Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Critical Thinking

 Tom Hanks is worried that his son isn't learning geography.

I am worried that they are not teaching critical thinking.  This happened:

4:30pm  Pizza Place We've Never Tried opens for the day.

4:37pm  I call PPWNT and order a pizza.  The Delightful Young Woman's voice tells me it will be ready in 20-30 minutes, and that I should expect a text when it's ready.  I set an alarm to get me there in 15 minutes (because I'm always early) as TBG and I laugh that the text should say Your pizza will be ready in X minutes. Otherwise they are just telling you that your pizza is sitting there getting cold.

4:48pm  My phone chimes with a text:  It's time! Your order is ready! Total time elapsed: 11minutes. 

4:48:30 I get in The UV and drive the 6 minutes to the shopping center with all my favorite restaurants in just that many minutes (never varies, no matter the time of day or amount of traffic, I don't understand it but it's true).

4:54pm  I park in the Pick Up spot, enter the lovely space, which is empty except for the wait staff and cooks and one guy at the counter who looks like a manager, and greet TDYW 4 minutes before the earliest time she told me the pizza would be mine.  

Total time elapsed: 17 minutes.  

And yes, there was my pizza, sitting in a warming bag like the delivery guys use.  I wondered how she could have miscalculated so badly, two or three times miscalculated, when I could have left and been there, waiting when the thing came out of the oven.  After all, the restaurant was empty.  All she had to do was turn around and look.

I felt an emotional trauma coming on, my poor sad pie, sitting there, getting colder by the second, egging me on.  Channeling my inner Ted Lasso, I kept all that inside, smiled, and said That is one fast pizza.  

She laughed, so I wondered why they didn't send a 10 minute warning message instead.  She smiled right back.   

I'm required to say 20-30 minutes because we don't know about the kitchen.

Sam and Noah came immediately to mind.  

There was no one in the place.  The cooks were hanging out.  The phone wasn't ringing.  Mine was the only order waiting to be claimed. The ability to peek outside the box, to examine the context, to react to what is - all that was missing from TDYW's lovely face.  

Perhaps critical thinking is overrated.  The air fryer is a great way to reheat cool pizza. 


  1. I get the impression from recent experiences that "staff" are not encouraged to think on their own, just do as you are told. Sad.
    We order take and bake pizza from Papa Murphey. Then it's always hot because I cook it for 15 minutes when we want it.

  2. I am required to say 20 to 30 minutes might as well be I am required to NOT think about doing my job efficiently just follow a one-size-fits-all protocol. And we wonder how long it will be before robots take over all the jobs.

    1. And there was no reason that it couldn't all have been automated, except for the hand tossed dough. It's terrifying.


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