Since COVID began, with a few week’s worth of exceptions, I order a pizza on Saturday. Yeah, I’m single and I don’t particularly like to cook for one, and dumbasses like me that order food online are keeping the threads of the American economy together (cough, cough, stimulus checks to the average joe, cough cough).
Speaking in general, it’s difficult for me to find an interesting person worth investing in. What I mean to say is, I don’t date good. It’s hard, I hate it, and most of the time it’s not fun. During COVID, though, it’s been off the table completely for fear of exposure. But when the pizza delivery guy starts to get casual, y’kinda go with it, just to see what happens.
Quick conversations during the less than 5 minutes on my doorstep was all. Granted, he looked like a 40 year old father and not my “type,” but I was dressed in sweats and still had bed head. If dude was keen enough to ask me for my phone number looking like this, I thought, then maybe it was worth seeing where it went.
Well, it went straight to hell and it went FAST. It did not pass GO and it did not collect $200.
It took over a week for the guy to text me, but only 45 minutes for his wife to respond.
As I lay there in bed, pulse quickening and face flush with my secret embarrassment, I rolled over laughing. I couldn’t help it. I knew! I knew this dude was too old to be single and not be a father. I laughed for how sudden the shock came, but how my suspicions had been confirmed so soon. I also laughed because that’s how I cover all me emotions as a rule.
I texted the wife a few times, feeling worse and worse for her. I wanted to tell her to get away, live a better life, make better decisions. I said a few of these things in the room to myself, but not to her. Hasn’t this woman been through enough? Whether or not the situation was outside of her control, she didn’t deserve a lecture from me.
I blocked the number, as I said I would, and figured done was done.
Done was done.
Until a few days later I got a call from a 615 number not in my phone. As we’ve recently hired new associates, I answered.
“How do you know my dad?” Said a seven or eight year old boy’s voice over the line.
“Uh.” Brain on fire. “Sorry, I don’t know who you are, so I definitely can’t tell who your dad is.”
“Hass. My dad is Hass. You texted him. How do you know my dad?”
Blood drained from my entire upper body and the shame of my weeks-old indiscretion. “I don’t know your dad.”
The boy hung up. I “missed” 2 other calls from that same number and immediately blocked it.
I called the 911-non-emergency number and described my situation to the female operator. “I guess I’m just asking what I can or should do in order to get this to stop and to make sure I stay safe.”
“Well, it sounds like you’ve already done what you can do. Just keep blocking numbers and don’t engage in the conversation,” she replied a bit too chipper.
“Okay, but he knows where I live. And I have his wife calling me and now his son calling me?” I was the opposite of chipper.
“Yes, but like cyber-bullying, there’s not much we can do.”
“So you’re telling me that in this particular case of harassment, all I can do is wait and see if something happens?”
“Yeah, hopefully nothing happens. Obviously, if he or anyone comes to your house, you’d call the police.”
“Right,” my voice escalated as the reality of helplessness seeped in. “LET’S JUST WAIT AND HOPE NO ONE COMES TO MY HOME AND ESCALATES THE SITUATION.” Blinded by my rocketing blood pressure, I refused to settle for the nothing this operator cheerfully offered. The problem with modern technology is that you can’t get the satisfaction of slamming a phone down and cracking the receiver’s eardrum anymore. Maybe she didn’t outright deserve that, but it would’ve felt good. (Side note: This shocking phone call warrants more research on my end to understand harassment and escalation. Hold me to it.)
So I called Jet’s Pizza. Fuck it. If the larger sphere couldn’t do anything, perhaps a more local control could do something.
I told the manager the situation, left it at that. Told them they’re my favorite and sure enough they looked up my account history and tried to persuade me to remain a customer. Of course you want me to continue business with you – I’m single and have zero children; I have disposable income and order $30-$50 worth of pizza a week (judge me, O reader). Go ahead and put a “note” in my “account” that should guarantee Hass will never deliver my food again, but I doubt I’ll be needing your services in the future.
A half hour later, I got a call. “Hi, this is Ashley… I’m responding to a customer complaint you made?” She told me she was the Director of Operations, which I suppose meant something. I regaled her with my tale, to this woman’s literal dumbfounded silence. After a beat or two, she goes, “Do you mean Hassan?”
“I don’t know, he introduced himself to me as ‘Hass’ and the boy on the phone confirmed the name ‘Hass.’ ‘Hassan’ isn’t much of a stretch, so yeah, probably the same guy.”
“Hassan is the GM, the lead driver of that particular… see, it’s a franchise.”
Ah, so that’s how a woman can put up with a stupid fuckwit bastard of a “husband” and “hold [their] thing together for 11 years.” It’s also how the pizza delivery guy feels confident enough to chat up the single ladies on his route. Got it.
“Wow. I know Lisa personally. I’m gonna call you back. I’m going to call her and then I’ll follow up with you.”
Sounds great, Ashley, go dig that trench! Fight the good fight! At least someone was taking my claim seriously. I mean, I am just one person. How many other women is he messing with on his route? Are they also being harassed by his wacked family?
Within the hour I received another call from Ashley. She made it sound like the three of them had a conference call in which “the situation was handled” and “expectations were set.” I’m cool with that HR/PR response. What I wasn’t cool with was how many times Ashely was apologizing to me in this final conversation.
“Please stop apologizing to me.” I told her several times. “Ashley, I’m not upset anymore. You guys are taking me seriously, and I thank you for that. But if you apologize again, I’m going to be upset. You didn’t do anything wrong. This is the decisions of a single man that’s ruined the days of three different women. Really, none of us have done anything wrong but him.” (Side note: I went back and forth on my portion of blame in this story, and it’s null. He knew he was married. I didn’t. Did I learn a lesson to trust my gut? Yes.)
She guaranteed that all my future orders, should I choose to continue my patronage at Jet’s, would be delivered by a door dash employee and not an “in house” delivery person. This is the guarantee they can make that Hass will never show up at my doorstep again. I mean, it’s up to them to keep that guarantee, because if dude shows up, what other choice do I have than calling the police?
Honestly, it’s not worth the risk. But I’m fighting myself on this as well. Why should I have to compromise and change my Saturday routine because some jagoff can’t keep to his own marriage vows? He makes a poor decision and yet I also have consequences? I’m still not settled with this just yet, especially as I tried ordering a pizza from Papa Johns a few days ago, waited two hours and finally had to call and cancel the order. Then I back-up called Dominos and it’s just not good.
Funny enough, I can’t say this is the first time I’ve been “the other woman.” Even funnier, this isn’t even the first time I was surprised to find out that I’m the “other woman” from the original woman! It sucks, but even the shitty things make for a good story, no?