I am constantly in awe at the power that Ray has at his disposal. Those of you who have read his book will know that traffic stops to let us cross the road. They never do that when I am on my own!
People start conversations with me (always about Ray). They usually ignore me when I am on my own.
Our local Lululemon store opens their doors before official opening time, and well past closing time if Ray is there. Even the renovation crew, who were working there after regular hours, found the biscuits and opened up to give him one. I cannot recall any store opening just for me.
Then there is our local TD Canada Trust Bank! We were there at the ATM machine one evening just after closing time. In fact the staff were being escorted off the premises (they do that at banks!) just as I logged into my account. One of the staff recognized Ray, and went back to her counter area and brought Ray treats. I could ask when was the last time you got “after closing” service from a bank… but I already know what the answer would be!
Yesterday we decided to have Pizzas for dinner and so same were duly ordered from Ray’s favorite place Fantastico Pizza! Twenty minutes later, I walked there on my own to pick them up.
The first thing I noticed was that they were really busy and appeared to be under-staffed. This is a holiday weekend for us, and many people go up to their cottage and open it up for the summer season. I would not therefore have expected to see a full compliment of staff, but why so busy? Murphy’s Law!
It is a father and son business, but only the father was there together with one girl who seemed very proficient; one who appeared to be learning the process, and another who had her head down and making pizzas. Not only were they preparing orders that had been phoned in for pickup, but they were also organizing deliveries as well as taking care of walk-in customers. It was a very busy scene and John (the father) was clearly at high speed ensuring that all orders were being processed on time. He looked up and waved when he saw me; told me my pizzas would be out of the oven in five minutes, and then went back to work.
A family walked in and were looking at the assortment of ready made pizza slices, and needed to discuss the various options. As “head down” girl was still preparing pizzas, and as “proficient girl” was on the phone taking an order, it fell to “learner girl” to try and assist the family with their choices. In fairness to her, she did seem to handle it well… that was until she had to process their payment. I have no idea what the issue was but she needed help and called to John. He was moving pizzas around in the oven; taking some out, and putting new ones in, and was clearly not able to help, so he asked her to wait for “proficient girl” to come off the phone.
Poor John was clearly a little stressed, but then he proceeded to pull my two pizzas out of the oven; run the cutting wheel thingy through them, and then started to close the box lids when he stopped…. and looked straight at me!
I have tried to paint a picture of a very busy pizza parlor. One that is operating slightly over maximum capacity, and where everybody is rushing around trying to cope with their workload.
Amidst this scene of borderline chaos, John looked straight at me and then turned to “head down girl” and said “I want five pepperoni slices… fast!” She made some comment about being busy, to which he repeated the request stressing that pizzas were ready to go and the pepperoni had to go in one of the boxes. She handed over five slices of pepperoni. He put them in one of boxes, and gave both boxes to me with “Say hi to Ray for me!”
When was the last time that a pizza parlor made you a priority over everything else that was going on? Yes I thought so! That’s Ray power!