I had a rare moral dilemma today. It consisted of me having to choose between a free meal and ponying up. Having convinced myself to go for the free meal after much verification that the failed delivery would result to none being charged for it back at the outlet.
This all sounds a bit cryptic, if not a gem of how not to write so...
I'll just lay all the facts out.
I ordered via a pizza chain's delivery hotline. I was given the time and at least an hour from that time for delivery. This means that my order will be handed to me and paid by me within an hour from my call.
The minutes turned on the face of our grandfather clock. The minutes turned into an hour and then into way beyond an hour. I called up the hotline again and inquired as to the status of my order. They informed me that the order still had 4 minutes. I turned my timer on to 4 minutes after that call. But they did inform me that it was unusual that the delivery would take the whole hour.
The delivery man came (rider as the contact person from the hotline corrected me) about ten minutes after the hour given to me. Apparently he still had 8 minutes on his watch because the phone call from the delivery hotline to the branch came say at 330 instead of my call at 318pm.
I said well the hotline told me you guys were late, please call up the branch he said. I called the hotline again and was again (yes they informed me from the very first time that I called that the branch will be calling me) informed that the branch will call. The branch didn't call so I took the branch number from the rider and called them up and laid my case.
I told them that the time difference wasn't attributable to me, and that I didn't need the order anymore because my father and brother (the two persons who'll have to eat it) left already. So there we go, the pizza is something that I wouldn't accept because (1) it was late, (2) I didn't need it anymore. So the woman on the other end told me to just take it and sign on the receipt (much like what the delivery hotline guy said).
I took the pizza!
But I took it after asking from the branch if the rider will be made to pay for this. It's not his fault, why should he be made to pay? It was glaringly obvious that the branch and the hotline center didn't do their respective jobs. So I took it and signed.
Did I do the right thing by accepting something that I didn't need? I initially wanted to return the order and be rid of it all. But the allure of free was too great. Besides I also suffered something equivalent to hurt feelings (if that'll qualify for damages) because I couldn't feed my sibling and parents (yes parents my mom was also here) for the afternoon. I took the failure to deliver on time personally. My wounds were soothed but a new one was torn open, had I just sentenced an innocent rider to be made to pay for something he didn't do?
I also checked with the rider if he'd be penalized he said no. I said yep they told me at the other end that it was production who'd get hit with the blame on this one.
Anyway, I won't rest until I finally come up with something on conscience (I'll look into Aquinas and some other philosophers for conscience) and a piece on conscience and a free meal due to the error of the other.
Please refer to my other post on A friend of wisdom on my other musings on who has to pay.