Thursday, July 30
Ferngully rolled over in her sleep. This dream often came to her when she went to bed early, which she often did, hoping to catch a glimpse of the beautiful creature that spoke to her. This time she couldn't see the fairy. (She was almost sure it was a fairy because it had wings and shimmered. She could never look strait at it because the second she did it seemed to be made of water and fine powder and sunlight.) In the dream the warm breeze caressed her skin and carried with it the scent of earth and leaves. The stars twinkled, constantly drawing her attention from the radiant being before her.
"Are you sure that you want to be a human? You will know great pain and loneliness. Your voice will be loud and the animals will fear you. You will not be able to see us or call on your magic to help you. You will work hard for very little reward. Is this what you want?"
We have a new driver. She is the most adorable pixie-human I have ever seen so I call her Ferngully. I got sent home early so that she could stay later and "learn the area more". Made $4 off one delivery.
The order was one large one topping pizza. Pineapple (yuck!). I was not terribly enthused anyway because I had just gotten in (took Other Chick Driver's shift since she had a flat tire) and there were three deliveries sitting there over 30 minutes and Stoner Manager wanted me to take just his one, single pizza, low total delivery. Imagine how thrilled I was to get to the door and find that it was the Pizza Inspector again. He always answers the door in nothing but boxers; He always finds something to complain about. Last time I was early (who really complains that their pizza got there too fast?!). This time Bambi Bopper didn't mark the pizza as needing to be well done despite him "telling her at least three separate times" that it needed to be so. I believe him. Special requests like this are a little tricky in our system and frankly Bambi's just not that smart. HOWEVER, it was not my fault and I did not deserve to be berated because of it. I told him that I'd take it back to the store and have it remade. He wanted it free, so he made me stand there while he called the store (on speakerphone) to talk to Stoner Manager. He invited me in while he did this. I declined with my best "eat-shit-and-die" smile. So I went all the way back to the store where I made sure his remade pizza was burnt to a fucking crisp. (Stoner Manager very nicely took our biggest smelliest marker and wrote "WELL DONE" in big letters on the box. It was awesome! I could still smell the toxic fumes coming off that box as I handed him his delivery.) On the return delivery I had two other orders one of which had tipped me $4 on a cheese pizza. Guess who got their delivery first. Also, I will remember his house number. I've never wished more that I had less ethics about messing with food. Instead I wish him the best with his pizza.
My whole night was tainted by his sheer asshole-ocity. I ran into Bad Math Guy again. He's decided that instead of trying to figure out a tip he'll just not tip anything.
There weren't really any bright spots in my night. Maybe one of my customer's bedazzled Crocs. They were amusing, a little.
Made a completely non-amusing $25 off of 8.
Tuesday, July 28
Give me just the tip not a stiff: start at $3 increase by $1 if you live far from the store. Increase by $1 if you made special requests and I got them all right. Feel free to increase for any other reason (you're feeling generous, you think I'm hot, etc). Remember that almost any bad customer behavior can be smoothed over with a good tip.
Don't be a dick: I don't think you're funny (unless you're tipping well), I'll be nice to you and I expect the same, and if you invite me inside (unless you're a little old lady with a broken arm calling me Mamushka) I will think you want to lure me to my death.
Damn straight this came from my iPhone
Monday, July 27
Story time: I get a delivery that is way, way out of area. I usually like those. I like the long drives on country roads. I like to see the farms (right now they're harvesting the corn and the broken stalks and chaff everywhere reminds me of "The Hollow Men" by e. e. cummings). I plug the address into my phone and am surprised upon arrival to see a keypad gate guarding the neighborhood. I check my delivery slip for a gate code. Nothing. Ok, I'll call them. No reception. Hmmmm, I'll keep trying. Nothing. Tried calling the store which seemed to work. Asked Stoner Manager to call them for the gate code but he knew the gate code (thanks for putting it in the notes section, ass!). Got through (cell reception resumes working the second I'm through the gates). Get to the door and hear a lady nagging her husband about something and then nagging him for continuing to argue when she had to go to the door and get the pizza. She handed over a $2 tip. As I walk back to my car, pissed because of the shitty tipping I notice the lisense on their truck says "HUK KUM" which obviously is for "hook 'em" but I choose to believe that they have a farm dog named Huk (because I know that poor nagged husband sure isn't getting any).
- Getting $6 from crazy dogshow people. I love delivering to the dogshows if only because I can see that even my future life as a crazy-cat-lady will be not as crazy as them. They really didn't find my "I take my tips in puppies" joke to be funny. Maybe they thought I wanted to steal their yippy dogs.
- Day Driver apparently smoked his weight in weed Saturday night because he was still fucked up when he finally made it in at almost 1 on Sunday (he was scheduled at 12:30)
- A parent answered the door and had her kids praying in the corner as punishment. I won't get into this other than to say that this pisses me off in ways that I can't briefly express in words.
There is one (and only one) good thing about grasshopper season... it coincides with bat season. If you've ever been to Austin during bat season, you know that it's awesome. People camp out near the bridges (which have been specially designed to be bat habitats) to watch them come out at night for feeding. Just as much fun is to stand around near really bright street-lights and watch the bats fly around and catch crickets/grasshoppers.
- Getting ogled by a roofing crew if only because it makes me feel like I'm hot.
- My only pen broke. I pretended at each house that this was the first house that it happened at. "Ohhhhhh nooooooo!!! I'm sooooo sorry my pen isn't working...it worked at the last house...do I need to go to the car and try to dig up another one?....of course I don't mind waiting while you go try to find a pen....thank you soooooo much for being understanding."
- $15 dollar tip from a gentlemen digging in his wife's purse for money. The tab was $25, he put two twenties on the table and when I went to get change he said that wasn't necessary, I didn't argue. Customer gold star!
- Got tipped with a new pen (and $5). What a nice guy! Customer gold star!
- Getting ogled by a roofing crew because I'm trying to do my job and it makes me self-conscious
- Delivered to a house on a street that had no house numbers. I stopped at the end of the street to call the people and there was a few kids loitering in a driveway so I asked them what their house # was (so I could try to count back to the one I needed). They said X700 I was looking for X770. They then proceeded to ask me who the pizza was for and what they ordered. Since I wasn't expecting cash I was super-wary and wasn't going to be the one that gave away the neighbor's pizza to some kids who tricked me into thinking it was theirs, so I brushed them off, pulled off a little ways and called the number. It was one of the kids on a cell phone. Burn on me!
Thursday, July 23
Other not-amusing things:
- Went to a house in the country with a sign that said, "NO TRESPASSING - SURVIVORS PROSECUTED" then when I got to the door the guy decided to be clever and pull the "we didn't order any pizza" gag (<---just FYI, this is not funny). Also, there was a giant grasshopper on the edge of his door. I tried very calmly to ask him to please not shoo it towards me as it was likely that I would drop the pizza in an attempt to save myself (from what I don't know. Hey, I said it was irrational!)
- The guy that always always tips a dollar. He always has a coupon; always puts it on his credit card; always has a half-ashed cigarette dangling from his mouth.
- The guy who couldn't fit through the door and stiffed me. Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against fat people, I'm not the fittest person myself, but to deliver pizza to someone who is so wide that they can't fit through the door is disheartening. I guess he can't afford a tip because he spends all his fucking money on food.
Things that were amusing or at least not not amusing (I can haz colleege dehgree now? lol):
- The smell of pizza. After almost a week without it I walked in and was in heaven. I miss the smell of pizza when I'm gone.
- Props to Day Driver, J/K, and Gelwyn for keeping up. Malibu Ken called in sick and we were pretty busy but we didn't bicker, we didn't waste time, we got the pizza out to the hungry masses.
I made $42 off 13 deliveries. To give you some idea of how shitty that is, that means I averaged a little over $2 per tip (a completely unacceptable amount).
Wednesday, July 22
First, technically I'm supposed to be reporting all of my tips as income to the IRS and I don't. As far as I know this is standard practice in service positions. Any waiter, bartender, or pizza delivery person that I've ever talked to (with a few exceptions) will tell you that while they report enough tips to fly under the radar, they don't report them all. Personally I have no choice but to report all of my credit card and check tips. Usually these add up to make my "wages" more than minimum wage. I won't even get started on why I think it's unacceptable for Pizza Chain to subsidize their social obligation to pay me minimum wage with my tips. I don't want this blog to be used against me should a question arise about my income. This allows me to be totally honest here about how much I do (or don't) get tipped.
Second, I do not always say kind things about my fellow employees. This is mostly a venting mechanism because some of them really aren't that bad in general (example: Bambi Bopper). I don't want them to hear my secret thoughts and I certainly don't want them to think that those thoughts comprise my entire opinion of them.
Third, I do not always say kind things about my customers. This could create a liability for Pizza Chain. They might lose customers which impacts my job. I would probably lose my job despite the fact this this is First Amendment protected speech. At the very least I would be treated differently. Work would no longer have any of the shining moments of fun that occasionally happen.
I have no doubt that with a little diligence someone could figure out who I am, where I work, etc. The point of this isn't to hide but simply to protect my job, my coworkers, and my customers.
Monday, July 20
Did you watch it?
I delivered to a house with at least a dozen angel statues in the garden. All I could think was, "Don't blink." <- This is why I don't watch horror movies.
Then it turns out that the people in the house were inbred morons because they made two orders, one for carryout, one for delivery. Guess which one I delivered... and then had to go back to the store and get the other one and deliver it as well...which meant braving the angel statues a second time.
In unrelated fun:
Little Nicky missed out on every delivery boy's porn fantasy. He was delivering to our one apartment complex (which never EVER tips well) and this cute chick answers the door and tips him $9 then proceeds to "stretch" by flattening herself up against the wall and stretching suggestively. Little Nicky completely missed this cue and got back to the store after thinking it over to ask me if the girl was "begging for it" to which I had to reply that she definitely was. I told him he needed to call and make sure she enjoyed her pizza just in case he needed to come back out there. El Jefe (!!!) told him he needed to go back out there just to make sure she meant to tip him $9.
$26 off 9 - Customer Gold Star to my one excellent tip from the drunk lady.
P.S. Little Nicky has a plan to go down in flames in an attempt to get at ArmyCook. I've heard the plan and I would normally avoid the store on the designated night because 1. I really don't want to deal with the drama/deliver free pizzas and 2. because at heart I really believe in customer service and can't help but feel ethically conflicted at the whole thing. I'm not going to avoid the store, however, just so that I can let yall know how it goes down. Wish me luck (in about two weeks)!
Saturday, July 18
It's the first run of the night. I'm up on a double. Both are credit card orders. One tips $1 online, one has an undetermined tip. Naturally I take the undetermined tip first not wanting to encourage bad tipping behavior by delivering the other one in less than our advertised delivery time. I drive across town to the first delivery, park the car, and walk up to the door. I'm cheerful because I really want a tip. I want to followup my great night last night with another great night. I'm not deterred by the $1 tip order sitting in my car. Every night has at least one cruddy tipper.
A man answers the door. He's tall, rotund, has a mess of curly black hair and is wearing a shirt that says, "I'm Blogging This". Aha! A witty fellow! I just know he's going to tip. We witty types understand the toil that goes into delivering pizza. He signs the credit card slip and doesn't fill in the tip and total line. I look at it as I put it in my pocket. He sees me look at it as I put it in my pocket. I see that he sees that I know that he didn't tip. He has a look of satisfaction on his face at the obvious problem I have with him not tipping. I get him his pizza, don't offer cheese and peppers, he closes the door, and I whip out my iPhone to send out the following Tweet:
Zero, oh irony, his TShirt said "I'm Blogging This", HAHA asshole, I'm blogging THIS!!!
And I am. And Mr. BloggerMan, I'm now telling the world that you're an asshole! I know lots of sexy, intelligent, and funny bloggers and you are not one of them. I would be willing to bet that you are:
a) Not a blogger at all but just a lying, cheap lier poopyhead
b) One of the flaming haters out there with nothing better to do than piss on things other people love
c) Trying to seem macho since you really blog about something like this or this (NSFW) or this (not that I'm hating on any of those people, even the middle one as long as long as I don't have to see it, I like fans of all types)
d) Blogging about politics (I'm not going to dignify this by linking one)
So HAHA to you asshole, I hope you do blog about this.
Friday, July 17
Malibu Ken ran around all night with what looks like a pen with a glowing blue tip on the end and lets out little puffs of wispy smokey stuff. Apparently it's a smokeless cigarette. I told him he looked dumb. He said he's trying to quit smoking. It was actually pretty funny that as soon as he started talking about it Day Driver and Whiner decided they want one too; they don't really want to quit; they just want to look cool (apparently it's cool now to be trying to quit smoking, not actually quitting, not actually smoking, but to perpetually be trying to quit so that they can use cool smokeless cigarettes and such).
It is official. Stoner Manager, Bambi, and Little Nicky are leaving at the end of the month. Word is that Day Driver may be made a shift-leader. I'm not sure that that's a good idea since he has zero leadership skills (he's only 19), but it's not my decision to make. In approximately October I'll be transferring to a store further south. I'll have been at almost exactly a year delivering pizza at that point.
$65 off 11 deliveries (6 deliveries tipped $5 or more! Gold Stars to all of those customers)
Monday, July 13
Chickenstrip Pizza = regular crust + garlic butter sauce (instead of pizza sauce) + parcooked breaded chickenstrips cut into chunks + cheese + dip cooked slices in cold ranch
Sunday's Damn the Man: during the late afternoon business picked up very quickly but I was beyond caring about it and decided to take the long way back to the store several times
Customer Gold Star goes to a customer who lives way, way out of our delivery area and who tipped me $10. I think I'm going to recruit her to hold a seminar about being thankful for pizza delivery personnel who drive a long way to get to your house. This seminar will be located at the Country Club for the rich neighborhood located at the edge of our delivery area. I'll call it "You're Rich and Powerful, Now What?"
Being short-handed and extremely busy also brings another special type of hell. In this hell, management tries to circumvent the dispatch system, a process that involves psychically predicting which driver will walk in the door next, checking them in from their currently deliveries, and checking the next batch of deliveries out to them. There are a few huge problems with this:
- Most of the time the manager has predicted incorrectly, so the next driver in is forced to take deliveries that are checked out to someone else.
- Managers are also fairly bad at picking which deliveries go together. They rely on our handy grid which is not at all helpful in a semi-rural area as adjacent sectors on the grid are often not connected by roads.
- Management is lazy (sometimes busy) bastards and instead of reassigning the deliveries to the correct driver (sometimes impossible if they've already "cash-dropped" the order) they rely on the drivers to sort out paying each other for incorrectly matched deliveries.
Easy solution: Stop trying to trick the system! Yes the pizzas are "late" (our dispatch system calls a delivery late if it's checked out after 21 minutes regardless of any other factors such as advertised delivery time, sales volume, etc.). Get over it and let us do our job.
Other non-amusing things:
- The guy with the shrubbery arch again. He only tipped a dollar, so I'm assuming he's saving enough money by not tipping me to hire a fucking gardener.
- People who still write checks. I can't think of a single bank that doesn't offer a free Visa or Mastercard check card with the account. Checks are annoying and archaic.
- People who purposefully drive slow when in front of me. I know you're thinking that these people would probably drive just as slowly if I wasn't behind them or didn't have my topper on. You are wrong. There are on occasion people who are driving at a normal speed until they check their rear-view and see me behind them then slow down. I don't know if they have the common misconception that pizza delivery people speed too much or are just being assholes. I don't care, it's mean.
- Marmaduke. Especially when he's not on a leash and comes barrelling out from behind the house I'm delivering to. Especially when I'm already half-way down a very long driveway and therefore have no option to hop back in my car and make the owners get their dog before I deliver, forcing me to hope Marmaduke isn't going to maul me for my pizza.
- Upper thigh tattoos. They're the new tramp stamp.
- Crew-pie. Mmmmm, I'm hungry just thinking about it. Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, six-cheese blend.
- A custom car called an Escahoe. While your first thought might be Escahoe = Escalade + Tahoe, my first thought was Escahoe= Eskamo + hoe
In the end I broke two of my records. I made $115 off 29 deliveries in a 12 hour shift.
Made $33 off 9 or 10 on Thursday and ~$37 off 11 on Friday.
- New hotbags - they are nice and square and unsmooshed by countless generations of pizzagirls sleeping on them under the driver's table (oh, wait, that's just me)
- Getting paid at least $10 in quarters (normally this would go in the not-amusing category, but I've been broke for weeks therefore depleting my supply of quarters for soda at my Primary Job). I didn't count it all because this customer was the middle run of a tripple, so I was in a hurry, but I'm pretty sure at least $4 or $5 worth was tip. Later the customer called the store to say they forgot to give me the rest of my tip which I could pick up if I dropped by. At that point I was heading out the door on another tripple, so I had to politely decline.
- "Dear Pizza Person" note on the front door of a house. They were out back and needed me to bring it through the gate. They tipped $4 on a web order (meaning I could see the tip before I even started the delivery), so I was happy to oblige. They get a Customer Gold Star for realizing that special requests are best made with big tips.
- A little girl who came to the door with her dad and kept trying to tip me quarters out of her Barbie coin purse. Her dad already had some tip money ($2, meh) for me, so he kept telling her to keep her money. Customer Gold Star to the little girl who obviously has an instinct for good tipping habbits. I hope her dad doesn't squash it by being cheap.
- The "forgot the tip and total line" routine - this is the most common way for credit card customers to stiff me. I've done this before (a long long time ago before I became a pizzagirl and realized how cruel this is), so I know their thought process goes a lot like this: I really don't have the money to tip the driver -> I feel guilty about it -> I don't want to feel like an asshole -> I know! I'll just sign the receipt and act like I forgot to fill in the tip and the total line -> Now the driver will just think I'm a nice, scatterbrained person instead of an asshole who doesn't tip. <----I know your game! You did not get away with it! In fact, your scheming has made me hate you more! I'm talking to you lady in the tie-dyed shirt yelling at her kids and obviously trying to seem distracted.
- Guy who can't read a receipt. Total is $18.98, he tipped a dollar, after 5 minutes of trying to figure out the math, comes up with a total of $18.48. Two steps forward, three steps back.
- El Jefe telling me to tell the corporate inspector (if they ask) that my hair is purple because I'm in a play so that he doesn't get in trouble for not making me follow company guidelines. Even though I would probably do it, I'm not amused that I have to lie about something that's not a big deal. I've had far more compliments from customers than complaints (actually zero complaints).
Monday, July 6
Also, Thursday night I was chillin with GummyBear and I decided to spend my grocery money ordering pizza from my same chain but a different location. After they gave me some crap about my Buy 1 Get 1 Free coupon (they said it's carryout only, which it isn't) I ordered delivery. The driver came to the door and I got my pizza no problem, gave a $5 tip and asked for some Parmesan cheese since he didn't offer it. He then proceeded to babble a little bit, litterally babble. At first I thought he didn't speak English very well, then I thought maybe he's a little retarded, then I though maybe he'd been abducted by aliens and they addled his brain. We'll stick with the last one because then he explained that he ALWAYS has some in his pocket and he just happens to not have some right then and proceeded to apologize and babble until I finally had to cut him off and close the door. He was still babbling after I closed the door. Makes me think twice about transfering to that location (did I mention that sometime this fall I'll be transfering locations?).
Sunday, July 5
I'd like to take a moment to highlight a rare delivery where my tip was dependant on more than just luck and circumstances beyond my control. It started with me taking a phone order, thin crust double pepperoni extra cheese, she had a coupon, that was the complete order; all not good signs for a tip. I ended up with the delivery and everything went as normal. She wanted 3 back off a 20 leaving me a 3 tip... And then, as usual, I offered cheese and red pepper and she was surprised. She accepted and exclaimed that every time previously the driver had forgotten cheese and peppers. First, I can't believe that; I can't believe that any of our drivers would be that careless on a regular basis; I almost always have some with me. Anyway, as I was walking away she stopped me and gave me another dollar for being such a great driver. I feel like I should have that lady write me a letter of recommendation. I feel like she deserved a hug.
Nice customer, if you're reading this, I give you a hug.
Sent from my iPhone