McCreavy
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Achievement unlocked.


If only I could use my powers for Good...

During the Superbowl this evening, GrubHub aired a commercial featuring a $15 discount on your first order if you placed it before the end of the Game.

I had visions of a NOC somewhere lighting up red, and GrubHub's version of Kerz calling for hatches to be battened.

Went to their site, and amazingly: it was up.

I tried searching for restaurants in my area: the search worked.

I tried placing an order for $12 worth of chicken wings and $4 worth of Its It ice cream: the cart loaded and I was prompted to create an account.

I tried figuring out to apply the $15 discount mentioned in the Superbowl Ad, but couldn't figure it out. There was a link for "live help" at the top of the page: a popup loaded.

Queue length: 117. It updated minutely, decrementing by 1 every 3 minutes or so... It was going to be a while.

I went to Twitter and saw other people confused on how to activate the discount. Below the most recent tweets I saw people tweeting their GrubHub affiliate link to get $15 split ($7.50 each) between the affiliate and any new signups. I put one of those codes in and got $7.50 off my order -- sending $7.50 to some benevolent stranger.

I submitted the order wondering if maybe that would trigger the $15 discount, no luck. Estimated junk food arrival time: 2 hours.

While waiting for Live Help, I decided to tweet my affiliate link "thanking @GrubHub for helping me get the $15 #superbowl #grubhub coupon code" and waited for affiliate clicks to roll in. Fingers crossed!

20 minutes later, a knock at the door: the food guy! Over an hour and a half earlier than GrubHub's estimate.

The last time I saw someone in this much of a hurry, it was the UPS on iPhone delivery day. We exchanged tip for food and he was running away when I said "hey, where's the icecream?"

He looked pretty dejected, checked the receipt -- and said he had forgotten but would be back. 30 minutes later another knock: haggard delivery guy with ice cream! Thanks!

Away he flew like the down of a thistle... A short while later I noticed the ice cream was not Vanilla but dreaded Cappucino. Bleagh.

I called the pizza joint and explained the situation -- I offered to go over to exchange it and the hostess said "don't worry" about bringing the Cappucino back -- she'd just give me new ice creams.

So I went over and she had a bag ready for me -- with two boxes of Its It ice cream bars! So this is what the freezer looks like now:

When I got back, the 117 queue was down to single digits, and then someone got online. She explained the coupon offer was for a few select markets (San Francisco) being one of them, and if I wasn't properly geo-fenced, I wouldn't get the offer. I explained I was in the SF bay area and she credited my GrubHub account (disclaimer: for my next purchase with them).

So, I think things worked out in my favor. If anyone uses my GrubHub affiliate link to sign up, then I'll definitely be in the black.


This morning there was a team building exercise at the District Executive Committee meeting.

It was called the "Marshmallow Challenge" and each participating team gets a brown paper bag with:

20 sticks of spaghetti A piece of string Masking tape A marshmallow and has 18 minutes to assemble a free-standing structure supporting the marshmallow. We had about 10 teams of 4 people each.

According to the official rules on the marshmallow challenge site, each team is supposed to get one yard of tape -- for our version, each team got a roll of masking tape. The rules we were given specified we weren't allowed to tape the spaghetti to the table, but nothing about not using the tape roll itself. This played well for our solution.

When the 18-minute clock started, our team spent the first few minutes inspecting our supplies and considering our options. A "tee-pee" was what we decided to go with -- it was going to take too long to assemble girders out of the spaghetti.

We made five or so rods of three spaghetti sticks each and started assembling. The tower wasn't and we started wrapping it in lengths of tape and then the roll itself came into play: securing the tower to the roll made it really stable.

We continued to build another two levels of sticks on top of our 3-stick tall tower when we got the two minute warning. Looking at other people's towers, we had no chance of winning -- they were big gangly structures with struts and crossbars and a lot of airy height.

At around the 1 minute warning, people began installing their marshmallows atop their towers -- and that's when it got fun. There was a lot of crumpling going on in that last minute!

Our tower was also too tall -- we couldn't balance the marshmallow and it looked like all was lost.

In the last 15 seconds or so, I made a quick executive decision to behead our tower by two sticks of spaghetti... losing the top 25% of height. We smushed the marshmallow on top of the resulting spike. It stood!

The Buzzer sounded and we looked around.

Of the ten teams, there were about 6 towers standing. Two of them were disqualified due to being taped to the desk. One collapsed before it could be measured.

Of the remaining towers, ours was tallest by a few centimeters!

No official challenge was made regarding our use of the tape roll after a judge confirmed it was okay to use "anything in the bag." Instead, we were applauded for our creativity.

What'd I take away? Iterate, cooperate, and marshmallows weigh more than you think.

Also, in the course of this post, I learned "marshmallow" has no "e" in it.


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