Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rule-Breaking Euphoria

It was my first delivery of the night at Sparano's, and I was already feeling great. During the 40 minutes between the end of my Pizza Hut shift and my first delivery at Sparano's, I got my $2.00 after 2 pm Mocha Frappucino, and Michigan had turned a 19-0 deficit into a 19-14 mid-4th quarter gleam of hope.

When I pulled up to the beautiful Marble Cliff condo with 4 pizzas that totaled $64.50, I had a good feeling. The mid-50s lady at the door asked me if I could bring the pizzas downstairs for them. I jokingly told them that they seemed like pretty safe folks, and the crowd of baby boomer Buckeye fans roared with laughter. Before entering the condo, which was probably built in the last year or two, I astutely noticed the very light carpeting. As I kicked off my trashy, old, pepperoni-grease lined walking shoes, I told the McCain voters that I did not want to ruin their beautiful carpeting. They all commented on what a nice gesture it was, not realizing that it was an obvious attempt to pad my tip. As the lady handed me 4 crisp $20 bills and told me to keep the change, I smiled, thanked them for their generosity, put my shoes back on and left.

I walked back to my CR-V thinking of the 'delivery driver safety' sign at Pizza Hut that states "NEVER enter the customer's house" among other arbitrary rules. As if the sign could hear my witty reply, I thought to myself "Yeah, never enter the customer's house...unless you want a tip big enough to buy lunch for you and your wife after church the next day". As I got into my car, I quickly noticed that the display on my SIRIUS Sportster said "WISC 19 MICH 20". I did a quick fist pump, hit rewind, and listened to Frank Beckmann's call of John Thompson's Pick 6.

Now that is how I like to start a shift.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dear SIRIUS, I love you.

SIRIUS Satellite Radio,

You've been in my car for a year now. Please forgive me for giving you the smell of anchovies, onions, and flatulence when you've clearly given me so much more - where do I begin?

A year ago, I thought new rock meant sprinkling in a couple new songs by Beck and Red Hot Chili Peppers with the large standard dose of 10-15 year old songs by Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, and Alice In Chains. Now, I like "Even Flow" as much as the next guy, but it's good to get a break from songs like that and here some music that's been released this decade! Artists like MGMT, The Arcade Fire, Carolina Liar, Flight of the Conchords, and Atreyu would have slipped under my radar if it weren't for you. But if I do want a steady diet of Jane's Addiction and Filter, Channel 24 is only one preset button push away.

It's also nice to listen to music without being interrupted by people telling me why I'm missing out by not consolidating my debt, checking out the new bar that just opened (and will close in 2-3 months), enlarging my genitalia with their pill, and saving money on my car insurance.

Let's talk about artist and song alerts. You really came up with a winner on this one. I could be listening to 1 of the 2 NPR stations, but you will bring to my attention the fact that Avenged Sevenfold's "Beast and the Harlot" is about to play on Channel 20 with several seconds of notice so I can listen to the song in its entirety. Brilliant. And when I want to listen to the song a second, third, and fourth time, you give me the option with the rewind button.

But you don't end with merely the rewind button. If I am in the middle of a captivating Dave Ramsey call and I pull up near my customer's house on a delivery, I no longer have to decide whether to lay low and listen to the rest of the call or miss out on Dave's brilliant advice. Instead, you give me a pause button, and I can come back after getting my $2.52 tip and find out that the caller should not have a car payment of $650/month on a $2000 monthly take home budget.

You cost me a little bit of money ($400 for the lifetime subscription, $150 for the receiver), but you've already paid for yourself and then some. Why, you ask? I have not bought one CD since I got you, and I have worked more hours than ever before and actually enjoyed it! It never feels like work when I always have the aforementioned entertainment at my disposal, as well as a 24 NFL talk network, any musical genre I've ever wanted to explore, every NFL and NBA game, some very funny and thought-provoking talk radio, multiple stand up comedy channels, and the ability to get an alert any time any artist I like is on any station.

I prefer to take my 150k mile CR-V on long trips with the wife instead of her comfortable, nearly new, highly fuel efficient Accord Hybrid, and I owe it all to you.



Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Party's Almost Over

Before I get into the key points of this post, I want to discuss why I despise the 2 run rule. The 2 run rule, the brainchild of some overpaid Pizza Hut executive, limits drivers to doubles. Even if 3 neighbors order at the exact same time, the arbitrary 2 run rule typically applies...unless the drivers are running the show, which is currently happening at my shop. :) More on that later. Here is what's wrong with the 2 run rule:

-In the era of $3.00+ gas, it cripples the driver's opportunities to beat the costs of gas by picking up an extra run reimbursement for the delivery.
-Maybe my biggest pet peeve scenario for delivering: Driving by a house and not delivering there, despite their order being ready to go...coming back to the shop to deliver right back to the same house...wasting gas and the customer's time in the process.
-I took a quad in 17 minutes tonight. (Made $15 in tips on that run, my hourly wage, and $5.20 in reimbursement, I might add) For a point of reference, drivers are expected to take 3 deliveries per hour. Multiple runs can catch a busy store up during rush, which increases business. ("How long for delivery? 80 minutes? No thanks, I'll call Donato's.) Without multiple runs, shops have no way of keeping up with the rushes, other than overloading the schedule with drivers, which is expensive and bad for morale.
-It takes away from the skill function of the job, and neuters drivers with mad skills.

Now, why is the party over? We are about to get a new general manager at Pizza Hut. A former McDonald's multi-unit manager, this man undoubtedly achieved his 'suit' status by following the letter of the law to a tee. This means that he will likely be very adamant about hiring a bunch of new drivers (eww...), and enforcing the 2 run rule (blah...).

I couldn't have picked a better time to cut down to 2 nights at the Hut and go to 4 at Sparano's, where the 5 run rule is liberally enforced.