Pizza King: Senior sets Godfather’s record for most pizzas sold in one day

By: Zuhayr Alam

When senior Andrew Nurse rose from his warm, comfy bed on the morning of Sunday, Feb. 28, little did he know that this was a day that would go down in the record books.

As he went through his normal routine of brushing his teeth, hopping into the shower, quickly scarfing down some food and driving to Godfather’s Pizza on 1st Street, he thought he was in for a normal day of work where he would greet customers in person and on the phone, and then pass on the hungry customers’ orders to the kitchen.

“The day started out like any other. My shift was 9:45 to 2, so I was making the salad bar and stocking the shelves and getting everything ready for an exciting day working at Godfather’s,” Nurse said. “It was unusually quiet at the beginning, so I experienced a bit of cognitive dissonance, shoutout to Mrs. Rogers. I love working, but I was happy that it was not busy, meaning I wouldn’t have to work as hard.”

Nurse’s co-worker pulled into the snowy parking lot at 10:55 and promptly began working, as per usual. Together, the dynamic duo greeted customers, took orders, took out food and were a constant presence at the counter. However, Nurse soon began to notice some peculiarities about his co-worker.

“She was frequently visiting the restroom and blowing her nose. Her eyes were a little bloodshot, and there was a hint of mucus on the cleft of her lip. Her hair was more frizzy and messy than I had come to expect,” Nurse said. “Soon, she said she felt kind of sick and asked if I could work for her. I was reluctant, but I finally gave in because of Lent. I told myself that every day, I was going to do something extra for someone. I felt that picking up her shift would give me a chance to work on the virtuous skills in life.”

Nurse’s co-worker, Brooke, left at 1 p.m. In order to finish her shift, Nurse thought he would be staying until around 4 p.m.

Now came what’s typically the lull of the day. Normally, Godfather’s does not get much business in between the hours of 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. This time period falls between lunch and dinner, and not many people are looking to get a sit down meal and eat pizza.

UNI freshman and close friend of Nurse, Hiram Marquez, said that he does not remember the last time he had pizza in this time frame.

“Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten pizza between 2 and 4. It falls really awkwardly in between the meals,” Marquez said. “I usually eat some sort of healthy snack here, but it’s never as big as a full Godfather’s pizza.”

However, following the theme of the day, this so called “lull period” turned out to be the busy time of this particular Sunday.

“At around 2, I’m thinking that time has passed pretty fast. I’m thinking I should be able to see out the remainder of Brooke’s shift without much trouble at all,” Nurse said. “That all changed when I see a nice middle-aged woman walk into the store with her restless 3-year-old daughter. She told me that she was here for the party.”

A few minutes later, people started to roll in. At the peak of the party, there were upwards of 25 people all sitting down to get pizza, and since Nurse was the only counterboy working, he took all of their orders.

Senior Chris Hintzman was present at the three-year-old’s birthday party.

“Doc [Nurse] was fearless. I felt like I was at an Adele concert because he was so inspiring in the way that he was taking orders and basically making pizzas out of thin air. He made me cry a little bit,” Hintzman said.

During the party, a couple of other families and customers showed up, but for Nurse, they were easy to take care of. The party itself prevented Nurse from doing his normal afternoon duties such as mopping and vacuuming, and he thought that he should be able to see the rest of his shift, the remaining hour until 4:30, with relative ease.

At around 3:45, Nurse answered a phone call. However, he recognized this person’s voice as one of his co-workers, the very coworker who was supposed to come into work at 4:15 and relieve Nurse of his duties. Nurse didn’t know what the co-worker wanted, and he redirected the line to his manager.

“I heard some rustle and bustle in the back of the store, and I overheard some yells from my manager and the rest of the kitchen gang,” Nurse said. “I’m thinking that maybe she can’t come into work, and that they found a replacement, so I don’t bring up the issue with my manager since he never brought it up with me.”

But 4:15 rolled around, and no second counter worker came through the doors.

“I ask my manager, ‘Is Brooke coming?’ and the first thing he said was, ‘Nope.’ He had a little smirk on his face, knowing that I had no idea that I was about to work for another three hours,” Nurse said. “With that, I asked if I was staying for a bit longer, and he said, ‘Yes, you get to stay.’”

Nurse’s famous cheerful smile turned into a distraught frown almost instantly. The people from the party were trickling out, and Nurse had already been at Godfather’s from 9 to 4:15.

“I was a little salty because I had been there since the morning, and now I was working with a person down, but I tried not to let that change my attitude,” Nurse said. “I realized I got to keep spending time with the same wonderful people I had been working with all day, and that another worker was coming in to help me at 5.”

Nurse and his co-worker were able to smoothly fly through the day by taking orders, making conversation with the eager customers and holding down the fort until 6:45.

At 6:45, Nurse heard his manager call him to the back, and Nurse was instantly hit with a strong dose of anxiousness.

“I felt frozen for a second. He had an aggressive tone to his voice, and I hadn’t got any good news from him all day,” Nurse said. “The 15-meter walk felt much, much longer.”

“How many orders have you taken today?” Nurse’s manager asked.

“My first reaction was of fear. I was wondering if I did something wrong and didn’t take enough,” Nurse said. “Then, my manager explained why I was in the back with him.”

“My boss just texted me asking how many orders you’ve taken today,” Nurse’s manager said. “He says you’ve taken the most orders in a single day at a Godfather’s in the state of Iowa: 59 orders.”

Nurse was absolutely astonished at this news.

“My jaw dropped, and I stared at him with disbelief. My mind was racing with questions. I had no idea this type of feat could be accomplished by a simple counter boy who has only worked there for 10 measly months,” Nurse said. “I let out a high pitched shriek to release my euphoric feelings, and I looked around, and all the workers were staring at me.”

Nurse had a couple co-workers slap him to make sure that he wasn’t dreaming about this wonderful feat, and when he realized it was very real, he began to think of what this meant. Would he receive some sort of commemoration?

“I started brainstorming possibilities of what kind of reward I would be getting, but then I remembered this quote from High School Musical,” Nurse said. “This feeling is like no other. I think Ryan said that. I realized that this feeling would stick with me for the rest of my life, and that is reward enough.”

Unfortunately, Nurse’s extended work day got in the way of a few plans that he had made with some friends, specifically a dinner with Marquez and senior Ethan Smith.

“I was extremely shocked when Doc told me that we had to reschedule the dinner. We had been planning it for a long time now, and I know that I at least was really looking forward to it,” Marquez said. “However, when I heard what he had accomplished as a result of rescheduling, a sudden rush of pride filled my body. I hugged him very tight.”

Nurse’s mother, Lori, is very proud of her son.

“I was excited to see the look on Andrew’s face as he had me guess how many pizzas orders he placed. The honor feeds into the friendly competitive spirit Andrew brings to everything he is involved with,” Lori said. “Godfathers has taught him some great life skills. I am proud of how hard he works and how he strives to make others happy.”

Hintzman takes credit for part of Nurse’s effort.

“I feel that he wouldn’t have been able to do it without me. Words are powerful, and I gave him some pretty heavy duty encouragement, so I feel like a lot of the credit should go to me instead of Andrew,” Hintzman said. “But I guess even he needs a win once in a while. He has a lot of wins though. I mean just look at that jawline.”

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