In Mt. Lebanon, one of the many restaurants my roommate and I have ordered delivery from on many occasions is a place called Little Nippers. They serve pizzas along with hoagies and gyros, tending towards the more Greek end of the cuisine spectrum. The food is wonderful, which is why we keep ordering from the place. For the most part their delivery drivers are courteous and prompt, however in the past several months, ordering from Little Nippers has become a game of Russian Roulette because of one malcontent delivery driver.
Tonight I found out that his name is Paul.
We have had the misfortune of having Paul assigned to deliver our orders on several occasions now. He has never completed the task. We live in an apartment on the third floor; as the building is older, there is no elevator, however the stairs are not a terrible climb. Paul, in an affront to his title has refused to actually deliver the orders to the apartment. Every single time he will call us to announce his arrival - not even on the first floor, mind you, but outside the building; sometimes even across the street.
Tonight was no different. My roommate made the order, suffering the indignity of having Paul be the one to take it. She told me that he was extremely rude to her on the phone and dismissive as well, cutting her off on several occasions before she'd finished making the order. When the food finally arrived almost an hour later, Paul called claiming that he couldn't find our apartment building. Perhaps Paul suffers some form of amnesia, as he has been to the building on several occasions. In fact, while sitting in his car and not actually delivering food, he has had plenty of time to study his surroundings and commit the lay of the neighbourhood to memory.
I walked downstairs to get and pay for the food. Paul was standing right outside the door to the building. I used the toe of my boot to hold the door open as I stared at the pathetic middle-aged man in front of me. His face drooped, dripping of guilt as excuses flowed through his soft cranium. I noted the five o'clock shadow covering his cheeks - a rough appearance to match the rough treatment he'd given my roommate when taking the order, the order he could not actually complete the delivery for. The stubble parted and words began dropping like so much excrement from the hindquarters of a work horse.
"I couldn't find your building," said Paul. "Is the number in a weird place or something?"
I took the boxes of food out of his hands and glared at him. "The building number is posted right up front," I said as I crammed the exact amount the food cost plus one dollar into Paul's hand. At that point, I made a sharp 180-degree turn on my heels and began jogging up the stairs. "Hey," I heard Paul cry out behind me, realising that his tip was an intentional slap in the face. I continued my upward momentum. If Paul had something to discuss with me, he'd have to catch up with me.
When I got the food into the apartment, I decided to call Little Nippers before Paul had a chance to drive back. I was going to lodge a formal complaint against Paul. Unfortunately the manager was not in that night, but the woman I spoke to was very understanding and sympathetic. She also seemed like she had taken calls complaining about Paul before. I told her that while we loved the food from there and while most of their delivery drivers were excellent, we could no longer abide Paul's behaviour. He does not deliver the food, he is rude and he is inefficient. I noted that he was putting a bad face on the business and was going to eventually impact cashflow as people were not going to want to risk having to abide his behaviour. To put it bluntly: Paul should be fired.
I don't know that my complaint will do any good. I was told that we could request that Paul not deliver food to us anymore, which while a passable solution does not truly get to the root of the problem. Paul does not do his job - a person delivering food has a responsibility to actually bring it to the address on the slip. This means that the task is not complete until said delivery-person is knocking on the door of whomever made the order. A phone call requesting that residents come outside for their order is inexcusable.
As for his attitude, eventually that will begin to impact Little Nippers' bottom line. People are not going to want to become repeat customers for a place whose employees don't do their jobs and who are surely with them while telling obvious lies. I suspect that when Paul starts losing money for the business is when he will finally face the unemployment he so richly deserves.