One of my favourites, about 20 years ago, occurred when my uber-efficient assistant, Barbara, had written an order requiring a delivery to The Happy Rocking Gardens. Everyone was very confused, because no-one had any knowledge of such an establishment.
Eventually the penny dropped – in the Cape Town suburb, Gardens, there was a restaurant called The Happy Wok.
“This is the Happy Wok in Gardens, please could I place an order?” I can see how the mistake was made. We laughed about it for months afterwards.
So, yesterday I was checking on the baking and delivery of some macaroons for a client by the name of Faeeza. It is also relevant to the story that she works at Kenilworth racecourse, where we operate the Paddock Room (delivery was supposed to go to her office).
A bit later I went to the operations manager to check on the delivery. “Yes, no problem”, she said, “the driver is putting them into the freezer at Paddock Room”.
It was at this point that the freezer was featuring too prominently in the story. This was a hint, if not a big red flag, that everything was perhaps not going according to plan. Oh, and while Paddock Room is at Kenilworth racecourse, it’s not quite the same as delivering to Faeeza in person.
Notwithstanding the fact that the order – including client name and delivery address – appeared in black and white on an order sheet, the ‘broken telephone’ was to blame. Clearly, ‘Faeeza’ is phonetically just too close to ‘freezer’!
Fixing the mistake involved an extra trip, as well as someone’s time, but the stress-release of the uncontrolled laughter was worth it.