There’s a bodybuilding-themed healthfood restaurant near my office that makes wonderful carrot soup and delivers within 15 minutes, so I’ve ordered from them twice this week. Each time, I’ve submitted the order on my Seamless app and then received a call within ten minutes from a middle-aged South American man in a neon orange vest who delivers for them on bike.
Each time he calls, he yells and makes me feel awful about the entire transaction.
For instance, today’s call:
[My phone is ringing and it’s a number that’s not in my contacts. I am expecting two calls from unknown numbers today, one food-related, one work-related, so I don’t know which this is.]
A man: [Garbled noises, wind, syllables. Maybe someone is calling me from their pocket by accident.]
Me: I’m sorry, what?
Man: [More sounds. This phone is at the bottom of a bathtub. Or haunted.]
a long pause
Man: DID YOU ORDER FOOD?
[The intonation is such that it emphasizes his power to, at any moment, revoke my food. Do you want to go to Discovery Zone? Do you want to go to Amanda Copeland’s grandma’s lakehouse this weekend? Then clean your fucking room.]
Me: Yes! Yes I did order food.
Another pause. Wind.
Me: Should I come down to the lobby and get it? Was there a problem with my order?
He hangs up.
Assuming that he wouldn’t have been reporting live from a tornado had there been a problem with the order, I ventured down to the lobby.
Standard protocol is to call the customer once you’re outside the building or waiting downstairs. He had done neither.
I stood in the empty marble entryway with our security dude for three minutes, doubting a little more with each passing second that I’d interpreted the phone call correctly. Then, right as I was about to retreat to my desk, the delivery dude threw the glass door open and unceremoniously dropped my paper bag of soup at my feet.
From his armpit he pulled a receipt and a pen.
And before I was done with my squiggle he ripped both from my hand and disappeared back to the sidewalk.
Like a PTSD Raymond Carver housewife, I gathered my soup bag and wallet and turned to face the security guard.
“That was genuinely weird, right?”
“Yeah. I wasn’t gonna say it til you did, but yeah.”
And then I rode the elevator upstairs and had a delightful lunch.
The soup is really, really wonderful and affordable (and delivered so quickly!), but I’m also fully aware that I’m participating in A Thing.
It’s not even sort-of-Seinfeldy, it’s just plagiarism.