I have been in Falmouth for the last 27 years and a homeowner for the last 16 years. One of the many things I love about this town are the wonderful people I have met over the years. Extraordinary, interesting, talented, smart, loving, generous people who have brought so much to my life and that of my family.
When we bought a home in Falmouth, I was pregnant with my second child. I didn’t know it then, but it was a beautiful, lovely daughter to whom I would give birth. A daughter who has turned into a beautiful, lovely 15-year-old, who has shown courage, loyalty and resilience in the face of so much over the last 15 years of her life.
This summer, she was able to get her first job—so exciting for a young person. It wasn’t just the paycheck that mattered to me and my husband, it was the learning and experience she would get as a member of a team at a beloved local restaurant.
After just a few days, she declared, “I love working at Papa Gino’s!” She loved her co-workers, enjoyed the work, and knew she was developing new skills as an employee. We are so proud of her, as any parent would be in seeing his child do well at her first job.
Tonight, however, was a harsh and unwanted reminder of just how awful people can be...when they are hungry for a pizza. Yes, you read that correctly. A Falmouth man called Papa Gino’s—a favorite pizza place in Falmouth for countless years—and started yelling about his pizza. And he was not just yelling. He was emotionally abusing the 15-year-old at the other end of the phone. And he was not just abusing, but cursing/swearing at her in a personally vindictive manner. Can you imagine the reaction any young person, barely out of 9th grade, would have?
She came out of work sobbing, asking why someone would yell and scream about something as innocuous as a pizza? The man, named Tyler, tried to intimidate her to the point he told her he would call “corporate” and sue the company, only after he got her fired.
I have no idea if he was drunk, on drugs, mentally ill or otherwise impaired, but I implore readers of this newspaper: The next time you are hangry (yes, that’s the correct spelling), upset with your spouse, or angry for another reason, please don’t take it out on the 15-year-old who picks up the phone. It’s unfair, it’s abusive, it’s damaging, and he or she does not deserve it. Shame on you, Tyler, wherever you may be. And shame on anyone who abuses an employee who takes your food order and serves you respectfully.
P.S. The manager of Papa Gino’s should be applauded. They canceled Tyler’s order and said he would not be getting any pizza.
Judith B. Remondi