Normally, honoring a customer's special request at work results in a pat on the back. In one woman's case, it ended up getting her in trouble. On Friday, Virginia news outlet WJLA reported that a Pizza Hut worker was allegedly fired for an "inappropriate" joke she wrote on the inside of a pizza box. Believe it or not, that's not the end of the story. Now, the mother who complained about the inappropriate joke says she has faced backlash online from people demanding #JusticeForPizzaGirl, who they believed was unfairly treated. No matter how you slice it, it's a bit of a mess. Bustle has reached out to Pizza Hut for comment and will update when we hear back.
The incident took place in Stafford, Virginia, a community not far from the metropolitan area of Washington, D.C. According to WJLA, the order had been placed by a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old, who did, to be fair, ask for a joke to be delivered with their pizza. However, they probably weren't envisioning the kind of punchline they ended up with. Scrawled in silver marker on the inside lid of the box, the joke goes, "What do a pizza delivery driver and a gynocologist [sic] have in common?"
You can think on it all you want, but you're not likely to guess this one unless you've heard it before. The answer was so ribald that WJLA declined to repeat it, saying it was "too saucy for TV." Before you die of curiosity, I'll clue you in.
"They both have to smell it but neither of them get to eat it," reads the punchline.
...Oof. Talk about spicy. With the teens' special request, the Pizza Hut employees had all kinds of pizza-related possibilities to choose from. What does an anteater like on its pizza? Ant-chovies. Why did the pizza chef take a second job? Because he kneaded the dough. What's a dog's favorite pizza topping? Pup-eroni. You get the idea. There's just one catch: If it's not the kind of joke you would repeat to your grandmother (or, say, a 12-year-old kid), it's probably not the kind of joke you should tell at work. Unfortunately, the unnamed Pizza Hut employee who went with the gynecologist joke must have missed that memo.
When the unnamed mother of the boys who ordered the pizza saw the joke, she was rather taken aback. "I was really shocked and floored that Pizza Hut would send that type of joke out," she told WJLA. She complained to management, and the employee soon called her personally to apologize. Case closed, right?
Not so much. While the mother said she hoped the employee wouldn't lose her job, WJLA reports that's allegedly what happened. Meanwhile, according to WJLA, the mother posted a picture of the pizza box on social media. Rather than taking her side, though, some people stood up for the employee. A few even took to the Stafford Pizza Hut's Facebook page to complain.
"Shame on you for firing someone the week before Christmas for giving the customer what she asked for!" wrote one user. Another said they ordered from Papa John's in protest — the ultimate insult.
It has become fairly common practice for customers to ask for drawings or jokes with their pizza delivery, and employees are sometimes bored enough to oblige. Some of the results are truly hilarious and end up on the internet, which is probably where the teens got the idea to request a joke in the first place.
If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's this: When it comes to pizza jokes, go for cheesy instead of spicy.