Friday, August 31, 2007

August 2007 Totals

August was a horrible month. This is for 9 shifts, which included 2 Fridays, 2 Saturdays, 3 Mondays, and 2 Wednesdays. Tips per hour were down more than $2 from July.

Shifts: 9
Hours: 51.5
Deliveries: 105
Tips: $217
Miles: 421

Average miles per delivery: 4.0
Average deliveries per hour: 2.0
Average tips per delivery: $2.07
Average tips per hour: $4.21
Average cash per hour: $6.28
(tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $13.10
(includes wage of $6.85)

Former Pizzeria Flattened Like A Pizza

First off, I want to admit that I copied both the headline and also the picture from this Elyria Chronicle-Telegram article.

The wierd thing is I have taken deliveries to this building. While the Piccolo Uno pizza shop was still open!

The delivery usually went to a bunch of skater-type kids in the back of the building. Once one of their friends remarked, "Dude, why are you ordering pizza? You live in a pizza shop."

You can read the story for all the details, but the shop has been closed for over a year and the whole block is being demolished to make room for a new high school building.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tooth Fairy

At one of my deliveries tonight, I got a $20 bill with a note written on it in red. "Sorry I missed you, Love, The Tooth Fairy." I used to get a quarter. I think I grew up in the wrong house!

We had a weird thing happen tonight, a customer came in for a pick-up and their food wasn't on the warming rack. A little investigation showed that Desiree was at their home delivering it. A little further investigation showed that the customer had no order history. That means this was the first time they called.

If they wanted pick-up, why did they give us their address???

Totals for the night were 4.5 hours driving, 7 deliveries, 22 miles, and $13 in tips.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Short Night

I had a short night today, we weren't very busy at all. In fact, manager Alison met me at the door and told me to go home. Both drivers were out and I asked if I could take the delivery that was up and see if one of them wanted to go home.

Luckily for me one of them did. In my first hour I took 3 deliveries and made $11. In the next 2.5 hours I took just 3 more deliveries, made $6 more, and finished up the dough prep and most of the dishes.

Total 3.5 hours, 6 deliveries, $17 in tips, 25 miles driven.

The coolest part of the night, besides a $5 tip, was hearing the Indians turn a triple-play on the radio!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Too Much Pizza?

This really doesn't have anything to do with pizza but it was brought to my attention today, as reported by St. Louis Today.

Last month, a tram-cable broke inside the Gateway Arch. There is a story here, under the headline "Investigation Zeroes In On Why Arch Tram Cable Broke."

The article is accompanied by this photo:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Driver? Nick!

We're overstaffed on managers and short on drivers, so my good friend and long-time coworker Nick has started taking some driving shifts. Tonight was the first time we've worked together as drivers for an entire shift.

My night was pretty unremarkable, except for a $6.93 tip on a $23.07 order less than 1 mile from the shop. I had 5 credit card deliveries tonight (out of 13) and they all tipped at least $2 each.

Also, on my last delivery (a credit card), the woman insisted that I keep her pen, as "she has plenty because she gets them from work. Cheap advertising." Well, ma'am, I bet you didn't know your advertising would reach the world wide web.

The pen is from Woodforest National Bank. I wasn't sure where there was one so I looked it up and it's in the new WalMart right behind my house!

Nick had a few stories tonight. One was a woman who paid with a bunch of change and tried to short him $1.40. Nick pounded on the door until she came back with the rest of the money.

Also, he got screwed by an ex-girlfriend, one last time, and not in a good way. He took a delivery and when she recognized him, she took back the tip that she had ready. How rude!

My nightly totals were 5.5 hours, 13 deliveries, 46 miles, and $26 in tips. Not bad for a Wednesday.


No, luckily, it wasn't me. I wasn't even there. But this crash happened around 11:30 last night at the Speedway gas station where I fill up each night after my shift.

I'm glad I wasn't there at the time.

I wonder what that woman was thinking???

Monday, August 20, 2007


I worked 5 1/2 hours tonight, took 9 deliveries, and made $19 in tips. We were super slow up until the time when Josue went home. I actually took 4 deliveries in the last hour. Big thanks to manager Nick for doing pretty much all of the dishes while I was out on the road.

The story of the night was one of my final-hour deliveries. The house was very much lit up (inside and on the porch) so I was a little surprised that no one answered my knock. I waited several seconds and then rang the bell. (I try not to ring the bell late at night as I never know who might have young kids sleeping in the house.)

Eventually a juvenile who looked to be of Indian descent came and opened the door. He then ran up the stairs, calling out to someone. Then back down and to a back room of the house, saying something that sounded like "Yahbah." What followed was a several minute conversation between the boy and an adult male, with the boy repeating "Yahbah" interspersed with "C'mon, don't be like that" and "I don't know where he is."

Meanwhile the adult was saying "I didn't order it", "Cancel it", and "I'll throw it in the garbage."

Eventually the youth came to the door with the money. He took all of the cash change, leaving me with just 42 cents, hardly a tip.

It's very frustrating to have people waste my time like that!

I told Nick when I returned that I thought "Yahbah" probably meant "The pizza man is on the porch, now, give me the money."

But when I looked it up in WordAnywhere, a Hindi-English translator, the closest word it could find was yaab which means a pony or a small horse!

Other than that house and also my last delivery which put a 69-cent tip on a $11.31 credit card order, the other 7 deliveries all tipped at least $2 each.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Another Crappy Night

Tonight was another horrible night for making money. I took 13 deliveries and 6 of them didn't see fit to give me even $1 as a tip. The fact that the other 7 each gave at least $2, including 2 tips of $5 or more, made the night almost tolerable.

First idiot customer of the night had ordered a large pan pizza for $11.99. He came to the door with a coupon for an extra-large hand-tossed pizza for $9.99, and was sure that was what he ordered. I got on the phone and got his pizza marked down to $9.99. What did I get for my efforts? A whole 31 cents!

An hour or so later I took a delivery to "111 Shower Court" of 1 pizza, half pepperoni and half cheese only. These people were so cheap they sent their kid (about 9) to the door to pay and not tip me.

When I got back to the shop, I looked and saw the exact same order to the exact same address. I had manager Nick call to confirm that they did indeed order again. Unlucky for me, but I drew that delivery a 2nd time. I knocked, rang the bell, beeped my horn, and tried to get their attention for about 10 minutes. I saw the kid peek out the upstairs window. They never did come to the door!

The in-store excitement happened before I arrived tonight. Cook Steve "accidentally" spilled barbecue sauce on waitress Jeanette. She had to change into blue jeans, which are of course a violation of our uniform policy (everybody must wear black pants). I joked about titling tonight's blog "How Steve Got Jeanette Out Of Her Pants", but I didn't want people to think this was another x-rated website.

Totals for the night were 7 hours driving, 13 deliveries, 47 miles, $27 in tips.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Who Needs It More?

I had a very frustrating night tonight.

It actually started ok, all things considered. The Hyundai is still in the shop so I have been driving the Taurus. Well we had the front brakes fixed several months ago but left the rear brakes at that time. Over the past month, the brakes have been getting softer and softer and I was really concerned, so much that I was considering driving our 3rd vehicle, a 1987 GMC Vandura.

Luckily, though, we were able to get the Taurus in for a brake job this afternoon. We took it to the local Tuffy shop. The total cost was $500 but luckily again, they give a 10% AAA discount!

On to the pizza deliveries. My night was ruined on my 4th delivery. The total check was $32.06. I went to the door and when the customer asked how much, I told him. He gave me $32 (1 x $20, 2 x $5, 2 x $2) and then went back into his house to get change. He came back with a $5, saying he didn't really want to break it.

I counted him back 4 $1's and he stood there, waiting for more. I reached into my pocket, let him know that I was out of coin change, and handed him back another $1.

He still owed my 6 cents but I wasn't going to waste any more time.

But no, he said "Hang on, I have some more coming back." He said he gave me $37, and I agreed and told him that I gave him $5 back and the bill was $32.06. He tried to argue some more, and ended up saying "I guess you need it more than I do."

I let him know that he still owed me 6 cents but it wasn't worth my time, and walked away.

I had 4 other stiffs on the night, a total of 5 in just 17 deliveries. An awful ratio. Totals for the night were 7.5 hours, 17 deliveries, $30 in tips, and 76 miles.

I started with a full tank and gassed up at the end of the night for 3.85 gallons, so I was getting exactly 20 MPG. I guess that's decent for such a big car, but I really hope I can get my Hyundai back soon.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hold Your Breath

Tonight was a short night for me. I went in around 5:45 and came home at 8:15. We weren't too busy and management is trying to keep the labor numbers low. I had 7 deliveries (plus a rerun) for 30 miles, $19 in tips. So my hourly rate was pretty decent.

The highlight (lowlight?) of the night was a delivery to the "newspaper lady." This older woman has the driver come in through the garage and pick up (usually several days worth) the newspapers on the step.

Well today she didn't meet me at the door but hollered for me to come in. She had ordered a small pizza, salad, and 2-liter. I almost gagged as I walked in because of the foul unclean odor!

She usually tips 50 cents on the order but today she didn't have her change available (she said she had just got out of the hospital) so she actually gave me a whole dollar extra.

Unfortunately whoever made the salad didn't include any dressing. She called back later to ask for her dressing, some napkins, and a plastic fork.

I almost gagged again.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bad At Tipping, Bad At Math

This girl tonight had a credit card order for $19.57. She wrote in a tip of $0.48 and then totaled it up to $20.00. Obviously it was her intent to get the total to an even dollar amount, but not only was she a horrible tipper but she was also bad at math, as her tip as written would have put the total at $20.05.

My 2 biggest tips of the night were both surprises, both $5 and change. The first was on a $19.57 order to the Super 8 motel, the guys in the room had been fishing all day. The second was even more surprising, on a $14.69 order to the 200 block of 8th Street.

I also had a girl who was very impressed with herself for using the online ordering. She tipped $4.00 on a $20.57 order so I was excited for her too!

Totals for the night were 16 deliveries, 66 miles, $36 in tips, in 7.5 hours of driving.

It was also kind of an old-home night. I saw 2 ex-employees and talked with another on the phone. Ex-manager Josh stopped in and visited for a few minutes. Ex-driver Tim (known then as "Little Tim" but much bigger now) ordered 2 calzones, and I took the delivery to him. And ex-waitress Katie (and ex-driver Amy) called on the phone to see who was working. They said they might stop in but they never did.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Tipping & Travelling

I'm traveling for my day-job this week and I thought, since I can't write about delivering pizza, I would write about tipping.

Monday Lunch - we stopped at Quiznos. For myself, my wife, stepdaughter, and baby George, our total bill was a little over $25. I put $1 and the coin change in their tip-cup. I really don't like tip cups in places like that, but I will give them something.

Monday Hotel - we're staying at the Atlantic City Hilton all week. I have a huge suitcase of clothes (I pack like a girl). My wife brought not as many clothes but she brought a cooler of food, 2 beach umbrellas, lawn chairs, and of course beach toys for George. All this stuff got loaded onto a bell-cart and the bellman brought it up to our room. I gave him $10.

Monday Dinner - we ate at Corky's Ribs & BBQ. We had separate checks so I could charge my meal to my corporate card. I got the full slab of ribs and my check was $26.75. I added a $5 tip on my card. Wife and daughter's check came up to $29.96. I paid with 2 $20's. The stupid waitress brought me back a $10. How was I supposed to tip with that? I made her make change and I left her another $5.

Tuesday Hotel - we had to switch rooms on Tuesday because the room we got on Monday didn't have the right number of beds. I paid the bellman another $5 to help move our stuff from the 6th floor to the 9th floor. Also, we leave $5 for the maids each day.

Tuesday Snack - Tuesday night while walking on the boardwalk to the Tropicana Casino to play poker, I got a single slice of pizza for $2.60. Another tip cup, this time they just got the coin change.

Casino Tipping - While playing low limit ($2/$4 or $3/$6) Texas Hold 'Em, my wife and I each tip the dealer $1 for each hand that we win.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


I was the beneficiary tonight of a strange phenomena I'll call "double-tipping." Here's what happened:

I took a delivery that was paid by credit card. A man met me at the door with a handful of cash. I told him that the pizza was on a credit card and I just needed the form filled out (tip, total and signature). The man handed me $3 cash as a tip and took the form, on my mini-clipboard, inside for someone else to sign. The other person put a $2 credit card tip on the form. So all in all I made $5 at that house.

A very interesting delivery was my 2nd run to a low income, government subsidized housing high-rise. I had to take the elevator up to the 13th floor. There were 2 women waiting for the elevator with me. One said to the other "I'm not paying $8 for a plant unless it grows back on it's own if it dies!"

Another man walked up and joined us, waiting. He asked me if we had any specials, and I told him about our deals. He then said he really shouldn't eat pizza. He lifted up his shirt, revealing his chest and about an 8 inch scar from open-heart surgery.

Favorite delivery of the night was to Bryan on 3rd street. He's a great tipper, and a friend of ex-driver Steve. Well tonight Steve was there sitting in the yard, so I got to catch up with him for a few minutes.

One final story from tonight, a dine in customer told waitress Jeanette that I looked like Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump. I've probably been told 15-20 times in my life that I resemble Tom Hanks.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Working With The Idiots

I want to preface this by saying I enjoy my job as a pizza driver and there isn't anyone at work that I dislike. Having said that, almost everything that anyone could do tonight to screw me up was done.

I drove for 8 hours, took 16 deliveries, drove 64 miles, and made $30 in tips. I also made a rare $1 tip on a pick-up order.

Now on to what went wrong. Our POS system requires the driver to "dispatch" and "return" each order. This timestamps the order within the system and calculates the oven time and the delivery time. Let's say the order was entered at 6:00 PM. The driver dispatched at 6:15 and returned at 6:35. Travel time of 20 minutes gets cut in half and the order is stamped as delivered at 6:25, or 25 minutes after the order was entered.

Several employees (including managers) don't understand how this works and think that if the driver isn't back 30 minutes from the order entry time, the order is late. Delivery on-time percentages are calculated and compared from store to store. Some managers will "return" a driver when he isn't really back, to make their numbers look better.

This upsets me to no end. First off my on-time numbers are always good to begin with. Second, returning a driver early is a lie. Also, returning a driver early makes it difficult to edit or void the order, if the customer found a coupon or if the order was a fake order. Finally, returning drivers out of order adds confusion, as the computer can't be used to mark which driver returned first (and thus which driver is up next).

Well tonight, somebody was returning drivers and there was mass confusion on who would be up next. At one point driver Chris accidentally took an order ahead of me when it should have been my turn before him.

Later on somebody actually returned me, which at that time was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. It happened to be on an order where I was shorted 5 cents by the customer. Now 5 cents is no big deal but there's no reason I should be expected to cover for the customer. The order should have been discounted by the store but it was too late.

At that point I stopped dispatching myself and returning myself, figuring if somebody else thought they should do it, I would let them try to figure out which deliveries I was taking.

The cooks also got into the act, forgetting cinnamon sticks on one order and making a supreme rather than a super supreme on another. This is bad enough, but both of these times the mess up would have went nicely as a double, saving us drivers both time and gas (money).

The phone people screwed by taking the same bad address twice. First they put the address as "19 STREET", as in house number 19 on STREET. We called back to try to get the address right an no one answered so the order was voided. Later they called back and this time gave a valid street address on Douglas. Except for the fact that their house was about 1 mile past the end of our delivery area. Desiree took the order and they shorted her $1 because they thought that was all they should pay due to the late pizza.

The address was marked and we will NOT be going there again, if I can help it.

Later I arrived at a house and asked for $24.84, the guy said he had paid by credit card online. I called the store and sure enough, we had neglected to transfer that info from our internet computer to our ordering computer. I apologized to the guy and told him I was working with a bunch of idiots tonight.

New manager James even got into the act in a very minor way. He was on cut-and-pack and missed a "well done" note, but I caught it before leaving with the food, so that item was put back in to bake a little longer.

To top it all off, my customers also joined in. Half of them tipped $1 or less. One of them left their sprinkler on (in the dark) for me to walk through.

The worst was the woman who answered the door, telling me her husband was getting the money. I thought she meant upstairs. She meant at the bank. I waited in their driveway for about 10 minutes!

I'm sure I could say more but it's almost 3 AM and I'm bushed. So I'll just note that I was so upset for a while that someone called in manager Nick (on his day off) to try to calm me down. Nick went for a ride and told me about his failed romance, and it actually helped.

Good news of the night ... there was a huge dine-in group of about 20-30 people. Both waitresses, Catherine and Jeanette, served them. The diners then gave each of them a $50 bill as a tip! WOW!

Friday Night's Post Has Been Deleted

... and that's all I have to say about that.

Friday, August 3, 2007

August Carnival Of Pizza

Welcome to the August 3, 2007 edition of carnival of pizza. What this month's carnival lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. I think these are 3 of the best submissions we've had yet!

Joy Guerrero presents Food journal number 14: Pizza posted at home and away. Joy educates us about pizza in Sweden. There's a continuation article in Swedish pizza salad.


Living Without Meat presents Mom’s Making Pizza and Everyone’s Invited posted at Living Without Meat. This is interesting, as my wife has recently stopped eating meat.


Ant presents Porno Pizza posted at The Beef Jerky Blog, a story I wrote briefly about a couple weeks ago.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of pizza using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

July Totals

June was a pretty good month for me, as I was able to work alot of weekend shifts. Out of my 11 shifts, I worked 3 Fridays, 3 Saturdays, and 2 Sundays.

Shifts: 11
Hours: 65
Deliveries: 162
Tips: $414
Miles: 585

Average miles per delivery: 3.6
Average deliveries per hour: 2.5
Average tips per delivery: $2.56
Average tips per hour: $6.37
Average cash per hour: $8.86
(tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $15.71
(includes wage of $6.85)