Pizza Hut Would Not Take US Currency

Quick internet research reveals that Pizza Hut’s average ticket price is between 17 and 50 bucks. How come, then, the unit in Altamonte Springs will not take a hundred dollar bill for payment?

I am experiencing new-found energy and weight loss from a diet that excludes pizza-of any kind. However, I backslide once in a while. Yes, readers, I am human. I do have some of the normal frailties of the species. So, a few days ago when my mother suggested it, I found myself in the Altamonte Springs Pizza Hut ordering a large Pepperoni Pan Pizza to take out. Everything about the experience was the universe’s unique way of telling me…don’t do it, numbskull!

1. It was early in the afternoon but I thought I’d rather warm up the pizza than go home and back out later.
2. As I turned off of 436 onto Boston, there was a line of cars in the turn lane which blocked my access into the parking lot as well as impatient people behind me who would have been safer without the rear of their cars hanging half out onto the busy highway.
3. Once I did get into the parking lot, all of the convenient parking spaces were taken or side-parked. This is when one car takes up more than one parking space by parking sidewards.
4. Without enough thought, I wheeled into a compact car space and side-parked my own vehicle which would more precisely be called a “land yacht” than a “compact”.
5. As I disembarked, the seat cover stuck to my britches and jumped out with me and the seatbelt wrapped around the little thingie that holds the door shut so when I slammed the door, it bounced back at me as if to say, “move the damn seatbelt, Herky-Jerky”.
6. As I made towards the door, a lady was walking in the same direction, so I had the usual mental battle (ie. hurry up to be first to the door then hold it for her and let her get in front of me, go in first and ignore her, hold the door and trip her or let her get to the door first and have the dilemma. Thankfully, she went in the shop next door.
7. Finally, I’m safe and cool inside the restaurant where the over-worked and under-paid Mensa reject was more interested in the technician working on a ladder near the counter than acknowledging a customer standing at the counter.
8. When he finally did make eye contact for a split second before looking at the cash register, I asked, “can I order a large pepperoni pan pizza” and he responded, “did you order online?” At this point, my brain raced for a response that was nothing like, “if I ordered it online, I would not ask to order it again here, would I?” But all that came out of my mouth was a weak “no”. So when he asked what crust, my mind raced again for a response that was not, “what part of large pepperoni pan pizza do you not understand?” And, all that came out of my mouth that time was a weak “pan”.
9. Up to this point, it was a pretty normal experience at any service-related business in Central Florida. Where the training manuals emphasize get-em-in and get-em-out over offering any semblance of service. There will be a new tourist there before you know it.
10. But when I reached out with cash, the fellow that later identified himself as “one of the managers” curtly and loudly retorted, “we don’t take hundreds.”

If you know me, you can guess what happened next. I asked to see a manager then walked out mumbling and in a snit. Or was it a huff?

Most of this incident is funny. It usually is when the universe talks to you and you just don’t listen. But the service, or lack thereof, ain’t funny at all. It’s pitiful.

Horse-whipping purveyors of poor service should never have been re-classified from a deterrent to an act of violence. I would be willing to take my punishment if I treated someone as I was treated at the Pizza Hut in Altamonte Springs. Is a little personal responsibility too much to ask?

What’s the service principle here? If you don’t plan on providing superior service to your customers, please don’t take a service job.