Friday, December 26, 2008

On The Road Again

I don't have any stories about delivery tonight but I did drive a couple hours. As promised, with the holiday past and people not quite as desperate (hopefully), I was willing to put on a car-topper.

Since I was a late addition to the schedule, I was the first driver sent home. I took 4 deliveries in 2 hours, drove 21 miles, and made $12 in tips.

The only story is that I brought in a couple boxes of Bean Boozled Jelly Belly jellybeans. Nick made a game of it, having people take turns trying them. There are some hilarious videos on YouTube of other people trying them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Packing Heat

My nephew Andy brought this story to my attention. Some punk kids pulled a gun on the pizza guy and he threw the pizza at them!

Monday, December 15, 2008

True Crime Reports

Crime Doesn't Pay:

These guys got sentenced to 5 years for robbing 2 pizza delivery guys in Akron back in February. Apparently they ordered the pizzas delivered to their own house. I hope the police figured that one out pretty quickly!

Who Would Steal A Bag Of Clothes?

Apparently the guys in this story. Back in August, a female pizza driver from Youngstown was robbed in a set-up. The guy on the porch told her to come to him (she should have took off right then). They met partway up the drive, where she was punched and then 2 other guys, 1 with a gun, jumped out of the darkness.

They stole the food, the money, and a bag of clothes from her car.

Dayton Pizza Shops Cooperate

... but not soon enough.

This story describes how a pizza guy was robbed on a set-up in Dayton. Afterwards he called some other pizza shops to warn them, and one of them had already had an order from the number and had tried (unsuccessfully) to deliver it.

Who Let The Dog Out?

Here is a story about another pizza delivery robbery (at gunpoint) in Cuyahoga county last month. Luckly their police force had a K9 unit who was able to track down and apprehend the suspects.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Crime - What Are The Chances

According to this list, there are 23 Pizza Huts operated by Midland Food Services in Cuyahoga County. Hallrich also owns 1 in Cuyahoga County and 7 in Lorain County. So that is a total of 31 restaurants.

I am aware of 3 armed robberies or attempts, just against Pizza Hut, in the past 4 weeks.

Of those 3, 2 seem to be set-ups where the driver was sent to an address that did not order pizza. The perpetrators then would confront the driver at that time.

The other 1 happened after the driver had delivered the pizza to the customer, so it seems to be more by chance. The attacker saw the driver (or his car) and decided to rob him at that time.

According to a survey done by APDD, "January had twice the number of robberies as any other month. The spike happened in January. The pattern repeated during the 3 years that APDD kept track. That's not to say that December wasn't busy. It was the number two highest month for crime. December had 1.5 robberies per day as reported in the online news."

"Out of all the robberies, 2/3 were setups. 1/3 were crimes of opportunity created by the cartopper."

Note that in my small sample size, it corresponds with the national data. That is, 2 of 3 were set-ups and 1 was not.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


As I arrived tonight, Manager Mike asked if I was going to use a car-topper. I said no. He said then he had to suspend me.

GM Ady and District Manager Jim were both there tonight. I spoke briefly to them, explaining that there was too much crime going on right now, that I was willing to wear a topper after Christmas, and that in the meantime I would be willing to work as an insider if necessary.

They have a meeting tomorrow with Sam from our franchise HR department and they said they would discuss it with him.

But this may be one of my final posts on this blog.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cleveland Pizza Driver Shot - Update

Here is an updated story about this robbery from Saturday night. The driver was a Pizza Hut driver. He was shot and robbed at his vehicle, after delivering the food.

It doesn't sound like the driver was resisting at all, witnesses claim he shouted "Don't kill me" as the bad guys held a gun to his head.

Just more confirmation that I will not be using a car-topper until the holiday crime season is past.

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today was my birthday. My wife surprised me by bringing a batch of cupcakes up to the pizza shop for my coworkers and I. But an even better present was driver Todd calling off.

I took 16 deliveries in 5 hours, drove 66 miles, and made $42 in tips. That is a very good night for a Monday. We were especially busy when I first arrived. Two of my first 4 deliveries were over an hour late and didn't tip at all. Now maybe they wouldn't have tipped anyways, but the lateness sure didn't help.

I do owe a thanks to Manager-In-Training Joanna and also to Mona for keeping up with the dishes all night while I was out on the road. And Manager Mike made sure that drivers Nate and Chris finished the dough prep before they left. So most of my time was indeed spent driving (and delivering).

I did have one minor issue tonight that may become a major issue. We have new lighted (rechargable) car-toppers and Mike told me to put one on my car. Normally I enjoy using a car-topper as I appreciate the extra business. But with the number of armed robberies in our area recently and the pizza driver getting shot in Cleveland over the weekend, I don't feel safe using the car-topper so I refused.

I told Mike that he could send me home or even fire me if he felt he had to. He said our District Manager Jim might be by and that he might fire me. At this point I don't need this job badly enough to risk my safety so I won't be wearing a car topper until after the Christmas holiday cime spree is over.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cleveland Pizza Driver Shot

I heard it first on WTAM radio and now there is a short story posted on the WEWS TV website.

A pizza driver for Pizza Hut was shot tonight shortly after 8 PM on the east side of Cleveland. The driver was taken to the hospital and his condition is unknown. The article says the driver was "hit" so it's unclear whether this was an assault and robbery, or if he was caught in some crossfire or hit by a stray bullet.

But based on the dramatic increase in crimes lately, including multiple bank robberies, and 2 successful and 1 failed pizza driver robbery just in our area, most likely it seems that this was another robbery.

I hope and pray that the driver is ok, and that the police successfully pursue the perpetrator.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Curious Story Of The Glasses And The Parking Brake Levers

The night started normally enough and I was dispatched on a run to Taft St. I packed up the bag and headed out. As I drove off I reached for my glasses and couldn't find them in their usual slot in the center-console of my car.

I pulled off to the side into a bank parking lot and checked everywhere. Under my seat. In the back seat. Mixed in with the clothes I changed out of as I was driving here from my day job. Nowhere.

I remembered setting them on my knee as I changed shirts on the way. I wondered if maybe I had left them on my knee and then they fell off in the parking lot. I drove back and looked in the lot where I had parked, and in between my parking spot and the door. Still no luck.

Manager Mike had new driver Rob deliver the order.

Nick came out and helped look and we thoroughly searched my car again. Still no glasses. Now I can see to drive, if I know where I'm going. But I can't really see well enough to pick out house numbers, so I decided to go home and get my contacts.

But before I could leave, Mike needed me to prep some dough that we were about to run out of.

So about 10 minutes later, I was on my way home. I reached over into the slot for the parking brake. I felt my glasses, but I couldn't quite get a grip and pull them out. I drove back to the shop (I had only gone about a mile), stopped, and eventually was able to get the glasses out.

So after about an hour wasted, I finally started out on my first delivery, a double. My next run was also a double, which included the most interesting delivery of the night. It was a credit card order and the guy met me at the door, remarking about how quick it was.

It was a credit card order, and the guy wrote $5 on the tip line. He then told me that he just moved here, and pulled out another $3 cash, for $8 total! I think he may have been trying to "establish" himself as a good tipper.

Unfortunately that was about it, as it was 9PM and I didn't take another delivery until right at 11 PM.

Totals for the night were 4.5 hours, 5 deliveries, $19 tips, and 16 miles. I did cost myself another 2 deliveries due to the lost glasses incident.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

November 2008 Monthly Totals

These numbers do not include driving expenses.

Shifts: 13
Hours: 64.5
Deliveries: 131
Tips: $323
Miles: 466

Average miles per delivery: 3.6
Average deliveries per hour: 2.0
Average tips per delivery: $2.47
Average tips per hour: $5.01
Average cash per hour: $7.24 (tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $14.24 (includes wage of $7.00)

Five Stiffs (one per hour)

Well I called off my day job sick, and was hoping to just work a couple hours tonight, but the other closing driver Chris had already called off with the flu before I got in, so I was stuck working my scheduled shift from 6-12.

The bad omen for the night came on my very first delivery. A woman gave me $20 for her $18.07 order and was fishing around in her purse for the 7 cents. She handed me a dime saying, "Just give me the $2 back, don't worry about the 3 cents."

Thanks alot!

This was the first of 5 customers tonight who decided not to tip me. The next 4 were troublesome orders in one way or another, besides being non-tippers.
  • The girl with the gift card who apparently wasn't even paying for her food.
  • The guy who tried to pay for his $28.87 order with a $100 bill. I took it to make change to the Gas USA 2 blocks away, the site of a murder just 6 months ago. Does he really think I should carry that much change in that neighborhood?
  • The girl who gave us a wrong phone number and we couldn't confirm their order.
  • The couple who's dad had paid by credit card, so I couldn't get a physical imprint of the credit card.

Best tip of the night was $3.79.

Totals for the night were 5 hours, 14 deliveries, $22 in tips, and 64 miles driven. A big thanks goes out to cooks Mona for keeping up with the dishes, and Alicia, for doing most of the dough-prep.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Robbery (Not Me!) . . . (Again) . . .

Another armed robbery, this was not in our delivery area but it was the next town over, about 10 miles away from our shop. Scary stuff!

Another One Bites The Dust

Another local restaurant is closing. This time it is T.G.I. Friday's. This is disappointing, both because it is another sign that the crummy economy is not improving, but also because my wife and I liked to eat there.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Horrible Day To Be Sick

I was scheduled to work from 6-2 tonight. I haven't felt my best for about a week but I got much worse today in the late afternoon. I tried to call in sick but Manager Mike was too busy to even come to the phone.

So I went in, thinking if we weren't busy, I could get sent home early. Well we were more than busy, we were slammed. There were at least 8 orders on top of the oven waiting to go out.

I took the first one and 2 more that went with it. Unfortunately the 2 more were to the same low-income high rise. One of them shorted me 4 cents and the other overpaid by 2 cents. At least they were to the same apartment building, I think that's the first time I've ever done that.

I got back with $1.16 for the triple (plus $2.85 gas money). Again the oven was heaped and Mike sent me on a quadruple. Tips were better, even though a couple of the orders were nearly an hour from the time of the order.

After that things had settled and Mike was able to let me go home. I'd rather go home on a slow night than a busy night but my body just let me down today.

Totals for the 1 hour worked were 7 deliveries, $12 in tips, and 17 miles driven.

Closing Time

Something happened tonight that reminded me of the popular song by Semisonic, Closing Time. The phone rang about 11 PM and as driver Chris went to answer it, he asked manager Mike, "Are we still open?"

Mike said, "Until 1" at about the same time as I said, "It's Friday."

Chris admitted that having Thursday off, he had gotten his days mixed up. We are open until 11 on Sunday-Thursday but stay open 2 more hours on Friday and Saturday nights.

Earlier in the night, I had an interesting delivery. The customer advised me to "be safe" remarking that she had read the papers, and her daugher is a driver for a local mom & pop pizzeria. I then told her that I was the guy from the newspaper. "With the 5 kids?" she asked, and I had to correct her and tell her we have 7.

Oh and the Marco's guy ordered wings again. He works at the Marco's in Amherst.

I had a delivery to South Park apartments, where we have never gone before, for safety reasons. The customer met me up front at the security gate and tipped $2, so I guess it's ok.

One delivery late in the night, the guy not only stiffed me but had me change a $20. His order was for $18.28 so I thought he wanted more $1's to be able to tip, but all he left me with was the coin change (which is not a tip).

Totals for the night were 7 hours, 16 runs, $33 in tips, and 58 miles.

Friday, November 28, 2008


A few weeks ago I got a form in the mail for renewing my license plates from the Ohio BMV. Well, usually I wait until right around my birthday, December 8. But this year I decided to go today, Black Friday, thinking the lines would probably be shorter than on a Saturday.

And they were, I got my license plate sticker, and my renewed drivers license, in about 5 minutes.

When I got home, I went to put the sticker on the car and, much to my surprise, it already had one. The new sticker is black and expires in 12/09. The old sticker is also black and expires on 5/09 (my wife's birthday).

I checked the van and it also has a current sticker for 05/09.

I checked the registration papers and they are for the GMC van that we traded for my wife's Villager almost a year ago!

I went back to the BMV and they gave me my $ back. They said it happens all the time. I still felt pretty foolish.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Eating With The Enemy

It was the night before Thanksgiving and I had hoped to make alot of money. But unfortunately it was about the same as last year, but without the extra hour from 11-12. In 5.5 hours (same as last year) I took 10 deliveries (2 less), made $23 ($1 less), and drove 36 miles (4 less).

My first delivery was to a customer who ordered a couple nights ago and asked if we were hiring. I took them an application. They still tipped just $1.

My final delivery of the night was to a guy still wearing his Marco's uniform. I can't blame him, I buy from different pizza places too when I'm not working, but I don't answer the door in uniform.

While waiting for Mike to finish his managerial accounting duties, we caught the end of the Hooters Swimsuit Pageant on TV. I never even knew there was such a competition. Now I realize this was actually a rerun of the 2007 competition, won by Breanne Ashley (pictured). The 2008 winner's name is actually Sara Hoots! For more info check this link.

Anyhow, Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lucky Thirteen

I drove 4.5 hours tonight and took thirteen deliveries. The biggest reason was that Thomas got sent way far out on Lake Ave. and while he was gone, I took 4 other deliveries.

I had 3 credit-card orders tonight and each one tipped $5. (One actually tipped $5.75). The average for my cash orders was $3.

I did get stiffed twice, once on a free (customer satisfaction) order. The other stiff was an order for $17.28. The woman paid with $20 and said "Just give me back $2." I should have asked her what she wanted me to do with the extra 72 cents.

Total tips for the night was $36 and total miles was 40. I'm expecting an even better night on Wednesday, Thanksgiving eve!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Doing Favors

What is pizza delivery, really, if not doing favors for the customer. "Hey I want some food, can you do me a favor and bring it to my house?"

Well tonight I had a $33 order of pizza and pasta. The woman met me at the door with $40 and asked "Could you do me a big favor?"

"Maybe" was my reply.

She then proceeded to ask me to take a pizza to her sister's house, about 3 houses down and across the street. She said I could keep the $6+ change. Of course I agreed!

My other interesting event happened at my final delivery. After I knocked, I heard a girl's voice behind the door saying "everyone's passed out, I'm not going to answer." Well I knocked some more and then called and she answerred, saying she would get to the door in a minute. After some waiting and some more knocking, she answerred and asked me to wait again! Eventually she sent me to the other side of the duplex and the woman on that side paid (and even gave $1+ tip).

I think my average tip for pizza delivery is now $3. Tonight I had 4 stiffs, 2 tips in the $1-2 range, 5 tips in the $3 range, and 4 tips in the $4+ range.

Totals for the night were 7 hours driving, 15 deliveries, $42 in tips, and 56 miles.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WEOL Radio Interview

I was interviewed on WEOL this morning about the robbery attempt I prevented on Saturday night. Other interviews this morning are David Frankel, the director of the upcoming dog movie Marley And Me starring Jennifer Aniston (pictured on right) and Owen Wilson, and Richard Cohen, author of the book Coming Out Straight. This book is about understanding and healing homosexuality.

My interview was really pretty boring, but if you want to hear it you can listen to the mp3 online.

My interview was unpaid, in contrast to my wife who earned a $200 shoe gift certificate when she was interviewed about her ebay auction for Good Friday Miracle Fish Sticks back in March.

And if you didn't catch it, here is a link to the Chronicle article about my incident.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday Pizza Delivery

I worked 4.5 hours tonight, took 9 runs, drove 29 miles, and made $27 in tips. Since the price of gas has gone down ($1.81 tonight) our per-run reimbursement is down to $0.95.

Of my 9 deliveries, 3 were to apartment buildings.

I delivered to a street tonight that has 100's on one side of the street and 500's on the opposite side. It took me a couple passes to figure it out. I've been on this street before, not sure how I didn't notice it before, I just always found the houses.

My last customer of the night had her Christmas tree up already. I pointed out that it was pretty early and she replied, "I was bored."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Off-Day Post

I didn't work today, it is Sunday so maybe I was observing the 4th commandment from Exodus 20:8-10, "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work."

But I did contact the Chronicle about last night's robbery attempt. I was interviewed over the phone and even went in tonight and got my picture taken. We'll see if I'm in Monday's paper.

I discussed the incident with 2 of our young waitresses who often answer the phone. Cat especially seemed genuinely concerned and vowed to do more call-backs of new addresses.

Then I stopped over at a rival franchise where our ex-driver Amy used to work and talked to their manager Matt for a while, letting him know what happened and reminding him to be safe.

Finally I went over to Dominos and, surprisingly met the driver Nick who actually was robbed 3 weeks ago. He confirmed that the address I went to was the same, and his decription of the guy was similar. He did say that he found his car a couple blocks away the next day.

And one more thing I meant to add about yesterday, the robbery set-up was actually the 2nd fake order of the night. I had earlier taken an order to unit F of a particular apartment building. As I was going in there was a Chinese food delivery guy just going out. Well the people in F said they did not order food.

Just then the people in unit E opened their door and told me the Chinese guy had knocked on their door with an order they didn't place either. Seems like somebody was pranking the whole building.

Pizza Robbery Attempt Foiled

It was a pretty quiet night until about 12:30 when Mike told me I was next up for a delivery to 805 Longson. This is literally just about 3 blocks from our store, a very quiet and safe neighborhood. I wouldn't have had a 2nd thought, except for this newspaper article from 3 weeks ago.

A Dominos pizza driver was robbed at 12:30 on a Saturday night on a fake order to a vacant house on the same block. A man was sitting on the porch and pulled a knife, stealing the food, some cash, and the guys car!

What I didn't remember until I reread the article just now is that the Dominos driver had 2 pizzas and 2 subs. My order was also for 2 pizzas and 2 sandwiches.

Anyways, I immediately became cautious and called back the phone number the customer had given. This has always been our policy on new addresses after dark for the 4.5 years I have worked here, but it rarely happens. Anyways, the people that answerred the phone said that no, they did not order pizza.

My next call was to the Elyria Police Department. The dispatcher was not aware of the Dominos robbery and I'm not sure if she believed me or not, but she said to go to the address and call back and they would send an officer over.

My third call was to Dominos. The person I talked to thought that 805 Longson might indeed be the exact address from their robbery but he was not positive.

Not wanting to wait at the house, I called the Police again when I was ready to leave. Also, Manager Nick rode along with me. As we approached, we saw 2 people dressed in dark clothing, waiting in a vacant field behind a nearby school. We drove past the house and confirmed that it was totally dark with no cars in the driveway.

I didn't stop but kept driving through the neighborhood until we saw the police pull onto the street. By then, 1 of the guys from the vacant field was sitting on the front step of the house. He got up and ran around behind the house and through some yards when he saw the police. An officer pursued him but he got away.

Nick and I pointed out the other person over in the dark. It was a drunk woman, and she took offense to being called "another guy". She said she was a girl and walked towards us. The officer asked where she lived, she gave an address, and he told her to go there.

We waited around for about 5-10 minutes until the officers said we should go back. They did end up coming up to our store again after we closed to interview us, but as it was dark and the bad guys were dressed in dark hoodies, we really couldn't give a very good description.

I'm glad I'm safe ... any other driver we had would have gotten robbed. I'm bummed that the police didn't catch the guy though.

All in all I took 10 deliveries, drove 37 miles, worked 7 hours, and made $20 in tips. And I got a flat tire.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Short Shift Wednesday

We were super-slow tonight. I worked 2 1/2 hours and only took 2 deliveries. I made $3.22 in tips and drove 13 miles. With only 2 deliveries, I have no stories to tell.
I walked out with $5.32 including my mileage reimbursement. To make things even worse, I had to pick up a gallon of milk on the way home and spent $3.79.

The only good thing was I ate dinner off the buffet. The waitresses were telling people this was the last night of the buffet. I'm not sure why we're cancelling it but I expect it has to do with us changing our format to feature wings.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To Work Or Not To Work

I arrived at work tonight just before 6PM. I've always pretty much worked 6-close on weeknights. Occasionally I get held up at my day job, or in traffic, and don't arrive unitl 6:20-6:30. Well our GM has taken to putting me on the schedule at 7PM.

Anyways, Manager Eric met me at the door and told me I was too early, business was dead, and I couldn't clock in. I gave him a dumbfounded look I'm sure, didn't clock in, and started washing dishes anyhow.

A couple minutes later the phone rang SIX TIMES and I went up front and answered it. When I got off the phone, there was a delivery on the oven. I asked Eric again if I could work and he relented and said yes. So I clocked in and took the delivery.

First delivery was to an ex employee Marty who now works at the local eye-doctor. She tipped $2 (and lives less than a mile away).

Third delivery was to a house being remodeled. I knew it wasn't the woman who used to work there as she always ordered a 2-liter and always stood by the door as the porch light didn't work. They tipped $3 (in quarters).

Fifth delivery was to an apartment, #34. I met someone on the stairs coming down to do their laundry and joked, "Sorry, it's not for you."

Sixth delivery was to the laundry-washing customer mentioned above, who remarked "When I saw you I thought, pizza, that sounds good!" Now I'm sure my car-topper has inspired numerous deliveries over the years, but this may be the first time that I generated business just walking up the steps in an apartment building!

Next-to-last driver Chris left around 9:30, leaving me as the only driver for the last 1.5 hours, which is always good for me. I ended up getting a triple just after 10 PM and then another delivery at 10:30.

Totals for the night were 5 hours worked, 13 deliveries, $31 in tips, and 44 miles driven. All in all a pretty good night!

Good bye and good luck to manager Eric, who is transferring to another location in our franchise, after a short time of training at our shop, the busiest in the county.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Slow Friday

I drove for 5 1/2 hours tonight and only took 9 deliveries (including a rerun). I average over 2 deliveries per hour on weeknights, when I work on a weekend night I expect alot more.

I drove 34 miles and made $24 in tips.

My first delivery was out of our area, a 9-mile round trip. My 2nd delivery was to the local Mr. Hero. I guess they get tired of sandwiches.

I'm off the rest of the weekend and will drive again on Monday.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Late Night (Drunk?) Horse Vandalism In Saratoga Springs, New York

This really has nothing at all to do with pizza delivery, except that our shop is open until 1AM on Friday and Saturday nights. The video shows this happening at about 12:30 AM on November 2nd.

Apparently there are these fiberglass horse statues scattered around the city of Saratoga Springs. This is because of the famous Saratoga Racetrack, one of the oldest thoroughbred horse tracks in the US.

Well, after a night of drinking (who else is up at that time of night) 3 people decide to try to mount one of the horses. The guys take a running jump but can't get onto the horse. Eventually one of them ends up breaking the horse and knocking it over.

I found a story on Capital News 9 TV. Interestingly, also reports a different horse being vandalized in August.

Anyways, I'm including the video to show the state of some of the customers we deliver to late at night.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Gas For $1.99 / Gallon!

Gas was down to $1.99 today, the first time in recent memory that it has been under $2! I didn't go to my other job today so my only driving was for delivery (plus to the store and back). I bought 1.874 gallons and drove 45.5 miles so my Chevy Prism got 24.3 miles per gallon.

The reason I missed my day job was that my wife went to the Sarah Palin rally in Lakewood this morning. I just needed to get the kids onto the bus before I left for work. Well the flaw in the plan was that "Jay" threw up twice right after eating breakfast so he had to stay home from school. And I had to stay home with him.

On a positive note, this allowed me to get in to my pizzeria an hour earlier than usual, so I drove for 6 hours, unfortunately we were not busy at all and I took only 9 deliveries, all singles! I made $21 in tips and drove 41 miles.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Obama - "Shares The Wealth"

I heard this on the radio the other day. I'm sure it's not true but it's an illustration and it explains why I am voting for John McCain on Tuesday.

A businessman is walking into a restaurant. On his way in he passes a homeless man wearing an Obama t-shirt, asking for money. The businessman takes note but walks on past.

While eating, he notices his waitress "Wanda" is wearing an Obama button under her nametag.

When he finished eating, he paid the bill but left no tip. He then gave $10, the amount he would have tipped, to the beggar outside. The waitress, upset at seeing no tip, followed the man outside and confronted him.

"I worked for the tip, why are you giving it to him?" she asked the businessman.

"I noticed you both were Obama supporters so I figured you would want me to share the wealth," the businessman explained.

Obama's tax policy, while not quite full-blown socialism, takes from those who work and earn, like Joe the Plumber and Wanda the Waitress, and "redistributes" to those who do not.

Picking Up Slow Hours

Once again I wasn't on the schedule tonight but I wanted to work. I called the manager on duty around 4:45, right after the Browns lost to the Ravens, and he said to come on in. When I got there we had 5 drivers but one was leaving right away and another left at 8, leaving us 3. Big Steve then paid me $5 to close for him so I ended up working 6 hours.

We were very slow (as I expected due to the depression from the Browns loss) and I only took 9 deliveries. But on the positive side tips were decent, I made $25 which was almost a $3 average. I drove 33 miles all together.

One remark from last night, at a house there were several loud dogs barking just inside the door. The woman asked if I wanted a dog and I said, "No thanks, that would be a pretty strange tip though, a live animal." Instead she didn't tip me at all!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Zack And Miri Order Pizza

I wasn't on the schedule tonight but was able to pick up a few extra hours. I worked from 6-9 and then went home and took my wife to see the movie Zack and Miri Make A Porno. We both thought it was a great movie and if you like Kevin Smith movies (the Jersey trilogy featuring Jay and Silent Bob) you will love this!

While working, I drove 3 hours, took 9 runs, made $26, and drove 28 miles. I did get a $4 tip on a $16 order from an "Obama house".

Friday, October 31, 2008

October 2008 Monthly Totals

These numbers do not include driving expenses.

Shifts: 9
Hours: 51.5
Deliveries: 102
Tips: $275
Miles: 440

Average miles per delivery: 4.3
Average deliveries per hour: 2.0
Average tips per delivery: $2.70
Average tips per hour: $5.34
Average cash per hour: $7.52 (tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $14.52 (includes wage of $7.00)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nick's Construction Project

Nick went back to his childhood days of playing with tinkertoys tonight. He spent most of the night assembling several new racks and carts for dough and other food storage.

Meanshile I owrked 5 hours, took 9 deliveries, drove 30 miles, and made $35 in tips.

Only one stiff, to a house I've been stiffed at more times thn any other. They have an Obama sign in their yard. I guess they don't believe in spreading the wealth.

Later I delivered to another house. The woman of the house was waiting on the porch smoking. Her daughter and grandkids were inside and had ordered the pizza. The woman came with $22 and asked how much was the check. When I told her $21.62 she had me wait and went bck inside for $3 tip. Tips like that are really appreciated!

My final delivery as a big surprise. It was to an apartment complex where I'm about as likely to get stiffed as tipped. The check was $23.60 and he paid with $40, and he asked for $4 back. That left me $12.40 for a tip, one of my biggest ever! I asked him again if he said $4 and he said yes, so I thanked him again and took off!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Robbery (Not Me!) . . .

. . . not even my restaurent. But this story is scary as the armed robbery took place less than a mile from our store. According to the newspaper, on Saturday night just past midnight, a driver was sent out on a fake order to an abandoned house.

This is the same thing that happened to me 3 years ago but they robbed the shop while I was gone, instead of robbing the driver.

One cure for fake orders, that we are supposed to do (but usually don't), is to call back all new addresses after dark. That way maybe the address might still be fake, but at least we know the phone number is real and we have a way to trace the fake order.

Anyhow, I drove tonight and it was much less eventful. I drove from 6-11, took 11 runs, drove 51 miles, and made $30 in tips.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Can You Take A Check?

Well we haven't as long as I've worked here (going on 5 years). But tonight I found a blog about a pizza girl from Utah who wouldn't take a check from her local state senator, and it turned into a big incident as reported by ABC 4 in Provo, Utah.

We used to offer to do a credit card over the phone or to bring the food back if they don't have cash. New policy is to leave the food but to let the customer know there is a "hold" on their account for the amount due and they will not be able to order again until it is paid off.

New Computer Tickets

Tonight's gripe about the new computer system is about how the tickets are printed. The total price on the old tickets used to be printed in a larger font so that it stuck out and was more readable.

The new total price is small and hard to find. The words "Makin' It Great" and "Thank You" are each over twice the size as the price.

I had an order that I had just left for when I got called back as the manager had found another order that went with it as a double. Unfortunately it took 23 minutes from the phone call until I left the 2nd time, as the cook forgot to make the sandwich for the 2nd order.

Anyhow, sitting in the hot bag in my car all that time, the pizza was fine but the ticket became damp (from the steam from the pizza) and somewhat difficult to read. The result was that I asked for $30.26 instead of $36.26. I shorted myself $6.

It ended up ok though, I took 9 runs in 5 hours, drove 40 miles and made $28 in tips.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Employee Discounts and After Hours Calls

When I worked on Saturday, Sweetest Day, my wife got a pasta and I paid for it. We have a new policy that you can only get the employee 50% discount when you are working, which I was. So imagine my surprise when the manager on duty told me about the NEW new policy that there were no employee discounts, period. I paid full price for the pasta.

The next night we had a different manager. My wife picked up a cheese pizza for the kids and this time I got my discount. I'm planning to discuss it with the GM next chance I get.

Finally, last night about an hour after close, the phone rang. I answered it with my usual rhyme, "Thanks for calling our pizza place, this is Kevin, I'm sorry we close at eleven." The customer was bummed out and asked if I knew of anyplace that was open.

"Nope, sorry ... wait try DiGiorno." was my reply.

The guy actually asked for the number. I tried to say "Look it up in the book" without laughing but I couldn't.

New Computers, New (And Old) Problems

I've felt like quitting so many times in the past week it isn't funny. I've got a list of problems, many related to the new computers. Basically other employees are screwing up and it's costing me money.

On Wednesday, the manager mistakenly assigned my run to another driver. When he was made aware of his error, he didn't correct it. I'm not sure he knew how to reassign the run to the correct driver.

Bad Street List / Out Of Area Deliveries
The street list on the new computer is not as up-to-date as the list on the previous computer was. Due to this, we are taking many deliveries that the computer doesn't think is in our delivery area.

Incidentally, we're also taking more deliveries that really aren't in our area. I took 2 tonight (out of 13) and both stiffed me.

Some people think giving the driver a little money for this will make up for it, but there are many costs involved here, including the cost of the extra gas to drive farther, the time it takes me to drive farther, the other deliveries I could have taken had I gotten back in a normal time.

Wrong Address
Last night one phone girl got the apartment wrong, typing B14 instead of D14. The original driver couldn't find it (of course) and also couldn't call the customer so the order got brought back until the customer called wondering where their food was. I ended up having to take it and we gave it to them for free. Of course they didn't tip. Get the addresses right!

On a similar note, a different phone girl tonight totally butchered the phone number. 474-032-4739. It probably should have been 440-324-739X. Unfortunately the X is important. We ran out of Pepsi and I couldn't call to see if they wanted a different 2-Liter or a credit. Manager Nick had me take a Cherry Pepsi and a Sierra Mist and let them pick. Of course they didn't tip.

History Deleted
Our old computer system had the order history of all of our customers. Last night the same phone girl who messed up the address, took an order and decided arbitrarily, because the customer was laughing and ordered $45 (3 pizzas) that it might be a prank. She and the manager cancelled the order.

Had they asked me, I could have told them that I've delivered to that house at least 20 times in the past couple years. But no, they were too smart to ask for help. So the customer called back eventually, the pizza was over 2 hours late, and do you think I got a tip?

If you've read this long, you deserve a funny story. On one of my deliveries last night, as I stood by the door, I heard a miniature explosion going off behind the house. The guys at the door in their early 20's started laughing. Their younger brother (preteen) then showed up and the guys accused him of "throwing all the fireworks in the fire" and that's exactly what it sounded like.

Saturday I drove 8 hours, took 18 runs, drove 78 miles, and made $46.

Sunday night I drove 6 hours, took 13 runs, drove 67 miles, and made $25.

Note that the night with the 2 out-of-area runs, I got 5.15 miles per run. The other night was a more normal 4.33 miles per run.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Really Future Orders

As I've said a couple times now, we have a new computer system and not everybody has figured it out yet. I got sent out tonight on an order to St Judes that was supposed to be delivered at 7. Problem number one was that I left with the order about 8:45. The note on the ticket said "Around back in the gym" so I drove around back. The entire building was dark and there was not a car in the parking lot.

It was raining and I didn't get out and knock, I did call the number listed though, and got voicemail. I called back to the store to see if they had called (about the delivery being almost 2 hours late) and they had not, which I thought was strange.

It was then that I looked closer at the order and saw it was to be delivered at 7PM on 10/16. That's tomorrow night. DOH!

Tips were really up tonight, my lowest tip was $2.73 (at a factory) and everything else was $3 or more! I had 4 $4 tips, a $5 and a $6. Total for the night was $42 in 5 hours of driving (plus an hour of washing dishes after we closed). I took 12 runs and drove 45 miles.

Three guys arrived at midnight to start installing the chicken wing friers that are sitting where the old walk-in freezer was.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday Night Football - Go Browns! (and Pizza)

Well soccer season is almost over. Both teams I coach have 1 game left and possibly the playoffs. More importantly, I don't have any games left to referee, so I'm back to delivering pizza a few nights each week.

The remodeling I discussed last week is well under way. We have a huge new walk-in cooler in the back. The old one that was jammed in the middle of the store has been removed. I think we're getting some chicken-wing-cooking equipment in that spot.

Anyhow, I drove tonight from 6-11. We had 3 drivers until 9 and 2 closers, in anticipation of being busy due to the Cleveland Browns hosting Monday Night Football. Unfortunately for me, sports events usually don't bring us much extra business and tonight was no different.

I drove for 5 hours, took just 8 deliveries, made $16 in tips, and drove 34 miles. Interestingly, I got tipped on 6 runs and stiffed on two. Both of the stiffs were to customers who were getting "free food", having a credit due to a complaint in the recent past. Surprise, surprise.

I worked with a new manager tonight, and he frustrated me right away, by assigning the first run after I got there to the last driver in, and then being too lazy to reassign it, just saying "we'll skip you next time through" which of course didn't happen.

But I didn't have any more issues with him after that so maybe he'll be ok. I also worked with a new driver. I asked him what he did before starting to work here and he replied, "I was married." He later told me that he and his ex-wife ran a day-care business. Also he is an accountant by trade, but seems to have worked in the food delivery business in the past.

Pizza Eating Contest

Joey Chestnut, already famous for eating hot dogs, showed his capacity for pizza by winning this contest. Sounds like fun!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cleveland Pizza Driver In Voter-Registration Scam

As reported by the New York Post. This really doesn't have much to do with him being a pizza driver. The curious thing though is that I ride the RTA daily and walked past the same voter registration folks and was never approached once.

How did they know I was already registered? Or did they not pursue me because I'm white?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

September 2008 Monthly Totals

These numbers do not include driving expenses.

Shifts: 6
Hours: 31.5
Deliveries: 70
Tips: $179
Miles: 274

Average miles per delivery: 3.9
Average deliveries per hour: 2.2
Average tips per delivery: $2.56
Average tips per hour: $5.68
Average cash per hour: $8.13 (tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $15.13 (includes wage of $7.00)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Slow Sunday Plus Moving

Tonight was pretty slow for a Sunday night. I drove for 5.5 hours and only took 8 deliveries. I drove 34 miles. I had 3 stiffs and 2 $5 tips and got $18 total in tips.

Once again the new computer system caused a few delays, once in particular when I needed to find a manager to reprint a credit-card slip and also to reassign a couple runs, one that was assigned to the wrong driver (out of order) and one that should have been a double in the first place.

Meanwhile, the back of the shop was being prepared to be remodeled. The walk-in freezers will be moved, I'm not sure exactly what the new layout will be. But the freezers were emptied tonight, into a couple of freezer-semis that are parked out back.

Unfortunately, nobody thought to pull the frozen dough for the nightly prep before moving it to the trucks, so a couple of the drivers had to go back out into the semis and bring the frozen dough back in. At least one of the drivers is a truck-driver in his day job, and was able to use the lift on the back of the truck to make the unloading easier.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New Computers

Well tonight was my first night working with the long-awaited "new computers". I'm sure there are some things that work better than the old system but one thing that does not (in my opinion) is having to cash out each and every run as soon as the driver gets back to the store.

This requires a manager to pretty much hang out at the back to manage the till, and it slows things down if they are busy elsewhere.

The other main problem I have encountered thus far is that it's impossible to know from the ticket whether or not the customer is using a coupon.

I drove for about 7 hours tonight and took 14 deliveries. I drove 61 miles and made $35 in tips.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

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The purpose of the website, created by the Center for Excellence in Rural Safety (CERS), is to make people aware of dangerous roads and intersections. The hope is that they will take alternate routes - or, if that's not possible, will at least be more cautious when driving in high-fatality areas.

(Source: North Florida Daily News)

This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, an e-zine dedicated to making money, improving your health and quality of life. For a complimentary subscription, visit

Catching Up

Here are a couple miscellaneous items I've accumulated over the past few weeks that I intended to post.

First, a Yahoo! article about some lawsuits filed against some top NYC restaurants that relate to tip-sharing. We have no tip-sharing where I work. A few years ago I used to regularly make $50-60 in tips and share $5 or so with the cooks. Lately I have been getting half of that on a good night so tipping out the cook has become pretty rare.

Next, a link to a work-in-progress book being written by a fellow pizza driver called Topless Delivery. Beware, the book is not just about pizza. Predictably, the driver / main character meets and falls in love with a stripper!

There's one more item,, but I think I will give it it's own post.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Solo Monday

We were pretty slow tonight so the other driver got sent home around 7 PM. We ended up being steady to the end and I took 13 deliveries in 4.5 hours.

Most of them were far away, luckily I had a triple and 2 doubles but still I drove 64 miles.

Tips were low, I only had one $3 tip. Four tips were $2.70 and everything else was under $1.50, including 2 stiffs.

Many thanks to Mona and Nick for keeping the dishes washed while I was out on the road.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Interesting and Profitable

I had a great night tonight. It was actually a good night plus a very generous tip on a order to a co-worker.

Several interesting things happened tonight. First the lady on my first delivery asked if it was safe to give her credit card number over the phone, if the workers were trustworthy. All I could say was that I hoped so. But really any time you use your credit card you are trusting the merchant, so ordering pizza is really no different.

Next on my 4th delivery, a girl in her early 20's came to the door and apologized, her boyfriend with the money was across the street. She was on the phone with him to return. I joked that she shouldn't have let him have the money but she said it was his money.

On my 7th delivery, I knocked on the door and stood on the porch for about 5 minutes. I called the phone # but no answer. Just as I got back to my car I saw the curtain of the door move. I went back and 4 children, all under the age of 10, answered the door. Surprisingly they had a $2.73 tip!

My 10th delivery was messed up (pizza was made wrong) so that address became my 12th delivery also as I had to go back.

My 13th delivery said they didn't know we delivered. (They only lived a mile from the shop.) They said they would order from us from now on instead of (another pizza chain). She tipped $2 and asked if that was average. I said it was (but actually it was a little below average tonight.

My 14th delivery tried to give me $22 for a $27.10 order. He said he thought I said "twenty-seventeen". He ended up giving me $30 so no harm done.

My 16th delivery only a kid (junior high) was home with no money. His dad thought it was supposed to be a pick-up. I left and took another delivery and came back, and by that time dad was home, and with a $2 tip.

All in all I took 18 runs, drove 74 miles, worked 7 hours, and made $60 in tips.

Congratulations Kaeliegh!

For my 2nd post tonight I want to send out congratulations to ex-pizza-waitress Kaeleigh who was crowned Apple Princess today at our town's festival!

Get Well Travis Barker

OK for my first post tonight I want to send out prayers best wishes to Travis Barker, who was injured in a deadly plane crash on Friday night in South Carolina. Travis was the drummer for one of my favorite bands, Blink 182. If you never got to see them live, check out this live version of the song Reckless Abandon which features Travis in his rotating drum set.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tips and Stiffs, both up

It seems like when I get tipped, the average has gone up from $2 to $3. But the frequency of "no tip" has also gone up.

I drove for 5 hours tonight, took 9 deliveries, drove 30 miles, and made $16 in tips. And I was stiffed 4 times.

Oh and I meant to post this about Monday. I mentioned a few weeks back that we now have a credit-card swiper and all drivers have been threatened with loss of job if we come back without a credit card imprint.

So anyhow I got to the house and they didn't have the card. And nobody told them they had to show it. Their dad had it and he wasn't home, he had just called in the order. I called back to the store and the manager said to give them their food.

Well the delay obviously frustrated the customer, and they didn't tip. Now maybe they wouldn't have anyways, but this is a case where the phone person's screw up (not letting the customer know they would have to present their credit card) cost me money.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"Keep The Coins" Is NOT a Tip!

I drove about 4 1/2 hours tonight, and took 9 deliveries. On 4 of those 9 deliveries, the customer let me keep the coin change. Two of the four were very explicit in letting me know that they were "allowing me" to keep the coins. For example, the woman whose total was $18.27 handed me a $20 saying "Just give me a dollar back, keep the rest."

News flash: 73 cents is not a tip!

I did get lucky and get a $10 tip and 2 other $4 tips. The $10 guy seemed to have trouble counting his money. I saw a $10, a $5, and at least $4 in ones to cover the $17.61 check so when he asked "Was that enough?" I said "Yeah, thanks." It was only after I drove away that I noticed he actually gave me $28! Yeah, it was enough all right!

Total tips for my 9 deliveries was $27. I had 2 doubles and a triple so I only had 5 actual trips which kept my mileage to a very low 26 miles. I always say when you have more tips than miles you know it had to be a good night!

I closed with manager Nick and as we finished up and walked out to our cars we had a somewhat serious discussion about his future. Nick is a great kid I have known for almost 5 years now and I really enjoy working with him. I told him tonight I think he can do better for himself but selfishly I like having him around.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Slow Start, Fast Finish

Saturday night was an interesting night. From 6PM until 9PM I made barely $10 in tips on 6 deliveries. I was stiffed (exact change) twice and had to take a delivery out of the area on a road where the numbering was very confusing. There ended up being 3 different sections of the road.

One of the stiffs was after I asked for the credit card and the customer said their dad had it at their other house. We've been warned that we'll be fired if we don't get an imprint, but I called back and got permission to leave the food anyways. By this time the customer was frustrated and put a big ZERO on the tip line.

About that time a few other drivers started going home and at least I started getting a few more runs. Still after 9 deliveries I only had $15 in tips.

I took a double (my 10th & 11th runs) and made $9 in tips combined and my night turned around almost instantly. I did get stiffed 4 times in all but by the end of the night I had taken 17 deliveries, made $38 in tips, and drove 60 miles. I worked 7 hours all together.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

I drove for 3 1/2 hours tonight and took 4 uneventful deliveries. I drove 20 miles and made $15 in tips. My first run was a double that I was lucky to get, as I pulled into the parking lot just a few seconds ahead of driver Chris. And it was fortunate, as I made $6 on the first delivery and $5 on the second.

The other amusing thing that happened tonight was that we had a local radio personality and his family come in and dine-in. Catherine, our waitress, asked me which radio station he worked for and I let her know it was 95.5 The Fish.

This sparked a discussion about Christian radio and I remarked that I used to listen to 103.3 but not as much any more as the shows I listened to are either not on or have been moved to a different time.

"I listen to 103.3", Catherine said, just as the radio guy's wife stepped to the counter to pay the check.

"You lost your tip there, huh" I joked. Catherine looked at the woman and said "I listen to the fish too" and the woman smiled.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August 2008 Monthly Totals

Shifts: 3
Hours: 16.5
Deliveries: 34
Tips: $91
Miles: 124

Average miles per delivery: 3.6
Average deliveries per hour: 2.1
Average tips per delivery: $2.68
Average tips per hour: $5.52
Average cash per hour: $7.78 (tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $14.78 (includes wage of $7.00)

July 2008 Monthly Totals

Shifts: 5
Hours: 21.5
Deliveries: 50
Tips: $136
Miles: 220

Average miles per delivery: 4.4
Average deliveries per hour: 2.3
Average tips per delivery: $2.72
Average tips per hour: $6.33
Average cash per hour: $8.88 (tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $15.88 (includes wage of $7.00)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Not So Busy

We were pretty much dead tonight. I drove for 5 hours and only took 6 deliveries. I made $17 in tips (1 stiff) and drove 25 miles.

Newer driver Dan has a phone that gets internet and he was checking out the website. Thanks for looking and hope you come back soon!

It was nice to catch up with Big Steve, and I'm glad things are going well for him and his kids.


I drove tonight from 5:30 - close (1 am). For the first time that I can ever remember, I took over 20 deliveries (21) and got $1 or more on every one! No stiffs all night long!

I made $57 in tips and drove 72 miles.

Talk of the night, at the local hospital (where I took a late delivery) and also at the gas station after my shift was a "riot" that took place at a local weddng. Ed at the Speedway said there were 8 local and 4 county police cars!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday Night Football (and Pizza)

While the Browns starters were getting clobbered by the Giants, I was delivering pizza. Now if it had been during the regular season, and not during the county fair, this event might had led to a slight increase in business, but not tonight.

I drove for 4 hours, made just 7 deliveries, drove 22 miles, and made $20 in tips.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday Short Shift

I was out of town for a week. We did order pizza delivered to our hotel one night and paid $30 for our $22.99 order. I thought it was a pretty nice tip. He did bring plates and napkins.

We got home last night and actually went up and ate at our pizzeria as dine-in customers. Everybody is busy getting ready to rebrand the restaurant as a place for chicken wings.

Anyhow Nick asked if I could drive tonight and I agreed. So I worked from 5-9 and took 7 deliveries. I drove 27 miles and made $17 in tips.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Restaurant Struggles

Here's another newspaper article about the ongoing struggles in the restaurant business.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Restaurant Closing

Several restaurants have closed in my town, within a few miles of our pizzeria, in the past several days.

Bennigan's - Irish family dining

Fazoli's - fast food Italian

Zaki's - local deli

This is certainly horrible news for the people who worked there, and it's not very encouraging for the economy in general.

Terrific Thursday

I don't usually work on Thursday but since this is the last week before soccer practice starts and I have other plans this weekend, I got myself put on the schedule tonight, and I'm glad I did.

In 4.5 hours driving, I took 13 runs, drove 46 miles, and made $40 in tips. I had 5 tips of $4 or more, and only 3 under $2.

Three different times I drove past the corner where I saw my paid friend last week, but apparently she wasn't working tonight.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I was approached by an amateur call-girl tonight! I had driven past on the way to a delivery and noticed her sitting on a bench on a street corner and thought she had called out to my car as I drove past.

On my return trip I had to stop at the corner and wait to turn left until the crossing traffic had cleared. She got up and walked up to my car and said "So do you wanna do something?" I said no thanks and drove away.

I worked just 3 hours tonight, taking 6 deliveries, driving 32 miles, and making $15 in tips.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wierd Night

Again, I'm trying to work my way back onto the schedule and was available tonight. I called in and driver Chris was willing to leave around 7:30 so I went in to work from then until close. I drove for 3 1/2 hours, drove 38 miles on 8 deliveries, and made $17 in tips.

My first run was out of our area to the south-east. I did get a $4.73 tip so I didn't complain too much.

My third run was just a few blocks up the street. The man asked me if I wanted a job cleaning his garage as he "tipped" me 73 cents. I respectfully declined.

Next was a double that should have been Nick's but he got greed and took 2 that didn't go together the time before, so he wasn't back in time. I got $2 at the first house and $5 at the 2nd house, again out of the area. The girl customer showed me her new piercing, a star on the back of her neck (like this).

After that I went out of the area for the 3rd time of the night, this time supposedly because the next store over wasn't answerring their phones. The customer wasn't home, just some small kids, who said their mom was walking the dog. The pizza was paid by credit card and a man arriving in the driveway said he would sign for it, but of course he didn't feel he could tip since it wasn't his card.

The end of the night was marked by manager Desiree declaring that we were "about $130 short", but she had miscounted 3 stacks of 50 $1's as stacks of 100 so we were actually ok.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

June 2008 Monthly Totals

Shifts: 4
Hours: 22
Deliveries: 47
Tips: $97
Miles: 187

Average miles per delivery: 4.7
Average deliveries per hour: 2.1
Average tips per delivery: $2.06
Average tips per hour: $4.41
Average cash per hour: $7.08 (tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $14.08 (includes wage of $7.00)

May 2008 Monthly Totals

Shifts: 6
Hours: 39.5
Deliveries: 89
Tips: $219
Miles: 316

Average miles per delivery: 3.6
Average deliveries per hour: 2.3
Average tips per delivery: $2.46
Average tips per hour: $5.54
Average cash per hour: $8.36 (tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $15.36 (includes wage of $7.00)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Night Money

I wasn't on the schedule tonight but I was able to work part of Todd's shift as he wanted to leave early. I drove from 7-11 PM and took 9 deliveries. I put 37 miles on my Chevy and brought home $22 in tips.

Of my 9 tips, 5 of them were between $2.71 and $3.00. Three were lower ($1.11 - $2.00) and one was higher ($3.63). Nick said that other drivers had been reporting bigger tips but mine were pretty close to my all-time average of just over $2 per delivery.

At one far-away house, the next-door neighbors were sitting on their screened-in porch and called out to me, asking if I was from a particular pizza chain (and I was). They then asked which location and I told them, and also gave them our phone number.

At another house the check was $17.29. They paid with a $20 and I handed the man back 2 $1's. He stood there waiting so I said "let me see if I have some coin change in the car."

"No keep it" he said, and then he gave me another $1.

Finally, I have to say that I stumped a girl with my joke today. She paid with a $20 for another $17.29 order and said "Keep the change" (after her boyfriend told her to). I replied, "You keep the pizza." She said "Huh?" and I repeated myself, and she still just stared back with a confused look on her face.

"It's a joke, have a great night," I said as I walked away.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Diner's Bill Of Rights

(from the book Service Included)

1. The right to have your reservation honored.

2. The right to water.

3. The right to the food you ordered at the temperature the chef intended.

4. The right to a clean, working bathroom.

5. The right to clean flatware, glassware, china, linen, tables, and napkins.

6. The right to enough light to read your menu.

7. The right to hear your dining companions when they speak.

8. the right to be served until the restaurant's advertised closing time.

9. The right to stay at your table as long as you like.

10. The right to salt and pepper.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Oh the abuse...

What a weekend! The company lost my HR packet so I didn't get a paycheck (and quite possibly exposed me to identity theft), the closing waitress dumped a pitcher of ice tea over my back and "requested" that I clean the public bathrooms (5 hours before closing), she also chewed out for handing out some complimentary sauces, and the cook forgot my request for one measly slice of garlic bread for my salad.

I have thoroughly enjoyed serving the customers (our chain has the best!), but the fact that my DH is back at delivery and my daycare business seems to be expanding means that my future time in the dining room will be somewhat restricted.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Welcome Back Me!

I worked tonight as a delivery driver. It was my first time back at my 2nd job since my hernia surgery almost 4 weeks ago. My intention was to go in and drive for about 4-5 hours and see how I felt.

I did start to feel a little fatigued after about 4 1/2 hours but I ended up staying 2 more hours after that. We were down to 3 drivers and while we weren't super busy, the runs we had (and continued to get) were spread out to different sectors of our delivery area.

I did what I like to think of as "running interference" for the other 2 drivers. In other words, I took 4 consecutive single runs to the far reaches of our delivery area. The good news was that 3 of the 4 left decent tips of $3.75 or more, including $7.50 on an 8-pizza order to the far southern edge of our delivery area.

So I was making money for sure. In 6.5 hours I took 14 deliveries, drove 67 miles, and made $42 in tips, for a solid average of $3 per delivery. This was helped by our new delivery charge.

When I last worked, the delivery charge was $1.99. It has been raised to $2.29. Since most of our prices are around the even dollar amount ($12.99 for a large pizza), most (9 out of 14) of the orders totalled $xx.25 to $xx.28.

Most customers don't expect the coin change back so that alone adds an extra 70-75 cents to almost every delivery all night long!

Nine of my fourteen tips were $2.75 or more. An interesting aspect tonight was some of the comments from some of my worse tippers.

One woman asked if I got to keep the delivery charge. "We get about half of it for gas" I told her. She replied that she thought I should get it all, and then handed me $1.

Another man remarked "It must be tough to make money with the price of gas" as he tipped me $1.75.

One more strange occurrence, on one of my later deliveries (3 pizzas and an order of wings), the customer looked at the wings, declared them "not cooked enough", and sent them back. I gave him back the $6.99 and called the manager to get the wings voided off the check. I don't think anyone has ever not accepted their food before. (Not counting complaint calls after the delivery driver had left of course.)

Finally, I found a "window flag" from one of our competitors, Marco's, in the road right in front of our shop tonight. It must have broken off one of their driver's cars as they drove past. (Their shop is just a couple hundred yards from ours.

All in all it was good to be back!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Service Included - Book Review

I recently read the book Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch. The subtitle is Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter. As someone who works in the restaurant business, I was intrigued.

Well the book is by this girl who got a job at a fancy restaurant in New York City called Per Se. The book started out interesting, talking about her early days as a waitress and how she got the job at Per Se, and some of the training she went through.

It then jumps around, spending several chapters discussing her love life and relationships with her coworkers.

My favorite part was the discussion about how they prepared for and served Frank Bruni, the restaurant critic from the newspaper.

Per Se is a very fancy restaurant where they offer a "tasting menu" for $275 per plate. I'm a picky eater so I would probably hate it. And it really has nothing in common with the pizzeria where I work.

Still, if you want to see how the "other side" lives (or rather, eats), check out this book!

Called Off

I was called off the entire weekend after July 4th. Guess everybody was out having fun with family and friends. I know we were.

At least all my outfits are clean and ready for service.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Dining room report

After only 3 weekends as a "server", I really don't have too much to report.

I got to buy a new pair of black pants but they are making me wear my husband's shirt and nametag.

Tips are way lower than I expected. Almost without exception, I tip at least 20% whenever I eat out. Tips people are leaving me average much closer to 10%.

I'm grateful I haven't had to clean the bathrooms. I have a HUGE public bathroom phobia.

For the most part, I'm enjoying the customers, especially taking orders over the phone. But the dine ins are great too. Like the man last night from Louisiana who was floored that I knew how to pronounce crawfish, and a beautiful teacher couple with an amazing 2 year old son.

Last night I had 2 different tables stiff me. One was a lady who came in a sour mood. She snapped at me twice before I even took her order. The other was a group of 2 who didn't like the sauce on their 3 handtossed pizzas. Manager Nick wouldn't agree to take anything off the check when I mentioned it to him. I saw him speaking with the lady as she paid on her way out. I don't know if she got him to help her out or not but she left me zilch.

One thing I learned from working in libraries....KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS HAPPY AT ALL COSTS. One disgruntled patron would spread their experience to at least 10 other people. And they'll all take their business elsewhere. Our pizza chain is competing with at least 3 others within walking distance. I wish we would do more to make a good impression.

There was a pickup order who had to wait for his calzone like meal to be remade after it got stuck in the oven. He had waited to begin with because we thought it was still cooking, then he had to wait for it to be remade and recooked. All he wanted to do was sit down and have a beer on the house. We charge $1 for a 12 oz frosted mug. Now, we could have had him sit at a table and be served the beer. He would have had to pay for it because of state laws but his meal could easily have been discounted to make up for it. For a lousy dollar, this man could have been made satisfied and left with a happy impression of our restaurant. But instead, he was made to sit in the hot lobby for an additional 15 minutes and left probably never to return.

The woman with the 3 hand tossed pizza's...why didn't the manager offer to remake her pizzas on our traditional crust? Or take half off her bill? Neither one of those things would've hurt us as much as one disgruntled customer can.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

23 Pounds of Pizza

per person each year in North America, according to this article.

Pizza For Patriots - Pizza Delivery To Iraq

Here's a CNN video about pizzas being sent to Iraq. I have no idea why pizzas are being sent. It seems like it would be more responsible to send the ingredients and to put the pizzas together over there, but the video really doesn't go into much detail at all.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Minivan Squad

When I got home from church this afternoon I noticed my Chevy Prizm had a flat tire. So I had to deliver tonight in my wife's Mercury Villager. The ironic thing was that I was working with Steve, who drives a Ford Windstar.

The villager got us 18.6 MPG on this tank of gas.

I worked 5 hours, took 11 runs, drove 48 miles, and made $28 in tips.

I'm having minor surgery tomorrow and will be off work for a few weeks, but in the meantime my wife Victoria is starting as a pizza waitress. Hopefully she'll be able to post a few times in my absence.

Why Is It Called Cut And Pack?

We had a new kid working in the kitchen tonight. He told me this was his 3rd day. Eventually he made it over to the cut and pack area, where the pizzas are taken off the oven, cut into slices, and packed into boxes for delivery or pick up.

Well I had a delivery order setting on top of the oven, and I just had a hunch I should check it to make sure it was the right order before driving out to the customer and finding a mistake and having to come back.

Well, I found a mistake all right. The pizza wasn't cut! I was very glad I checked.

The other interesting event of the night was on one of my last couple deliveries, there was a young man sitting on his porch. After his friend paid for the food, he started asking questions. How long had I been a pizza driver, did the company pay for my gas, and what would happen if I got into an accident.

I drove 8 hours, took 18 deliveries, put 63 miles on my car, and made $35 in tips. It was a decent night but it should have been better.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Short Night

I was supposed to close tonight but thankfully, driver Jimmy was willing to switch shifts with me. I needed to get home early so I could pack up my soccer stuff. I'll be at the LCSL playoffs on Saturday all day.

I worked 3 hours tonight, took 6 deliveries, and made $12 in tips, driving 28 miles.

The only interesting delivery was for 2 large pizzas and breadsticks for a total of $30.96. The woman gave me 2 $20 bills and then said "Now don't give me a $10 if you want a tip."


Monday, June 2, 2008

Dishroom Delight

Around 10 PM tonight, I was washing dishes in the dishroom. Both sinks were overflowing with lids. The counter was covered with pans from the salad bar. There were 2 tubs of dining room dishes in the hallway. And there was a cart behind me with pizza pans, 2 stacks about 2-3 feet high each.

As I was loading the next rack, Mona called out to nobody in particular, "I'm gonna start breaking the make table down."

I called back, in a serious voice, "Good, because I'm about ready to wash it." Mona looked over, did a double take, and said "I guess I need to clean off my glasses.

I only took 1 more delivery, during which time Mona herself kept the dishwasher going, and we didn't finish washing them all until around 12:15, over an hour after we closed.

Tips were way lower than last night. In 6 hours, I took 12 runs, drove ? miles, and made $22 in tips. I would have done even worse, but for a $5 tip on a run that could have been Steve's.

There were only 2 runs on the screen, both were in the same direction, one near and one far. The far one was first and I was up. Steve let me take them both, saying "You'll be driving right past it anyways."

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Buying Money

The stars aligned for me to make some good money in my first 3 hours tonight, but then business slowed down and I actually went home an hour early. Between 5 and 8:30, I took 2 triples, a double, and 3 singles, and I made $31 on those 11 deliveries. During that time I had 7 tips over $2.50 and my lowest tip was $2.

It was about this time that manager Nick realized we were out of $1 dollar bills. He gave me $150 and sent me out to "buy some." I was able to get $25 at the Convenient, $45 at the Circle K, and $60 at Speedway. Thanks to my local clerks!

But unfortunately, my luck changed during this time. In the next 3 1/2 hours, I took 6 singles and a double, made $12, got stiffed twice, and only one tip over $2.04.

All in all it was a good night, with 7 hours, 18 deliveries, $43 in tips, and 59 miles driven.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Pizza Topping?

According to this newspaper story, a woman in Ohio found a tooth in her pizza! I'm skeptical. I've worked in the pizza business for 4 years, and nobody I've worked with ever would have messed with a customer's pizza.

And if somebody was going to do something, why would they leave something so easily found (and traced) as a tooth!?!?!

Now, if you're a repeat stiffer, you might get your 2-liter well shaken, but foreign objects on the pizza is crossing a line that nobody I know would think of crossing.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Delivery Area

We have a defined delivery area. This is a set of streets and addresses that we will delivery food to. Some of our boundaries lead into other franchises of our chain. To me, the delivery area is kind of an agreement between the drivers and management. We will go here, we won't go here.

Well tonight I drove for 7.5 hours, took 17 deliveries, drove 64 miles, and made $41 in tips.

But 3 of my 17 deliveries were out of the area. All 3 were to locations that should have been serviced by another restaurant in our chain. Two were literally across the street from each other (and I didn't even have a car topper on!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Saturday Night Drive

I drove 7 hours tonight, from 6 PM to 1 AM. During this time I took 13 deliveries, drove 45 miles, and made $35 in tips. Even though we weren't very busy (less than 2 deliveries per hour), tips were above average and my mileage total was low, due in part to 3 doubles.

I delivered to a duplex tonight that had 2 police cars parked in front with the lights flashing. I parked in the driveway next door and called the customer on the phone. He wasn't even aware of the comotion out front, so the problem must have been with the other side of the house.

I got a unique response to one of my favorite lines tonight. The customer handed me $25 for a $20.97 order and said "Keep the change." After I handed him the food and said, "Thanks, you keep the pizza," he replied "And the wings!"

Desiree is continuing to work as a manager. She had been a driver until she got too many points on her license to be able to keep driving. What other job can you get in trouble with the law and have it lead to a promotion!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Good Night

This was my Friday night to work, and it ended up pretty good. The most remarkable thing about the whole night was that out of 14 deliveries I got $2 or more 13 times. Only one stiffer the entire evening!

I really only had 1 interesting delivery. It was to the hospital, where 2 interesting things happened. The first was that I ran into the doctor who will be performing my hernia surgery in a few weeks.

The second interesting thing was that the nurse who ordered the pizza didn't have her money ready and asked me to leave the pizza and walk down with her to the ATM while she got the money. What a waste of my time.

Please, if you order pizza, have the payment ready when the driver arrives!

Totals for the night were 5 1/2 hours driving, 14 deliveries, 45 miles, and $44 in tips.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Papa John's 23 Cent Deal Update

I didn't try to take advantage of the 23 cent deal today at Papa John's and I'm glad. It sounds like it was a madhouse there. People waiting in line for 2 hours to save $12 on a pizza? That doesn't really make sense unless you're unemployed and your time is worth nothing.

Here is a story that ran on that describes lines so long the local police and security forces had to monitor them to keep the peace.

Here is another interesting story about a local woman who inherited the phone number of a Papa John's that closed down. Apparently she gets lots of phone calls already. And now with this promotion, I wouldn't want to be her today!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tipping Article, Papa Johns 23-cent Deal

This article, originally from the LA Times, was in my local paper on Sunday. It describes how tips are down because of the economy. It doesn't mention pizza drivers specifically, but I can promise you we are feeling the hit.

Last week during the NBA playoffs, Papa Johns sponsored a t-shirt giveaway in Washington that featured Lebron James number 23 and the word crybaby. This Thursday, as an apology to Cleveland fans, Papa Johns in Cleveland will be offering 23 cent large 1-topping pizzas.

One has to wonder if it was a publicity stunt from the start to get some free press.

Selling pizzas for 23 cents is a losing proposition in the short term, for sure, but if those customers buy a 2nd pizza at full price, or breadsticks or some other side item, they may end out ahead.

I think the promotion is for pick-up only. I sure wouldn't want to be the delivery driver passing out 23 cent pizzas!

Read about the shirts and the apology in these links.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Baby Think It Over

I returned from a delivery tonight to find manager Nick in the parking lot, smiling and talking with a police officer who was in his cruiser.

A customer had phoned in to the police that there was an infant locked in a car, alone, so of course the police rushed over to check it out.

The thing was, it wasn't a real baby. It was Baby-Think-It-Over, from cook Adam's school class. Adam has to care for the baby this weekend but didn't want to bring it in to work so he left it in his car and was checking it during breaks.

This story tells more about the computerized Baby and how they are used in school parenting classes.

The only interesting delivery was my last one. The customer told me he was "watching the Sopranos and had to have some pasta."

I drove 4 1/2 hours, took 10 deliveries, drove 39 miles, and made $23 in tips.

Out Of Area (Again)

Last week I wrote about taking an order out of our delivery area. It happened again tonight. This one was a 10 mile round trip, or 2.5 times my normal trip average. They tipped $2 and the change on a $35.95 order. (Nick, since I know you're reading this, it was about a mile past Indian Hollow Road).

Also unique about this delivery was that the check was subdivided into 2 subtotals, for 2 separate paying customers at the same address. But one kid gave me all the money (and then the $2 tip).

I had a pretty crummy night, with 5 stiffs and 5 $1 tips out of 17 deliveries in all. If I didn't get a $6 tip on my final delivery (to the apartment complex next to my house), it would have been much worse! And the fact that I had 5 doubles helped keep my delivery count high and my mileage low.

A pleasant surprise was the return of Cori B as a driver. Cori was a driver / manager with us a couple years ago but overslept and missed a few manager meetings and lost her job. She later went to work for Marco's and has also worked at another pizza place, as well as several other jobs in the meantime. Now she's back as a part-time driver.

Totals for the night were 8 hours worked, 17 deliveries, 64 miles, and $33 in tips.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April 2008 Monthly Totals

Shifts: 9
Hours: 50
Deliveries: 110
Tips: $284
Miles: 412

Average miles per delivery: 3.7
Average deliveries per hour: 2.2
Average tips per delivery: $2.58
Average tips per hour: $5.68
Average cash per hour: $8.10 (tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $15.10 (includes wage of $7.00)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

About Last Night

My big story from last night was a delivery that was WAY out of our area. Our managers seem to now have the ability to accept out of area orders at their discretion. This was a $60 order and they did give a nice $10 tip, but I don't think it was all that great.

It was 17.6 miles round trip, so it was about 4 x my average distance. Since I get reimbursed $1.15 per run (or $1.15 per 4 miles on average), the extra miles cost me $3.45. Putting the tip down to $6.45.

Now that is always a good tip, but it took me 45 minutes to get there and back. I could have taken 2 deliveries during that time and made $3 each and done just as good.

Also of interest is that our delivery fee got raised from $1.59 to $1.99. Now this delivery fee goes to the company, not to the driver. This is a common misconception, and I expect the increased fees will cut into my tips.

Working For A Living

I drove again tonight, the only night in a couple weeks. I should write more, and hopefully will tomorrow, but I'm too tired at the moment. I worked 7 hours, took 15 deliveries, drove 62 miles, and made $50 in tips.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Wisdom From Speedway

Ed, an older check-out clerk at Speedway gas station, laid this pearl of wisdom on me tonight. "The broker this city gets, the meaner people act."

I actually had a pretty good night. I drove 5 hours, took 15 deliveries, drove 50 miles, and made $40 in tips.

Unfortunately I didn't have any interesting stories tonight.

The only things close were the guy in the exclusive development asking how much I make, tipping me $2.43, and then coming back out the door to give me another $1. And the lady later in the night, who had been drinking I'm pretty sure, who told me that our hot-bags were the best thing ever invented.

Tips Explained

Two customers made comments tonight to explain or justify their tips. One gave me $3.56, commenting about the price of gas. Then on my last trip of the night, a woman said "Well it is Saturday night, just keep the change," leaving me with $3.91. Only thing was, by that time it was actually Sunday morning.

I drove for 7 hours, took 18 runs, drove 63 miles, and made $47 in tips.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


What was unexpected you may ask? Me!

I had forgotten that I requested tonight off. Was hoping to referee a soccer game but don't have any until next week. So I went in, thinking I was on the schedule.

I wasn't, but Desiree wanted to go home, so I stayed in her place. I drove 5 hours, took 6 runs, made $11 in tips, and put 25 miles on my car.

It's nights like this that I won't miss at all.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Polite Stiff?

My last delivery of the night was to an apartment just across the street from our pizzeria. The check was for $20.20 and the guy handed me a $20 and 2 dimes. Then he said "Hey wait let me see if I have a dollar or something." About a minute later he came back and said "Nope, sorry."

Other than that it was a pretty good Monday. I took 13 deliveries, drove 41 miles, and made $33 in tips, in 5 hours of driving.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Much Better

Tonight was an excellent night. I drove for 4 1/2 hours, took 13 deliveries, and made $38 in tips. My best tip was $9 in a neighborhood where I was surprised to get a tip at all!

I had just taken a triple to about the same area and came back with $1.67 combined from my 3 runs.

Funniest thing of the night was the delivery where the customer was outside watching his dog chase a rabbit around the yard!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pizza Pick'Em Champ!

Well since nobody picked Memphis, Liprippers won my 2nd annual Pizza Pick'Em contest before the game even tipped off last night. He had picked Kansas to win and was already in 1st place.

Liprippers is also known as Reverand2Cent from the fantasy football website TheHuddle. Last year's champion Nathan, my 11 stepson who just turned 11, came in 2nd this year. He did pick Kansas to win it all, along with 6 other players.

Thanks to all 21 entrants and Reverand2Cent will be getting his free pizza certificate shortly.

Monday, April 7, 2008

94 Cents!

That's all I made tonight.

I drove for 4 1/2 hours, took only 4 deliveries, drove 15 miles, and made 94 cents.

I got $17 for a $16.22 order, $17.25 for a $17.09 order, and 2 credit-card stiffs.

March 2008 Monthly Totals

Shifts: 9
Hours: 47.5
Deliveries: 101
Tips: $226
Miles: 394

Average miles per delivery: 3.9
Average deliveries per hour: 2.1
Average tips per delivery: $2.24
Average tips per hour: $4.76
Average cash per hour: $7.10 (tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $14.10 (includes wage of $7.00)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Dish-Pan Hands? Not Tonight!

I started my night with my first 2 deliveries, both to decent areas pretty close to the shop. The first paid exact change and the 2nd tipped $1 and the coins. After that, I had a GREAT night!

I got 2 $5 tips, one to my favorite customer, and sports-fan widow in the local trailer park. She orders often on the weekend, always pays by credit, always orders a 20-ounce pop, and always tips $4 or $5.

The 2nd was to a bar. Bartenders usually tip pretty decent, so I'm always happy to deliver to them.

I also had 9 tips of $2.93 - $3.70 tonight. Only 4 under that (including my first 2) and the 2 over. I had a hospital delivery, and a delivery to ex-driver and current IHOP waitress Chelsea.

Our chain is marketing a new family-size pasta. We were told tonight we had to suggest this when we answered the phone. Our GM Ady phoned at least 5 times to make sure we were doing it right. I answered her call once and she was happy with the way I did it. Better yet, one customer even bought one after I suggested it. And I delivered another pasta so we sold at least 2 tonight.

We really weren't that busy tonight but we were perfectly staffed. Manager Mike, waitress Catherine, and especially cook Mona all 3 did a great job inside. For the first time in my almost 4-year career, I didn't wash a single load of dishes!!!

In 5 1/2 hours driving, I took 15 deliveries, drove 62 miles, and made $43 in tips.