Saturday, March 31, 2007

Buckeyes Defeat Hoyas!

OSU beat Georgetown 67-60 to advance to the championship game!

Mike D still leads the contest but unless UCLA wins 2 in a row, the free pizza stays at my house!

There are 4 scenarios left, and here are the winners in each case:

OSU over UCLA - me
OSU over Florida - me
Florida over OSU - stepson Nathan
UCLA over OSU - Mike D

In about 3 hours either Mike or Nathan will be eliminated.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lost And Found

Several weeks ago I posted about my very cool $140 stereo in my $600 car. Well after I park my car I ride the RTA Rapid Train to my day job. Every day I take the faceplate off and put it in my work bag.

One Friday I got back to my car and I didn't have the faceplate. It wasn't in my bag. It wasn't in my car. I thought maybe it had fallen out when I tossed my work bag on my desk at the office. Of course I couldn't check until Monday so I drove in silence that weekend. BORING!

Well on Monday I checked and it was not at work. I thought maybe it was lost. That afternoon I remembered a meeting I had the Thursday night before it came up lost where I took my laptop. I thought maybe I had put the faceplate in the laptop bag and not thought of putting it back Friday morning. My hopes rose.

Well I got home and it was not in the laptop bag either. I thought it was lost. I actually started pricing faceplates on ebay. $35-$40.

On Tuesday I was down to my last hope. I checked the RTA Information Desk at Tower City. Nobody was there but RTA employee Alesia was very helpful. When she found out what I was looking for it she called "central rail" where the lost and found is. They had the faceplate!

She began giving me directions, I would have to ride the train in the opposite direction. I said maybe I would get it the next day. At that point Alesia asked if I was in Tower City every day. I said that I was. She volunteered to pick it up for me and bring it to Tower City the next day. How awesome!

The next day after lunch I went down to the RTA and sure enough, Alesia was there with my faceplate. I asked her if I could get her a milkshake or something to express my thanks. She said "How about a green tea from Panera Bread, with honey and ginseng?"

I was more than happy to get it for her. What a helpful employee! I was quite relieved to have my radio back!

March Totals

I'm done with all my shifts for the month so here are my March totals. This is an accurate view of how much a pizza delivery driver actually earns:

Shifts: 9
Hours: 49
Deliveries: 83
Tips: $210
Miles: 340

Average miles per delivery: 4.1
Average deliveries per hour: 1.7
Average tips per delivery: $2.53
Average tips per hour: $4.29
Average cash per hour: $5.89
(tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $12.83
(includes wage of $6.85)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Keep The Change

Nothing consequential happened tonight. I worked 5 hours, took 7 deliveries and made $20 in tips. All but 1 of the deliveries were rather far away, I drove 45 miles, an average of 6.5 miles per trip. This is significantly more than my long-term average of 4 miles per delivery.

I did get to use one of my lines tonight twice.

Whenever the customer says "You keep the change," I look them in the eye and reply "You keep the pizza." Sometimes I vary the tone or speed of my voice, but this pretty much never fails to get a chuckle.

I don't work again until Sunday so hopefully I will be able to calculate and post my March totals sometime soon.

Oh and we did get included in the Carnival of the Redeemed again, over at Cass's Midlife Musings. Check it out! And read the post about prayers about money. This may be true but I doubt it will stop many of us from praying anyways.

Monday, March 26, 2007


I took a vacation day from my day-job today to attend my son's county spelling bee. So I was able to go in at 5pm instead of my usual 6pm. Unfortunately due to the beautiful weather, business was very slow.

In 6 hours I took just 8 deliveries, drove 34 miles, and made $19 in tips. The night was made decent by a delivery to on of the first "regular" $5 tipper that I recall. They live about 5 miles away and used to order about twice per month, but I don't recall taking more than 1 delivery there in the past year. They always order a pork-sausage pizza with no cheese. It's important for the driver to ensure that the order is made correctly, because 5 miles each way is pretty far to take a re-run. They do pretty much always tip $5 so it is a nice delivery to take.

The good thing about not being busy is that about 15 minutes after we officially closed, Manager Doug and I were walking out with all the cleaning done, money counted and the doors locked behind us.

Pizza Lowers Risk Of Heart Disease?

Don't miss this CNN article!

"food chemists said Monday that they had found ways to enhance the antioxidant content of whole-grain wheat pizza dough by baking it longer at higher temperatures and giving the dough lots of time to rise"

For reference, our dough is baked at about 440 F for about 7 minutes. Our dough has from 18-24 hours to rise.

Final Four Preview

Congratulations to the teams that made the final four, and to the contest entrants that picked all 4! We had 3 out of 23 entrants, that's pretty amazing!

There are 8 possible outcomes at this point, let's see who would win in each situation. Semi-final games are worth 120 each and the final counts for 160 so lots of teams are still in play.

Dunfee is currently 1st and has UCLA over OSU so if that is the final outcome, he is the champion.

My entry wins if OSU defeats Florida in the final game.

Pizza driver gdogg has Georgetown over Florida so he wins that scenario.

My stepson Nathan has Florida over OSU and would win in that case.

Huddler timmypg wins if his picks, Florida over Georgetown, come through.

Nobody picked UCLA over Georgetown, OSU over UCLA, or Georgetown over UCLA. If UCLA and Georgetown both win on Saturday, Dunfee wins the pizza. My entry will win if OSU defeats UCLA in the final game.

Good luck everyone!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Elite Eight - Day 2 Preview

After a couple of good nights, we have a new leader, it is Dunfee. Today's post will look at who has a chance to catch him based on today's games, Florida vs. Oregon and North Carolina vs. Georgetown.

Dunfee, with 950 points, has Florida & Georgetown.

My entry is 2nd, 20 points, back, and I have the same teams. I can't gain.

Pizza driver gdogg, 3rd place with 920, also has the same picks for today's game.

My stepson Nathan, whose bracket took a hit when Pittsburgh lost, is 40 points back and has Florida & Georgetown.

Fantasy footballers BillyBalata & twiley are each 60 points back and both selected Florida & North Carolina. If the Tarheels beat the Hoyas, these 2 will move into 1st place, as today's games are worth 80 points each.

There's a 3 way tie for 7th with 850 points. This tie will be broken today, as Huddler timmypg has Florida & Georgetown while my wife Victoria and Huddler Puddy both have Florida & North Carolina.

In 10th place with 790 is my nephew Keith. He can only get 80 points today as he picked Texas in the East Rutherford bracket, but he did pick Oregon to defeat Florida so if the Ducks win he will gain 80 points on the everyone ahead of him who loses the NC/G'town game.

All the other entries in the contest are over 160 points behind already and really can't make much ground today.

I'll do another review early in the week once the final four teams are established.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Proverbs 11:25 and Pizza Delivery

In today's daily devotion, I read this verse:

Proverbs 11:25 - The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably already know what this made me think of. Monday night's delivery to one of my least favorite customers.

This customer never tips. In fact, they are the customer I described at the end of my post on coin change issues. If their order came to $20.23, I have had 2 pennies ready to make change when they gave me the expected $20 and a quarter.

But on Monday night, we had some extra breadsticks at the time their order came up. Now I have to admit I wasn't thinking of the customer. The woman who pays is an older woman but recently there has been a elementary aged girl there also. I'm not sure if this is a granddaughter or what. But it doesn't appear to be the best situation and I was feeling a little sorry for the kid.

Anyhow, I packed up the extra breadsticks and generously, gave them to the customer for free. And this customer who usually does not tip actually gave me the coin change which was 92 cents.

Now 92 cents is certainly not my idea of prospering, but I hope that the customer found the breadsticks refreshing. I know I felt less resentment towards the customer, and after reading my devotions today, I know I did the right thing.

Top Ten Movies With Pizza Delivery Scenes

These movies are ranked by me from 10 down to 1 based on several criteria, including how well I liked the movie and also how memorable the pizza scenes were.

10. Mystic Pizza (1988) This film is one of Julia Roberts' first films. She plays a waitress at Mystic Pizza, a restaurant in Mystic, Connecticut.

9. Firewall (2006) Harrison Ford stars as Jack Stanfield, a bank security expert in this thriller. His family has ordered pizza but when the pizza guy arrives, it is really the bad guys who kidnap Stanfield's family and hold them hostage.

8. Spiderman 2 (2004) - Peter Parker has a job as a pizza delivery driver, which he gets fired from for showing up late.

7. Man Of The House (2005) Tommy Lee Jones plays Ronald Sharp, a Texas Ranger guarding a group of cheerleaders who are witnesses to a crime. In one hilarious scene, Sharp searches the pizza guy for weapons before tipping him a quarter. He teases the girls but does not share his pizza. Later, while Sharp is on the phone, the pizza guy returns with more food and this time the girls intercept it.

6. Do The Right Thing (1989) Spike Lee plays Mookie, a pizza delivery boy in this movie about bigotry and racial conflict set in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn.

5. Mr. Deeds (2002) Adam Sandler plays Longfellow Deeds, a smalltown pizzeria owner who inherits $40 billion, and must go to the big city to claim his fortune. In one memorable scene, Deeds says to Crazy Eyes (Steve Buscemi) "Hey Crazy Eyes, I got your pizza just how you like it." and Crazy Eyes replies "French Fries and Oreos you know me too well Deeds."

4. There's Something About Mary (1998) In this boxoffice hit starring Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz, Lee Evans plays Tucker, a pizza delivery guy who masquerades as an architect to win Mary's approval.

3. Toy Story (1995) - Buzz and Woody are accidentally left behind at a gas station and catch a ride on a Pizza Planet delivery truck to catch up with Andy and his family. Also, in Toy Story 2, Buzz and the gang actually drive the Pizza Planet truck to the airport to rescue Woody.

2. Home Alone (1990) - Kevin is stuck home alone without his family. He orders pizza delivered but instead of answering the door himself (and revealing that he is alone), he plays a scene from the gangster movie "Angels With Filthy Souls". This is not a real movie but was inspired by the 1938 Oscar nominated film, "Angels With Dirty Faces" starring James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart. The scene ends with one of the gangsters firing a machine gun and then saying "Keep the change, ya filthy animal."

1. Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982) - who can forget the classic scene where Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) orders pizza delivered to him in school during Mr. Hand's class.

If you have questions, comments, or want to suggest a movie that I missed, please post them below.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sweet Sixteen - Day 1 Preview

It's Thursday and the NCAA basketball tournament starts up again tonight with 4 "Sweet Sixteen" games, 2 at San Jose and 2 at San Antonio.

It's Nathan's birthday today AND he is in first place in the contest, so let's see who has a chance to gain on him.

West Region (San Jose)
Top seed Kansas plays #4 Southern Illinois at 7:30, followed by a 2-3 matchup between UCLA and Pittsburgh at 9:40.

Nathan picks: Kansas
These entries have SIU and can gain on him: BillyBalata, Markell
These entries picked a team that was already eliminated: Yang, chiefjay
This is an important game for BillyBalata as he is currently tied for 2nd. Other than that, there's really not much differentiation in this game.

Nathan picks: Pittsburgh
These entries have UCLA and can gain on him: BillyBalata, Dunfee, drborgata, KevinL, twiley, Geist, loaf, Puddy, Markell, gdogg, unateve, junkyard, irish, Keith, chiefjay, timmypg, CaP'N GRuNGe
These entries picked a team that was already eliminated: Luke, meangreen92

This is obviously a HUGE game for Nathan, as there are 17 teams with UCLA marked on their bracket. Nathan cain put some distance between him and the crowd if Pittsburgh wins this one.

South Region (San Antonio)
The first game here is the 2-3 game between Memphis and Texas A&M at 7:27. The late game, and the one of most interest to those of us here in Ohio, pits #1 seed Ohio State against #5 seed Tennessee.

Nathan picks: Memphis
These entries have Texas A&M and can gain on him: twiley, Geist, loaf, Markell, junkyard, irish, timmypg, CaP'N GRuNGe
These entries picked a team that was already eliminated: Dunfee, chiefjay

Another big game for Nathan, as several entries selected Texas A&M.

Nathan picks: Ohio State
These entries picked a team that was already eliminated: unateve, chiefjay

Not a big game from the contest point of view, as nobody in our groupe picked Tennessee to win this one.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Biggest Tip Ever

... don't get excited, it wasn't tonight.

Desiree took a delivery tonight to XXX Indiana. (The address has been changed to protect the innocent). The order was for about $115 worth of pizza!

This is a highly coveted delivery. They have ordered 7 times in the past 5 months and their minimum order was $60. They always pay by credit card and always leave a nice tip.

I kiddingly offered Desiree $10 to let me take it. I have only gotten to take that delivery once, about a year ago. That time they ordered 7 large pizzas, 35 breadsticks, 35 cinnamon sticks, 35 wings, and 8 2-liters of pop. The total was about $125 and they added a $35 tip onto the credit card.

Desiree wasn't as lucky tonight, she only got and $11 tip.

One of my deliveries tonight was to a nice house in a newer development about 5 miles away. They got 1 pizza, about $11, and left a $3 tip. I was hoping for more due to the long trip, but I really can't complain. The thing that made this delivery interesting was the cars in the driveway / garage.

One garage bay was open and I saw a Lincoln Navigator parked inside. There were 3 more cars parked in the driveway. A Mercedes was facing me (I didn't notice the model). Beside the Mercedes was a Hummer H2. And on the other side of the pad was a Jaguar.

There were 2 more garage bays closed so there could have been more inside, I'm not sure.

My final story of the night concerns a serial-stiffer. This is a customer who orders repeatedly and never tips. Any pizza delivery driver will have a few of these names & addresses memorized that they despise going to. I got one tonight.

Usually when I go there I have the coin change counted out and ready to give back. I really don't want their 2 cents, it's an insult not a tip. Tonight I decided to take a different approach. "Killing them with kindness" as one of my coworkers called it.

There was an order with 5 breadsticks just ahead of this order. Our breadsticks come in pans of 10 so when someone orders 5, the other 5 are either:
  • used to fill another order of 5
  • eaten by the crew
  • thrown out
Well there were no more orders coming in the near future, and I wasn't hungry, so I decided to take another approach. I boxed them up and took them with my delivery.

"We had some extra breadsticks, I thought you would like them" I said when I got to her porch. "Thanks" she replied, almost smiling.

She handed me a $20 for her $11.08 order. "You don't have the 8 cents do you?" I asked.

"No, you just keep the rest of the change for yourself" was her surprising answer.

She actually intentionally tipped me 92 cents. Not much but at least we're making progress. "Thanks, I really appreciate that" I said as I was walking away.

All in all, it was a slow night for me with several far-away deliveries. I worked 5 hours, took just 7 deliveries, but drove 39 miles. I made $15 in tips. Three of the orders and $7 of the tips were in the final hour before we closed, or it would have been a horrendous night.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Tip Me Over

No funny or interesting stories tonight, just some solid tippers.

Well one interesting story, when I arrived tonight we had 2 waitresses (alot for a Monday) and they had dozens of paper cups lined up on the counter. Apparently we were expecting a party of over 100, a choir traveling on their way from Indiana to New York, stopping off for pizza on the way.

An hour or so later I asked where the big party was, and they had called, they had bus trouble and were running late, so they had to stop for dinner elsewhere.

I drove for 5 hours tonight, took just 8 deliveries, and drove 44 miles. I did make $29 in tips. Yes that's right, over $3.50 per tip on average. I had 3 tips of $5 even, and 2 more gave me $4 and the coins. Only my first delivery of the night failed to tip.

It was a profitable night, I just wish we were busier.

Oh and apparently last night when I posted, ESPN was not done updating their standings, as today my 9-year-old stepson Nathan is in first place all by himself in our pool!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Wear A T-Shirt, Support Your Favorite College?

I had a strange phenomenon happen twice tonight. I had a delivery to Harvard Ave. and the guy came to the door wearing a Harvard t-shirt. I was mildly amused but didn't say anything.

Later on I had a delivery on Euclid Ave. to a customer named Meyers. What do you know, he showed up at the door wearing a Meyers University t-shirt.

All in all today (including this afternoon) I took 18 deliveries, drove just 46 miles, and made $34 in tips. All in 5 hours driving (on the clock). Decent $ for a Sunday night but I would have liked the tip amount to be higher. I was stiffed 4 times and my biggest tip was just $3 and change.

Congratulations to BillyBalata of TheHuddle for moving into a 1st place tie (with my wife Victoria and stepson Nathan) in the NCAA Tournament contest. My entry is tied for 5th.

Helping Out

I was planning for a lazy afternoon at home, catching up on laundry, watching basketball, and playing with my 1-year-old son, George.

My wife was taking the kids to see Anderson Varejao and get autographs at the Giant Eagle in Medina. Well less than a mile from home her car died. She ended up borrowing her sister's car to go to Medina and I had to pack up the baby and go wait while the tow-truck from AAA came.

Well the tow-truck came quickly but since we were already out, George and I decided to run some errands. I needed some pens for my car (a vital tool for any pizza delivery driver) and Brooke needed a notebook for school. We got the pens at the DollarTree and tried BigLots but neither place had a notebook.

Since I was driving past I thought I would stop in and say hi at my pizza shop and see how things were going, I hadn't been there since Wednesday night. Well it didn't take long for me to see how things were going. Waitress Stacy had several tables and a call on hold. Manager Ady was making pizzas and then cutting and boxing them once they came out of the oven. Driver Alison was out on a double and there were 2 more on top of the oven, and 1 more about to come out.

I offered to take the farthest delivery and Ady asked if I could take 2. I took the 2 deliveries (with baby George riding along) and made a quick $4 on tips, driving just 5 miles.

When I got back things were back under control. I filled up my gas tank for the night and then stopped on my way home at Discount Drug Mart and got the notebook for just $0.79!

I hope we're still busy when I go back for my shift at 5 pm. But for now it's time to go fold some laundry.

Sunday NCAA Preview

I'm home from church today, my son has a fever, so I thought I would do a little more bracket analysis and see who has the upset picks today. This time I will check anyone who has a seed lower than a 4 winning today and advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.

Two upsets today are very popular among our entrants.

Virginia Tech (5) was selected to defeat Southern Illinois (4) by 12 of our players (Victoria, Zorlod, KevinL, Junkyard, unateve, yang, Puddy, irish, Keith, chiefjay, CaP'N GRuNGe, Meangreen92).

The Volunteers from Tennessee (5) over Virginia (4) was marked on 11 brackets (Victoria, Nathan, BillyBalata, KevinL, twiley, drborgata, Geist, Dunfee, Markell, loaf, Meangreen92)

Edit: Tennessee 77, Virginia 74

Also, UNLV (7) got some love over Wisconsin (2), being picked by 6 entrants (Victoria, BillyBalata, KevinL, Geist, Dunfee, chiefjay)

Less popular upset picks included USC (5) over Texas (4), by 3 entrants (Nathan, drborgata, Meangreen92)

Nevada (7) was selected over Memphis (10) also by 3 entrants (Markell, chiefjay, timmypg)

Finally, 2 of us think/hope/pray that Winthrop (11) will defeat Oregon (3) (Victoria, Geist)

None of us picked either Purdue (9) over Florida (1) or Kentucky (8) over Kansas (1).

Interestingly, gdogg picked the favorites in all 8 games today. My son Luke also isn't explicitly rooting for any underdogs, his 2 upset picks for today (Albany and New Mexico) both lost in the first round.

Good luck and enjoy your Sunday hoops!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Beginner's Luck!

OK this is ridiculous!

First place in our group is my wife Victoria, picking 29/32 first round games correctly and then getting 7/8 right in Saturday's 2nd round games. Victoria has never filled out a tournament bracket before in her life!

Second place is my 9 year old stepson Nathan. Nathan missed 5 first round games and also called 7/8 correct in the first day of the 2nd round.

Meangreen92 from has the distinction of being the first entrant to have one of his final four teams lose, when Duke lost in the first round. He lost another team today when Butler defeated Maryland. Chiefjay from joined him today when Vanderbilt knocked off Washington State.

Six of the eight winners today were favorites, with only Vanderbilt (6) over Washington State (3) and Butler (5) over Maryland (4) pulling off upsets.

My entry is tied with 5 other brackets for 3rd place.

Tomorrow night I will be delivering so expect another pizza-related post (finally) late Sunday night.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Where Is The Madness?

The NCAA opening round is complete and there are a grand total of 5 upsets, and that is counting the three #9 seeds (Purdue, Michigan State, Xavier) that won their opening game against the #8 seeds.

Only #11 seeds Winthrop (over Notre Dame) and Virginia Commonwealth (over Duke) pulled off serious upsets.

In our group, my wife Victoria (claiming "I've Got The Winners") and nephew Zorlod (aka Andy) share the lead, each correctly picking 29 of the 32 games. Interestingly, they each also have almost identical Final Four picks, each picking North Carolina to defeat Florida for the championship and each picking Kansas to advance, the only difference being Andy picked Memphis while Victoria went with OSU.

Also, if you are Yang or Markell, please let me know how you found the contest, I think I have figured out who everybody else is.

Day 2 Upset Picks

There are 3 more games complete and 3 more favorites (Memphis, Virginia, UNLV) advance. I guess other than leaving out Akron, the tournament selection committee did a good job this year.

I thought I would take a couple minutes and look over the brackets to see which upset picks (of today's remaining 13 games) are most popular among our group. I'm going to skip the 8-9 games as they are almost a toss-up.

The most popular upset by far is Winthrop (11) over Notre Dame (6), being picked by 12 of our 23 entries (Zorlod, my wife, BillyBalata, Puddy, chiefjay, Dunfee, Luke, Geist, gdogg, Markell, Keith, loaf)

Edit: Winthrop 74, Notre Dame 64

Next most popular is Long Beach (12) over Tennessee (5), as picked by 7 of us (Junkyard, timmypg, chiefjay, irish, Luke, CaP'N GRuNGe, gdogg)

Edit: Tennessee 121, Long Beach State 86

Creighton (10) over Nevada (7) was favored by 4 pickers (Junkyard, Keith, loaf, Meangreen92)

Edit: Nevada 77, Creighton 71

While 3 of you will be rooting for Illinois (12) over Virginia Tech (5) (Luke, Geist, gdogg).

Edit: Illinois 54, Virginia Tech 52

Two upsets were picked by 2 entries: Arkansas (12) over USC (5) (BillyBalata, Luke)

Edit: USC 77, Arkansas 60

and Holy Cross (13) over Southern Illinois (4) (chiefjay, irish).

Edit: Southern Illinois 61, Holy Cross 51

Finally, my son (Luke) will be the only one of us rooting for New Mexico (13) over Texas (4).

Edit: Texas 79, New Mexico 67

Thursday, March 15, 2007

NCAA Day 1

What a great day of basketball! I wish I could have watched more of it.

It's been a day ruled by the favorites, with only 3 higher seeds being upset. Two of those "upsets" were in the 8-9 games which can hardly be called an upset. The biggest (and only) upset of the day was Virginia Commonwealth knocking off Duke.

Of course just a few weeks ago it was questionable whether or not Duke would even be invited to the tournament, going 4-5 in the month of February.

In our group, the early leader was unateve (from The Huddle) who nailed the first 12 games of perfectly before missing 2 (Indiana and BYU). He ends the day at 14-2. Also at 14-2 are my wife Victoria, who just told me "this is my first bracket ever", huddlers twiley and Junkyard, fellow pizza delivery driver drborgata from Tip The Pizza Guy, and my nephew zorlod.

It's going to be a fun 3 weeks!

NCAA Basketball Commentary

The tournament is underway and we have 23 entries in our group. I did some quick analysis and here are the teams you have selected to make the final four:

St. Louis Region:
The overwhelming favorite here is Florida (17) followed by Wisconsin (3), Oregon (2), and Maryland (1)

San Jose Region:
Fairly even here with UCLA (10) and Kansas (9) being the most common picks. Southern Illinois (2), Pittsburgh (1) and Duke (1) also were selected.

East Rutherford Region:
Another toss-up between North Carolina (10) and Georgetown (9). Texas (2) and Washington State (2) round out the field.

San Antonio Region:
Being that my family and I are from Ohio, it's no surprise that the nations #1 team, Ohio State (12) was the most common selection in this region. With 30 wins, Memphis (6) was also a popular pick, followed by Texas A&M (4) and Virginia (1)

February Totals

Better late than never, but I thought I would post my February totals, so you can learn how much a pizza delivery driver actually earns:

Shifts: 11
Hours: 57.5
Deliveries: 141
Tips: $353
Miles: 464

Average miles per delivery: 3.3
Average deliveries per hour: 2.5
Average tips per delivery: $2.50
Average tips per hour: $6.14
Average cash per hour: $8.59
(tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $15.44
(includes wage of $6.85)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Stormy Wednesday

The night started off calm enough, the weather was actually very nice. Today was the first day I didn't wear a coat to go to my day job.

On my 2nd delivery, I got to the house and nobody answered the door. I knocked several times and then got out my cell phone and called, but got no answer. I had been there 3 or 4 minutes and was about to give up when a car pulled in the driveway. They had gone to Subway to get cookies! The guy was very apologetic and tipped me $3 on a $16 order.

My first few deliveries were while the weather was still sunny and calm. Then a storm blew in, it was very dark to the north and still light to the south.

There was a tornado reported in our county. Sometimes stormy weather leads to increased deliveries but tonight our business just stopped flat. I don't think I took a delivery between 8 pm and 10 pm.

My next to last delivery was a $13.58 delivery (one large pizza) to a far-away address. By this time the worst of the storm had blown through but it was still raining pretty hard. "Man am I glad you have a porch" I said as the customer answered the door. He gave me a $20 and said to keep the change! Tips like these are appreciated all of the time but especially in bad weather.

I ended up with just 6 deliveries in 5 hours of work, but took home a decent $20 in tips. Total miles tonight was 26.

I have to tell one story from Monday night that I almost forgot.

I had a delivery to 502 Carol. This is less than a mile from our pizzeria and I have a good friend that lives in the 400 block of Carol so I thought I knew right where it was. I turned left but the first address was 516 Carol. So I went back across the intersection and the first house on that side was 486 Carol.

Remember the football movie The Program? Where the star player was lying in the middle of the highway at night for the rush of feeling the cars go past? It got some bad publicity because some foolish kids imitated this act.

Well that's where I thought these people must live.

I tried to call the phone number on the ticket but it rang and rang. I took the order back to the store. Eventually the customer called back and, of course, the address was off in one of the digits. But manager Ward took both calls and insisted it was their fault for not speaking clearly.

The order had to be remade and redelivered. By someone else. No tip for me on that run, but I did get reimbursed $1 (our current per-run rate) for the extra run.

There are currently 19 entries in my basketball contest. This includes me, my wife, my son, my stepson, and 2 nephews. There's still time to enter (but not much).

Oh and if you win, you can pick where you want the pizza gift-card from. As long as it's a place I can buy a gift card from, that is.

Carnival Of The Redeemed

Thanks to the Carnival Of The Redeemed for including my post about Leviticus 9:13 and credit card tips!

ESPN Tournament Challenge

As most of you know, the college basketball tournament starts this week.

Pizza Delivery Stories is having a contest to see who can do the best in the ESPN Tournament Challenge. I will send the entry with the higest score a $10 gift card to a national pizza chain of their choice!

Sign up at and join the private group named Pizza Blog, the password is delivery. Or just click here and it should take you to the right spot.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pizza Delivery By Bus

I didn't drive tonight. But I did watch a movie that included a pizza delivery scene.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby It had a few funny scenes, for sure.

If you haven't seen it, there is a point in the middle of the movie when Ricky is down on his luck and takes up pizza delivery. But unfortunately he loses his driver's license and has to take his deliveries with him on the bus.

We are on the Blockbuster Total Access program. For less than $20 per month we get 2 movies at a time, in the mail. There are no due dates and we can keep these movies as long as we need. But every time we finish one that we got in the mail, we pick up another movie from the store. Definitely a great deal for our family.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Labor And (Pizza) Delivery

Well actually it was 20 mild wings and a family order of cheese sticks, but let's not let the details bog us down.

I answered the phone and took the order, it was to the maternity ward at the local hospital. They ordered wings and cheese sticks, then asked if I could stop by the local ice cream shop. I said that since I was the driver, I sure could. I don't think she was expecting that and she said no, never mind, just bring the wings and cheese sticks.

When I arrived there was a man pacing by his car right by the entrance. A woman, obviously pregnant and in great distress, was leaning back in the passenger seat. As I went towards the door, a nurse was coming out with a wheel chair to bring the patient inside.

I went on ahead in and up to the 3rd floor where the maternity area is. There were about 5 nurses sitting around behind the nurses station, but guess which one ordered the food? Of course the one who was actually working, wheeling in the new patient.

She arrived shortly and (luckily) had her money ready, $22 for a $19.07 order. My 2nd best tip of the night, and again, on an order where I took the phone call.

My best tip was $3 cash on a credit card order to an apartment at the far edge of our delivery zone. A woman and her young son answered the door. As I thanked them for the tip, she said that the boys dad was a delivery driver so she knew how it was to live on tips.

My worst tip was minus 8 cents. The order was $14.08, the guy paid with a $20 and I handed him back 6 singles, saying "here's 6 back for you." He said "keep the change" to which I replied "It was $14.08, there is no change."

All in all I took 8 deliveries, worked 4 1/2 hours, made $12 in tips, and drove 35 miles. It was a pretty slow night and I asked to come home early. Thanks to Desiree for closing by herself and to Ward for letting me leave at 10:30 PM.

Coming soon (to both our store and to this blog): Online Ordering

We have a new computer that sits ominously in the back. When I understand how it works, I will describe it here.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Slow Sunday

I drove tonight, it was my first shift in almost a week. The night started out awful, my first 5 "tips" were $0.30, $0.42, $0.00, $0.67, and $1.42. That's $2.81 total for 5 deliveries, and over half of that came from 1 tip.

My 7th delivery finally yielded $3.67 but it was already around 9PM and there wasn't really much time to catch up.

I was surprised we were so slow. The weather was nice and the clocks were set forward, so I expected people to be outside, taking down the last of their Christmas lights, and then come inside and realize it was dinnertime.

If they did this, they must have called another pizza place, because we were slow all night long.

I took the phone call for my 10th and final delivery and I was concerned that it would be a prank. The name was "LAFARTA." It was a new phone number and address, and the guy on the phone had to ask someone in the background what the address was. But they answered the phone when we called back to verify so we made the order and I took it.

And was I glad I did. I'm guessing the guy was at a girls apartment and was trying to impress her. I don't know if he impressed her but he sure impressed me. He gave me 2 $20's on a $20.67 order and just asked for a $10 back in change.

That $9.67 tip ended up getting me a respectable $21 in tips on 10 deliveries, over 6 hours of driving. I did have several very close deliveries and ended up driving only 31 miles, well under my average of 4 miles per delivery.

One interesting coincidence (I hope) was that the only 2 orders where I answered the phone AND took the delivery ended up being my 2 biggest tips of the night. I told manager Ward that I hoped it was just a coincidence or we would be having some phone training soon!

I have to remark on this, earlier in the night, Ward and drivers Steve and Desiree were having a discussion that I did not understand at all. They were talking about people with names like Tango and Shamrock. When I asked what they were talking about, they said it was a reality show called The White Rapper.

Man am I glad I don't have time to watch tv.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Vote For Me!

Local Girl at An Island Life is having a photo contest. Please check it out and vote for me, WeekendsWithDad, if you are so inclined.


Thursday, March 8, 2007

Leviticus 9:13 and Credit Card Tips

As part of my daily devotions, I am reading the Bible in one year. I have read the Bible from start to finish every year for the past several years. This year I am doing something different, but the result will be the same. Each week our church bulletin suggests the readings for each day. Each day includes 4 passages: Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs.

If I read all 4 passages each day throughout the year, by December 31st I will have read through the entire Bible.

Well on February 26th I came across these words in Leviticus 9:13 and realized that, in a way, they apply to my work as a pizza delivery driver:

"Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay."

Now of course we get a bi-weekly pay check for our hourly wages. We also get cash tips throughout each night. But what happens to the credit card tips, you may wonder?

Well they are actually paid out to the drivers (and waitresses) at the end of their shift. So my employer is indeed following a Biblical principle here.

I always thought that they were probably accumulated throughout the pay period and added onto the paycheck, but this is not the case at our pizza shop, or at any other restaurant that I am aware of.

So now you know.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Book It!

According to this article at CNN, there is a group called Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood that is protesting the Book It! program at Pizza Hut.

Now this is absolutely ridiculous.

"Molnar ... said it might be reevaluated in light of rising concerns about child obesity."

You're telling me that one personal pan pizza per month, for 8 months out of the year, is making kids fat? Surely these people are joking!

"Participating teachers set a monthly reading goal for each student; those who meet the goal get a certificate they can redeem at Pizza Hut for a free Personal Pan Pizza. Families often accompany the winners, turning the event into a celebration that can boost business for the restaurant."

Of course it boosts business. But I've seen numerous people call and order just the one personal pan pizza for pick-up, not buying anything else. (This won't work for delivery as there is usually a minimum amount for delivery, around $8).

Did these idiots protest Apple when they gave computers to schools back in the 1980's? Certainly part of Apple's hopes was to get kids used to using the Mac so that they would get a Mac later in life. But it was a pretty sweet deal for the schools too!

Believe it or not, there are some situations in life that are known as win-win and this is one of them. Pizza Hut gets business and the teacher gets something to encourage the students with besides just another little shiny star sticker. What could be better than that?

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

How To Open A Financially Successful Pizza & Sub Restaurant - Book Review

This book is written by Shri L. Henkel & Douglas R. Brown. It is part of a series of books that includes "How To Open" books on Bakery, Bed & Breakfast, Coffee Shop, & Gourmet Food Shop.

This book is 480 pages and I highly recommend it to anyone considering purchasing or opening a pizza shop. It would also be useful to pizzeria owners and general managers.

It starts from the beginning, including such topics as finding the potential site and evaluating whether or not to buy a franchise. It covers how to write a business plan and how to obtain financing.

The book includes 39 pages of recipes on how to make everything from dough to sauce, from chicken marsala to reubens to strawberry gelato.

This is a very detailed and very current book. It includes hundreds of website URL's on each topic from government requirements to where to restaurant furniture suppliers. There is also a very useful CD that has sample business plans, as well as various forms, charts, and lists included in the book.

There are chapters on Controlling Costs, Menu Planning, Staffing, Employee Relations, Kitchen Management, Marketing, Sanitation, and many more. This book covers so many topics useful to a pizza shop manager I can't even mention them all.

There are only 3 pages directed towards delivery drivers. These pages address delivery driver tips (advice), a delivery driver kit, and driver safety. I was hoping for a little more on the delivery aspect but that obviously is not the topic of this book.

All in all this is a terrific book, very practical and up to date, well organized, and easy to read. I would strongly recommend it to all pizza shop owners and general managers, as well as anyone considering such a career.

Closing Time?

Today in the mail I got a copy of Dave Shelson's book, "How to Make Up To $38 Per Hour Delivering Pizza." I can't wait to read it!

I drove tonight, worked 5 hours, took 12 deliveries, drove 40 miles, and made $40 in tips.

You would think I would be in a great mood.

But I had 2 deliveries (or non-deliveries) tonight that have got me steaming.

My first run of the night was pre-paid at the store. That means someone came in, ordered food, paid for it, but couldn't wait the 10 minutes while their pizza was cooked. Usually when this happens they leave a tip for the driver at that time. But no such luck for me, and no tip once I got to their house either.

To top it off, I found out later that they called back to complain, and we sent another driver back out there to pick up their pizza. Now our policy is to never give refunds. But now we took back their food so they certainly can argue that we owe them something. I don't understand why we went back out there to get their food.

From there I had a great night. I made a $12 tip on a $32 order on my 2nd delivery.

I got a $5 tip on my final delivery where the girl paid by credit card and left it blank, then her boyfriend handed me a $5.

I got a $3 tip in a low-rent apartment where I never get tipped. Guy paid me $22 for a $21.xx order then, holding a $10, asked if I had change. I counted off 5 $1's and a $5. He gave me $3 back and then I said "Hey guy I need that $10 too." "Sorry man, I'm tripping" was his reply as he handed me the $10.

But what upset me was as I was washing dishes, the phone rang. "We're open" I said to Nick, the one-time blogger. I looked at my watch, and it said 10:54 PM. Not even close to the 11:00 PM closing time. A couple minutes later, manager Doug (who answered the call), told us that he told them we were closed.

This is like taking money out of my pocket. I earn a good portion of my income in tips. This was a potential tip that we turned away tonight. And possibly they called another pizza place, were served well, and will take their business elsewhere in the future. Who knows how much potential $ I lost tonight.

I mentioned this to Doug and he was bold enough to lie to my face and tell me that it was after 11. I told him no it was not and he said yeah it was.

I have no respect for liars and tonight I learned that Doug is a liar.

Tonight was a bad, bad night.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Income Taxes

If you haven't filed your taxes yet, click on over to Gina's Tax Articles for this month's Carnival of Taxes. Guess who got included?

That's right ... ME!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Car Stereo

One thing that any pizza delivery driver will soon learn to love is his car stereo. I'm a big sports fan so I love to listen to baseball, football, and basketball games on the radio. My old Ford Escort had a tape stuck in the cassette player so all I had was the radio, but that was fine with me.

If there wasn't a game on, I might listen to talk radio on WTAM, alternative rock on KRock, country on WGAR, or even "hits" on Kiss FM.

My favorite weekly shows were on KRock when Lunchbox played That Damn Punk Show, which was canceled a few months back, and now Verlane's Flip Side (on Saturdays at 11PM, check it out!)

I know alot of drivers prefer satellite radio, either Sirius or XM, but I'm driving to make money, not to spend it, and I can't justify paying for radio.

My new $600 Hyundai has a broken antenna and gets horrible reception. It does however have a CD player. The faceplate is removable and my kids love that it changes colors at the touch of a button. I've been going through my old CD collection, which has been fun.

I recently discovered that it is a Sony CDX-FW570 which retails for $141.95. Pretty expensive radio for such a car. So I have a couple tasks to do in the next month or so.

1) Download the manual for the FW570 and figure out what it does that makes it so valuable.

2) Get the antenna fixed in time for Opening Day!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Another Carnival, and Nick Has A Blog!

Turnover at most pizza places is pretty high. I have worked at our shop, a franchise, for less than 3 years and there are only 4 employees with more seniority than me. Of those 4, 3 of them work the day shift. One driver, Mark, and 2 waitresses, Kim and Angie.

The only evening employee that has been there longer than me is Nick. Nick started a couple months before me, as a cook, while he was still a sophomore in high school. Nick is a hard worker and a real go-to guy. After he turned 18 he has run some manager shifts. Recently due to another store closing and us inheriting several of their employees, Nick is back on the make-line.

But the reason I mention all of this is, Nick has a blog! Check him out.

Also, we have been included in another Blog Carnival, this time the Carnival Of Dining Out!

I'm busy this weekend finalizing the schedule for the soccer league that my team plays in. I have 476 games that I need to assign to fields, dates, and times. So I won't be delivering again until Monday.

I thought I posted this already but I must have put it somewhere else. My nephew Zorlod also has a blog. Good stuff!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Dishroom Disaster

I don't know what happened during the day today but the dishroom was a total mess when I arrived shortly after 6 tonight. I worked on dishes every chance I got and at 10:15 I told manager Doug that we had at least 1 1/2 hours of dishes still to do.

The make table wasn't washed, the buffet dishes were still out, the salad bar still needed taken down and washed, there were stacks of pans by the oven, and several tubs of plates from the dining room.

I was wrong. I left at 12:15 and Desiree had at least 1/2 hour more to do. So that would make 2 1/2 hours straight of dishwashing at the end of the night.

We were busy up until about 9 PM, I took 10 deliveries from 6-9, then only 3 from 9-11. I took 13 deliveries in all. Amazingly I only drove 27 miles! Lots of close runs tonight. I earned $26 in tips.

The funniest story tonight was from a man who lived only 1/2 mile from our pizzeria. He had ordered a medium pizza and his total was $10.58. He came to the door a little slowly and seemed as if he had been drinking. He reached in his wallet and pulled out a $10 and a $1. He looked at his money for a while.

Then he turned around and I saw him lift the cushion of his couch. Digging for change in the cushions? This was definitely not a good sign.

He turned around and had a wad of cash. If they were all $20's he had at least several hundred dollars. He peeled a $20 off the top and asked for $5 back in change. Leaving me with a very generous $4.42 tip for a small order close to the store.

I commented that most people only find nickels and dimes in their cushions. "My wife went to West Virginia and told me she left me some money under the couch," he said.

"Don't you wish she did that more often?" was my reply as I headed back to my car.

My only stiff of the night gave me $22 for a $21.58 order, after commenting on how cold it was outside and how bad the snow was to drive in last week. What a jerk! If you aren't going to tip, why act buddy-buddy with me beforehand?