Things started off with a cliffhanger as I prepared to oversee a food event for 60 people.
The food distribution truck showed up two and a half hours late and parked a block away instead of in front of the house like they usually do. Then the driver came to the front gate, a Hispanic dude, and saw the six steps leading to the front door and announced, “I don’t do stairs.”
“What?” I said incredulously.
“I don’t do stairs,” he said a second time. “It’s against company policy.”
“Really? You guys have been doing stairs for 20 years with us.”
He whipped out his cell phone, took a picture of those nasty stairs, and said, “I’ve just sent this off to my supervisor for instructions.” Then he disappeared around the corner to sit in his truck.
I called my rep. “I’ll fix this and get back to you,” he said.
I called my rep again.
“I’ll call my manager,” he said.
The driver came back to the gate. “If we don’t solve this I’ll have to take the food back to the warehouse.”
By now the chef, two friends, a co-worker and I were on the street staring the dude down in a gunslinger showdown.
Suddenly my rep appeared out of the ether. “I was in the neighborhood,” he said out of breath. A short, wiry guy with consternation all over his face. I showed him the tables set and ready and the kitchen.
I showed him those nasty stairs.
Meanwhile the dude had disappeared and returned with his first load of boxes. About 25 of them. At street level.
We had no choice but to make an assembly line sandbag style and run boxes from the street, up the nasty stairs, down the long hall, and into the kitchen.
It took us almost an hour to check every box against the order sheet. The dude was now in the kitchen helping us identify the boxes. The rep stood there with jaw open.
We finished checking the last item, signed the sheet, and the dude disappeared around the corner.
The rep said he’d make sure this wouldn’t happen again.
You bet. Because you’d just lost a customer of 20 years, dude.