherbrooke and Draper  in front of the restaurant. Now I'm like 10 blocks away! 

Mom, B says gently, easing me into a straitjacket, you can freeze the Lasagna. Why don't I take care of ordering the pizza, you pick up T from school, and we can have the Lasagna next Friday.

Oh that's so smart. Ok, ya, that's what I'll do. Thank you for saving the day.

Get T from school and pull over across the street in bus lane.

T goes in to get order and says, Mom what if they gave away the order what do I do.

There's no way they gave away our order, I paid for it.

30 seconds later T is on the curb saying They gave away our order.

Call Very Reliable.

Yes sorry we gave away your order by mistake. I can give you a meat lasagna.

(OH perfect. So the vegetarians will eat meat tonight because you gave away my paid for order.)

That's not going to work.

Look, I'm sorry for the mix up.  I can give you two 6-person lasagnas for the same price as you were paying.

Why would I take 12 servings for the same price as the 20 person I ordered and paid for?

Look ma'am I'm really sorry. This isn't my fault. Alright fine, I will give you three 6 person lasagnas.

Um, then I will still be short. No thank you. I will still take the side dish and desserts.


Complaint Lessons Learned:

1. Math skills essential in Vegetarian Lasagna serving computation
2. Very often when someone says This Isn't My Fault, it's completely their fault
3. 17 year old boys are good at ordering pizza
4. Cookies and ice cream picked up from 24 hour convenience store weren't half bad. Maybe should have tried their lasagna.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Got Refund for Shipping But Still Jonesing for a Bun

New job is in office building next to a mini-mall that has a nail place, a Tim Horton's and a bakery that smells so amazing that to walk by every morning is to gain 11 pounds.

On my way home when bakery calls me.

We have your package.

I didn't order a cake?

No, your package ma'am. It was delivered here.

Did I drop something? My mind does a quick inventory of things that could have possibly escaped my grasp as I salivated in the window of the buns place sashayed past the bakery nonchalantly.

Am coming up blank.

Your package ma'am. Did you order something on-line?

As a matter fact yes I did.

Can you come pick it up?

Why would my package be delivered to you?

I don't know ma'am, it wasn't my shift. Boss just asked me to call. Can you come pick it up?

Next morning crunch my matza as enthusiastically as I can, knowing that I am going to have to stop at bakery to pick up my package yet really can't eat a thing.

Wait in line between guy in plaid shirt  buying pink Hello Kitty mochi and three girls in mini skirts and high boots giggling over their tray of Cha Siu Bao pork buns and bubble tea.

Try not to breathe too deeply because just being in the presence of all these pastries is a serious calorie risk.

Serving person goes in the back, and retrieves my package.

Puts it on the counter. 

I just don't understand why this package was delivered to you?

I don't know ma'am, it wasn't my shift. 

I reach out my arms to take it.

Not so fast.

Before you take the package, ma'am we need to see a picture ID.

You're kidding. 

You want me to show ID for my package that you accepted even though it has neither your name or your address on it?

Well, we wouldn't want it to end up in the wrong hands.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Just Ask

Husband buying very boring office supplies, lets call them sealant valves (which do not really exist, I have made them up because I don't remember what he was actually buying and it is not salient to this story).

On-line price list says:

  1. Buy 1-100 for $11.80
  2. Buy 101-499 for $11.79
  3. Buy 500-999 for $11.78
  4. Orders over 1000 for $11.77
Husband picks up phone and calls company.

There is not a lot of variance in your pricing. I need to buy a bunch of sealant valves. Is there anything you can do?

First, we need to know what sealant valves are. I don't see them here in the catalogue.

Oh, it's a term my wife made up. She means the boring office supplies that I need to fix dishwashers.

Sure, that makes sense. Ok, I will speak to my manager.

*Husband waits 30 seconds*

Yes. My manager says we can take 20% off the list price.

Complaint Lessons Learned
1. Sometimes you get stuff just by asking for it
2. Not everyone likes the phone, but for saving money it can work better than e-mail
3. Wonder what mark-up is since they can take 20 points off without missing a beat
4. Husband not only makes the best coffee but is also a fantastic complainer

Monday, 15 February 2016

Knitting Complaint

Let me preface this by saying how much I appreciate all of your charity knitting and support for all of my projects.

Today's post may possibly be a slight exaggeration just to have something to blog about on this freezing Monday to strike a mirthful note in the hearts of many while gingerly making a point.

Now, for the Knitting Complaint

(Not that I would ever complain about knitting)

Was asked to provide 20 hand knit hats for homeless men for local charity project.

Sounded the siren call of all knitters and six days later was sitting on N's couch with popcorn in one hand, a diet coke in the other and a half a homeless man's hat on my #7 circulars in the other. (Yes that's one hand too many. Maybe explains difficulty in completing project.)

What (Some) Knitters Said 
1. Here's a neck warmer. I didn't feel like knitting a hat but homeless men need neck warmers too, right?

2. Here are slippers. I made them for myself but they are kind of baggy. I guess the homeless men can use slippers too?

3. Here's a pink and yellow striped hat. Maybe there are some homeless women? Or homeless men who are secure in their masculinity and want to make a fashion statement? You know like hetero men who wear skirts? Or nail polish?

4. Here's the hat I was supposed to give you for the charity project you supported in 2012.

5. Can I have an extension? I'm sure the homeless men can use hats in summer, too.

What I Responded
Sure, of course and no problem.  Any hat, scarf or cat sweater that you would like to donate will no doubt be appreciated by the under-housed community of our great urban centre.

So, Where's The Complaint
I think it's interesting that when asked to give charity so many of us want to give what WE want, not necessarily what the CHARITY needs. 

When someone calls and asks for help - and it can't be easy to make that call - let's at least give them what they want.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Exams, Complaints and a Pasta Recipe

Click here to read my latest post for about why grocery shopping on an empty stomach is wrong.