Monday, May 18, 2009

OT: The Blue Jays, Pizza Pizza, and Their Nasty Accusations

My birthday, a sunny Sunday, my visiting mother, the Blue Jays, a bunch of strikeouts, and free pizza—what, dear reader, could be better? This was a glorious combination, surely? Alas not! No, no: A noxious, bitter, upsetting mix!

This weekend, you see, was my birthday. And my loving mother proposed a trip to see the Blue Jays. It was a lovely day, Halladay was on the mound, and all was cheery. The game itself went as well as one could dream. After a difficult first inning, Doc calmed right down and was dominant through six more, during which time his teammates scored eight runs. His dominance expressed itself in many strikeouts, which carried an added bonus: if the Jays' pitcher gets seven strikeouts on a weekend game, you get a free slice of pizza. Just present your ticket at your nearest location, and a Pizza Pizza pepperoni slice is yours to devour.

Well. This afternoon, after listening to another Blue Jays victory over the visiting White Sox, I went to the Pizza Pizza location at 585 Bloor St. W., at Bathurst. I presented my ticket, an e-ticket printed off by my mother. Immediately I was met with suspicion.

"This is a photocopy," the cashier told me, holding up my black-and-white home-printed e-ticket. "All the other ones are in colour." Here she referred to a stack of tickets identical to mine though printed via bubble jet.

"My mom printed my ticket on a laser printer. It's black and white. There's not much I can do about it," I said.

She went and got her manager, who, on further questioning, gave his name only as "Zi."

He concurred with his subordinate's assessment. "It's a photocopy. Look at these ones," he said, once again referring to the stack of coloured print-outs. He noticed that my mother's printer hadn't handled the Blue Jays' margins well, and that some text was cut off. "See?" Then he rubbed the colourful e-tickets between his fingers, comparing their home-printed paper with mine. "You can feel the difference. Yours is fake."

There was an excellent argument to be made. "You just printed out several copies of your ticket," they might have said, "and brought them to location after location, until you were quite full." Indeed I might have done that! But it would be impossible to prove! And so while there were grounds for suspicion, the fault lay not with me but with the Blue Jays, Pizza Pizza, and their shoddy ticket-checking coordination (a rather expensive sychronized barcode-scanning setup would do the trick.) And anyway: the tie goes to the runner.

That I hadn't hit print several times is certainly a testament to my honesty (and my moderate appetite—I am a cyclist, after all!). But it's quite beside the point. The point is that their actual accusation was incoherent. Why they thought I would photocopy a printout; why they thought a bubble jet printout superior to a laser; why my mother's economical choice of printing paper should impact my ability to enjoy a free slice — well, all of this escaped me.

Angered at the multiform absurdities, I asked Zi to call his manager, which he intially refused to do. Sullenly I sat myself on the bench and refused to leave. Eventually, in the background, I saw Zi on the phone. After some time, he approached to tell me that I would have to call Pizza Pizza myself. And so, after expressing my indignation at having been accused of unsuccessfully defrauding my way into a $2 pizza slice, I went home pizzaless.

From home I called Pizza Pizza. I talked to customer service, and explained the situation. They called Zi. After five minutes on hold, I was told that my ticket was incomplete and so there was nothing they could do. I hung up. Then I called back, and tried again; they called Zi, he gave the same story, and I was once again told they couldn't accept my ticket. I asked to speak to the customer service person's manager this time, and on I went. This person called Zi once again. This time I was told, "I don't know what's up with that location. I'll give you $5."

After having wasted the better part of an hour on a glorious day, however, I wanted an apology as well. And ten dollars! And so the manager's manager promised to call me, which shortly she did. I have now forwarded my original ticket and photographs of the offending printout, and am awaiting judgment.

There are lessons for us all in this vexing tale.


Jill said...

What a mess! glad that eventually you were rewarded....didn't someone famous once say, 'It doesn't take brains to earn a PHD, just persitence"...Hmmm?
Your Mother
Happy Birthday anyway!

OAP said...

looks like you're not the only one

linky link