It’s not all bad. On the contrary, most of it is good most of the time. We’re giving away 5000 large pizzas this week. In addition to that, my boss decided to hand out some free pizzas to unsuspecting customers, specifically to those who work the late shift at local hotels and gas stations. We have a bunch of hotels who send a lot of business to us, so we returned the favor, in a way. If a driver had a delivery to a certain area where hotels or gas stations might be that were open, we’d get a few extra pizzas to take with us and we’d just give them to the employees, or whoever we saw hanging out, including customers of their businesses. Naturally menus went with the pizzas, because it’s ALL advertising.
Tonight I was having fun running those free pizzas to people and seeing their reactions, and I’m going to save the best for last. But first…
I had a delivery to a hotel we get a ton of business from, so my boss made me up four pizzas to take with me and hand out. On my way to that hotel I thought hard about what other places I could go to and realized everything around that hotel, sans that hotel, closes at like 9 PM, even on a Saturday. There’s literally nothing open. All the way to that hotel I racked my brain trying to think of where I could take those free pizzas.
I got to the hotel and as soon as I walked in I saw a huge group of people partying in the lobby, and most were very well dressed. It was quite obviously a wedding after-party. I delivered my order on the second floor and when I got back on the elevator to leave there was a younger couple already on it. The guy saw my garb and mentioned how much he loved our pizza. So I asked if he wanted one. He said he was hungry and the girl with him said she would kill for a pizza. So I said I’d give them one. He asked her how much money she had and I said the pizza was completely free. She asked me several times if it was some sort of joke and I insured her it was not. I explained what was going on and how it was a customer appreciation kind of thing and how I had four pizzas and had no idea what to do with them since everything was closed. She said they were part of the wedding party…
I went outside, got the pizzas and took them back in. Everyone rejoiced. When I pulled out four large pizzas and said they were all free, they rejoiced. Then a woman handed me $20. I told her I couldn’t accept that, until the chick from the elevator yelled at me to take it, so I did. Before I left I made sure to leave a stack of menus there.
Two deliveries later I was back at the hotel with an order for another lady in the party who was hungry watching everyone else eat pizza. When I walked in I saw everyone drinking wine and stuffing their faces with the pizza I had originally left there. That was cool. I then told the front desk folks who are always nice to me that I’d bring them a pizza later. Later when I showed up with one for them, they gave me $5. There was also two guys left over from the party holding beers and about to head up to their rooms. I gave them a pizza too. They were stoked.
I had given pizzas to gas station folks and their customers and everyone was happy. Most questioned me several times, some even asking if there was some sort of catch. But the best incident happened at my first stop with free pizzas tonight.
I pulled up to a Shell gas station where I stop every now and then for gas late night. At night they lock their doors and you have to use a little window to make transactions with. There’s this older man who works the late shift and he always looks tired. When I pulled up I noticed two guys standing inside, so I knew I had made it just before the doors were locked. Passing a large pizza through the little slot in the wall would have been hard.
I walked in and saw the two guys were buying beer and dressed as if they were about to go to a party of some kind. They were also much bigger than me and clearly country boys. They were standing at the counter talking to the man I was there to see when a woman came in and began yelling at the guy behind the counter. I wasn’t quite sure what it was she said, but she was pissed about the pump she was at not working, or something. The man behind the counter told her something and she huffed out of the store. The attendant then said to the two big country boys how that was the third time she had been in the store yelling at him and how he’s explained to her each time how to do what it is she wanted to do.
During a break in the conversation I asked the two country boys if they wanted a free pizza and they said they did, so I hooked them up. The one started to hand me $5 and I said I didn’t want it and he told me, very seriously, to take it. Since I didn’t want them to stomp me, I took it. They left the store happy with beer and a free pizza. Hopefully they went to their party and told everybody about what happened.
I then turned to the attendant. He looked older than he probably is, wore out and worked hard for what is probably very little at a gas station. He shook his head and looked flustered. He was still upset about that woman. I asked him if he was hungry and gave him a pizza for free. At first he looked amazed, then he said to me, “It goes to show on those days that are just terrible, that something can happen like this to turn it completely around. Thank you.” And he was genuine about it, and it made my night complete. Even now as I’m typing this I’m tearing up. Seriously. With the night I had last night and the overall week I’ve had, to be able to make someones night like that really made mine. I know how he was feeling, I’ve been feeling it a lot lately. While someone didn’t give me a free pizza to make my week better, it turned out that giving someone else a free pizza and making their night better is what I needed to make mine better.
Typically, I deal with a lot of great people, every night of the week. For some reason this week was just bad for me. It happens, but that doesn’t mean I like it or accept it. I’m glad I had the night I had tonight, because I needed it as much as that gas station guy did.