What’s with the “Delivery Fee”?

All the pizza delivery companies are now charging a “delivery” fee. Pizza Hut charges $2.50 in my area. I typically give  a minimum $3.00 tip or 20% whichever is greater for delivery. But now I find myself trying to figure out how much the delivery guy makes. I asked a co-worker who is close to the industry and he *thinks* the driver gets the lion’s share of that but he really can’t be sure. I know I’d feel kind of chintzy giving only 50 cents on top of the bill so I end up giving a couple of bucks on top as I think the drivers have a hard job.

Does anybody know what the situation is? Is this just a cash grab by the pizza companies or is this how the drivers are being compensated these days?

I know I prefer to be in charge of the tip as that guarantees that poor service can be tipped poorly. Maybe too many people tip poorly?

Given up on Pizza Hut

We have 3 major pizza players around here. I prefer to use the internet to order my pizza because it seems to eliminate a LOT of confusion.

Basically I use one pizza provider until they tick me off and then I move to another one.  A while ago, probably a few years now I switched away from Pizza Hut because they seemed to have forgotten how to actually cook the pizza, the dough would be all gooey and, while modestly edible it really wasn’t a treat. The second time it happened I called and had them replace the pizza and the replacement was the same, undercooked. So I switched away.

Anyway, the time came to try Pizza Hut again – I really like their pan pizza when it’s, you know, cooked.  On Monday I sent in an order and they indicated it should take about an hour to arrive. I’m still surprised that the 30 minutes timeline they all used to strive for has gone by the wayside but no matter, an hour I would wait.

After about 90+ minutes I gave the store a call and they didn’t know where the pizza was as it had left over 20 minutes ago. The guy on the phone apologized for the inconvenience but didn’t have much to add to the conversation.  I told him to just cancel the pizza and we’d figure out something else for dinner.

Another 20 minutes later, the pizza guy shows up and I told him to forget it. He was unaware of my calling the store to cancel.

I should note that my house is *maybe* 10 minutes from  the pizza hut location from which the pizzas need to be delivered.

So I’ve just removed Pizza Hut from my list of pizza providers and I won’t be using them any more. Am I being unreasonable?

Hypocrisy – So much for divine intervention

This article about a priest telling his parishioners  that it’s OK to shoplift seems to have absolutely given up on the idea that “God will provide”.  I suppose it would be pretty sweet to get the OK to go ahead and get your Christmas shoplifting done guilt free. Of course, I suppose the police will see the matter somewhat differently. But folks trusting (?), naïve (?) or just plain desperate enough to be in a church in the first place are going to take this fellow seriously. This time the silliness can have direct consequences.

Any chance that his church can underwrite the costs for basic supplies for his parishioners? He doesn’t appear to be starving. What about a food drive? i.e. take his position of responsibility seriously and do something about helping his “flock” instead of inciting them to commit crimes that will surely haunt them for the rest of their lives?

Oh, and referring back to this article. Here’s some of the harm… justifying bad things in the name of.. well… you know (check out the dark ages if you’re unsure).

HP’s EDS woes – like Dilbert in real life

This could also be titled “How does upper management run a company while accepting little or no input from their knowledge workers?”.

I’m not 100% sure if this story as reported in the register is accurate, but it *did* tickle me. When I Googled “EDS Mainframe” to top search result was a page from HP Enterprise Services titled “Managed Mainframe Services Executive Overview” (click here for a screen capture if they’ve removed the page). This was filled with the usual, vapid jargon and hopelessly unrealistic expectations that you’ve come to expect from such an overview.

Having been in IT for the past 22 years I have seen many decisions made that have left me scratching my head. Sometimes I convince myself that I simply do not have all the facts at my disposal and that much larger issues are at stake that must form the context in which these decisions make sense.

But more and more, when I see the distilled (and often distorted) version of the facts that make it to the upper echelons of our management teams, I can’t see how a sensible course of action can be taken based on that information. Even less so when an executive is headstrong on some issue (i.e. his daughter told him it would be a good idea) and he determines what must be the final result regardless of what any experts he’s paying for advice actually advises.

It seems that the single greatest force that keeps our larger companies moving forward successfully is the inertia behind when they were actually forming and growing. Once they hit a certain size, there seems to be no way all but the most gifted executive can make a positive contribution.

And those contributions are in the form of general direction, inspiration and championing of solid ideas. I suspect that, the more they leave the details to the folks who understand them, the more successful leadership will be…

Should Charity be a personal choice? Christmas Charity gifts

While I was reading this article titled “A curse on these smug types who buy you a goat in Africa for Christmas” by Virginia Ironside, I at first was a bit put off by her apparent ingratitude for the efforts made on her behalf by well meaning friends.

But I have to say that her points are well taken. Like her, I do not *need* a lot. I’m well established, already have a toaster and most everything else I could want for my day to day living. Why shouldn’t the money go to charity? The key here is the desire of the gift “recipient”.

A couple of years ago one of my relatives did the “Charity in lieu of gift” thing and it was, indeed, somewhat disappointing for me. A big part of that was the fact was that it was for a charity to which I would never have contributed myself. My inclinations are to support my local community first and foremost.

In the comments section of Virginia’s article I note folks (some with not a small amount of vitriol) took the position that it was “charity” so how could she poo-poo it? It’s like reading the position of an antagonist in an Ayn Rand novel.

One thing that seems to be lost in the mix is that, once given, the gift is the recipient’s to do with as they see fit. If it is most satisfying for them to give the item to a charity then why is this an issue. In fact, should the recipient return the gift and send the money to the charity of their choice wouldn’t that be OK?

The hypocrisy and selfishness of the commenters quickly becomes apparent as they take umbrage with the choices of the recipient. As if the recipient of a gift should even matter in the whole affair.

Scientists create formula for perfect parking

While not particularly practical for the average driver at the moment, with the increasing automation of our vehicles, it’s likely this formula will be useful in the near future. Of course it will need to be modified heavily with components such as “Length of your door” and “Width of your behind” so you can figure out if you can actually exit the vehicle once it’s parked!  🙂

Scientists create formula for perfect parking

As usual, the VAST majority of folks do a very credible job in parking lots. It seems that there is a subclass of folks (pre-morlocks?) for whom either the world revolves around them or they just don’t give a crap about anybody else. Check out You Parked Like a Jackass for a bit of cringing.

Putting together our *36* year-old artificial Christmas Tree

Yep, the tree is old enough that you can still see some damage where those ancient 7-Watt Christmas bulbs had melted the fake pine needles.

Michelle would much prefer to have a “real” tree.  The center pole is pretty warped and nobody would ever mistake this for the real thing but I’m pretty attached to this one and it really looks fine once it’s together.