Friday, May 20, 2022


The first time I saw TANSTAAFL was in the book, THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS by Robert Heinlein. One of the first points in that book is THERE AIN'T NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH. TANSTAAFL has remained with me ever since. So when GRUBHUB had a deal for free lunches for NYers earlier this week, I was somewhat weary. The office secretary used the code FREELUNCH, took a walk to LENWICH, around the corner from my office, on Third Avenue between 76th and 77th Streets, and came back with free lunch. 


I checked out the app and noticed that places were shutting down services due to overwhelming demand. I quickly placed an order at the same location of LENWICH at 11:18 AM, and was notified that my order was placed and being prepared. At 11:30 AM I got a notification that my sandwich was ready for pick up. I rushed over to find NO ONE in the place had a clue. One girl was was checking "the tablet" when she said my order just arrived and would be prepared immediately. She even waved around a print out that contained my order information. She asked me to wait up front and my order would be ready momentarily. 

I waited. 

And waited.

And waited.

As orders were prepared the girl up front would occasionally call out names, or would put them up on the shelf for pick up. I continued to wait patiently until I realized i was standing in there for 45 minutes. When I went back to the girl up front she acted all frazzled again, saying she had no such order and I should ask the girl in the back. 

I did so.

She said that my order was CANCELED, sorry. 

Well FUCK! You told me to wait up front, then cancel my order and don't even bother telling me about it? Let me wait 45 minutes to walk out empty handed? 

When I got back to the office I had an email apology that my order couldn't be fulfilled sent at 11:38 AM. SO I was there for almost ten minutes when they canceled my order and didn't see fit to inform me. I previously hated this place because they were slow, but this was just the worst customer service I have experienced in a while. 

So they proved to me that, truly, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.