Monday, December 28

12/27 Word Problem

It takes Stoner Manager 7 seconds to fold one pizza box of any size. Pizza Girl takes 11 seconds to fold a box. A bundle of boxes contains 50 boxes. They need to fold 6 bundles of large boxes, a bundle of medium boxes, a bundle of small boxes, a bundle of tiny boxes, and a bundle of wing boxes (in that order). Goofball, who can fold a box in 9 seconds, joins in for half of the larges and all of the rest of the boxes, but Stoner Manager doesn't help with the tiny boxes, and Pizza Girl doesn't help with the wing boxes. How long will this take them if they work continuously except for two 15 minutes "smoke-breaks" and a 3 minute break after every 60 boxes of larges and after every size change to put them away (go ahead and add 20 minutes aggregate for general slacking off)?

I only ask because that's how I spent the majority of my Sunday. El Jefe left Stoner Manager a note to clock me in at noon whether or not they needed me (normally Stoner Manager sends me home and calls when he needs me).

On the actual work side I had a woman call and wanted me to list all of the toppings we have. We have about 20 toppings, so I'm sure you can understand that I was not thrilled to do so. Apparently I listed the toppings too fast for her and she got pissy with me and wanted to talk to my manager and kept saying I was just a "worker". So I listed all the toppings... slowly... one... by... one... making... sure... she... understood... each... one. Then she started to order and tried order one I didn't list, canadian bacon, I told her we had ham, she got pissed and hung up. If I were the messing with food type she'd be lucky she hung up.

Later I think I delivered to her twin sister. She pre-tipped a dollar and when I accidentally brought another customer's soda to the door, she didn't correct me or say anything. She took the soda! I then had to make a second trip for my real customer (who pre-tipped $4) to get another soda. I hate human beings like her.

I did have a few good tippers. I delivered to Goofball's old house and they gave 5. I delivered to a little old lady that orders pizza when she watches her grand-daughter and she tipped 4.

I made $60 off of 15 deliveries, a pathetic $2.71 average tip. Bah humbug.

12/26 Chip's Buck Stop

The weekend after Christmas was slow and the Christmas generosity seemed to have already seeped out of the population of my small town, or maybe I just lack the Christmas cheer to imagine that people were any different than at any other time of the year (I'm a bit of a Grinch). Shitty tippers just seem shittier at Christmas.

Take my usual verbal-tipper for example. She profusely thanks me every Saturday when I deliver to her and never tips. I forgot her soda this Saturday and didn't go to bring it back to her until I had another delivery to take with it. I know she doesn't understand why I'm not nicer to her, why I don't return her thanks with smiles. She is the kind that tipping-education might do some good. Might. She might just be a jerk. Either way, I've wasted many minutes delivering her pizza and never gotten a cent for it. And she won't get any smiles from me.

On my way back from a $5 tipper a woman marched into the middle of the road to berate me for driving too quickly on her street while there were children present. I was polite but not apologetic, I wasn't driving quickly or unsafely, I knew exactly where those children were at all times and they had the good sense to get out of the road when a car was coming. She thought I'd be scared if she threatened me that her son was law-enforcement (there was a sheriff car parked outside the house) and she'd give him my license plate number. I think she fails to understand law-enforcement only works if I was breaking a law.

On the fun side, I delivered to a wild-game processor. I joke about delivering to places with lots of knives and a floor drain to wash away my blood, but this place actually has it. Not only that but it's down a long, narrow drive carved out of hedge and bordered on both sides by fences. Good thing it was the middle of the day.

In total I took 9 deliveries, 4 were good tips, one was acceptable, and 4 were unacceptable (two stiffs). I walked out with $38 and an average tip of $2.88.

Thursday, December 24

12/13 Wages

Saturday I found out that my pay structure had been changed two weeks ago without my knowledge. If you follow my Twitter, you know I was pissed. Last night I threw down with El Jefe about it and at first he tried to brush off my complaints.

The new pay structure: $8 while I am in-store. $4 while I am clocked out on a delivery. $1.29 (a nice round number to make things easy) for gas reimbursement on each delivery.

My complaints:
1. Not being notified of the pay rate change - From my perspective a pay-rate change is a time for me to decide if I still want to work there and an easy out. I am perfectly within my rights to say that I do not agree to work at the new pay structure since I agreed to my original structure only.

His answer was that he thought everyone knew, everyone he asked already knew. He apologized that I didn't know.

I responded that it's his responsibility to make sure everyone knew and relying on word of mouth is not a good way to do that.

2. We are pressured to check out deliveries before they are ready to make it look like we're getting pizzas out of the store sooner than we are. There are lots of times when he'll yell for us to get the runs logged out and then go help on makeline. There have been rare occasions when I'll check out a delivery and then a pizza goes missing and a remake is called and I'm in the store twenty minutes or more logged out on my runs the entire time. In the new pay scheme this is an unacceptable situation.

His answer, he agrees that the system will have to be more as intended now that every driver is on this pay scheme.

Whether anything will actually change or not remains to be seen.

3. Often, on busy days and nights, runs will get logged out under my name and then reassigned to the correct driver. However, if I get a cash-drop before they reassign the incorrect runs, the incorrect run can't be reassigned. I'm stuck with it and have to pay out the tip and gas money that will be included in my cash-out. If I'm only getting paid half during the time when I'm logged out, my sheet better only include my runs at the end of the night.

His argument was that if we're that busy I'm probably out of the store anyway making my driver rate and that if it's happening to me, it's happening to everyone.

I told him it's unacceptable that he's ok with even the potential of defrauding any driver of pay and that I expect management to be more vigilant of reassigning runs before it's too late.

I don't think I was being unreasonable. I'm not one of the stoners or highschoolers that will take this without questioning it.

Regarding my deliveries last night, I took 8, I taught a kid how to tip, and I made $34 (an average tip of $2.96).

Sunday, December 20

12/19 Inspection

Last Saturday was inspection day, the official day, the day when our corporate inspector came down from Mt. ChainPizza and counted the pepperonis on our pizza to ensure that there are no more or less than 48 and checked to make sure that our dough was at the proper temperature at all times. What this meant for me was that ArmyCook wanted the store clean all the time (even going so far as to make me wash our slicers mid-shift*) and that I had to work the whole time instead of napping under the drivers' table. For about thirty seconds in the morning ArmyCook wasn't so annoying, in fact, he was almost cute. Maybe it was he was groggy, maybe it was that I was groggy. Whatever it was, it quickly passed when I realized that he wasn't going to help me with prep at all. I called him on it and he helped a little bit but I had to keep nagging him to keep him from going back to the office and watching videos on his phone. Who's the manager here?!

A couple of customers really got to me. The first was down as a cash order. It was one frickin cheese pizza. I got to the door and there was obviously a holiday party ending and people were rushing out and a man answered the door and started to pay and a lady rushed by him and shouted, "Don't take any money from that man. I'm going to get a check." The man insisted on paying and I took the money. Walking down the driveway the woman then proceeded to bitch me out for taking the money and insisted that I give her the cash and she give me a check. Then she bitched at me because I didn't seem thrilled that she was wasting my time. I should have just walked off and told her to write the man a check. But I didn't. As she walked off she threw me a sarcastic "great customer service!" to which I wanted to yell back, "Bitch, it's not my job to be in the middle of your fight over who pays. It's made my day to wait on you. Great Christmas spirit!"

Then, I delivered to a house that was the wrong house and when I called the lady she admitted to giving us the wrong house number and said she was only a few doors down. I walked down, they met me on the sidewalk. I remembered their side of anchovies. Then they stiffed me. You read right. They make a mistake, I correct it instead of just taking the pizza back to the store, and they fail to tip.

On the plus side, my second delivery of the day stiffed me and I forgot the soda. Then I "forgot" that I forgot the soda. He never called back. Maybe he knew that by stiffing me he'd lost his chance at that soda. Well, one way or another he wasted $3.

Store gossip: We weren't expecting Eyebrows to make it to work Saturday because apparently he got arrested on a warrant for El Paso and was in jail. No idea what it was for, if he hadn't gotten out my guess would be serial-killing. Anyway, he got out, made it back into town, and wasn't walking bowlegged, so I'm assuming things went all right.

Ok, back to the inspection. We almost got a 102% but Happy Bopper marked a pizza off the makeline early and she docked us 20%.

I made $68 off of an unknown number of deliveries (because I was super pissed about my two bad deliveries and didn't bother to look.)

*he has no sense of humor so when he came and hovered over me while I was cutting a pizza afterward and I said, "Sorry for getting another slicer dirty, cutting pizzas psychically just wasn't working" he didn't get it and got defensive. :(

Friday, December 18

12/18 Short and Sweet(ish)

Had a pretty good 5 delivery night. Only two bad tips and three good ones including a $6. Mostly my night consisted of shuffling back and forth between the front and the back, the makeline and the driver-station, trying to look busy because El Jefe was determined to have everyone doing something even though there were a thousand Boppers on makeline. It's not my fault they're slow!

$20 off of 5. An average tip of $4.

Tuesday, December 15

12/13 Seizing Santa

Another lesson in christmas decorating. This is unacceptable in so many ways, but particularly dangerous for a pizza delivery person. First, there were a lot of power-cords running across walkways. These are a tripping hazard. Next, the red and blue lights "bathing the house" in jolly mood lighting are actually blinding when I'm walking between them and the house. And finally, strobe lights are never ever a good idea. I'm not strobe sensitive, but I know people who get migraines or have seizures when exposed to strobes. These are sneaky strobes, the rest of the lights cycle from blue to green to red to white and then all of the sudden go into strobe mode. It's disconcerting; all on top of it being horrendously gaudy.

To contrast, I offer you the best Christmas lights I've seen all year. Seriously. They're colorful and whimsical; neither spare nor overdone. This house is jolly.

Some amusing things from my shift Sunday:
  • A guy with lots of "tribal" tattoos and one Hello Kitty tattoo
  • A little friendly neighbor competitions. Neighbor 1 has the following christmas decorations: Santa reading to the kids, ornaments in the trees, simple house outline lights. They tipped $5. Neighbor 2 has: Santa snowboarding, Santa's train, lollipops lining the driveway, lights everywhere. They tipped $7. Way to one up your neighbor.
I got $47 off of 11 deliveries, an average tip of $3.18.

Sunday, December 13

12/12 The Boss-elf is a shitty tipper

Hangovers + work = me being very thankful for bell peppers. I know you know from my previous experiences that processed meats are absolutely nauseating while hungover/sick. What you don't know is that bell peppers are awesome. They're awesome because they have very little smell and are mostly water. I took my time prepping the peppers hoping El Jefe would have time to do everything else while I drug my feet.

El Jefe donated free pizza to a local toy-drive so that they could feed the volunteers. They chose to use them on wrapping day. They gathered at city-hall, took a mountain of toys, organized and wrapped them, and ordered pizza. I got there with my three hot pizzas and the organizer didn't realize that they had to pay for delivery. I guess they also didn't realize that I wasn't donating my time because they paid their $2.17 delivery (+tax) and sent me on my merry way. I hope they got paper-cuts from the wrapping paper but more importantly I hope they put more love into those presents than they showed to me.

On the plus side:
  • I got a $7 tip.
  • Pet the cutest, softest Cocker Spaniel puppy EVER
  • Took a Damn-The-Man rich-neighborhood Christmas lights tour (yes, that is a christmas lights longhorn):

  • and I made $86 off of 20 deliveries, an average tip of $3.20.

Sunday, December 6

12/6 Green and Purple Sparklies

J/K was high as a kite. The orange puffy vest should have tipped me off. His giggle reaction to being asked to shave his chinstrap (a ruling I oppose as the chinstrap is a perfectly valid beard configuration and was providing a lot of entertainment for me) could have been another clue. But it didn't really hit home until I was getting ready to leave and I asked him to double-check his run-sheet to make sure nothing was mixed up and he had a hard time remembering if he'd been to the streets listed (there were only five listed). So I looked at him and said, "Really?! You can't remember five deliveries? Are you high?!" to which he responded, "Yeah... it was the good stuff... all green and purple and sparklies."

Other than that I
...discovered a street that switches which side of the road odds and evens are halfway down. This is in the same neighborhood that will randomly switch block numbers.
...delivered to my verbal tipper again. I swear I'm going to kidnap their obese dog and get it on a diet so that when it wants to jump up on the pizza guy it can.
...forgot a soda but then remembered a two litre of soda that I found yesterday while cleaning out my car, so I gave them that since it happened to be the same kind I needed.

Made $48 off of 11 runs. A tip of $3.27 a delivery.

Saturday, December 5

12/5 Memo to self: STFU!

This morning didn't start out very awesome. I got bitched at by El Jefe because I said that I take the pretip* into account when I arrange the order of my deliveries and that it was me that tracked the mud into the store last week. So in other words, I got bitched at twice because I couldn't keep my big freakin mouth shut. Then, he got in my way again while I was prepping onions. I know I'm slow at it. It's never been a problem. There was nothing else to do, no orders, no other prep, dishwater was already made. There was absolutely no need to be in a hurry. And yet, he felt the need to come over while I was getting the onions ready to go in the slicer, take my knife, and start slicing. I tried to wave him off with an "I've got this." but he didn't go away, so I went and prepped tomatoes. If he feels the need to take-over, I'm going to remove myself from the situation before I open my big mouth one time too many.

Lil Nicky came in and then went home sick, so I was the only driver all day. Not that we were busy enough to need two drivers. No complaints on being the only one though. That just means I got all the money.

J/K came in still sporting his chinstrap, visor, and shades. This time bathed in cologne. I told him he looked like a Backstreet Boy. He took offense.

Big Black is acting a bit amorous around me. I say amorous, I don't mean like he has a crush on me, I mean like he's singled me out as a potential booty-call. I'm a bit confused by this. It's not that I haven't flirted (I do the same thing with Malibu Ken), it's more that due to Stoner Manager living with him, I know that he knows some history and might have expectations and/or impressions of me that are not reliable indicators of how I'm likely to behave. It's too complicated and I'm possibly (probably) making a mountain out of a mole-hill, but I'm trying to keep the past in the past and my worst-case scenarios that I'm running in my head drag up demons that I've at least chained in the basement if not defeated.

Ahhhh, yes...customers. I had 19 of them, only two of them stiffed me. I made $76, an average tip of exactly $3.

*customers who order online can tip ahead of time. I can see how much they tip before I leave the store. My argument is that, all else being relatively equal (distance, etc) I will take the order with a higher tip first because that customer is paying me more. If someone told you they'd pay you $2 to bring the pizza to their house and right after that another customer said they'd pay you $5, whose would you take first? If a customer told you they'd pay you $0.76 to take the pizza to their house and 15 minutes later another customer told you they'd pay you $5, whose would you take first?

12/4 Homeslice and kittens

Thursday night I had dinner with Seth from Year of the Pizza. He gets free pizza from Homeslice for winning the Hands on an Eggplant Sub competition (a title he is defending as I type this, good luck!) and has eaten a ton (possibly literally) of pizza and shared that pizza with every manner of person that Austin has to offer. I really wanted to break away from the toppings I can get at work, so we went with fresh basil, onions, green olives, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Half had anchovies, which I'd never tried before. Apparently they have little bones that I could neither see nor taste but still freak me out a bit thinking about. The crust at Homeslice was amazing; The outside had just enough crunch and the inside had just enough chewy. There was plenty of good chatting about pizza and blogging and life in general (somehow between my nervous rambling and his people skills conversation kept going). He did a great blog on the whole thing and I encourage all of you to go read it.

Friday night was our first cold snap of the winter and nothing (not even football) makes people more inclined to order pizza than freezing their (and consequently my) butts off. Other than me being worried all night about the kittens that have been living in the storm drain outside of my ex's house*, not much happened.

I made $59 off of 15 deliveries, an average tip of $2.93.

*Yes, I pestered him about whether or not he'd called animal control to have them come rescue the kittens (and their mother). He says he called and they said that they are aware of them and are attempting to catch them. I have not seen evidence of this. And no, he says that he didn't offer to adopt one and no he will not call back and offer to adopt one no matter now cute they are (they're black and white) because Don Juan is a very happy kitty as an only-cat and he's sure they won't get euthanized because they're so adorable and surely someone out there will adopt them. I'm not sure I believe any of them and therefore will continue to worry about them.

Monday, November 30

11/28-29 Ankle Deep in Mud

OK, let's start with a few staffing changes:
  • Monkeywrench (Dirty Stripper) moved to Alabama because CPS told her the only way they were going to stop hounding her and threatening to take her kids away was if she moved out of state. I'll be honest, I would consider taking away those kids too if I were them.
  • Thing One and Thing Two no call-no showed one time too many, so they don't work here anymore.
  • I can't keep track of all the boy boppers. They all look the same! So we're going to call them all Boy Bopper except for Asian Bopper who is our new boss bopper (because he rocks) and Robot Bopper (who it turns out is good on makeline if you tell him what to do).
Hmmm, Saturday... It was slow for most of the day. I read over a hundred pages in And Another Thing... (which I'm actually liking). During the evening I discovered that GoogleMaps did some sort of "upgrade" and streets that used to be marked correctly are now misnamed and go places that have no roads (like the middle of fields and through the woods). On the plus side, all of the dog grooming salons are clearly marked! Luckily I usually only need to remember what neighborhood a particular street is in, but I'd hate to be a new driver trying to take one of the hiking trails now marked as roads.

We were busy all night Saturday (the bottleneck was ArmyCook being slow on the dough station), all day Sunday, and all night Sunday (the bottleneck being Cute-Girl Bopper and Boy Boper doing makeline). I really wanted to take a cattle prod to that girl. She was putting ham on a pizza and would put one on every four seconds, I counted. Ham...pause, two, three...ham...pause,two, three. All of which basically meant that I was taking deliveries that were less than ten minutes out of the oven but were forty minutes to an hour after the time they ordered.

Amusing things:
  • My damn the man - Pepsi shipped us a shit ton of 20 ounce Pepsi Max's and no one buys them, so we're supposed to be taking them on deliveries and giving them away to customers for free. I don't like them, but I've been hoarding them for a friend. I have a dozen in my back seat.
  • A thirteen-ish Asian kid in a Santa suit on the side of the road standing next to a slightly older boy who's holding a sign that has "Pictures With Santa" spray-painted on it.
  • A guy who ordered one pizza and four orders of our chocolate pastries. He tipped me $5 online and tried to hide the blunt he was smoking when I got there.
  • An outline of a person on the sidewalk of a house. This house also had a pepper plant in the front yard with some cute red peppers hanging from it. (Of course, not getting tipped was not amusing).
  • Jolly christmas decorations. I'm a bit picky about holiday lights. I like multi-colored, lights everywhere, non-blinking lights, those icicle lights, and big light-up longhorns. I dislike all-red lights, snowmen with disproportionately large heads, lights that are blinking so quickly as to be almost seizure inducing, broadcast Christmas carols, yards that have so many blowups and decorations that they look cluttered, and blowups that try to be witty (think flamingos instead of reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh).
  • A customer wearing one of those tourist shirts that has "Bahama" embroidered across the front with palm trees and flamingos.
  • Watched two cars run (right turn on red without stop) our photo-enforced traffic light. I could almost feel the city smile at its two new shiny $90 tickets.
Not amusing:
  • First thing Sunday morning, my keys fell off my keychain again. This time the person with the spare key wasn't as close-by and had to leave work to come let me into my car.
  • Sometime while locked out of my car I lost my pen. I realized this at my next delivery when I didn't have one. They found their own pen, tipped me $5 and then when I offered them cheese and peppers I discovered that I hadn't brought any (very unusual for me). I managed to scrounge one packet of each from my car (no telling how old they are).
  • Threw up (very nearly in a customer's yard). No more eggnog milkshakes for breakfast.
  • A man called and ordered pizza delivered to his house for his wife. He didn't tell her he was ordering pizza, in fact, he was out of town traveling so she didn't even know that it was a possibility. So she thought it was a mistake. After a bit of arguing and phone calls it was straightened out but she still stiffed me.
  • It was raining. I hate when people comment on the rain and then stiff me. How is it that they can afford $25 in pizza (we're the most expensive of the four chains that deliver in my area) but can't afford to tip me $3?
  • Almost ran out of gas. I swear the car was running off my life-force by the time I made it to the third delivery in my triple. I had to fill him up with premium because I promised I would if he didn't strand me on a country road.
  • Waded ankle-deep in mud to make a delivery. They tipped $5, but I'd rather have taken $3 and not gotten muddy. I had to scrounge fast-food napkins from my car to get the big chunks off my shoes before I could get in the car. My shoes were still super-muddy. I left big muddy footprints all over the store (even after wiping my feet on the mat).
For Saturday I made $45 in tips (off $464 in sales, a tip percentage of 9.7%, and an average tip of $2.80) off 16 deliveries.
On Sunday I made $92 total off 25 deliveries ($65 in tips, an average tip of $2.60).

Friday, November 27

11/27 Saving Energy

Only took 3 deliveries tonight. The first was to "the one who bears the name of The Evil One" who stiffed me (she technically let me keep .85 in change but I don't round up under a dollar). Of course she's done this before, so when I was on the cut station and I saw her pizza coming out and that it was my delivery, I made sure her request for well-done pizza didn't happen.

My second delivery was a $5 tip.

The third one was to someone outside putting up Christmas lights. I hit the curb pulling up. As he was signing the receipt I chatted about how he was putting up my favorite kind of lights (the kind that look like big gumdrops on a gingerbread house). He commented that this year he switched to LEDs and was excited about the amount of money he'd save on his electricity bill. I thought that was funny because he had a giant blow-up Santa and a giant blowup snow globe and a giany blowup snowman, all of which are huge power-hogs. I thought it was hypoctritical and douchey when he gave me a dollar tip.

We have a new driver, CG Driver (because he has that not-quite-real quality), and a new Bopper, Beauregarde Bopper (because she reminds me of an "after" shot of Violet).

Came out with $10 off of three deliveries.

Damn straight this came from my iPhone

Monday, November 23

11/22 Frowny-faces and gold stars

I hereby award these customers frowny-faces:
  • Got stiffed, this one very purposefully folded the receipt with the text to the inside after writing a big fat zero in the tip section. No need for that! If you're going to be an asshole, own it!
  • Stiffed again when someone pulled the "signed the receipt so fast without looking" thing to make me think they just overlooked the fact that there's a tip line.
  • Went to the house and it turns out that the guy ordered online and didn't update his address or phone number and no longer lived at that address.
and gold stars to these customers:
  • The same guy as the last frowny-face. He called back to cancel the order and it turned out he lives just out of our delivery area so I offered to deliver it to him (I'll take one of those gold stars!). He gave me a $7 tip.
  • I normally don't award gold stars to change-givers, but this one put hers in a ziplock bag (and it added up to $5.
  • Sometimes adequate tipping is more than adequate. Like when I thought I was getting stiffed by the teenager and the mom caught him and filled in $3 with a nice loud lecture on tipping. Go mom!
Hmmm, store gossip:
  • Ferngully doesn't work here anymore. Apparently she was living with one of our boy-band boppers' parents and she punched the dad in the face and they kicked both of them out. I can't imagine cute little Ferngully doing such a thing.
  • Gelwyn apparently lives in the RV park that I hate delivering to because I always feel like i'm going to get dragged into one of those dark RVs and murdered, my bloated corpse being discovered three states away when a neighbor complains of the stench.
  • OCD either lied or negligently looked at the schedule Saturday night. She was taking the end of my shift (from about 4:30 to 7) and I'd hooked her up with a babysitter for that time. She told the babysitter that I was wrong and got off at 9. They were pissed at me because they thought I'd lied so they'd say ok to babysitting her two monsters (really, they're not very nice children). Sunday morning I got in, verified my shift was till 7. I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt that she just mis-looked, but I wouldn't put it past her to lie so that she could pick up a few more hours.
  • J/K was sporting some mirrored shades and the chin-strap beard. It was ridiculous and very very amusing.
Came out with $33 off 9.

11/21 Race to Dissapointment

Saturday started pretty well; I got everything done early and a $6 tip on my first delivery. Then I delivered to the firestation and my keys fell off my keychain meaning I locked myself out of the car (with two more deliveries sitting in my front seat). So I got to loiter outside the firestation while my ex who lives in town came and let me in with the spare key. Then, when I finally got to the last delivery in that run the weight of the pizzas had pretty much crushed the box, the corners were kinda bent up and there was a grease spot on the top from the box having contact with the pizza. I felt awful for delivering a pizza in that condition. They didn't call and complain but I almost offered to remake it.

My least fun delivery came when I went to deliver a $60 order marked as cash-payment. Lil Nicky told me the lady would give me a check and I'd have to call it in (he was also previously bragging "that's how you close a deal!" since he got them to order a side, a dessert, and a drink). So I get to the door and the husband answers (the wife called in originally and didn't have her check information handy for us to pre-run). I try to get payment and he says it's already paid for online. I was thoroughly confused because I knew this was a phone order. Then a delivery car for a rival pizza chain drives up and the guy figures it out. His wife told him we had "declined" her check and had cancelled the order, so they ordered online from the rival chain. So I was left with four pizzas, cheese-sticks, and a dessert that had to go back to the store. We ended up trading the pizzas for food from Sonic across the parking lot, but it was still a huge waste of time. What makes this story even sadder is that even though they had to have ordered from the rival chain a few minutes later than they ordered from us, we got there at the same time.

Came out with $33 off 9.

11/20 Good Mood

I've been in a great mood all night.* It's been misty out but not cold; I've got holiday parties coming up; and my life seems to be on a path, don't know which one that is yet, but I have a feeling that there's a subplot going on that I'm not noticing and will turn out to be important.

I ran 10 deliveries tonight. Two of which were $5 tips. One of those and one of my $4 tippers were teenage boys who I'm pretty sure tipped me more for being a girl. My only stiff tonight came from a guy who later called the store threatening to sue because some Bopper took him order wrong and heard "cheese" instead of "meat". This is exactly the kind of guy I was taking about in my last post. He feels that he's entitled to whatever he can get away with an has obviously bullied his way into plenty of free meals.

Something funny happened at the end of my shift though... I was cashing out and El Jefe suddenly remembers that he saw something for me up in the cabinet. He pulls out an envelope with my name written on it and a 5 dollar bill inside. I was perplexed until I remembered this guy who tried to pay with a $100 and I didn't have change and said he'd drop my tip off at the store. I assume that the 5 must be from him. So gold star for following through on his promise.

Walked out with $40 off those 10 deliveries.

*Wrote this Friday night right after my shift.

Friday, November 20

Why DO I keep doing this job?

Apparently Wednesday and Thursday there was some crazy flame war going down on the Savannah craigslist rant and rave board (found out bc I suddenly got a ton of traffic from there) the jist of which was one disgruntled delivery girl vs. internet trolls (some of which suggested that she just get a better job or quit bitching).

I got to thinking. Why do I keep doing this job? I've certainly been just as disgruntled as the original pizza girl poster; I've ranted and raved about shitty tippers and inconsiderate people; and I've been so close to quitting that I almost walked out. It's easy to get caught up on the fact that the tipping system is broken (especially when it comes to pizza delivery in which there is very little variance between bad and good service on the part of the driver).

I keep delivering because it's fun. At the end of the night I've enjoyed driving around, I enjoy making pizza, and I try to separate the bad from the good.

Regarding shitty tippers: They know about tipping and simply don't care. They don't care that I work hard, they don't care that they are ripping me off. These are the same type of people who cut you off in traffic and wear expensive clothes with the tag still on so that they return them later. And my words don't reach these people. They have no interest in my blog, but they do lurk discussion boards like Craigslist waiting to jump on and flame any topic. That's why I'm not there. I don't write for shitty tippers. The people that my words do reach know that tipping is important (and if they didn't before they started reading, they do now).

Craigslist pizza girl, if you're reading this, email me or hit me up on Twitter, we should be friends. Despite how much the job sucks we've got a little community of pizza delivery girls and dudes (as well as some waitresses and waiter-dudes) that are there for support whenever you get overwhelmed.

Monday, November 16

11/14 11/15 Snippets

This weekend was a blur. Despite working 11.5 hours on Saturday, all of the deliveries, all 28 of them, blur together. I'm staring at my Twitter feed (how I keep track of my deliveries and remind myself what to blog about) and nothing stands out to me. There's the usual collection of shitty tippers and a few mildly unusual people, but I can't bring myself to say that any of them were important or memorable. I guess it's just my current state of mind. Maybe this isn't the best time to be putting this all on (virtual)paper.


I am grateful that I have a job, two of them, that is letting me continue to live a comfortable life at the same time as slowly digging myself out from under my past financial mistakes. I am grateful for the people that having these jobs has brought me. I'm not good with people, I'm not good at making friends, it took me months and months to make even a single friend at either job. I've made a lot of acquaintances and found a few people that can see past my social-clumsiness and became my friend. On top of that without this job and this blog I wouldn't have met some other wonderful people. Our worlds would never intersect and even if they ever did I might be too self-conscious and awkward to make anything of it.


I'm seeing the fall and christmas decorations come out. The tents for christmas trees are out. I've seen lots of scarecrows. They're haunting. For some reason I keep expecting them to come alive like a bad horror movie.

I had my first completely christmas decorated house delivery. I had to walk past a motion activated christmas carol machine twice. I don't know if I'm ready for the holidays to be here. I have nothing to look forward to.

I'll be sure to get lots of pictures of the good displays. I'm collecting fall decoration pictures now.

Saturday: $93 off 28 deliveries, 11.5 hours
Sunday: $44 off 12 deliveries, 8 hours

Saturday, November 14

11/13 Some Friday the 13th Fun

Our new promotion causes us to carry three extra types of meat which is stupid and crappy. One of these types looks disgusting. It's like our normal ham slices, but if you stuck them some sort of orangy pink food coloring. We're also carrying "Canadian bacon" which is just ham sliced in a different direction. I hate gimmicks; the customers probably don't know what they're getting into ordering the new specialty and given a taste-test would choose our regular specialty.

El Jefe had the only bit of Friday the 13th bad luck when someone turned off the bottom oven with a pizza still in it. The pizza was ruined and they had to remake.

I only took 6 deliveries (in two tripples) and they ran down like this:
  • A nice old guy who didn't seem to know he needed to give me money before I give him pizza. But I was patient and he gave me a $5 tip. He had wallpaper borders through the entire house, a different one for each of the three rooms I could see.
  • A lady with a freakin adorable basset hound that I wanted to pet but she seemed to want to kick. $2
  • On this one I picked up a different delivery than I checked out, leaving my delivery back at the store (but off the board) and someone checking out the delivery that I had in my car. Luckily everything was in the same neighborhood, so I took the one I had and the store realized that my delivery needed delivering in time to get it there hot. However, I was missing the credit-card slip for the one I took, so no tip.
  • $4 from a nice dude with a Chicago accent watching the Bears game in the garage (if there wasn't a Bears game last night he was watching a recording of one).
  • $2 from a forgetable delivery.
  • This one was really late. I decided to take my other two on the run before it because it's way out of area, but I didn't realize how long it had been sitting at the store, so as I was driving up to the door, the customer was on the phone with the manager who gave him free pizza. The guy still tipped $3, so I was happy. I almost didn't get my $1 delivery fee for this one, it was checked out to someone else and they never switched it over, so I was going to have to hunt down whichever driver got the extra $1 and try to get it from them (which is some bullshit). The dollar isn't worth that much to me except on principle. Luckily I came back for my paycheck as Malibu Ken was cashing out and it was him that got the extra dollar, so he volunteered it.
As I was driving to that last delivery I had to go by the landfill and they were burning something and the flame was beautiful:
Ended up with $27 off 6

Monday, November 9

11/8 Forgetful

I called in Friday night and (shhh, don't tell El Jefe) I completely bullshitted the reason. I won't tell you the reason I gave because it was lame but instead I'll share one of my favorite excuses that's guaranteed to get you out of ANYTHING.

The excuse: "I can't come in today, I was playing with my little cousin and it turns out they have pink eye. I talked to my doctor and he says I could be highly contagious even if I'm not showing symptoms yet but we won't know for another 24 hours if I have it."

You're welcome.

I didn't work Saturday either, not because I called in, I just wasn't scheduled. I was supposed to go to a music performance but chickened out because I didn't have anyone to go with and after my disastrous social butterfly experiment on Thursday, I wasn't in the mood to go stag.

Which brings us to last night. I took seven deliveries 6 of which were $2 tips. It was raining. I forgot my hat (had to borrow a visor), pen (used a purple marker I dug out of my car), my belt (hard to argue that I'm chubby when my pants are falling down), and my hoodie (had a jacket making me wish I wasn't stuck with just a visor). But on the good side there was a perfectly delicious mess-up pizza ready when I got there and El Jefe forgot to make me do an end-of-night job.

$24 off 7.

Thursday, November 5

Pizza needs Parmesan like Pudge needs Peanut Butter

I was home sick yesterday and I decided to order a pizza delivery from the closest store in my chain (because I actually like our pizza and don't mind paying full price if I'm not near my store). Little did I know that I was about to become one of those customers, the complaining customer. I would like to think that any one of you would do the same.

The facts:
  • I ordered our cheepy-special. I hate when customers order this, but I intended to tip well and this is still more food than I needed.
  • The delivery driver did not carry Parmesan.
  • I tipped him $5 anyway
  • The pizza was barely warm. So barely warm that I warmed it up in the microwave before eating it.
  • One slice of pizza had its cheese and pepperoni stuck to the top of the pizza box rather than on the pizza.
The complaint:
  • I called to complain to the manager. He offered to remake the pizza, I declined, I didn't want to wait another hour for a new pizza and I've developed an ability to eat sub-par pizza.
  • BUT I wasn't going to pay for it so I asked him to credit me a pizza.
  • This store does not issue credits, I had to either take a new pizza or have them bring me my money back.
  • I chose my money back and let the driver keep the tip BUT I was really trying to avoid having them make a second stop to my apartment because it's a waste of the driver's time.
  • I won't be ordering from that store again.
  • I'm going down to standard tipping ($3) unless they bring me some GOD DAMNED Parmesan packets. Seriously, we have pouches on the delivery bag for them. It takes less than 5 seconds to throw some in there (even if you don't volunteer them at the door). I don't give a shit about corporate policy, I always bring them with me even on free orders and shitty tippers so that if they ask I have some. From now on, good tips go to drivers to have good customer service and the only thing I want is Parmesan.
Pizza needs Parmesan like Pudge needs peanut butter:

Hula Teacher: Lilo, why are you all wet?
Lilo: It's sandwich day. Every Thursday I take Pudge the fish a peanut butter sandwich...
Hula Teacher: "Pudge" is a fish?
Lilo: And today we were out of peanut butter. So I asked my sister what to give him, and she said "a tuna sandwich". I can't give Pudge tuna!
Lilo: Do you know what tuna *is*?
Hula Teacher: Fish?
Lilo: [hysterical] It's fish! If I give Pudge tuna, I'd be an abomination! I'm late because I had to go to the store and get peanut butter 'cause all we have is... is... stinkin' tuna!
Hula Teacher: Lilo, Lilo, why is this so important to you?
Lilo: [calm] Pudge controls the weather.

Tuesday, November 3

10/31 Oh Halloween, sigh

Halloween was actually much less eventful than one would think. We were smashed (but not as smashed as last year) for a while, but it died down to nothing as soon as the sun set. I made sure to pick up some candy at each delivery.

  • Dark chocolate Kit Kats - the premium choice for Halloween candy.
  • Lightsabers - for some reason they just make me happy
Not amusing:
  • People avoiding trick-or-treaters and not answering knocks on their door. Hello!!!! You ordered pizza, what the hell did you expect me to do when I got there? Answer your fucking door and make those kids cry if necessary (ok, don't really make them cry), just don't make me wait!
This conversation happened at least three times that night:

Me: Trick or Treat!
Customer: Oh! What a great Pizza Delivery Person costume!
Me: ...and I'm extra realistic, I brought pizza.
Customer: hahaha
Me: hahaha

While normally it's a little weird to play my part in the formulaic "witty" banter of my customers, I was okay with it on Halloween.

Friday night I made $26 off 6
Saturday night I made $30 off 8

Saturday, October 31

10/30 A Scary Story

In a cold shopping center, a little way from the city, surrounded by crickets, there lived a Bopper. This Bopper was normally content with answering phones and folding boxes. He was rather good at folding boxes. He never told anyone but he was a little scared of the pizza ovens with their sinister chains and gears. He somehow knew that on its way from the makeline to the cut-station those pizzas passed through Hell.

One breezy day, the eve of All Hallows Eve, the pizza store was very busy. People were going to early Halloween parties and they needed to feed their kids so they ordered pizza after pizza. Drivers came in and out, taking the pizzas to their destination. People came in and out picking up the pizzas they would take home. Stoner Manager squished and poked, prodded and tossed the dough over and over again. Thing Two sauced and topped, over and over again. Old Bopper summoned a snowstorm of cheese, never a speck landing where it wasn't wanted, and set the pizzas on their journey. The store was a perfect pizza assembly line.

There was only one problem... at the end of that assembly line, emerging from the fiery depths of the pizza oven, there was no one there to welcome the newly arrived pizzas and divide their goodness so that all may enjoy. Pizzas were getting close and closer to the edge. With no one there to catch them they would surely fall and the assembly line would fail. So Stoner Manager called on our Bopper to take up the mantle of the cut-station, little did either of them know that the Bopper's worst fears were about to come true.

It was about ten minutes later that it happened. The Bopper had almost started to think his fears were unfounded. After-all, the pizzas seemed ok, he didn't really have to touch the oven. As long as he didn't think about it and focused on the routine: peel under grate, turn, peel under pizza, into box, cut one, cut two, cut three, cut four, extras, close, repeat. And everything was ok, until some chicken strips came out. Peel under grate, turn, peel under paper, open box, Spiders!

Tuesday, October 27

A Leftover Damn-the-Man

With all the busy blogs this weekend I forgot to mention Sunday's Damn-the-Man. It was right after I had taken a second trip out to someone's house for a soda and I would normally detour to take the road over my favorite low-water crossing but we've recently had a lot of rain so I knew that my spot was flooded (and I'm not the type of driver to attempt crossing a flooded bridge). But I decided to go down there to take a picture of it even though I knew I'd have to turn around and go all the way back out to the main road to get back to the store.

Monday, October 26

10/25 Moldy Pumpkins

You know what happens when you carve slightly fugly jack-o-lanterns and display them on your porch? They get moldy and people like me who have no choice but to go onto your porch have to wonder how many fungus spores are in the air. This is a perfect metaphor for my Sunday.

First the good pumpkins:
  • The first joked with me on the phone and I was really not amused, but when I took the delivery they tipped me $5 and it turns out it was a group home for the disabled and I talked to the guy who ordered for a little while, he was really surprised that I'm a female delivery driver.
  • Thing One mentioned that the customer wanted to order a soda but that they had already been rung up. I, being a thoughtful driver, brought one with me and allowed him to buy it for cash. (El Jefe later tried to make me pay full price for it but I convinced him to let me buy it at my discount to make an extra $1.50 in profit) The guy tipped me $5.
And now for this guy:

I go to the house just like any normal delivery. He answers the door, I recognize the house and know he's probably going to tip $2 like he previously has. He starts to fill out the credit card receipt and turns to me and says, "I'm going to be an asshole and give you no tip and I just want you to know that I'm only doing this because the guy on the phone was such a jerk." I am not in the mood for it so I say, "You know that doesn't punish him." and he says, "Well, whatever. If you come here again, I'll tip you, I don't forget a face." I hate people who try to make themselves feel better by telling me what they think I want to hear. Money talks! I don't believe you! And if you ever have to say "I'm going to be an asshole", don't worry, you've obviously achieved the status of asshole long before now.

That behavior alone would get him on here, but it gets worse. After he signs the receipt I take the pizza out and start to hand it over and he says, "no, I was supposed to have three pizzas." I patiently show him where I have brought everything that was ordered. I have 2 of 2 pizzas and 2 of 2 sodas. He keeps saying that they must have taken his order wrong, so I give him two options, he can take the pizza and call the store to work something out, or I can take it back with me and cancel the order. He chooses the latter.

When I get back to the store I start talking to Stoner Manager about it and it turns out the guy called 3 times to try to get the order in and twice after the delivery attempt. The first time he was calling to complain that our online ordering wouldn't give him all the specials that he'd picked. Stoner Manager offered him the number to online customer service. The second time he tried to get the online-only specials over the phone and was pissed when he couldn't. The third time he decided to order two pizzas but changed his mind to add a small anchovy pizza and then heard the price and changed his mind back. The fourth time he wanted his refund and claimed that Stoner Manager had offered him a particular special (an outright lie as this particular special is available only online and is one that we all hate, I've seen Stoner Manager talk people out of it). The fifth time he was upset that the money hadn't immediately gone back into his bank account, as if we have control over how fast his bank processes things on a Sunday.

On top of dealing with that prick, my headphones were stolen from on the drivers' station. Possible suspects are: Stoner Manager, Thing One, Day Driver, and Monkeywrench. I'm going to go ahead and rule out Stoner Manager since he had his own headphones and Monkeywrench since she has no need for headphones, leaving Thing One and Day Driver. I'm pretty sure it was Day Driver since he mentioned 3 times how "weird" it was that my headphones just disappeared off the drivers' table when there wasn't that many people in the store. Ummhmm, weird...that you fucking took them.

Update: El Jefe called me this morning to tell me that my headphones had been "found" in the pocket of an apron in the bathroom.

Overall I got $63 off of 16 deliveries. A not too bad average tip of $2.80

10/24 A Bad Batch of Mushrooms

The last batch of mushrooms that came into the store are yellow and slimy. They smell bad. We're using them anyway.* And that's the perfect metaphor for my Saturday.

Lets start with the couple of customers who really got my goat.**
  1. First delivery of the day to a lady who pretips a dollar. I forget the soda. Hold.
  2. Go back to the store to get soda, pick up another delivery to take at the same time. Decide to take the other delivery first because the odds are that they'll actually tip me and that lady's dollar hasn't exactly motivated me to provide her good service.
  3. I get to the delivery and the guy tries to pay with a $50 bill. I don't have enough change and I explain to him that I only carry $20 in change but he claims that El Jefe told him I could break a $50 and then asks if he can write a check. As he hands me the check he tells me, "and tell the guy who took the order that he cost you your tip." Remember this. It happens again.
  4. Resume #1: On my way to drop off the soda I get a call from El Jefe that the lady called to find out where her soda is. I ignore his question and yell at him for screwing me over. Of course, it doesn't mean anything. He'll do it again. I'm the only one who gets screwed. I drop of the soda and try not to scowl at her kids who answer their door. It's not their fault their genetically predisposed to be complete assholes.
On top of that, the whole day El Jefe was spouting his conspiracy theories and political leanings to Thing One. In a store this small it's hard not to overhear. So just for the run-down: he hates Obama (don't care), thinks we're not a democracy (don't care), thinks the electoral college is a conspiracy (don't care), thinks Ron Paul would fix it (don't care), and takes the fact that science sometimes contradicts itself as proof that scientists are all conspiring with the government (this one I care about but have the wisdom to know that arguing with idiots doesn't go anywhere). I'm not saying I don't have opinions on his opinions, I'm just saying that I'm certainly not going to express them at work (or here) and that I didn't ask for his opinion and therefore don't care what it is.

Speaking of people that annoy the shit out of me, how about people who tell me what they think I want to hear just so that they can feel better (little do they know I know they're full of shit). For example: I delivered to a house that tried to pay with a $100 bill. I didn't have change. So while the mom went to scramble for another way to pay I was stuck on the driveway with her adult son awkwardly hitting on me (He seemed to be taking the "so you have a mediocre job, I have a mediocre job, so we're the same and you therefore don't think I'm a loser" approach. He seemed to think his job was slightly less mediocre and invited me to come be a night stocker with him at Walmart. No, thanks). When his mom scrapes up enough cash to pay me in exact change they profusely apologize for not being able to tip and the mom tries to convince the son to ride along with me to the store to get change so they can tip me. Seriously. After that scenario is politely diffused she decides to send her son to the store to break the $100 and drop my tip off at the store. Never happened. I'm not surprised. And just in case he's wondering, shitty job or not, not tipping makes him a loser in my book.

There were two bright spots:
  • My last delivery of the night was in a neighborhood where it is almost impossible to see house numbers, but this house had a large yard sign with the numbers clearly and simply written in reflective paint. I wanted to hug the lady. ($5 tip)
  • I dropped a soda (they had ordered 4) on the way up the drive and it got so fizzy that it started leaking out of the top. I offered to go get them another one, but the guy took it anyway and still tipped $4.
I made $73 off of 20 deliveries. An average tip of $2.55.

*This is particularly ironic if you know what chain I work for and their motto.
**Does anyone know the etymology of this phrase? I'm just curious.

10/23 Experiment

A few posts ago I was talking about being freaked out at creepy deliveries and Gypsy commented, "When I did this job a few years ago, I would get on the c.b. every time I got in the car for a delivery. If I had to go to a bad neighborhood, I would tell someone the address I was getting out of the car at. They knew if I didn't check back in within 8 minutes they needed to call the cops and my store, in that order. It made me feel tons safer."

So I decided to try an experiment to see if I felt any better about some of my deliveries. When I get to a delivery I don't feel comfortable about, I'll text a designated buddy with the address and how long I think it'll be until I check in. Then I'll check in when I get back in the car. If I don't check in that person would try texting me and calling me and if I didn't answer would notify the cops and my store that I am in trouble. I realized that even though this takes more time than the original suggestion, it will still be a lot faster than waiting for the store to realize I'm gone. In fact, I would be willing to bet that the store wouldn't realize I'm gone until the end of the night when they've sent almost everyone home and I'm still clocked out on a run. It might even be longer than that, it might be until they're closing the store at midnight and they realize I'm still clocked in. The thought of being missing for three or four hours before someone knows about it scares me and depending on the manager that night the urgency of the matter might or might not be communicated to the police. I know that my buddy knows that if I don't check in, something is wrong.

Anyway, I wasn't sure when I'd have a chance to test out the new system, but on the last delivery of the night I was getting sent out to an industrial area. Not only was it an industrial area at night, but when I got there I had to drive through a gate (which could easily be closed behind me), up a long unlit driveway (who knows how many rocks I could trip on if I was running), through a cluster of cars (with lots of places for people to surprise me), through a group of drinking men (who didn't look all that upstanding), and into a large metal building (which probably has a floor drain) to get to the office where a woman paid for the pizza (and tried to steal my pen twice!). I was glad that I had the system in place because it made me a little less scared. I was still nervous and cautious, but my fear wasn't as high.

I came out with $23 off of 7 deliveries, a pathetic tip average of $2.18.

Tuesday, October 20

10/17 10/18 Back in the Swing of Things

Saturday night was pretty normal. Not really busy, but I was happy enough to be at work after my fantastic Friday night. Of course, when I have one of those great nights I try to remember that I'll have a shitty night that will even it out. Sunday was very slow. Goofball went home early and I got a lot of reading done.

Store Gossip:
  • Goofball is two-timing us by delivering for the rival chain in town (another one of the big three).
  • Ferngully isn't on the schedule. I don't know if she quit or what during the two weeks I was gone.
  • We hired a new Bopper, she showed up for training (watching training videos*) wearing a sheer zebra print top, tight jeans, and lots of eye-makeup. Don't know what to call her yet. All I know is later on the make-line El Jefe was asking Thing One and Thing Two why they rolled their eyes when they saw who was training and I didn't hear their reply.
*sidenote on training videos - I never had to watch them but I was forced to overhear a bit while doing dishes (I had half of the dishes and since I got to pick first I did the big dishes which account for half the work. I did them right and didn't screw over the person with the second half). This particular was was on what to do if our computer systems go down; how to take orders etc. Haha! Our Boppers can barely take phone orders WITH the computer system. I'd hate to be the one that ends up without a calculator and has to do math in their head.

Not amusing
  • Stiffed - Got to the house and the lady comes out and says she didn't have enough cash so she's going to write me a check for the rest. You would think that meant maybe she'd put a tip in with it. Nope. $28 cash and a check for $2.84. Really? You couldn't have written it for I dunno, $5. Still an unacceptable tip, but at least it's something.
  • Stiffed - When I give out more than $10 in change, I know they have the money to tip me. This happened twice. Jerks.
  • Stiffed - Came to the door and there were no lights on the porch and no lights on inside. Guy counted out money by the light of the street light. Exact change.
  • Stiffed - they barely spoke English so I give them a free pass on the tipping, this time. This is one of the times I wish I could do a little education. A pamphlet maybe?
  • Got paid entirely in ones. What do I look like, a strip club?

  • Delivered to a young Elvira look-a-like, I wondered if she was just gearing up for Halloween, but I don't think so. The look wasn't over-the-top enough to be just for Halloween.
  • My favorite low-water crossing is covered by water. We've had a lot of rain recently and the creeks are flowing fairly consistently. I miss driving over it, but I'm glad that they may finally upgrade us from extreme drought to moderate drought.
  • I made the snap decision to go down a long country driveway knowing that I couldn't tell if I'd have room to turn around. I ended up having to back out the whole way and I didn't hit anything or go off the road! (I'm a terrible backer)

Saturday, October 17

10/16 One Year and a Cell Outage

First, I've been delivering pizza for one year now! El Jefe says I get a special pin, I don't know that I want to be the pud who actually wears it, but at the same time, a year is a long time for a job like this. Not only that, but I've been blogging it for a year (almost every shift). I feel like I've grown this whole new part of me, PizzaGirl, that would have never come out otherwise. My life has changed so drastically during this year that I can't even begin to think about the potential path I might have taken had I not had this job. I hope that I've come out better for it.

As if somehow The Man sensed my big day, AT&T had a big cell-service outage in the greater-Austin area. It wasn't just a loss of 3G coverage (which I could tolerate); it was a complete loss of all coverage, I couldn't text or make calls.

Which brought me to the realization that I get pretty freaked out without my cellphone, especially when delivering. Which brings us to another fun fact: when I'm a little freaked out I imagine horrible scenarios for myself and then calm myself down by reassuring myself of the statistical improbability of those scenarios. Every time I have to deliver down a country road at night I imagine that they are going to kill me. And then I remind myself that if they halfway thought it through killing me would be dumb because the store has the adress where I went and at the very least the police will have a solid starting point in the search for my body. And then I remember that that means nothing, they could shove me in a car and drive 50 miles away. And then...

Well, you get the point. This goes on in my head EVERY time I make an after-dark delivery on a country road. All of which is exacerbated when I don't have my cellphone because the half of me calming the other half down doesn't have the argument (valid or not) that "at least you have your cellphone and could call for help."

Besides that I had a fantastic night. I took 10 deliveries which broke down nicely like this:
- 40% were $5 tips
- 40% were $2 tips
- 0% were stiffs

Came home with $44.

Damn straight this came from my iPhone

Sunday, October 4

An interview with a pizza-dude

This week I bring you a special blog, an interview with one of my Twitter friends who also delivers pizza and tweets about his tips. I hope you enjoy and check him out on Twitter under username DeliverAwayDebt.

Name: Jeff Kosola
Age: 33
City: Livonia, MI
Where you work: GM and Fat Kats Pizza (an independant pizza shop)

1. How did you settle on pizza delivery as a second job?
I'd been listening to Dave Ramsey (Financial Dude) for a little while and he suggested that delivering pizzas was a great part-time job. I was looking for a way to pay off some debt and it sounded fun. I had never worked in the service industry before so I figured I'd give it a try. Plus I could work my day job, deliver pizzas, and still have a little time to be with my family.
2. Do you find that stereotypes are applied to you as a delivery driver? Do any actually apply to you?
The biggest stereotype I run into is that all drivers smoke pot. I've had multiple people try to pay for their food in pot. I don't smoke pot and never really had any interest in it. Now drinking on the other had...Scotch, Scotch, Scotch, I love Scotch :-)

3. Does your store have any female delivery drivers?
When my store first opened, all the drivers were women. We currently have one female driver right now. When I first started at Fat Kats I used to get people saying "can you send the cute girl next time." My reply was always the same. "I'll put on my skirt and wig for you next time."

4. What's your favorite type of pizza or pizza toppings?
I love to make a Philly steak pizza. Thin crust, no sauce, garlic butter all over the stretched dough. A light coating of cheese and topped with steak and green peppers. The crust is rimmed with Cajan/Butter/Garlic. OMG is it freakin' good.

5. Your twitter name is DeliverAwayDebt, what else are you doing towards that goal? Has it been hard so far to resist spending the money on other things?
I'm looking into other means of making money. I think blood plasma may be next. Twitter name @bloodmoney, I like the sound of that. Paying down my debt with blood money :-) It use to be hard not to spend the money on cool things, but I have a ton of debt to get rid of so my wife and I are very determined. Once I'm paid off, then we can get some cool things.

6. What do you think of tipping as a whole? Would you rather have a potentially lower total pay that's guaranteed than the inconsistency that comes with relying on tips?
I deliver to alot of the same people every weekend. Getting to know them has proved to help the tip totals. I would not rather have a guaranteed rate. Half the fun of delivering is the unknown of the tip amount. I'd have nothing to tweet about if I always received the same pay.

7. What is the pay scheme where you work (base hourly, gas reimbursement, etc)?
We get $6 per hour and a $1.50 per delivery. We charge $3 for delivery so I make a portion of it. I use to work at a major chain that gave us $1 per delivery. That sucked because our delivery area was HUGE. I was rolling in a H3 hummer at the time and boy did that thing suck the gas.

8. What have you found to be a normal tip amount for your area? What do you consider to be an acceptable tip amount?
The tips around here depend on the season. $2 to $3 is normal in the spring and summer. $3-$6 is normal in the winter. I think $3-$5 is a good tip amount. Even before I started delivering I would tip at least $5.

9. What's the craziest delivery you've ever taken, good or bad?
I delivered to a hotel where 3 hookers answered the door with the money stuck to their boobs. I kindly took the money, washed my hands and laughed the whole way back to the store.

10. Will you continue delivering once your debt has been paid off?
Hell no. I do plan to franshise with my current employer and get into the Pizza business. I work in the automotive business now and there is no future here. I really like the pizza world and I've always wanted have a small business.

Wednesday, September 30

A Bit of A Break

I will not be delivering for the next couple of weeks. This weekend I will be attending the funeral of Grandma-Red, my great-grandmother.

Then the weekend after that I will be taking off to party. Honestly, I'm a little burnt out on delivering pizza. It's been a while since I had a weekend off and between having to be up and at work (non-hungover) on Saturdays and Sundays and my children, it is hard to get any fun in. You have plenty of drunk Tweeting to look forward to that weekend if you catch me at the right time.

Monday, September 28

9/25-9/27 Checks

My heart wasn't in delivering this weekend. Friday night I took three runs (5 deliveries) and went home. I made a whopping $11 after getting stiffed twice. Saturday was a little better money-wise. I made $72 off of 17 deliveries. I got one of our new Boppers in trouble. Here's what went down:

I go out to a house. I have the payment type listed as cash on my delivery slip. The customer gives me a check. Our check policy requires me to call in the check for electronic approval before I can leave. I call the store and our new Bopper answers. I ask for a manager because I need to change the payment type on an order. The Bopper decides he can take care of it himself (and I give him the benefit of the doubt because as long as he's on a manager's terminal he technically can perform the necessary actions in the system if he knows how). He then comes back on the line and makes it clear that he thinks I am the customer and says, "Here's the thing about checks ma'am, I have to take your checking information over the phone, so here's what I'll do, I'll put it as cash and when the driver gets there they'll take the check." I somehow can't get it through his head that I'm the driver, the customer by this time has gotten impatient with standing at the door while I make the call and gets me cash, so I say, "this is the driver, we're going to talk about this when I get back to the store" and hang up. When I get back to the store I start by introducing myself to the Bopper and then discussing with El Jefe, in front of the Bopper, that we need to get these new Boppers trained on the check policy because they're wasting my time and costing me tips by not following it. Of course the Bopper tried to back-pedal and say that he was getting the check information over the phone but I didn't let him get out of it. That poor kid cringed ever time I walked by for the rest of his shift.

Sunday was super-super slow. I took 14 deliveries (including the previously blogged church delivery) and made $49. Day Driver came in around 11:30 and stayed in the store, not clocked in, until 4:30 or so. I wish I had nothing to do all day but hang out at work and not get paid. I take that back, if it was me, I would have insisted on clocking in after an hour or going home. They can't make me sit around all day off the clock!
Dear congregation,

Yesterday when you had bible study you enjoyed 19 delicious pizzas, and I hope you enjoyed them. I made those pizzas; my manager and I prepared them, put them in the oven, cut them, counted them, stacked them, bagged them; we made sure that they arrived precisely at 5 as requested (a task that requires careful timing and coordination); I put Parmesan cheese and red pepper packets in a bag to bring with me without being asked because I am thoughtful; I loaded five hotbags full of pizza into my car; I drove them to your location, unloaded them, carried them to your meeting room, allowed you to borrow our hotbags as your coordinator ordered the pizza half an hour earlier than you needed it; and when it came time to pay for the pizza, $140 worth, no doubt out of a church fund, your coordinator gave me zero gratuity.

As you are probably aware, from receiving pizza deliveries in your own home it is customary to tip the pizza driver. It is normal to tip $3 for a standard pizza delivery, one where I drive one or two pizzas to your home and drop them off at the door. I will refer you to Tip the Pizza Guy for more information on tipping in regular situations. Instead, I'd like to give some reasons why as a church I should expect more from you.

My employer, a secular corporation, assumes that I will be reimbursed for my efforts through tips. They pay me less than minimum wage. Really, they don't pay me at all for delivering to you, they pay me for the portion of the job which I perform in-store (which is significant) and expect that my customers will pay me for delivering to them. So when I receive a zero tip, you have stolen my time and efforts. "Thou shalt not steal" (Exodus 20:15). I had already prepared myself to be under-paid for my work (whether you like to admit it or not, I have found that delivering to churches often yields low tips), I was preparing myself for a $10 tip (7%). If I was delivering this many pizzas to a private home I would expect $20-$25 especially considering that I didn't just leave them in the lobby (as is my right to do) and made you carry them back and set them up.

The only conclusions that I can draw are as follows:
  • You are not grateful for my service. I know this not to be true because you thanked me.
  • You do not know that you are supposed to tip. I know this not to be true because last time I delivered here you tipped me.
  • You feel that you do not need to tip because you are a church. For that I offer several Bible verses (because even if you don't recognize the authority of social norms, surely you recognize the authority of your own god):
1 Cor 10:24
Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth. (KJV)

Rom 15:1-2
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

1 Cor 16:14
Let all your things be done with charity. (KJV)

Luke 6:36-38
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

So yes, I ask for your charity. I am at your mercy to tip me. I can't demand it that you pay me for my services. I can't beg or even remind you that you should tip. I can't tell you that without being paid for my work I have a hard time paying my bills. I can't even make sure that this gets to you specifically, so instead I will put this out there for others to read and hopefully take to heart.

Pizza Girl

P.S. I spent my childhood (and much of my youth) as a Christian though I was never comfortable with proselytizing. I once asked my pastor how I could get my friends to accept Jesus without being heavy-handed. He told me that I should let them see the light of Christ within me in my every action. He told me that that when they saw the joy and love within me that by being near me and feeling that warmth they would be feeling the warmth of Jesus and it would start to seep into them and before I knew it they would ask me to come to church activities. It worked. What started with just me spread to my group of friends and we soon all went to church together. I'm not saying we were perfect, but I'm sure some of them are Christians to this day. I am not a Christian now, perhaps because I have seen too many instances where instead of warmth I felt cold and as small a thing as not tipping the pizza driver is, it felt cold. It is too late to save me, but maybe you should take a look at the small things in your life and ask yourself if you're giving off the warmth of your faith.

Tuesday, September 22

Pictures - Pink Blowies and A Dark Road

A pretty pink blowie. There were a few of these off some weeds in a lady's yard. She gave me a pitiful tip, I made sure to spread some of the beauty in her yard.

The mess I have to clean up after massacring tomatoes.

The driveway for a house out in the country. The house numbers on this county road are wonky so I ended up missing the driveway and having to call.

J/K's legs on a slow Saturday chilling under the driver station.

A statue on a customer's porch. I love the way she looks like she's been split in half and is reforming with goo.

Monday, September 21

9/19 Store Gossip

I'm starting to get tired of work. I'm afraid that I'm getting burnt out again. I spent most of the day ready to go home already and fortunately we were busy enough that I was able to spend most of the day on the road.

Store Gossip:
  • Thing One almost got fired. He has a habbit of no call-no showing and then coming in five hours late when his girlfriend is scheduled.
  • Monkeywrench broke off her front tooth. It's kindof gross. That's what she gets for doing drugs that rot your teeth.
  • Bambi has a new hole in her face.
  • Lil Nicky's psycho girlfriend is supposedly going to start working here. I can't wait to transfer.
  • Speaking of...still pestering Big Red, the GM of the other store to bring me on.
  • Big Black is coming back, finally.

I made $83 off of 22 deliveries.

Sunday, September 20

9/19 Wanna See A Snake?

Another long night.  Monkeywrench stood up for me and told ArmyCook to take me off dishes and put MexiDriver on them, but somehow I ended up on dishes anyway.

The customers were pretty good to me tonight, I had 8 $5 tips!  I was only completely stiffed once.

-pack of chihuauas barking at me in the trailer park, I think they're feral
-the Longhorns beat Texas Tech!
-I was listening to the radio and one of those txt-to-win things came on and I won!
-delivered to a group of people chilling in the garage watching the game and one of the guys says "Wanna see a snake?" I had no idea I he had a snake or was about to show me his penis.  Luckily it was an actual snake.

Not amusing:
-bugs, the variety of bugs I've seen around has increased, now it's not just crickets, but also beetles and moths and gnats and little green flying things.  I love summer, but I can't wait till a hard freeze kills these things
-I'm super tired.  Working 20 hours a weekend is starting to wear on me.

Made $83 off 17 deliveries. 

Damn straight this came from my iPhone

Saturday, September 19

9/18 The Dishes Rant Again

I'm pretty sure MexiDriver now thinks I'm a bitch and I think he's lazy and does the very minimum to get by. Tonight's events have also cemented my confidence that I'm on El Jefe's short list of employees he knows will put up with a lot of crap without compromising the quality of our work. Here's what happened (and I think I've ranted on this before when Gelwyn did it):
I was assigned dishes with MexiDriver. I told him to rinse the dishes and fill up the sinks and I would wash all the dishes because, nothing personal, but last time I opened after a night when he did dishes half of them weren't clean enough to use. I was particularly concerned about this tonight because El Jefe scheduled Monkeywrench to close tonight and work an opening double tomorrow; I didn't want her to have to do extra work because dishes weren't clean. Anyway, MexiDriver ended up taking some deliveries instead of working on dishes, I rinsed and filled the sinks then went on some (8) deliveries, and when I got back El Jefe had sent him home after doing a pitiful dozen dishes, sticking me with the rest (which I got to start around 10:30).

Then we got hit by a big rush and I hit 4.5 hours in and took 17 deliveries ($62 an average tip of 2.50)

Amusing/happy things:
-Lil Nicky rotated the Pepsi cooler instead of sticking all the warm ones in front, I wante to hug him
-Bambi let me borrow a hairband when I forgot mine
-Damned the man by stopping for Red Bull between deliveries on the same run

Not amusing:
-Fucking teenagers accounted for most of my shitty tips tonight
-Kid ordered $50 in pizza, checked that I got everything right, made me wait while he hunted for tip money, couldn't find anything but 20s, I offered to give change, he tipped 2
-Got stiffed by a guy that smelled like warm pineapple, if he had tipped I'd have be in heaven

Damn straight this came from my iPhone

Monday, September 14

9/13 Eyebrows Gripes

We are located in a fairly small shopping center as I'd imagine most pizza places are. We have four or five parking spots right in front of the store and these spots are unofficially the "carryout customer" spots. There is an unspoken understanding that employees park in any spot other than the customer spots. Eyebrows has taken to constantly parking in the closest customer spot to the door and I've been holding my tongue about it. No one wants to be that uncool kid who cares about customer service. But at the same time, I find his parking there to be incredibly rude and inconsiderate. We're getting paid to be there, we're getting paid to make it as easy as possible for customers to come get pizza. Essentially he is getting paid to walk his lazy ass the ten feet from the acceptable parking spaces to the door.

Another Eyebrows gripe: he tried to trick me into switching shifts with him. He called me up Saturday night to ask if I wanted to trade. I asked him what his shift was, he didn't know. I asked him what my shift was, he didn't know. I told him to call me after he'd looked up the exact times of our shifts and then I'd give him an answer. He wanted to switch my opening shift for his his closing shift. Um, no!

And it's a good thing we didn't switch because yesterday afternoon was crazy busy. We hit a football/lunch rush that killed us (it was just me, Day Driver, and Stoner Manager). Eyebrows is slow as shit at the best of times, stress him out a little and he's likely to stand around for an hour talking to himself (or his bluetooth, we don't know yet if there's anyone on the other end).

Tips were pretty good all day. I took a catnap under the driver's station between the football/lunch rush and the early dinner rush. Saw a couple wearing those umbrella hats on the side of the road. Is there a universal consensus that those hats are lame?

I made $88 off of 21 deliveries.

9/12 Hot Towel Fantasy

Oh, where to start...

Ok, close your eyes. Well, imagine you're closing your eyes and opening your imagination.

It's raining. You're a pizza delivery girl that's been delivering pizza in the drizzly rain all day; your clothes are wet; your shoes are wet and threatening to soak through to get your socks soggy (a fate worse than swine flu); your car is also slightly soggy from having to open the door and maneuver the pizzas in and out. You get to the door and there is a fetching gentleman there (picture what you will here, I'm picturing cute-grocery-store-checkout boy), you can hear music coming from inside the house that is similar but cooler than what you usually listen to (I'm imagining that he's somehow gotten ahold of the new Muse album). He pays for the pizza and tips you $5 and just as you're about to leave he asks if you want to take a minute and have a slice. You accept and go inside (because somehow he's managed to convince me with just his demeanor that he's not going to try to murder me the second I step inside). He pulls a towel straight out of the dryer and hands it to you, it's hot and smells like fabric softener. (Because it's my fantasy and I can) You strip down (to your underwear if you're more modest than I am) and wrap the towel around you. He throws your wet clothes in the dryer and you proceed to the couch, the music starts to build. [imagine here what you will, but you know where I'm going with this]

It was drizzly. I delivered for 11 hours and was constantly damp. It was steadily busy.

  • Getting double tipped when the wife ordered online and pre-tipped and the hubby didn't understand the receipt and tipped me again. They both tipped an unacceptable $2 but karma caught up with them and it turned out ok.
  • A five dollar tip even though the customer didn't really get my joke that he should train the sparrows to eat the daddy long-legs (both of which had a nest up in his porch).
  • Taking one last triple at the end of the night and getting two five dollar tips out of it.

Not amusing:
  • I delivered to a county sheriff who pulled a dollar out of the waistband of his shorts (eww!). I believe it's a crime to steal my time like that.
  • Another dollar tip, this time from a very pretty, buff gentleman who seemed to think that gracing me with his dazzling smile and sparkly eyes while offering sincere appreciation made up for lack of monetary gratuity. 1) Not my style, sorry and 2)No!
I made $89 off 21 deliveries.

Tuesday, September 8

9/6 Open With Monkeywrench

I have found that I actually like opening with Monkeywrench. She helps with prep. Not only that, she has no problem doing more than just the easy stuff. She prepped onions and tomatoes, two of the messiest, most labor-intensive bits of prep. She griped with me about the shitty job that ArmyCook did on closing (DayDriver was closer Saturday, was high as a kite, left mopwater in the bucket, didn't take out the trash, dishes were so disgusting that almost half of them had to be rewashed). I am amused (and appalled) that she only knows of Muse from Guitar Hero and took it upon myself to educate her. I made $36 off 11 deliveries.

There is a serious downside to opening with Monkeywrench, which is hearing about her on-the-job drug/alcohol use. I really don't have a problem with people getting high. I don't have a problem with in-store people being high on the job as long as they can do their job. I have a serious problem with people getting behind the wheel high or drunk. DayDriver was driving high Sunday (and Saturday and Friday). Monkeywrench admits to being high/drunk/on seriously potent pain meds which driving (she even keeps a bottle of booze in the car with her). I feel like I should talk to El Jefe about this and hope that he'll keep me out of it when he brings it up with them. They put a lot of people's lives at risk when they drive like that. They put my life and my children's lives at risk. I would never drive while impaired (I once called in because I was loopy off Excedrin). Am I being unreasonable to expect our delivery drivers to be sober?

9/5 In Which a Used Car Salesman Earns His Reputation

Saturday was a busy day. I started it by running to our sister store to borrow cinnamon glop for our desert item that's currently on special. I locked myself out of my car later in the day but was fortuitously near the person who has the spare key so he only had to drive a few streets over to let me back in. I probably wouldn't have felt so bad had the delivery I was on tipped better, but they only tipped me a dollar. Some other interesting happenings:

  • Took a 12 pizza order. Carried it all to the door at once because I'm talented like that. They tipped $14 which is a little less than 13%, which is at least acceptable.
  • It rained for exactly five minutes. The rain started just before I got to the customer's house, poured down from the time I exited the car to the time I got back in, and promptly ceased the second I got back to the store.
  • Delivered to a house that smelled exactly like Ramen noodle seasoning. I kept wondering why they were cooking Ramen when they had pizza on the way.
  • I dropped my phone three times. It then proceeded to tweak even worse than it had been doing previously. (I have since procured a warranty replacement by omitting the stories about dropping it)

Which brings us to Saturday's shittiest tipper...

I had a delivery out to one of the little independent used-car lots. I got there, went inside the office, no one was there, so I went out on the porch and noticed that the salesperson was helping some customers with a car. I stood there for a while. I tried to wave him down. I didn't want to be rude and go interrupt him because I've been in sales and assumed he would excuse himself as soon as he possibly could. He didn't. I finally got a little more insistent (I still had another delivery to make after his) and he came to pay me for the pizza. He had nothing but $50 bills. I, luckily, hadn't dropped one of my previous cash orders, so I had enough change, but he only tipped me a dollar. I was flabbergasted. Not only did I patiently wait for him but he also had nothing but $50 bills! I hardly even get to touch $50 bills let alone have a wallet full of them. And yet somehow he can only pay me $1 for bringing him food at work. Cheap ass slimeball mother fucker. I will never ever buy a car there. I made sure that everyone at the store knew not to buy a car there. And if I ever get the opportunity to tell anyone else not to shop there I will. Because if he's willing to rip off the pizza delivery girl, imagine what he's willing to do to a customer.

I ended up with $104 off 23 deliveries.