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.