Category Archives: Delivery Tales

Delivery Tales: Terrible Customers

There’s always going to be the assholes who don’t tip. There’s always going to be those assholes who not only don’t tip, but make finding them, and dealing with them, HELL, before not tipping. But then there are those customers on a whole other level, that makes the regular stiffer not so bad.

Back when I first started delivering, I didn’t know then what I know now and I would have dealt with these customers differently. But, it’s all a part of the learning curve.

The first one I remember, and will always remember, was to a barber school. They had placed a big order for lunch and I got to take it. They were already known as stiffers, so I didn’t expect to get a tip. But unfortunately for me, the company I worked for at the time had itemized order slips that showed the price for everything ordered, and everyone who ordered paid exactly what they owed. Not only did I not get a tip, but I didn’t get the tax or the delivery fee, and I also didn’t get the money, somehow, for one of the things ordered.

Not that it matters, but the school was made up entirely of black students and teachers. I only bring that up because it seemed to me, at the time and even now, that me being white was a major cause of some of the things they said.
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Delivery Tales: And This One Belongs To…

While delivering tonight I was given a double. For those of you who can’t figure it out, I had two deliveries going out together in one run. The first was going to this shitty no-tell motel we deliver to all the time. Despite it being the bottom of the barrel as far as my delivery area is concerned, we actually get pretty decent tips over there. That’s because the clientele there are typically either drug dealers, drug users, or prostitutes, who quite possibly could fit into either of the first two categories as well. Basically, they all have money and they’re not spending a lot on their room, so they tip well.

I got to the guys door, lately he’s been ordering almost every night and he’s a good enough customer, but for some reason tonight he didn’t answer his door. I knocked twice and waited. Then I heard his air conditioner kick off, and I looked in through his window and could just barely see his TV on. Since the air kicked off I tried knocking again, cause maybe he could hear me this time. Nope.

So he either passed out, which happens a lot late night, or he was taking a shit. So I got my phone out and called. His voice mail picked up. I began leaving a message and was about to tell him I was going to take my next delivery and come back, but I noticed it was a credit card order.

Now, some pizza companies have a policy that no matter what, if they don’t answer their door and you don’t actually hand them their order, you have to bring it back to the store. The company I work for isn’t that way, so I did what I always do in this situation.

I left his order at his door with his copy of the credit card slip and I left. I told him that in the voice mail.
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Delivery Tales: Tips

I was asked recently if I had any more crazy stories to share, and sadly I have none. Nothing wacky has happened lately at all, and it’s really pissing me off. All of my customers have been regular, everyday people. Not rabbits or prostitutes. Not that rabbits and prostitutes aren’t regular everyday people.

I would like to talk about getting tipped though, and this is a lengthy post, so if you’re not into it, skip it. But I suggest you read it if you’re someone who has ever ordered food for delivery, whether you tip or not.

I’m lucky that I get to deliver in a very nice area. I used to not, and the differences are amazing. Sure, I still get stiffed from time to time, but typically a five dollar tip is almost guaranteed. When I used to deliver on the other side of town, I was lucky to get two bucks on each delivery.

I’m completely grateful for it, and appreciate the hell out of anybody who tips well. The area where I deliver now is mostly nice, upscale homes, but there are many apartments and lower class places I go to, and even those places aren’t too shabby with tips. Typically it’s the more expensive houses that don’t tip so well and that can be said about any neighborhood. There’s a subdivision I go to now made up of $800,000 to $2 million+ homes. I’ve only been back there four times or so, and I’ve never got more than a $4 tip, and I only got $4 once.

The thing is, that’s okay, and for the purpose of this article, it’s okay because they’re in our delivery area. They’re our customers. They’re not that far away.

The reason I bring this up is, occasionally we’ll be nice and take a delivery that is outside of our delivery area. I’m typically the go-to driver for those, because I like the drives and don’t mind taking those orders. Unfortunately most of the time they’re to places that aren’t upper class like our regular delivery area, and most of the time it blows up in my face.

There was one guy who was a few miles out of our area who ordered for a while and he always tipped $10 because he knew we were making a special trip for him and he took care of the drivers.

There was one order I took to downtown Cincinnati one night, which is very much out of our delivery area, but I was tipped $14 for that delivery. They were so drunk they thought they were giving me $8, which would have been fine too, but $14 was really nice.

Then there was a kid who lived in the area where I used to deliver. He tipped rather well too.
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Delivery Tales: Delivering Karma

I spoke recently about how I’m a believer in Karma, and how it is my religion. Well, tonight while I was delivering pizza, it stepped up and made itself known again.

I don’t know if it happened because of something I’ve done recently or if it was a self-contained incident, but it was cool. And that’s the great thing about Karma. You really never know, do you?

Here’s how this played out. Because after it happened, I thought about it and realized it all happened for a reason. It was fate. The end of the story is cool and all, but it’s how it played out that really gets me. Here it is.

I had a double delivery to the same area, to two different hotels I’ve been to a bunch of times. I got to the first hotel and went to the customers room. I knocked twice, and nobody answered, so I called. The man answered and said he would be right there. I expected him to come from the elevator, but his door opened and there he was. He was either sleeping or having sex, because his clothes were half on and there were no lights on in his room.

After that I left the hotel and went down the road to the main road I needed to get to the next hotel. For whatever reason, I made a right. I drove about a half a mile when I realized I had gone the wrong way and had to turn around. When I finally got to the next hotel and to the customers room, they told me they had just called the store to see where their order was, and they were happy to see me. They were quite drunk.

After I left their room, I stopped by the front desk to sign a paper. We have this thing with hotels, where if they send us ten customers, we’ll give them a free large pizza. So each time we deliver to a hotel we sign a paper, and when they get ten signatures they can turn that paper in for their pizza. I had, by the way, signed the paper at the first hotel before leaving and going to this one, if you were wondering.

At the front desk there was an older black gentleman in front of me and the clerk was on the phone with a taxi company. I heard him say something about 20 to 25 minutes, and then he thanked them and hung up. He told the man in front of me how long it would be and then asked if he could help me.

I asked if he had a paper for me to sign, so he went to get it. The black man asked if I was delivering pizzas and I said I was. He asked me if it would be possible for me to take him down the road, and he would pay me.

Apparently he had gone to a wing joint across the street and got food, then called a cab, but the cab never showed. The wing place had closed, so he walked over to this hotel to see if they could call him another cab.

I asked him where he was going and he told me to another hotel that happened to be on my way back to the store, so I told him I would take him and he didn’t have to pay me because I was already going that way. He told me I would take his money or he would tie me up and shove it in my pocket. Kinky, eh? He was drunk and he had wings, so that could have been a good night.

Anyway, I took him to the other hotel and he told me on the way there that he was originally told a half hour wait on the cab, but after an hour he went to the hotel to call another one and find out what happened to his cab. He told me he was drunk and wasn’t about to lose his government job, in Alaska, due to drunk driving. He would have walked, because he’s a former Marine and he would “walk across the country if I had to,” but instead he’d rather get a ride. He was quite a good distance from his hotel.

I dropped him off and he paid me $20 for the ride. As I was leaving his hotel I noticed I was almost out of gas, and his $20 got me what I needed to finish the night at work and get home, and I still got gas left over.

Now, one good deed deserves another, right? What goes around, comes around. That’s Karma. That’s what I believe. When I thought about it afterward, I realized…

Had the first guy answered his door the first time I knocked and I didn’t have to wait for him…

Had I turned left instead of right…

Had I actually delivered the orders opposite how I delivered them, which I almost did…

I might not have ran into that guy and given him a ride and got $20 to put gas in my tank. And that, to me, is awesome.

Alternatively, whatever his path was, it lead him to me. Who knows how much longer he would have had to wait for a cab. Maybe he would have decided to walk, and maybe he would have been hit by a drunk driver and killed, or maybe he would have had a heart attack on the way there. He looked healthy, but shit happens. Maybe he would have been picked up by a cop for walking down a major street (that has no sidewalks) while drunk. Who knows what would have happened to him had I not shown up.

All of that shit is amazing to me. It all happened for a reason, and I’m thankful that it did.

Delivery Tales: Frontin’

I delivered the other night to a hotel room and when I knocked on the door I heard a commotion inside, and then a man speaking to someone else, apparently just after looking at me through the peep hole.

“That’s the pizza guy! Damn, that was quick!”

Then I heard some more commotion and I’m pretty sure I heard him say “hold on” to whomever he was talking to before the door opened. What I saw was a classic example of “frontin’,” or for those of you not hip to the street lingo from the mid 80s to now, “being fake.”

I held my laugh in and tried to play it cool the best I could. I think I pulled it off, I didn’t act as if I knew he was frontin’ completely, so I hope that helped his ego out a bit. I don’t know if he was seriously trying to do what he did or if it was just a joke to him, but either way it was hilarious.

Here’s what happened. When the door opened I saw a black man standing there in kind of a “hard thug” stance. I’ll let LL Cool J display sort of what it was I was seeing. LL…

"You're paying me in pizza for this, right?"

“You’re paying me in pizza for this, right?”

Thanks buddy. So I see him standing there, for the most part just like that, and he says to me all chill n shit, “What up?”

This is where I wanted to laugh but didn’t. Because I had just heard him on the other side of the door having a normal conversation with someone else and having excitement in his voice. So I responded as delightfully as I could, “Nothing man, how’s it going?”

He slowly nodded and just before he responded he added in an extra loud smack with his mouth. “*smack* Nuttin’.”

Just then I saw his girlfriend poke her head around the corner and she was this really cute white girl who didn’t look thuggish at all. She smiled and turned to head back into the room from the bathroom with what looked like folded clothes and she began dealing with them on one of the beds. In my mind I literally thought if he were acting like a regular person and not frontin’, I bet they were a really cute couple. As it was, he was making an ass of himself and the way she carried herself through the room showed me that she was letting him have his fun, but she was probably the one who controlled the relationship. Cracked me up.

So I got the pizza out of the bag and told him how much it was. The entire time he’s standing there in that stance. When I mentioned the price, he nodded, faster this time, made that same lip smack and followed it with “Word” and began flipping through his bank roll, which happened to just be a few bills. He handed me a twenty which covered the order and began flipping through the rest of his bills. All singles.

This is why I thought it was all a joke, but I went along with it with a huge smile on my face. If he was going to play it up, I was too.

He half turns and leans back on the door frame. “Hey baby, should I tip him?” This, like everything else he’s said, has been with a hint of thug in his voice, a little street making its appearance, which again, was not what I heard before he opened the door. Without looking around and still dealing with the laundry she says, “Uh, yeah!”

He nods again and once again smacks his lips and says “Word.” While counting his massive bank roll of a few singles he says, “How much?” She didn’t look up this time either and says, “However much you want, I don’t care.”

Lip smack. “Word.”

He flips through the bills again and hands me over two dollars. With that huge smile I took the money and thanked him. He flipped his hand over and had another dollar bill gripped firmly in it. “Here, take this too.”

Again I thanked him with a huge smile on my face and took the dollar. I backed away from the door bowing to him like an old Chinese man might bow away from someone. I told him to have a good night and he responded with that lip smack and “Word.”

I didn’t hear it, but I’m sure as soon as the door was closed he giggled and screamed “PIZZA!!!” like a school girl.