A Belated, Albeit Still Current, Dismissal of Domino’s

November 22, 2011 at 7:00 AM (Customer Service, Food) (, , , )

Yesterday, I saw a tweet about Domino’s introducing their new gourmet cheesy bread to appeal to consumer palates that are “evolving to such tastes.” Won’t lie: if this were to have taken place a couple years ago, I probably would have been eager to try the spinach and feta, or even the supposed souped-up cheese-only upgrade. Instead, today I was only reminded of how long it’s been since I gave up on the chain forever and ever, following a fatal last straw. Curious? Read on.

I used to worship Domino’s cheesy bread. “Party in my mouth” was just one of many, many happy ways to describe how I felt about the carb-heavy, cheesy, garlicky calories. Oftentimes when I called for delivery, I’d only order the pizza so I’d meet the minimum charge required for delivery. Sometimes I didn’t even try to kid myself and just ordered two boxes of cheesy bread. Given that I was still dancing during most of my Domino’s era, I could afford to enjoy this diet and not grow to the size of a house. Yes, life at BU was good.

Then I moved deep into the heart of a Brookline neighborhood, no longer a stone’s throw from BU’s campus. And the Golden Age came to an end.

It was my first night in my current place, where I’ve resided for more than a year, now, and I had no internet, little furniture, and little to no interest in cooking my own dinner. I didn’t worry, however, knowing that approximately 35 minutes were all I’d need before I could enjoy some of my beloved cheesy bread. I called up my local Domino’s and placed my order. When they went to confirm my address, I corrected them with my latest place of residence.

“Oh, uh, we don’t deliver that far.”

“Okay, can you connect me to a store that does?”

“It doesn’t work like that. You have to look it up online.”

“Well, I don’t have internet access. Is there another number I can call to find out who does deliver to me?”

“You could call corporate…”

Fine. I was hungry and still determined to not cook. I called corporate, gave them my address, and took down the number they gave me. I hung up and dialed the number… to find myself back on the phone with the original location who claimed to not deliver to me.

“Hi, I’d like to place and order for delivery, please.”

(After taking my number and address) “I’m sorry, we don’t deliver to that address.”

“I just got off the phone with corporate, and they said you do.”

(A mildly uncomfortable pause) “Okay, well, it’s going to take us, like, 80 minutes.”

“That’s fine” (it wasn’t, but what was I going to do?).

I placed my order – cheesy bread (natch) and a small fancy-pants pizza that was being advertised at the time (tried to see if it still exists, but the Domino’s website wasn’t cooperating) – and sat back and waited. Sure enough, after an excruciatingly long hour and 20 minutes passed, I heard the buzzer. I paid the delivery person, took the boxes and skedaddled inside to feast. I shelved the pizza box, focusing my salivating attention on the smaller box, sure to contain my cheesy bread. I opened it, and –

Let’s take a moment. Do you remember that customer complaint letter to Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines? Let me pull out a particular excerpt with which I identify all too easily, following the experience I’m recounting to you now:

Imagine being a twelve year old boy Richard. Now imagine it’s Christmas morning and you’re sat their with your final present to open. It’s a big one, and you know what it is. It’s that Goodmans stereo you picked out the catalogue and wrote to Santa about. Only you open the present and it’s not in there. It’s your hamster Richard. It’s your hamster in the box and it’s not breathing.

Buffalo chicken kickers. Buffalo [expletive]ing chicken kickers. After all that back-and-forth and waiting with bated breath, I had, in front of me, a box of food that I couldn’t even eat (buffalo wings are too spicy for my tender palate). To say I was livid would be polite. I called the store back immediately, as the delivery man had already gone, to demand a remedy to this outrage. After being asked what I wanted them to do about it (really?!), I said that I wanted a delivery of cheesy bread – and that I wanted the next cheesy bread purchase comped (this was not the first time my poor culinary delight had been forgotten). I was promised both, and once again I found myself sitting and waiting for my dinner.

Not 30 minutes later, I had company. Before letting the delivery guy go, I confirmed that he had indeed brought me cheesy bread. At last, somewhere between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m., after a long day of moving, I had my dinner. I opened the box, finally beginning to relax knowing that I could still get my fix.

Only the cheesy bread had been rushed through the oven: the top looked like it had barely been heated. Even my trophy for all my efforts was tarnished and I couldn’t enjoy that. I should have called to complain again, or at the very least written my own letter of complaint that would have made Sir Richard think that he had it easy, but I was too exhausted and hungry. Defeated, I sat in my apartment, alone, eating crappy cheesy bread – oh, and that pizza wasn’t great, either. I never ordered that comped cheesy bread. I was done. To this day I still refuse to order it.

So Domino’s, good luck with your new gourmet cheesy bread. Maybe I’ll hear how it turns out through one grapevine or another, because I sure won’t be ordering it – or anything else on the menu – for myself.

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Still Moving . . .

August 31, 2010 at 1:12 AM (Musings) (, )

. . . And I still hate it.  Most of my belongings are stashed in a distant storage unit.  All that remains are some clothes, trinkets and dishware.  Notice the lack of bed; I haven’t slept in a couple days.

Tomorrow I start to move into the actual apartment.  On the bright side, I have my keys, and our super seems like he’s going to be as accommodating as possible (hurray, nice people!).  On the dark side, I still won’t have a bed for a few days.  Bugger.

Luckily, my Wachusett Blueberries are keeping my spirits, uhm, almost airborne.

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Confession

December 7, 2009 at 2:53 AM (Musings) (, )

I have a confession to make about working at Starbucks: when customers stand very close to the bar and look at me condescendingly whilst jabbering on their phones as I make drinks, I like to call the drinks out extra loud, just to be a pain (watching them jerk unexpectedly is my favourite).

Starbucks 755 Boylston BostonWorking at Starbucks isn’t the worst way to pay rent.  Most of my coworkers are pretty fun, and we’re blessed with a slew of awesome regulars Apple Store Boston Boylston(most of whom are from the Apple Store).  It can be stressful, though, and every now and then we get the customers who couldn’t even fathom the possibility that yes, the baristas making their double-tall half-caf 172-degree light-whip two-and-a-half-splenda skinny vanilla lattes are, in fact, human beings who merit just as much basic respect as their coworkers on the other end of their iPhones.  We have our own lives and aspirations, and we don’t particularly appreciate it when people can’t be bothered to put their friends on hold in order to fully explain what they would like to drink.

Or when they roll their eyes at us when they order a tall grande and we explain that tall and grande are two different sizes.

Or when they try to step behind the bar to get their drink because they’re in too much of a hurry for us to hand it to them.

Or answer with their drink order when we ask how they’re doing.

Or when they take money out of our tip jar when they don’t have exact change.

Like I said, most of our customers are alright.  Every now and then, though, I struggle not to say something incredibly sharp to the self-important jerks who decide to grace us with their obnoxious patronage.  So, I just make sure that when I call out drinks, the recipients will definitely be able to hear them over other people’s phone conversations.

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Instant Messaging ≠ Instant Dating

February 27, 2009 at 3:17 PM (Happenings, Musings) (, , )

When did I miss the train?  When did conversations check out in favour of texts, IMs and Facebook wall posts?  Admittedly, I’ve realised that people prefer to spend 15 minutes texting each other trying to decide when and where to meet up for lunch over actually picking up the phone and achieving the same end result in 15 seconds.  I know that Twitter playfully challenges members to say anything in 140 characters or fewer.  And an instant message is so delightfully noncommittal compared to making another phone call.  Come on, how often have you had the following exchange over some chat medium?

You: hey whats ^?
Them: nm u?
You: same lol…tryin to figure out what im doing friday
Them: omg!!  that reminds me of sumthing i wanted to tell u!
Them: i met this guy last nite.  we were at this party
You: h/o, i have to go get laundry, but keep talking, i’ll brb

You haven’t even looked at your laundry basket today, and you have no intention of addressing it in the near future, either.  It’s a convenient excuse to get away from the computer, though.

Three hours later
Them: and he finally txted me like 20min ago and we’re hanging out friday!! 🙂
Them: where did u go??
You: hey sorry, got distracted, mom called
You: thats awesome tho, yay for u!
Them: lol i kno, rite??

For all your mother knows, you have run away to Mexico, begun trafficking drugs and joined the mafia: she hasn’t heard from you in three months.  But, you didn’t have to sit through your friend’s riveting story, and she wasn’t offended because you decided to ignore her as she typed “lol” and “omg” incessently for three hours.

I’ve come to terms with that.  Instant messaging has its place between friends.  What threw me for a small loop, I guess, was when someone I barely knew selected it as the weapon of choice in the courting arena.

Once upon a time, our blogger sat herself down at a hotel bar sporting her faithful little black dress and a killer pair of legs.  Small wonder that she attracted some attention.  It was a delightfully traditional exchange: boy meets girl, girl judges that boy isn’t utter scumbag, girl gives boy number.  Both parties agree to potentially meet the following evening if boy is still in town.

Since then, I have all but forgotten how this gentleman’s voice sounds.  I’ve received some text messages, and I’ve even been poked on Facebook (the most ambiguous form of “communication” ever).  No phone calls.  I should have given him my screen name over my number: at least receiving messages through AIM is free.

If I’m not mistaken, this chap said that he’d be back in Beantown in a few weeks.  Not to issue a challenge or anything (okay, I’m absolutely issuing a challenge), but I may be more inclined to clear my schedule in favour of a meet-up if my phone rings.

Today’s Tunes
“I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” Stevie Wonder
“You’re the Boss,” The Brian Setzer Orchestra
“Changes,” David Bowie
“At Last,” Lou Rawls & Dianne Reeves
“Amazing,” George Michael
“Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy,” Queen
“Homecoming,” Kanye West feat. Chris Martin
“I Need Love,” Robin Thicke

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Since When Is This Appropriate?

February 11, 2009 at 6:33 AM (Musings) (, )

WARNING: Rant below!

Perhaps I was raised in a stuffy household since I value basic etiquette, but at the same time, I like to think that I’m fairly tolerant of most remarks (particularly since I usually have some snarky comments up my sleeve).  Tonight, however, someone definitely managed to thoroughly irk me.

This afternoon, I posted my planned evening whereabouts online.  An acquaintance who lived near my destination suggested meeting for dinner in the area beforehand.  Although I was already in the midst of eating my dinner, I agreed to dessert/ drinks if I made it out with enough time to spare before my appointment (I think the exact wording was “I don’t know if I can make [suggested meeting time], but I’ll keep you posted.”).  Ten minutes later, I receive the following message:

“Okay I found someone else to go to dinner with (so hah!) . . . unless they cancel at the last second, in which case I will come crawling back . . . (but otherwise, HAH!!!).”

Seriously?  I had so many issues with this.  Had I told this person that I truly didn’t think I’d be early enough for a meet-up, then of course it would have made sense to look for an alternate dinner date.  However, I was still planning on making an effort to head out ahead of schedule when I suddenly learned that I had been “replaced.”  If nothing else, this person could have 1) said something had come up and suggested rescheduling for another time, or 2) offered that maybe we should catch up when we both had more time to spare.  At the very least, asking for an estimate as to how early I could arrive would have been appropriate before essentially rescinding an offer.  Perhaps the “hah!”s were supposed to prevent any offense being taken, but you’ll have to excuse me for not buying it anyway.

Tonight’s Distraction
A delicious screwdriver

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Potentially Forced into Early Graduation . . . Curses.

October 27, 2008 at 6:05 PM (Happenings) (, )

Yesterday morning, registration for spring courses opened up for seniors.  To prevent a total system overload, students register in appointed blocks.  Appointment times are determined by the last number of each student’s ID number.  This coming semester left me with the short straw: I was in the penultimate registration block for seniors.

Last week I had the opportunity to plan out my spring schedule.  That is, I went through the online course catalogue, and chose some classes that I’d be interested in taking next semester.  Putting courses in the planner does not guarantee one’s seat in a class when registration opens, but it does allow for one to put together mock-ups of schedules so that when registration does open, ideally one already knows what courses to add.  I was pretty happy about the courses in my planner: advanced writing for PR, community relations, new media and PR (with one of my favourite professors/my advisor), and perhaps a drawing class (because I can).  The nice thing about having finished all of my graduation requirements early meant that I could take whatever I wanted during my last semester.  I had a great schedule in mind, too: classes on Tuesday and Thursday only, which would give me time to either get an internship or a part-time job in PR that could turn into a full-time position in May.  Admittedly, the option of four-day weekends was pretty enticing, too.

Ten minutes before my 11.30 appointment, I excused myself from practise and went up to the studio office to register.  Earlier that morning, I saw that one of my classes had filled up, but I wasn’t too worried.  I started to stress when I remembered how slow the studio connection was.  At 11.28, I was just logging on to the registration site.  To my horror, at 11.30, ALL of the PR classes I wanted to take were full. The drawing class was still open.  After cursing at the top of my lungs, I tore through the course catalogue, looking for anything that looked remotely interesting.  My internal monologue as I did so went something like this:

“Took it . . . class full . . . took it . . . took it . . . advertising . . . took it . . . advertising . . . took it . . . not relevant . . . took it . . . advertising . . . took it . . . advertising . . . don’t know what that is . . . advertising . . . advertising . . . advertising . . . advertising . . . took it . . . class full . . . took it . . . not interested . . . took it . . . class full . . . advertising . . . advertising . . . advertising . . . advertising . . . not relevant . . . class full . . . grad course . . . grad course . . . grad course . . . grad course . . . grad course . . . ”

I ended up taking a “not relevant,” “don’t know what that is,” the drawing course, and an English class.  I may have been interested in some of the advertising courses, but I couldn’t take any of them without having taken the intro to advertising course, first.  Had I not been so wrapped up in getting my graduation requirements out of the way, I may have taken the ad course a semester or two ago.  I had heard countless stories of people who did not get their requirements out of the way until senior year, only to discover that they were locked out of those classes and therefore could not graduate in four years.  It wasn’t fair: I was responsible and got all of my requirements out of the way.  This semester was supposed to be my reward finishing early.  Why was I settling for courses just for the sake of taking more courses?  Was it really worth the tuition?  I thought about it for a few minutes, then decided that maybe I would graduate early, after all.

I E-mailed the new media & PR professor for his two cents, and his potential ability to influence the situation.  He responded this morning to let me know that although all the undergrad seats were full for his course, there were a couple left for graduate students, and he would see if he could open up one of those seats for me. 

Oh, dear advisor, if you can get me into that class, I will be there at 9.30 every Tuesday and Thursday morning with a smile on my face and a cup of coffee in my hand, ready to learn!

I’m supposed to E-mail him later today to find out what the story is, and of course I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  If I can get into that class, it will be much easier to justify another semester.  If not, I may be looking for a job this December.  Wish me luck, either way.  My resume is available upon request.

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Didn’t See THAT Coming . . .

September 30, 2008 at 6:34 PM (Dance, Friends, Musings) (, )

It was 7.00 A.M, and I was putting the final touches on a presentation I’d be delivering in a couple hours.  I was also waiting quite impatiently for my coffee to finish up, because once again, I was running on precious little sleep.  I chanced to look out my window at the loading dock of the stadium next to my building in time to see a pack of techies flooding out of a truck that had just pulled in for whatever performance is happening tonight.  I saw that many of them had Dunkin’ Donuts cups clasped in their hands, and I suddenly flashed back to when I was the captain of my college’s ballroom dance team.  I remembered cursing existence as I would drag myself out of bed as early as 3.30 A.M. to get myself ready and out the door by 5.00, to get to the team’s vans by 5.15, to meet everyone by 5.30, to call the latecomers by 5.45, and to be on the road moving by 6.00 to arrive at a comp by 7.30.  What would follow would typically be a 13- to 14-hour day of dancing and team parenting, and eventually another hour-and-a-half ride home.

I guess seeing the techies clinging to their coffee reminded me of how we usually had time to stop for caffeine on the way to a competition.  The strange thing was that I didn’t look back on that time with any distaste or regret.  As a matter of fact, I found myself missing it.  Yes, we all loathed being up at some ungodly hour of the morning, but we loathed it together, and we did it in anticipation of a great day ahead.  During the van ride, as we gradually woke up, the adrenaline slowly began to take over, and by the time we got to the competition, most of us were chomping at the bit and in high spirits.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my current team, even more so than my collegiate team.  We all support each other like family, but there’s something particularly adhesive about a group of people all forced to be up at the same early hour to pile into the same van to go to a comp and be stuck together for the greater part of a day.  Not only are members obligated to themselves and their partners to be at the van on time, but they are also abligated to the rest of the group: everyone got up at 5.00 so that everyone could get to the comp on time; it only made sense that they should cheer each other on, as well.  My current team has the luxury of personal automobiles: couples may not show up to a competition more than a few hours before their events, rather than getting there in time for the first team members’ events.  If they have their own means of getting to the comp, why lose sleep to be at an event by 10.00 A.M. if they don’t have to dance until 6.00 P.M.?

This has been a little bit of a sore spot for me on this team.  Because my partner and I compete at a lower experience level than most of the other team members, we typically get stuck with the Sunday 10.00 A.M. events.  That means that I’m usually up by 7.00 or 8.00 in the morning to deal with my hair and makeup, and that’s frequently after I stayed up past 11.00 P.M. the previous Saturday evening in order to support my higher level teammates compete.  Meanwhile, the friends I just spent $40 and three hours of sleep to watch the night before enjoy the luxury of sleeping through my heats.  Or, if we’re all competing the same day, even if my partner and I are competing in the afternoon, too frequently do I realise that our more advanced friends are busy warming up, or getting ready for their events, and can’t spare the time to watch us.

I understand that we’re all at the competition for the same reason: to dance, and to dance well.  It’s up to each of us to determine our priorities so that when it’s time for our events, we’re all in the best condition to perform.  That said, none of us are obligated to watch each other dance, especially if it may affect our own dancing later on, or in a slightly less relevant case, our wallets (ballroom entry fees can get pretty steep, depending on the competition).  It is my choice to go support my friends when they are dancing.  We have no written contracts bonding us to reciprocation of support.  I also understand that no matter how frustrating it is when my partner and I dance in front of an audience of strangers, that I will continue to support my friends when they dance, anyway.  It’s in my nature.

WARNING: Whining Alert!  The author is about to talk about the way things should be versus how they are.
That said, I do wish people on the team felt at least a little obligated to support all team members, not just the ones whose events fit conveniently into their schedules.  Out of curiosity, I just consulted the good ole’ Oxford English dictionary for a definition of “team.”  These two seemed relevant:

4. a. fig. Applied to persons drawing together.
b. transf. A number of persons associated in some joint action; now esp. a definite number of persons forming a side in a match, in any team sport; hence, a group collaborating in their professional work or in some enterprise or assignment. (http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50247958?query_type=word&queryword=team&first=1&max_to_show=10&sort_type=alpha&result_place=1&search_id=peAc-usXT7i-11125&hilite=50247958).

Okay, so there’s nothing about mutual support in order for a team to be truly cohesive, but there should be.  As I’ve mentioned many of these people are not just teammates: they’re friends, as well.  We hang out after practise.  Sometimes we even do non-dance stuff together.  We’re hardly strangers to one another.  If nothing else, as my friends, should I still have to ask them if they will watch me compete?

It is my choice to go support my friends when they are dancing.  We have no written contracts bonding us to reciprocation of support.  I also understand that no matter how frustrating it is when my partner and I dance in front of an audience of strangers, that I will continue to support my friends when they dance, anyway.  It’s in my nature.

Apologies – I definitely wasn’t counting on this turning into a rant.  That said, it’s my blog, and I’ll write whatever I gosh-darned well please!

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