Friday, February 16, 2007

It Pays To Track Your Tips

The other night I had a really slow night. I only had 3 deliveries so it was easy for me to count my tips and to know how much money would take home at the end of the night. But I ended up having an extra $3.95. I will try to explain why.

We have a touch-screen POS (Point Of Sale) / Dispatch system. On our "Dispatch" screen, there are 3 columns. Orders to be dispatched, Drivers In Store, and Drivers Out. When you are ready to leave with an order, you click the order, click your name off the "In Store" list, and click "Dispatch". It moves you (and the order) to the "Out" list.

When you return, you click your name on the "Out" list, click a button that says "Pay Check", and it moves you to the bottom of the "In Store" list. Tough to explain but really pretty simple.

Well one glitch in our system is that if there is a credit card order that has not yet been dispatched, and the manager updates the bank deposit information, the credit card order disappears from the list and cannot be dispatched.

At this point, the manager has to give the driver who takes the order credit for an extra run, plus (if there is a tip on the credit card), the driver must be "tipped out" as a server to get their tip money. Not a big deal. This happenned to me on Friday night. The customer tipped in cash so all I had to do was get the $0.95 per run from the manager. Pretty simple.

Well anyways, at the end of the night while checking out I realized I had about $4 more than I expected to have. I looked closely at my checkout sheet and saw that I was being given credit for the run and also the tip ($3) on a credit card order that I did not remember delivering.

I knew that the only credit card order that I took tipped in cash (as I mentioned above) and it would not show up on my check-out since I was not able to dispatch it to myself.

As I thought about the situation, I remembered that the next run after my credit card delivery was another credit card delivery that the other driver was able to dispatch. However, since I was not dispatched, my name was still at the top of the "In Store" list.

The other driver must have carelessly clicked my name instead of his own when he dispatched himself.

Now most of the time, seeing 2 names on the "In Store" list when he knew I was out on a delivery would make another driver stop to think. But recently, some people have been "cheating" the system by returning drivers while they are still out on delivery, in order to make our on-time % look better. So when he saw 2 drivers on the "In Store" list, he probably didn't give it a second thought.

Since I'm an honest guy, I will be giving Brad the $3.95 next time I see him. But as I told the manager that night, if that was my $3.95 that was missing, we would have been arguing about it. I log all of my deliveries and my tips, so I always know within a dollar how much money I should have at the end of the night.

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