Service with a smile… no, really!

25 Feb

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck.

Have you ever tried Cosi’s flatbreads? They’re essentially pizzas, but they don’t call them that. They should, because it would help set better expectations. I’m fine waiting 10 minutes for a pizza to come out of an oven; I am NOT fine waiting for a “flatbread” to be handed to me with melted cheese.

I only order a flatbread if I’ve packed an activity in my pocket – like my iPhone – so I don’t have to twiddle my thumbs waiting for it to crawl through the oven. Yesterday I ordered a pizza flatbread, tucked into a chair and amused myself while it cooked. When it was ready, the woman who presented it to me was wild with enthusiasm.

“Pepperoni! Pepperoni! Pepperoni Flatbread!” She had actually invented a SONG using my Pepperoni Flatbread as her inspiration. I will admit, it got me slightly more excited about my impending meal.

“Wow,” I commented. “You seem almost as excited about this pizza as I am!”

“That’s because I *made* this pizza.” She told me. “It’s mine! I did this!”

Holy shit. If only everyone had this kind of enthusiasm for their work, the world would be a different place.

I zoned out for a moment, imagining a world in which a McDonald’s burger wouldn’t arrive with the one pickle sliding off the bun, where one could actually sit on the toilet seats in public bathrooms, where the groomers at PetSmart might fancy themselves Paul Mitchells of the canine world instead of Flowbie operators, where CVS pharmacists would actually hustle to fill an order…

I almost lost myself there, imagining this Ayn Rand-like Utopia where everyone took pride in their work. But then my phone chirped with a text message, interrupting my revelry. It was a note from my friend Holly, who was apparently at the West End library trying to check out a book:

“Rita is having a HUGE fight with the other clerk at the library – classic!”

I wrote her back quickly, asking her to take notes.

“I got it – including an angry ‘don’t tell me what to do’ – it was awesome!”

As hard as I tried, I couldn’t imagine Rita every doing anything but stomping and scowling, regardless of her occupation. My visions of Utopia would have to wait. I retreated to my desk and bit into my small piece of heaven, with a nod to the woman who so enthusiastically crafted it. Rita be damned.

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One Response to “Service with a smile… no, really!”

  1. Holly February 25, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    I feel terrible for interrupting your visit to utopia! I would say Rita was in rare form . . . but Rita was in Rita form.

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