What a deep dish pizza taught me about the dangers of multi-tasking

I made a big mistake last week, one I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

It started when I jumped into a cab from the airport in Chicago. It was about 9 pm, and I had a call at 1 am with an overseas client. I was also hungry so had to make a quick decision –- get food at the hotel or try to take in some of my favorite local fare before the call.

Being a Chicago guy still at heart, I opted for pizza – Lou Malnati’s to be exact. (If you don’t know about them, you should do yourself a favor and get familiar with their product.) My last Chicago visit was in February and didn’t include a visit to Lou’s, so my stomach was telling me we were long overdue for a reunion.

So I got on my phone to check out the menu. I pretty much knew what I wanted but thought I might treat myself to a little something extra since I was working late. I dialed in Lou’s number to make the order, but before I connected, someone called me on the other line and I answered that call instead of ordering my food. As soon as I finished that call, I went to recent calls and dialed up Lou.

I ordered a small “Lou” and an order of bbq wings to be delivered to the hotel I hadn’t even checked into yet. I thought if I was lucky, the delivery guy would be waiting in the lobby right when I pulled up and my solo feast could commence.

Unfortunately, the delivery guy wasn’t there when I got to the hotel. He showed up about 15 minutes after I did, which was fine since I had another 2 hours to kill and I knew their food is worth the wait. As I hustled back to my room, I felt as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning opening the present he knows is a good one.

There I sat – just me and this box containing several slices of heaven. I opened it and immediately realized something had gone horribly wrong.

The pizza had sliced tomatoes on top, and it looked like there might be some spinach too. I don’t remember their specialty sausage pizza, the Lou, having sliced tomatoes on it or spinach in it, but like I said, it had been a while.

I cut into it. That was definitely spinach...and mushrooms -- which I kind of hate -- and no sausage to be found.

I’ll be honest. I panicked a little bit. And then I got upset and looked for someone to blame. I started with the receipt. They got that part right – it said Lou right on the receipt – so why was I sitting in front of a veggie pizza?!

Then I went back to the only menu and started scrolling down. At the bottom of the deep dish section, there was the Lou:

“A pizza so good we gave it his name! Spinach mix, mushrooms and sliced roma tomatoes covered with blend of mozzarella, romano and cheddar cheese on garlic Buttercrust.™ No substitutions please.”

I didn’t know how this could be. I would NEVER, EVER order a veggie pizza, but it looks like the pizza I wanted was actually the Malnati’s classic, one with sausage and extra cheese.

I had nobody to blame but myself.

Without the barbecue wings to console me, I certainly would have cried myself to sleep.

I tried the pizza wanting to convince myself that I could actually like it but no such luck.

I did, however, learn something from my botched pizza experience.

Multitasking doesn’t exist.

Whether in a meeting or trying to solve your dinner problem while getting an update from the family after you land on business, you are missing something. We can’t truly do multiple things at once. In my feeble attempt at multitasking, I thought I remembered everything I read from the menu, but really I only remembered the last thing I read.

Checking your work is priceless.

When you only have one chance to get it right, taking a little extra time to review your work could save you much heartache in the future. Not even the interwebs could make me feel better that night.

Naming pizzas is asking for trouble. (Sometimes the simple answer is the right answer.)

From now on, I will only refer to pizzas by their ingredients – like a normal human being. I will also think twice before coming up with a cute name for something I’m trying to get a client to buy. Why? Because I’m a realist and know multitasking is here to stay for most people, and I want to give my message the best chance of being remembered.