Perspective and Pepperoni

Last Wednesday was trick-or-treat night in Rochester and I hope everyone had as much fun as we did! My husband and I invited a few friends over for pizza and fun before we took our kids out to beg for candy. We know how fun our neighborhood is and we wanted our friends to be able to have a fun experience with their kids like we’ve had in the past. We always get so many trick-or-treaters and I enjoy seeing all the children’s costumes and families out together. It was no surprise that when I called in my pizza order to Jet’s Pizza that night that the wait time was double what it normally is.

Ok, that’s a lie. I was pretty surprised that I was given a 40-minute wait time, but it makes total sense. No problem, I thought. I sent out a group text letting our guests know that they were still welcome at the original time but I would have to leave to grab the pizzas. They opted to come a little later to give me some extra time. My husband was on his way home from a business trip so it was up to me to get everything ready for the party. Ayrton and I waited about 30 minutes and then headed over to Jet’s. We were shocked as we walked up to the store and realized that it was packed inside, with the line going all the way outside the store. I figured maybe there was a slight hiccup with the cash register and we would be getting our pizza within a few minutes. Wrong! Another 45 minutes later and we were on our way home. Out of the 30 or so of us waiting there was only one customer who was familiar with this scenario and even he said this was a lot worse than in years past. It was such an experience waiting like that!

As I mentioned before, my husband was on his way home from the airport and we were pretty excited to see him. He works a lot of hours but we really miss him when he’s out of town. Luckily, he doesn’t travel much, but that also means we aren’t used to it at all. No one sleeps very well, I’m bored in the evenings, and my son usually acts out more. It just changes everything. Plus, that meant I had to be responsible for everything for the party because he wouldn’t be home to help. Not that it was that hard or anything. I mean, I was picking up pizza and salad. Not that difficult. Anyway, we were just really anxious to get home not only to see Eric, but also our guests. After we had waited about 20 minutes at Jet’s, my friend let me know that the kids were super excited and everyone was playing in the backyard. No worries, I run a daycare at my house so it’s set up for playing. I felt bad though because the weather was crummy and I really didn’t have any idea of how long we would continue waiting. Ayrton and I chatted with the other customers and everyone was pretty cheery (Even the excited three-year-old trick-or-treater and the hungry seven-month pregnant lady who had taken care of toddlers all day).

Then, it started. First it was just a frustrated sigh or two. Then it was grumbling to another customer. Then it was heckling. Are you kidding me? I thought, You’re a 40-year-old man shouting rude comments over the glass at a 17-year-old pizza maker. Oh boy. The whole mood of the crowd just changed. You could feel it. After that everyone started getting antsy and more frustrated. That’s one of the biggest problems with negativity is that it’s contagious. It doesn’t take much to give someone else a bad attitude and that’s exactly what happened at Jet’s. How does yelling at the pizza maker actually help you get your pizza faster? The only thing that accomplishes is making you look like a jerk and will most likely slow progress and could even cause the pizza maker to make more mistakes, thus, causing a longer wait time. No one is very productive in a negative work environment. I wasn’t entirely convinced it was the pizza makers’ fault anyway. It seemed more like a problem with planning.

There were mostly teenagers working and it wasn’t fair to be treating them as if they were stupid because we had to wait so long for our pizza. I’ve always tried to live by the motto, “You catch more bees with honey than vinegar” and I do feel like it works more often than not. I also try to figure out the right person to speak with about an issue. It’s important to speak with a manager, home office representative, or customer service. You can fill out comment cards, send an email or make a phone call if there is no one available on the spot. There are so many ways to give feedback to a business, so we should take advantage of that when we can. It’s important to relay information to someone in charge; someone who can actually make a difference. It can be very unpleasant to be treated as if you actually have control over corporate policies or decisions that managers have made when you have no say whatsoever. Shouting at the pizza makers was definitely not the right path.

This Jet’s Halloween pizza experience was a learning experience for both my son and myself. I realized that Halloween night is the biggest night for carryout so I’ll have a different plan for next year or send my husband to pick up the food. I was able to explain to my son that no matter what someone does to make you mad, it’s no excuse to be rude. No matter how someone else offends you, makes you late, inconveniences you, etc. It doesn’t matter. You are responsible for yourself and you must react kindly, even when you don’t feel like it. We talked about the saying, “Someone who isn’t nice to the waitress isn’t a nice person.” I’m not sure how much he actually understood but he did say, “Yes, that guy was kind of rude telling that girl to hurry up. She was putting that cheese on pretty fast already.” What do children learn in preschool? No screaming when someone takes your toy. Solve the problem nicely, using your words. No cutting, pushing, hitting, etc while waiting in line. We teach them to respect others and somewhere along the way these adults forgot this. I understand these other customers were frustrated, but it just wasn’t helping anyone for them to be like that.

I don’t believe in never complaining or putting up with bad service or ridiculous policies. I do believe in taking the time and effort to bring a problem to the attention of someone who can fix it while still being kind. If your problem isn’t solved then don’t return to that establishment. We each contribute to society and it is important and necessary to solve problems effectively. Don’t leave a negative impression; leave a positive impression on your corner of the world.

About Meghan Zeile

Mom-in-the-know and local writer for Rochester Media. Always looking for tips with kids, family life, and fun local adventures. Contact at

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