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.


Alex said...

Amazing that you admit to sabotaging a customer's order on the internet where it NEVER forgets. Amazing.

Unknown said...

Alex: I can see the headlines now: "Disgruntled Pizza Girl Shakes Soda" "Customer Recieves Undersized Peppers" "The Case of the Missing Parmesan Packet"

I do NOT ever mess with food (which I've seen done by other people, though not at my current store).

And the whole point of this blog is to tell it like it happens; good customers, bad customers, tips, cows & low water crossings. I shook a soda, I felt better about them being completely inconsiderate cheapskates because of it.

Unknown said...

So when you "manage to screw up a bunch" do you give customers a couple of bucks out of your own pocket to make up for it?

Wouldn't want to be a completely inconsiderate cheapskate.

Unknown said...

Ninja: First, by "screw up a bunch" I mean I accidentally made wrong turns in neighborhoods, etc. As well as the one delivery I forgot at the store. All of my deliveries were on time. I've always said that a $3 tip is minimum, it isn't gratuity, it is what you should pay me to get from point A to point B (your house) with the pizza. See The Last I'll Say on Tipping. That last one, the one I forgot at the store, only tipped me $2. So not only did she not pay me any gratuity (money on top of what she should be paying as the lazy-tax on not getting off her ass and picking up the pizza/making her own dinner), but that delivery wasn't even worth my time.

Second, I have offered to give tip money back before (to the guy whose pizza ended up upside down), most customers, when I acknowedge a mistake that is clearly my fault are happy with either me fixing it or a profuse apology. But as I've said, in the course of a delivery where I make normal and very human mistakes such as a wrong turn which causes the pizza to be a few minutes later than it would have been had I been a robot, there's no reason for me to make apology let along restitution.

Lastly, most people aren't tipping based on service anyway. That's why the tipping system is completely fucking broken. I'm currently working on a statistics project to prove that average tipping behavior has absolutely no correlation with delivery time. Other than delivery time there is very little perceptible difference between the service a bad customer gets from the service a good customer gets. There are some imperceptible (because they don't know about them until after they've tipped me at the door) differences which I suppose could affect their future tipping habits (i.e. extra sauce cups for good tippers, missing parmesan packets for bad ones), but I doubt that shitty tippers will change for anything.

Unknown said...

Seems like a shady rationalization to me. I delivered for five years and did my job correctly regardless of the tip I received. Ruining the soda that a person paid for just because they didn’t adhere to the imaginary tipping rules that I unilaterally dreamed up and they didn’t even know about would have never occurred to me. I think you’re in the wrong line of work.

Unknown said...

Saint Ninja: patron saint of shitty tippers.

People know that they're supposed to tip. People know that they're supposed to tip more than $1. The rest of it, the rules, yes are made up by me. I think they're pretty common sense when you know a few basic things such as that I don't get the delivery fee and that I make less than minimum wage. All I did was think it through to logical guidelines.

Regarding the shaken soda. It's not like it hurt them or was ruined. I've drank many a soda that fell on the ground.

Alex said...

Except you don't seem to adhere to the basic idea of being an utter professional - no matter how shitty the customer is. No wonder America is heading straight down the shitter. Thanks to people like you.

Unknown said...

Alex: You honestly expect that everyone is completely professional all the time? Are you? Just because I admit to it doesn't mean that this hasn't been going on in every pizza shop and every other service industry job since the dawn of time. You expect that assholes should get treated the same as people who treat me like a person out of either empathy (or even sympathy) or just out of conformation to social norms? I admit that shaking sodas isn't professional behavior, but the vast majority of my shitty tippers get treated professionally (just not cordially). It is absolutely my professional discretion to determine route order, withhold small talk and a smile, and to give them small peppers.

Also, "No wonder America is heading straight down the shitter. Thanks to people like you." Really?! Utter professionalism right there (from someone with fucking George Bush as their avatar).

Unknown said...

Two things, then I’m bailing on this bizarre rationalization dance.

First, I worked my way though college and beyond delivering pizza, so I’ve always been a very good tipper. I’m not defending bad tippers or those who don’t tip at all. But they are not required, legally or morally, to make up for the shortcomings in what your employer pays you, they must pay the menu price plus tax; anything else is gratuitous. You, however, are required, legally and morally, to deliver to them what they paid for. If you can’t meet those obligations, even if you feel entirely justified in not doing so, you shouldn’t be working in food delivery.

Second, I would be very surprised if you’ve ever retrieved a soda from the ground and immediately opened it, blowing most of the carbonation and likely drenching yourself in the process. That’s the difference between the personal experience you cite and the experience of your customers, who are completely unaware that their soda has been tampered with. It does ruin something that they paid for and had every right to receive unmolested, and it is absolutely wrong.

Do whatever you want, but don't expect everyone else in the world to give you a big high-five for it.

Alex said...

Utter professionalism right there (from someone with fucking George Bush as their avatar).

Oh I have the Dubya avatar just to rile up liberals like you.

Unknown said...

A wise dude once told me to respond to Internet haters like this:

Rich Boy sellin' crack
Dope niggas wanna jack
Shit tight no slack
Just bought a Cadillac (THROW SOME D'S ON THAT BITCH!)
Just bought a Cadillac (THROW SOME D'S ON THAT BITCH!)
Just bought a Cadillac

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Holy shit A.P.G. you've gotten the villages angry. I for one will give you a highfive. This coming form a guy that tips 123% on a haiir cut. because I know if you are a shitty tipper expect shitty service. Plus a good hair cut and shave is sooo hard to find.

Unknown said...

How is anyone supposed to know about this unwritten $3 tip minimum? Most of society accepts 15% as an acceptable tip. (I realize $1 wouldn't be acceptable under that formula unless your order was like $7.) Plus, if I'm paying the pizza place a delivery fee, I just assumed that was the "price of getting your pizza from point A to point B", and the tip was a gratuity. I don't think typical consumers can be faulted for assuming the tip is a gratuity.

Please don't get me wrong. I really appreciate your honesty. It definitely is risky to admit this kind of stuff online and it's interesting to read about. But I don't understand how your customers are supposed to magically know about your personal tip rules to avoid having soda splattered all over them.

mkreckel86 said...

5 years of delivering, and I shook a shitload of soda. But yes food is a line I never crossed plus I'm probably the most professional delivery person at the shop besides our boss. I'm passive aggressive and find great joy in giving people flat pop. I don't know about the rest of the country but where I'm from tipping is as much common sense as taking your shoes off at the door, or holding a door open for people. Only the ignorant or the just plain stupid don't get it. So if you think that people don't know they're supposed to tip then you are just naive or gullible.

Unknown said...

Does shaking soda mean they get a flat soda (it's a cup) or does it mean they get it sprayed everywhere when they open it (it's a bottle)?

Alex said...

I'm sure your customers were overjoyed when they sprayed themselves opening a soda bottle. Congrats.