We frequently try to get food while hoping for just a few minutes without calls. Most agencies that I’m aware of have no system in place that guarantees crews the ability to get some food truly undisturbed, which is understandable, given the nature of our work, nominally described as “emergencies.” But, really, we should be using a completely different word. I don’t know about you, but when I was learning English decades ago as a baby, about the same time I was learning how to walk, the word “emergency” meant something else, or at least that’s what I was told. Apparently, either I was mistaken back then or these days it means something entirely different, because now it appears to cover a huge variety of situations that I would not call “emergencies.” Put another way, most of our work involves “emergencies” that should not interrupt anyone’s meals, but no one cares, and that’s an entirely different post in itself. (Man, this paragraph grew from only 2 sentences to its present length in the space of 2 minutes. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.)
Anyway, I digress, more often than not, when we’re trying to get food, that’s precisely when the calls come in. This is but one of the many manifestations of Murphy’s Law in emergency services.
On a more positive note (it happens occasionally at this blog), however, over the years, I’ve found that most food places are very accommodating. I’ve left these places many a time after paying but before the food was ready. Sometimes if it was early enough, they just refund us right away. Most of them held on to the food until we returned later, sometimes hours later. Some of them put the order on hold until we went back, and they prepared the order fresh. One time, this place, one of my favorites, actually threw my food out, and when I went back like an entire meal period later – I ordered and was interrupted at breakfast but only managed to return after lunch – they insisted on making another order and refused my offer to pay again. Of course, I don’t mind eating cold food; I’m more afraid of having to leave again while waiting for them to cook the order again!