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".