Monday, August 31

8/28-30 You Have Not Been Abandoned

I know I haven't posted in a while, I was on vacation for a week (which was awesome by the way). I ate lots of pizza on my vacation.

Friday night I took seven deliveries in three runs starting with an awesome quad. El Jefe tried to split it up into two doubles but I fought him (two each on two adjacent streets). He said we should go ahead and provide "excellent service" to those customers and send two drivers and I countered that I provide excellent service to all of my customers.

Amusing: A girl in purple skinny pants with zippers everywhere. I want a pair (more than that I want to be able to pull something like that off).

$26 off 7

When I got to work on Saturday they weren't ready for me to clock in yet as there had been a few carryout orders but no deliveries. Our store has a ridiculously high percentage of carryout orders (>50%). When I did get to clock in it wasn't really for deliveries, it was so that I could help on makeline. Corporate has been running some ridiculous specials and it makes makeline superfun. For example our current special calls for "unlimited" toppings and people take that as a license to order bizarre combinations.

Saturday's bizarre combinations:
sausage + mushrooms + green olives + tomatoes + pepperoni + anchovies + banana peppers
beef + bacon + chicken + mushrooms + onions + pepperoni + extra cheese

  • Delivering to some sort of computer chop-shop
  • Robot Bopper yapping to Goofball about bird mating rituals as they both waited to clock in
Not amusing:
  • Took a lot of far-away deliveries for relatively low tips. I guess they didn't get the "add a dollar if you live more than 5 miles away" memo.
$43 off 11

Sunday was another shift I had to wait to clock in, which was frustrating though once I did clock in it was nonstop till about 9. I got a couple of big tips, both came from pre-tips (when they tip online at the time of ordering instead of at the door). I thoroughly recommend pre-tipping, it lets me prioritize my routes more accurately. I generally take routes in this order: high pretips, known good tippers, acceptable pretips, cash/unknown tips, known bad tippers, unacceptable pretips. Extreme geographic inconvenience is the only thing that messes with that order.

$39 off 9

In other news: I haven't heard back from the location nearer to where I'll be living. I'm going to go bug them on lunch to find out where I stand. It's a waste of my time to drive an hour each way just to deliver pizza.

Monday, August 17

8/14-16 The Whole Weekend

Friday: We have a new Bopper, Bopper-Who-Whines-About-Boxes, Bwwab for short. I had to drive him home while I was running a couple of deliveries to his neighborhood. He sang along to the Metallica song on the radio and when he got out of the car told me to "have a nice life and do lots of drugs." This kid confuses me. The meaner I am to him, the nicer he is to me. It's as if the weed didn't just kill his brain cells, it also warped the remaining three.

I ran into Big Black on the side of the road. I was driving through his neighborhood and two guys were drunkenly standing on the side of the road and one of them starts waving at my car and getting in front of me. I go around him but take a second look and realize it's Big Black, so I come to a screeching halt, roll down the window, and chat for a while. He's going to eventually be delivering again though I am pretty sure I'll have transferred by then.

As far as work goes, we were BUSY. I took 17 deliveries (for a total of $67) which included a quad and two triples.

Saturday was Happy Bopper's last day; she's off to college. Awwww, proud tear.

I saw a St. Bernard at a customer's house. I feel sorry for it because of the heat. I would never get a dog that furry to live down here. It's almost cruel.

Made $29 off of 9 deliveries and ended my night with a stiff, which sucked. I appreciated that the woman gave me 7 cents so that I could give her $6 back so she could stiff me down to the last penny. Would have infinitely preferred a tip, but there has to be something to be said for someone who's unapologetically stingy. It leaves no ambiguity in my future decisions on whether to give that house good service or not.

Sunday: The day started off weird. First Monkeywrench was late to work. Then, while I was prepping, she got a call from someone that had to be a scammer. I don't know quite what the scam was. I don't think it was the usual call-in-a-carryout-and-never-pick-it-up teenager scam. Maybe money laundering?

We were pretty slow, so Monkeywrench sent me home around one. Then business picked up and she called me back in at four (lucky I answered my phone!). When I got there both the prep and delivery screens were full. I spent a good half hour on the makeline before any of the deliveries were even ready. Part of the problem is our current corporate special (besides bringing out all the cheapskates) encourages people to order ridiculous amounts and combinations of toppings. Some examples I've seen lately:
  • Double beef + pineapple + banana peppers
  • green peppers + pepperoni + 1/2 green olives + 1/2 ham + jalapenos
  • triple pepperoni (physically impossible btw) + extra cheese
I made a $38 off 11 between the two halves of my shift.

Thursday, August 13


I could rant and rave again. There was enough shit going down tonight that I would have plenty of material. But through the tears of exhaustion and frustration (yes, there are real tears) I could be that person that when pushed into the pool flails and splashes and hollers but instead I'm going to sink to the bottom and see how beutiful the stars are through the water.

I love driving in the country, especially at night. I take every opportunity I can to drive the county roads back from deliveries.

I've always had a bit of wanderlust. I probably got it from my parents. I remember them taking long drives at night with me and my sister in the backseat of the Colt. The seats smelled like old french fries and I could feel the waxy film of melted crayons when I lay down in the middle (a privelage me and my sister mercilessly fought over until finally we agreed to share some uncomfortable reverse-spooning arrangement). While we were in North Carolina we would drive past a Krispy Kreme (before they were a national chain and always had hot donuts) and hope that there were hot donuts. If there were we'd almost always stop for a dozen. The box would be so hot that it would burn my lap, but we still didn't wait to try to eat them.

In highschool I spent a summer where my then-boyfriend was away at Morman Church Camp. I kept my teenage hormones in check by driving back and forth from my town to two towns down. Sometimes I'd take a turn onto a County Road at random. Those roads are some of the roads I drive with familiarity now, but at the time they were random, they were dark, they were mystious and peaceful. I had no idea where I'd end up. I would spend hours parked on one particular low-water crossing. It's still my favorite place though I lost it for a while and it didn't dawn on me until months after I started delivering that this was the place, the magical place where my mind is at peace.

I have several such low-water crossings now. When I'm feeling overwhelmed I hop in the car and drive the backroads. I look at the black silhoette of trees, the glimmer of moonlight off a nearly dry creek, the flash of movement when I startle a rabbit. It all calls to me. It all makes me want to forsake humanity and wander the woods.

At the same time, the driving helps me sort through all of that. I leave it all on the road. I am in a place with no judgment or anxiety. A calm peaceful place. If there's someone with me, it's because I want them to be and I trust them to see me that vulnerable.

This job has given me an opportunity to gain familiarity with the roads that I love most, to learn their twists and bends. They are old friends that I trust to be there in the middle of the night. I am grateful for that because at night I'm able to immerse myself in the indescribable beauty around me over and over again. To still be in awe of the familiar is...

Wednesday, August 12

8/11 Hurt Feelings

In aggregate last night wasn't really that bad (I made $43 off of 10 deliveries) but one bad customer had to ruin the entire night. It was my 3rd delivery of the night. I got the door and a kid answered before I even had a chance to ring the doorbell. We stood there for a few minutes waiting for his mom to come to the door with the money. She came to the door with a 20 and 6 ones (the bill was ~$22). After she heard the total she counted out three of the ones and STUCK THEM BACK IN HER POCKET!!! leaving me with a $1 tip. So not only was she a bad tipper, but she also had to throw it in my face. For some reason I was particularly upset by this yesterday. She could have just brought $23 to the door. She could have just brought $22 to the door. Even better, she could have been a great tipper and given me all $4! My normal justification is that she obviously needs that money more than I do, but I don't think she does. I think she's just a mean spiteful person and while I know that I have to deal with those people, it doesn't make it hurt any less. At the same time I'm a little disappointed in myself for letting my feelings be hurt by a customer.

Monday, August 10

8/9 Is it Football Season Yet?

I opened with MonkeyWrench (aka DirtyStripper) yesterday. I like her on a personal level...well, sortof...but being trapped in the store with only her for hours is a little grating on the nerves. In between bouts of "Why Her Life Sucks" and stimulating intellectual conversation on why she hated Watchmen (she took her four kids under the age of 8 and thought Dr Manhatten should have been better hung) I spent a lot of time under the driver-station playing on my iphone.

  • A customer had two (working) Star Trek arcade games taking up most of his tiny living room
  • Crew pie- I can't adequately describe the joy of having free-reign on a pizza
  • A completely unexpected $5 tip from a previously problematic customer (last time they ordered a half meats/half veggie and skinny bopper didn't cut it exactly down the middle so they made me take out a remake)
  • A "verbal tip"* from a customer *this is when customers think that telling me what a great job I did is substitute for the tip; that somehow the enormous pride I will have in a job-well-done is as satisfying as getting money.
  • Delivering to an industrial area on a Sunday - there are too many blunt objects/chainsaws/heavy crushing equipment (with which to kill me), too many convenient drains (into which my blood can be washed), and too few witnesses for my comfort
  • A customer who swore she told MonkeyWrench she was paying by check and acted like I was accusing her of something by calling in to pre-authorize the check. Her response was "but I tipped on the check" like somehow tipping meant the rules didn't apply to her.
Made $25 off of 8.

8/8 Argumentative

Saturday night I got pulled aside and "talked to" by ArmyCook. I was working on my end-of-night-job (stocking the Pepsi cooler) and two deliveries were up and ready. I was the only driver in the store. I went to check out the deliveries thinking that I'd get two more in before I left (I could definitely use every bit of money I can get). The only problem was that I needed a cash drop (when the computer decides that I have too much money in my possession and wants me to hand some of it over) and that is something only a manager can do (on a side note, I don't actually turn over any cash since they can "drop" my credit card receipts, making this whole procedure moot). I asked ArmyCook for a cashdrop and he refused saying that another driver would be in in a few minutes to take the delivery. I argued with him.

I argued that I need the deliveries because I need the money.
I argued that there's no point being there if he's not going to let me do my job (and I really do consider my job to be delivering despite all the other things I do because I'm getting only sub-minimum wage for all the other crap).
I argued that because I didn't come in until 4:30 instead of the 11:30 I was scheduled for (long story) as requested by El Jefe, I was entitled to continue taking deliveries (and labor would have been ridiculously high had I come in early).
I argued that it's bad customer service to let the pizzas sit there when there's someone available to take them.

I argued and ranted and raved but never got anywhere. Eyebrows ended up getting back a few minutes later and took the deliveries (one was a $5 tip). I was pissed. I'm still pissed.

Later, ArmyCook was cashing me out and lectured me somewhere along the lines of (imagine this coming out in a nails-on-the-chalkboard whiney voice):

You always do this to me. You always take that one last delivery and leave my late drivers standing around with nothing to do. You always argue with me instead of just doing what I say. Labor's really tight this week and I need to go ahead and send you home. Also you *always* do this....blah blah blah...whine whine whine

My counterarguments:
  • This is how I am, argumentative. Deal with it. If you want my respect earn it. I don't do "because I said so" and if I don't think your reason is good enough then see the beginning of this sentence. Be prepared, be persuasive, be right.
  • The late drivers can clean therefore saving labor by getting the closer out of there faster. (Within certain rules) I will always choose my money over another driver. I expect the same from them; I expect them to choose money over me. Therefore, I have no compassion for "you're leaving them with nothing to do." I'm not being mean, I'm just choosing my money over them.
  • It is bad customer service to let the pizzas sit there, even for a few minutes, when there is someone available to take them. The job isn't about cleaning or labor or anything else (though those are important). The job is about customer satisfaction; delivering quality product as fast as possible.
In the end I got a solid $51 off of 10 deliveries (but it could have been $59 off of 12).

Friday, August 7

8/6 Commando

"You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure."
-Zig Ziglar

My interpretation: You can't successfully climb the ladder to put the dishes up if your pants are falling down.

Speaking of my pants falling down...

I took my uniform with me to Primary job yesterday so that I could go strait from work to work. Unfortunately I forgot two key items one of which is very useful in concealing the lack of the other: underwear & belt.

So I went through my entire shift trying to keep my pants up.

Things that amused me:
  • Ferngully and her orange sneakers. She looks 13. It's adorable. I wouldn't let her deliver at night, but she's still adorable.
  • Two (!!!) check writing customers that gave me good tips.
  • A picturesque farm. I drive up to see a golden retriever and another dog running along a fence, a big tomcat laying in the yard, a half dozen chickens (the cute red and brown kind), and two horses peeking out from inside a barn.
  • Cows! Lots of tiny new baby cows that I just wanted to hug. Lots of happy loving mama cows nuzzling the baby cows. A couple of cows playfully butting heads. Cows grazing in a field of thick green grass. Cows laying down in the grass. (I swear someone someday is going to let me actually meet a cow and I'll be done with this weird fascination I have with them)
Things that did not amuse me:
  • My first delivery tipped only a dollar. I know the pizza was late but were busy. I took it as soon as I clocked in and it's a long way to drive. Yes, I know this out-of-area neighborhood is now in-area, but I still don't appreciate the theft of my time. Maybe she should save herself the dollar (since she obviously needs it's three buddies so much) and hop in the car, drive fifteen minutes to the store, pick up her pizza, and drive fifteen minutes home with the pizza cooling off in the passenger-seat since she doesn't have a hot-bag.
  • Dishes. I still hate them.
Made $37 off of 8 deliveries (an awesome average of $3.50 tip per delivery).

Thursday, August 6

8/5 I Take No Excuses

Last night was shitty.

For most of the evening the drivers table was covered with stacks of folded medium boxes stacked way more than the usual ten high. This was inconvenient for a couple of reasons. The first is that it covered the map. I'm pretty experienced now, so I don't NEED the map, but I like the reassurance of looking where I think a street is and confirming that it's there. Second, the boxes left very little room for getting orders together and into hot-bags. The precious little space left was big enough for one hot-bag and located directly below the computer and directly in front of the telephone, both of which were occupied by Eyebrows.

On my first 5 deliveries I averaged $1 tip per delivery (one stiffed me and one gave me $2). $1 is a pathetic tip. It's really not a tip at all. It's a slap in my face. It's someone wanting to stiff me but not wanting the guilt so they give me a dollar. I come off of deliveries like that feeling like they wasted my time and they have. Those customers wasted my time in making me bring them their pizza. They obviously have no respect for my time or efforts. I take no excuses.

The rest of the night didn't get much better. I discovered that our newest apartment complex was designed by someone who was obviously drunk. The complex is divided into two sections that are unconnected by roads. One section contains buildings 1-6 the other has buildings 7-12. Each section has its own gate and call box. There is no standard code to get in which means that I have to either catch someone coming or going through the gate or use the box to call the apartment to have them buzz me through. The problem comes in when I had called and got buzzed in to the wrong section because I was calling from the box for the wrong half. I then had to go out, call the customer again, and get buzzed in again. Am I wrong that the halves should either be connected or it should be impossible for someone in buildings 1-6 to open the gate for buildings 7-12 just because their guest called from the wrong box? Shouldn't there at least be some sort of warning/instructions on the call boxes?!

I came out with $31 off of 10 deliveries.

Damn the Man: I had trash as my end-of-night job and I was dumping one trashcan into another (to keep from having to change the bag) and ended up dumping a bunch of flour (or whatever the stuff we use to do dough) on the floor. I moved the trash can on top of it so I wouldn't have to sweep it up.

Sunday, August 2

8/2 Ethics

Today was not only boring but also fairly uneventful except for my last delivery. I went to the door and the woman came to the door with exact change. The problem was that whoever had called it in had paid with a credit card. I asked her to sign the receipt thinking that she'd realize that it was paid by credit and not give me anything. Instead she hands me the credit card receipt (filled in zero tip) and exact change cash.

I know what I should have done. I should have reiterated that it was paid for on the card and hoped that she gave me some of the cash as a tip (Though with a 10 and 2 ones I would have been even optamistically tipped $2).

I feel guilty but at the same time it really isn't my fault she doesn't know how paying works. Also if she had been intending to tip I would have declined so much additional money.

What would you have done?

Same neighborhood, previous delivery a woman tipped me two dollars to make up for the last time I delivered to her and she stiffed me "because ordering pizza was a spur of the moment thing and she didn't stop at the bank for cash." A whole two dollars, you can bet she got the cold "thanks" as I walked away. Lame.

Made $44 off 8 deliveries in 5 hours.

Damn straight this came from my iPhone

8/01 I Love You

I love delivering to drunk people. They usually tip better, they provide me with a brief source of amusement, and they make me realize how much less of a mess I am when I'm drunk.

When I first drove up to the house I was expecting anything but what I got. There was a city police car parked outside and three giant flags (on properly lighted poles) protruding from the garage. I was expecting some super-patriotic middle-aged veteran/police officer. What I got was a younger guy (I would hazard a guess that he was barely old enough to legally drink anyway). He had some sort of military tattoo on his chest (a globe and some other official-ish looking stuff) and drunkenly handed me the money (a $4 tip included). Then as I walked off he shouted "I love you." All I could do was laugh and keep on walking.

In unrelated news:
  • Stoner Manager and Bambi have decided not to move away which also meant that Little Nicky's going-out-in-flames-getting-fired was called off.
  • Happy Bopper's going away to college in a few weeks, I don't know how we're going to keep the Boppers in line without her
  • Ferngully was sporting two Scooby Doo bandaids.
  • The pen an awesome customer gave me when my last one ran out died. Luckily the customer who experienced the death of my pen gave me a new one (and $6). Gold star for him!
  • Other Chick Driver drank the rest of my good beer (anyone want a free Sierra Nevada? I don't want it, but it's free to a good home) without asking.

Made $44 off of 10 deliveries tonight. I kept track of the customer totals just for fun and they added up to $271 which means that I was tipped 12% of their total (my gas reimbursement being removed from my cash-out total).