Saturday, May 29

5/28 The Worst Night or The Fallen

I had possibly the worst delivery night ever last night.

First, I got kicked off the makeline by Little Yellow for being slow. I didn't think I was being that slow, but I guess I was. That hurt my feelings a bit because I really try to be helpful around the store instead of standing around folding boxes while everyone else busts their asses to get pizzas made.

Then, I fell down the concrete steps in front of our store. The pizzas were fine. I have a bruised left calf, a banged up right knee, a roughed up palm, a sore shoulder, and a hurt ego.

To make falling worse, I lost my bank when I fell and by, the time I realized it, I was out on a delivery and when I called the store to have someone go see if it was still out there, it was gone. So I started my first delivery at -$20.

My first delivery was 9 pizzas, with a total of $99.60. It was due to be delivered at 6:15. My second order was 2 pizzas with a pretip of $2 due to be delivered at 6:00. I left the store at 5:50. I made the wrong decision and took the big order first. I played the odds that a bigger order meant a bigger tip. I even brought the pizza into the kitchen for them. They tipped me $3. As I was turning onto the street for the second order (nearing 6:30), Little Yellow calls and tells me that he's had to make my second a free order because it was so late. So I'm already crying because my knee is starting to stiffen up, my palm still stings, I've lost my bank, my big order that was my best hope of getting a jump start on making up the lost bank money tipped me 3%, and now my prospects of getting a tip are approximately zero since the pretip was voided and her pizzas were late. When I got there the woman gave me $3 cash. I wanted to hug her, but was afraid I'd start crying again.

So I'm at -$14.

I go back to the store, ask for a new bank. Fold boxes for a while. Little Yellow calls me into the office to show me the schedule since I'd asked about it. He notices that I'm favoring my left knee, I tell him about the fall. He offers to send me home forcing me to confess that I'm in the negative money-wise and have to keep taking deliveries.

I take two more deliveries. The first one stiffs me in the worst way, the forgetting the tip and total line way. Though if she had done it the other way I might have burst into tears right there. The second delivery was to a third floor apartment. Climbing to the third floor was miserable, so when I got back to the store, at -$11, I asked Little Yellow if I could make up the rest from my tips on Saturday. He agrees and with my gas reimbursement I come out with -$6.

Right now I owe Little Yellow $6. I would have been better not working at all last night.

Friday, May 28

5/27 Gizmo

There's a trick to big bosses (and for these purposes big bosses are anyone above the general manager) being in the store. The trick is to always be aware of where they are and what they are doing. For example, if I'm working the cut table, I'm in the center of the store and regardless of where the big boss is she can potentially see what I'm doing. If I know that she's in the back with her back to the rest of the store I may breathe easier, but I know the second that I stop paying attention she'll be behind me criticizing how I'm not flattening the pepperonis enough or how I didn't smoosh down a crust bubble post-oven and taking my slicer to perform the needed task (which then proceeds to make the pizza look exactly like you'd think it would, like someone had taken a slicer and messed with the toppings and pushed them around on the pizza). If I'm answering phones she's going to wonder why I said "would you like to add cheesesticks or a soda to your order?" instead of "would you like to add cheesesticks or an icy cold beverage to your order?" If I'm folding boxes, they aren't topped. If I'm making pizza my saucing or topping distribution isn't quite right. If I'm getting orders ready I'm not checking the pizzas or I'm putting too many boxes in one bag.

Regarding my deliveries yesterday:
  • I got tipped on a free order, which is always surprising. ($7!)
  • I met a little dog with a big bark. His name was Gizmo because, per his owner, when his ears stand up he looks like Gizmo from the Gremlins.
  • 2/3 of my orders were unacceptable tippers though there was only one stiff.
I made $35 off of 9 deliveries, an average tip of $2.60.

Monday, May 24

5/22 Walk the Plank

There is some great satisfaction in a perfect run. Taking four deliveries at once, seeing that one of them was at 21 minutes and the other three were at 13/14 minutes, prioritizing and choosing the most efficient path, getting all four there before 45 minutes had passed, no wrong turns, smiles all around, it's a wonderful feeling. I had a few great runs Saturday night.

I'll admit that one of them wasn't mine. I accidentally took Russian Driver's slip and his deliveries which I know threw a wrench in things back at the store. What happened was Little Yellow yelled out that I was routed but then yelled that he re-routed me. The way that slips print out, when I was routed the first time it printed out the receipts and then when I was re-routed it printed them all again. So I took the second set of receipts on the printer without realizing that someone had already taken the first set of my receipts off the printer. I didn't figure it out until I was on my way to the third of three deliveries and Little Yellow calls to sort things out. I felt terrible, especially for Russian Driver. Little Yellow and Trainee Manager kept teasing me all night about how everything that went wrong was due to "some delivery driver who messed everything up by grabbing the wrong deliveries."

Other things:
  • I got shorted change twice. The first time where I had to give change and the change was $4.86 and I gave him $5 back expecting to get some of that back and he just looked at me and asked if he should go get the 14 cents. I politely declined and went on my way. The second was to a hotel and while the mother wrestled one of the kids into pajamas another kid went and dug in her purse for money, I got shorted 36 cents. I know it's within my right to demand the full amount but that brings up two problems: I don't have coins on me, so if they bring me another dollar because I demand 36 cents, they will expect me to give them change; it's not even worth my time to wait for them, I could be on my way back to the store gaining several minutes of working or taking another delivery.
  • For some reason when delivering to people with my same first name I expect them to be cooler than they are.
  • I delivered to two princess/fairy parties one of which had a blue blanket spread in front of the door with a 2x4 across it. I was told by the child to walk the plank.
  • I've been using a red pen to have customer's sign receipts. Because the ink starts off bright red and darkens as it sits, I like to pretend that it's magically drawing from the blood of people who conveniently forget the tip and total lines.
  • A guy asked to see his pizza before paying me to make sure it was fresh. He said as he opened the box "I told them I'm not buying it if it isn't fresh". He was third of three on my route (the one I took from Russian driver accidentally). Good thing I was having a great run and got there in short time. By the way, he tipped $6 once he'd determined the pizza passed his test.
I worked over 8 hours (came in early for one of the day drivers and stayed late because Little Yellow asked me to pretty early in the evening) and made $82.

Saturday, May 22

5/20 5/21 Dead Frog

I delivered to a park two shifts in a row.
There is a dead frog in our parking lot.
Rejected a penny on a $1.01 tip.
I forgot my nametag yesterday.
Busy but boring shifts.
Met an awesome cat.
Forgot one soda.
$57 on 12.
$41 on 10.

Wednesday, May 19

5/18 Friendly Customers

Last night was pretty freakin awesome for a Tuesday night. It started pretty quickly with a 12 pizza order to a park. Once I got there it took me a little while to find the people, but they gave me a $10 tip (and while that's lower than I would recommend for such a large order, I as certainly satisfied with it). To follow that up I had a $4 and a $6. Even the shitty tips were predictable, the first was a mexican guy who didn't speak english, it was all we could do between the two of us to communicate the total. The second was to a black lady in one of the extended-stay hotels. I've found that with hotels, you want to deliver to either guys who look like they do skilled construction work and travel around a lot, or business men. So basically people on a per-diem who don't mind if the company pays my tip. They're usually nice on top of that.

So I was in a good mood before the two shitty tippers and a good mood after because I had my first customer comment on my pizza tattoo. I drove up and two drunk guys were standing in the driveway, one had obviously been painting with a sprayer because he was covered in white paint except for clear areas where his face-mask and goggles were. They took the pizza and asked if my tattoo was real which of course brought on comments that I must really love my job and I explained that I really love pizza and one day will own a pizzeria. I flirted a little since it's nice to have such friendly customers and I wasn't in a hurry. They tipped me $5 and it was an all around great delivery.

Because I was in a great mood, when I got my last run and saw that someone had ordered one pizza, four 20 ounce sodas, and pre-tipped $3, I threw in an extra sauce cup for them. I normally reserve such treatment for my really great pre-tippers, but I was just feelin it last night. That sauce cup was my way of saying, "Dude, I really appreciate you being decent. I can't do much, but here's an extra sauce cup."

Inside the store things ran really smoothly, everyone just did their job, worked pretty much the whole time, end-of-night jobs were pre-assigned so there was no nagging Mama Bear about what she wanted me to do. I had to sweep (which is my favorite end-of-night job) and I noticed a lot of rollie pollies in the store. I guess they're everywhere this time of year.

I walked out with $41 off of 8 deliveries, which is pretty damn good for a Tuesday night. It averages to $3.85 average tip per delivery.

Oh! And to top it off, as I was walking out of the store the mini-cinnamon rolls that Milkdud made were coming out of the oven and she let me have one.

Sunday, May 16

5/15 Slumber Parties

I am writing this extremely hungover, so please excuse the inconsistency. Last night was good, but sortof weird because I was a bit distracted toward the end of my shift, so I didn't get my run count and I was missing two receipts one of which was for a run I didn't even Twitter, so I don't know exactly what happened. One of the receipts was a four dollar write-in tip, which I didn't get because when I went to enter them in I couldn't find it. That's a bit weird for me because I almost always have all of my receipts.

Things that amused me:

  • A very petite poodle. Her paws were so tiny.
  • Slumber parties. I suppose it's the end of the school year, so it's time for pizza and sleepovers.
  • Little Yellow brought a cd of him DJing because I told him I didn't believe him that he DJs.
  • Yelling Manager got fired. Not sure on the particulars but it involved him being disrespectful (as usual).
  • I Damned The Man by going to the liquor store while on duty because it was 8:45 and I knew I wouldn't get clocked out in time and I had a party to go to. Ended up leaving early anyway because my friend who's in town ended up getting put out of the house with no where to go and no way to get to where I was.

I walked out with $47.

Saturday, May 15

5/14 An all around awesome night

I only took 6 deliveries last night but with the exception of one they were all excellent.

Right off the bat I got assigned a double with a $5 pre-tipper. My other delivery was a 5 pizza order. There seemed to be some sort of neighborly get-together going on because there were kids everywhere and parents lounging around in patio chairs. That one tipped 14! It's not often that I get more than 5. I can probably count on my hands the number of times I've gotten more than $10. It just makes my day, puts me in a smiley good mood, and sets a great tone for the rest of the evening.

The rest of the evening didn't let me down either. I don't even really have anything to talk about for what happened the rest of the evening:

Videogame Boy ordered pizza but the driver who got it on his route wouldn't switch with me because his other delivery was a $6 pretip. Honestly, I wouldn't have switched either. I ended up getting $7 total off the double I took instead, so even if Videogame Boy only tipped $2, the other driver came out ahead.

I got a bit irritated at the beginning of my shift because Raggedy, HouseElf, and FannyPack were all standing around while I worked cut station. I was really rockin cut station but the bottle neck was going on at makeline so things were coming out a bit slowly. I tried suggesting that they go help there, but they pretty much brushed me off and tried to "help" me on cut station to look busy.

My end-of-night job was easy, it was some nice icing on my cupcake night.

I made $39 off of 6 deliveries. A tip average of $5.21.

Monday, May 10

5/8 Sabotage

I know I've said it before (and people have commented that it's immature and bad customer service) but when I get $1 pretip orders, it makes me feel better to do a little order sabotage. Nothing gross like messing with the food, but little things like shaking up the soda. See, the thing is that there are very, very few circumstances where it could be argued that a $1 tip is merited (I'm thinking things that are clearly the driver's fault like dropping a pizza), and there is NO WAY to argue that a $1 pre-tip is warranted. That person decided right from the start to only tip $1 regardless of good or bad service. Well, that person made a mistake, because now I have absolutely no incentive to give them good service. I only have to give them just enough service to not get in trouble or to not inconvenience myself (hence this particular person getting their pizza before the person who pre-tipped $2.12 simply because the routing was more convenient for me). The $1 pre-tipper on Saturday made it easy for me, they ordered lots of sides. There were two sodas for me to shake up, an entire order of extra peppers for me to pick the teeny tiniest ones out of the bucket, and a request for exactly 5 parmesan packets which I only brought four of. Here's the beauty of it; they can't really complain about it because they got everything they ordered (including three extra cheese cups which there was no way to mess with and whose inclusion in full only adds evidence to my case were they to complain) except for the one parmesan packet, which is free. Not only that, but I made sure to be the most syrupy sweet delivery girl ever at the door. I may not have gotten a fair tip, but I felt better about it than if they hadn't been so nice as to order so many sides for me to mess with.

Saturday in aggregate was that type of shift. I managed to screw up a bunch, but still make things work out. I got lost on the way to deliver to a hotel. I was at the hotel next door. I forgot a delivery at the store but was able to take my other two deliveries, go back to the store, retrieve the left one, and deliver it on-time.

I took 14 deliveries and made $61, an average tip of $3.07.

***Note 5/15***
Yes, I recognize that shaking the soda was immature. And I don't shake ever shitty tipper's soda. In fact, this is probably only the second soda I've shaken in the entire eighteen months I've been delivering. I'm not going to apologize for it any more than I would accept any justification for them tipping that low. I don't expect customers to know my guidelines on tipping, agree with them, or follow them, but I do expect them to tip a reasonable amount because it's the right thing. I do not accept the excuse that they don't know that the delivery fee doesn't go to me. That's easily solved with a simple question over the phone or to me in person. Choosing to be ignorant (about tipping or anything else) means that they can't complain about the consequences. By not asking, they have chosen to be ignorant. I could have left this incident out of my blog entirely, but it doesn't change that it happened and it doesn't change that I'm not the only driver who's done this.

5/7 Crookshanks and a thinning of the ranks

Friday night was pretty nice. On my first delivery I met a very nice cat who was very orange and purred and meowed and rubbed up against my legs. Sometimes a great first delivery can set the tone for the entire night and even though the tip wasn't good, the cat made up for it.

My second delivery was to someone who wasn't home which very rarely happens. I can only think of a few times in the entire time I've been delivering that the person genuinely hasn't been home. Usually I just have a wrong address and a phone call fixes the problem. I don't know what else I could have done to try to deliver the pizza. Here's the procedure:
  • Ring doorbell (I can hear it actually ring, so this isn't a guessing game of whether or not the doorbell is in working order)
  • Wait
  • Knock on door, loudly
  • Wait - listen for signs of life inside
  • Walk out to the front of the house and double check that I'm at the right house number
  • Ring the doorbell
  • See if I can see a street sign to make sure I'm on the right street
  • Get out cellphone and call them to confirm address - leave message giving my name and instructing them to call the store if they get the message in the next few minutes
  • Knock extra loudly on the door
  • Call the store and make them call the customer from another line
  • Advise manager that all reasonable attempts to deliver the pizza have been made and I'm returning to the store
In store news: people who did not show up to the store meeting seem to be missing from the schedule. Prime examples are Sunglasses and Boombox Driver. They were the most slacker drivers anyway, so it's not like they'll be missed around the store. In fact, since Little Yellow's pep-talk about everyone getting on the ball and answering phones and not folding boxes constantly, things have been getting done. Ponytail Driver was in some sort of car accident that totaled his car, so he's working in-store which means were down a total of three drivers in less than a week.

After my shift I spent a while sitting around outside with Name Bopper, Doggy Bopper, PokePedometer Driver, and Ponytail Driver. It was pretty cool. I feel like I'm getting to know people a little more.

I took 11 deliveries and made $45, an average tip of $2.80.

Tuesday, May 4

5/3 Damn The Man with Cinnamon Pie

In case you didn't already know, food that you had to sneak under the bosses noses tastes so much better than it does normally.

Some more higher-up corporate middle management was in the store last night. I've noticed something about these people; they look like they've eaten a lot of cheap pizza in their lifetime. Something about them (besides their waistlines) seems like the pepperoni grease has started to pickle their skin. Maybe it's the way they scowl and get in the way and seem nice enough when they're chatting with Little Yellow but only talk to me when they need to "correct" something I'm doing.

I hate when they're in the store. Little Yellow throws out perfectly good pizza. Last night he threw out a perfectly good pepperoni pizza because it had a bubble in the center. Bubbles are not the end of the world! That pizza was otherwise perfect (or as perfect as a mass produced pepperoni pizza can be), but district managers don't like when bubbles go out to customers. I wept a little pizza tear as it went into the trash can.

On the same note, there was a carryout order that was sitting there for over an hour. Apparently they had ordered on the web and chosen carryout and then called to change it to delivery. The bopper made a new order in the system for delivery, leaving two pizzas and a cinnamon pie to go to waste. Another big boss rule: no eating in the store and no eating on duty. Calico and I decided to damn The Man and sneak the pizza out into the parking lot to eat. We had Crazy-Church Driver sneak them out in his delivery bag and we sat in the parking lot, shielded by her car as we chowed down on a pizza and cinnamon pie. It was the most delicious cinnamon pie that store has ever churned out.

As far as deliveries, I took 5 and made $24 (an average tip of $3.51).

Monday, May 3

4/30 5/1"Your Epidermis Is Showing"

There is a hole in my work pants which I discovered Friday night. I suppose I was expecting this to happen sometime soon. I bought them for $10 at Walmart a year and a half ago and have been wearing them four times a week since. It's not like they were particularly awesome pants... they were too big, the left pocket was frayed from my constantly taking my phone and keys in and out of it, there was a giant ink-blotch right at the the front of the crotch from accidentally washing it with a pen... but they'll be missed anyway, mostly because I do not look forward to shopping for their replacement; I hate shopping. By the way, the hole is right on the ass, so there's no way I could get away with just wearing them anyway and the cloth is too frayed around the hole to even think about patching it. It was fortunate that I was wearing full-coverage underwear that night.

Saturday I was 45 minutes late to work. I've been moving and somehow managed to pack every single pair of sneakers instead of leaving one out to take to work. I felt terrible about it because just that morning we had our first store meeting and Little Yellow went on and on about being on-time and being in uniform otherwise he'd start cutting hours. So now I not only am down significant parts of my uniform, but I was late. Luckily Russian driver was even later than I was. He showed up at 8:30 about the time I was cashing out and didn't understand why Yelling Manager wouldn't let him clock in. Apparently he had told them he'd be an hour to an hour and a half late. Three hours late is more than double his outside estimate and at that point we needed fewer drivers, not more.

Oh yeah, I took some deliveries...

Friday night I took 7 deliveries and made $24. That's a tip average of $2.14 per delivery.

Saturday night i took 5 deliveries and made $21, a tip average of $2.91.

Saturday night also broke my streak of shifts where I had at least one stiff. I hate stiffs, they make me very sad.