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In Mt. Lebanon, one of the many restaurants my roommate and I have ordered delivery from on many occasions is a place called Little Nippers. They serve pizzas along with hoagies and gyros, tending towards the more Greek end of the cuisine spectrum. The food is wonderful, which is why we keep ordering from the place. For the most part their delivery drivers are courteous and prompt, however in the past several months, ordering from Little Nippers has become a game of Russian Roulette because of one malcontent delivery driver.

Tonight I found out that his name is Paul.

We have had the misfortune of having Paul assigned to deliver our orders on several occasions now. He has never completed the task. We live in an apartment on the third floor; as the building is older, there is no elevator, however the stairs are not a terrible climb. Paul, in an affront to his title has refused to actually deliver the orders to the apartment. Every single time he will call us to announce his arrival - not even on the first floor, mind you, but outside the building; sometimes even across the street.

Tonight was no different. My roommate made the order, suffering the indignity of having Paul be the one to take it. She told me that he was extremely rude to her on the phone and dismissive as well, cutting her off on several occasions before she'd finished making the order. When the food finally arrived almost an hour later, Paul called claiming that he couldn't find our apartment building. Perhaps Paul suffers some form of amnesia, as he has been to the building on several occasions. In fact, while sitting in his car and not actually delivering food, he has had plenty of time to study his surroundings and commit the lay of the neighbourhood to memory.

I walked downstairs to get and pay for the food. Paul was standing right outside the door to the building. I used the toe of my boot to hold the door open as I stared at the pathetic middle-aged man in front of me. His face drooped, dripping of guilt as excuses flowed through his soft cranium. I noted the five o'clock shadow covering his cheeks - a rough appearance to match the rough treatment he'd given my roommate when taking the order, the order he could not actually complete the delivery for. The stubble parted and words began dropping like so much excrement from the hindquarters of a work horse.

"I couldn't find your building," said Paul. "Is the number in a weird place or something?"

I took the boxes of food out of his hands and glared at him. "The building number is posted right up front," I said as I crammed the exact amount the food cost plus one dollar into Paul's hand. At that point, I made a sharp 180-degree turn on my heels and began jogging up the stairs. "Hey," I heard Paul cry out behind me, realising that his tip was an intentional slap in the face. I continued my upward momentum. If Paul had something to discuss with me, he'd have to catch up with me.

When I got the food into the apartment, I decided to call Little Nippers before Paul had a chance to drive back. I was going to lodge a formal complaint against Paul. Unfortunately the manager was not in that night, but the woman I spoke to was very understanding and sympathetic. She also seemed like she had taken calls complaining about Paul before. I told her that while we loved the food from there and while most of their delivery drivers were excellent, we could no longer abide Paul's behaviour. He does not deliver the food, he is rude and he is inefficient. I noted that he was putting a bad face on the business and was going to eventually impact cashflow as people were not going to want to risk having to abide his behaviour. To put it bluntly: Paul should be fired.

I don't know that my complaint will do any good. I was told that we could request that Paul not deliver food to us anymore, which while a passable solution does not truly get to the root of the problem. Paul does not do his job - a person delivering food has a responsibility to actually bring it to the address on the slip. This means that the task is not complete until said delivery-person is knocking on the door of whomever made the order. A phone call requesting that residents come outside for their order is inexcusable.

As for his attitude, eventually that will begin to impact Little Nippers' bottom line. People are not going to want to become repeat customers for a place whose employees don't do their jobs and who are surely with them while telling obvious lies. I suspect that when Paul starts losing money for the business is when he will finally face the unemployment he so richly deserves.

illusionofjoy: (Default)

Just in time for the Super Bowl, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette gives us the road to the Super Cup:

Not everyone can make it to Tampa to watch the Steelers take on the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl. But next weekend, you'll get another chance to watch the home team defend another heavily contested title, and you'll only have to go as far as Cranberry to show your Pittsburgh pride: Feb. 6 to 8, 30 baristas from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Washington, D.C. will be throwing down at the Specialty Coffee Association of America's Mid-Atlantic Regional Barista Competition.

And, since no one stepped up to host the Northeast Regional Competition, it's taking place in Cranberry as well, which means baristas from some of the best cafes in the Northeast, including well-known spots like Gimme! Coffee and Everyman Espresso, will be coming to Cranberry to compete.

This year is the first time the competition has been held in the Pittsburgh area, so coffee lovers will not want to miss this opportunity to learn more about the art of espresso, mingle with all kinds of coffee professionals and watch as baristas put their skills to the test. As an added draw, pastry chefs from a number of Cranberry-area restaurants and bakeries -- including North Country Brewing Co., Springfield Grill, Sweethouse Bake Shop and Fresh Cup Cafe -- will prepare an array of desserts each day, perfect accompaniments to a specialty coffee drink. The chefs also will perform recipe demonstrations each day. Admission to the competition is free, but a ticket to the dessert buffet costs $10 (or $8 if purchased by Feb. 5 from kivahan.com/barista). Proceeds from dessert and coffee bar sales will be donated to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Pittsburgh baristas not only have home team advantage, but they're also the defending champions: Belle Battista, previously of Aldo Coffee in Mt. Lebanon, took home the trophy last year. Of course, that means that for Pittsburgh baristas, the stakes are very high. "Pittsburgh baristas really have to bring it home," said Drew von Arx, 27, a barista at 21st Street Coffee in the Strip District and Downtown, who'll be competing for the first time.

The pertinent information is posted at a sidebar to the article. However, I'm reposting it here with Google Maps linky goodness:

  • Where: Pittsburgh Marriott North, 100 Cranberry Woods Drive, Cranberry.
  • When: Competition rounds will take place throughout the day from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 6, and Feb. 7; the final rounds will be held between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Feb. 8.
  • Cost: Admission to the event is free; Admission to the dessert bar and one beverage costs $10 ($8 if purchased at www.kivahan.com/barista before Feb. 5); specialty coffee beverages, $3 each. All food and beverage proceeds will be donated to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
  • More Info: For more information on ???For the Love of Coffee,??? visit kivahan.com/barista or call 724-742-2326

illusionofjoy: (Default)

The Heart Attack Grill, near Phoenix, Arizona is a fast food place that unashamedly markets themselves as having entrees "so good they're worth dying for." It's fast food that blatantly admits that, yes, it's bad for you, but people love it anyway.

One of their marketing gimmicks is that anyone weighing over 350 pounds eats for free. I'm not sure what to think, but let those with a knee-jerk reaction of indignation come screaming out of the woodwork.

illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

Back when the primary season was in it's infancy, before things become so close, contentious and...insane, both the Obama and Clinton campaigns were sending out emails offering a chance at having dinner with the candidate in exchange for a donation. It was Obama whose campaign originally had the idea, and I took a pass when the first email came around. The Clinton camp co-opted it and issued an email with the offer at the same time Obama's camp was sending their second emails. In light of this, I donated $5.00 to each campaign because 1.) I felt foolish for even passing up one chance to have dinner with a potential presidential candidate and 2.) I wanted to keep the primary "interesting." Little did I know how "interesting" things would end up becoming...

Obama, riding the wave of his 1% lead in the popular vote (fun fact: delegate counts do not reflect proportional state populations - another reform which needs to be made), has once more offered people a chance to have dinner with him.Read more... )

In effect, it's a chance to get everyone pissed off at me, which has merit in of itself. Frankly, I'm pretty used to everyone either hating or being angry with me for one reason or another (and in certain situations, I've even revelled in it).

So, the Obama donation form is waiting...and all I have to do is fill it out before the end of the month. I have to admit though, I feel compelled to "come clean" in the "tell your story section" of the form. That is to say, I'd have to write something like, "I have to confess, I am voting for Hillary Clinton in the primary, however, I greatly admire your dedication and what you stand for, Mr. Obama and would have no reservations voting for you in the general election, should that be the will of the Democratic electorate...etc." I hope such a "confession" would not lessen or completely negate my chances (however small they already are) at the dinner - I doubt it, but one never knows. Also, I hope that the Clinton camp decides to "steal" this idea again. Frankly, I'd like to get them both in a room together for dinner (or maybe just drinks - I think these two need an evening in a South Side bar to loosen up).

So, that's my latest quandary or what have you. And yes, I'd like to see some comments on this entry, if you'd all be so gracious as to let me pick your brains.

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Seth Warren

May 2017

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