You can keep your dollar…

18 Jun

So yesterday I was out running errands, and I stopped at a convenience store. The guy working behind the counter had ordered a pizza, and was paying the delivery driver for it as I was standing there waiting in line. The delivery driver told him the total was something like $14.60… the guy behind the counter gave him $15 and said “keep the change”. The driver sighed and walked out. And I was washed over with visions of jumping over the counter, grabbing the cheap $0.40-tip-giving bastard by the throat, bending him over, grabbing the “take a penny/leave a penny” change sitting by the register andΒ  shoving it all up his ass.

I’m a big tipper. Even if the service is shit, I at least give 20% because food service jobs suck and you never know if that person is just having a particularly horrifying day. And I’ve worked many food service jobs, so my heart goes out to these folks and all the bullshit they have to put up with through every single one of their shifts. And the pay is crap. And there aren’t benefits. And you’re on your feet all day. And dealing with crabby hungry people who are rude and demanding. And 99% of the time your boss is a total pile of vomit.

But I think by far one of the worst jobs I ever had was a pizza delivery driver. I fucking HATED this job. This was one of the many jobs I had in college- and it was NOT a good time. Not only are you on a strict time crunch to get people’s food to their home quickly, but if the customer isn’t satisfied- there’s no “manager to be sent to their table”. It’s just you standing in their doorway as they scream at you because it took 35 minutes instead of 30, or if there aren’t enough pepperonis on the pizza, or if the ice in their soda had melted, or if they just had a bad day and they’re more comfortable screaming at a stranger on their own property instead of in a restaurant (which is REALLY common). I had actually had one guy start screaming at me while I was standing in his doorway because his half sausage/half pepperoni pizza had a bigger sausage side than pepperoni side… and after I endured a few minutes of him calling me every name in the book so loudly that his neighbors were standing in their front lawns staring, he proceeded to follow me back to my car and try to stand in front of it -still screaming every degrading thing he could think of- as I tried to drive away. I think that a week later I finally quit. I badly needed that job… but not that badly. After that much abuse from customers, the term “justifiable homicide” starts to apply.

But the biggest insult to the delivery driver is that noone tips. The average tip is a dollar. One fucking dollar. Your food is prepared and brought to your doorstep in disposable containers so the only dinner effort you have to make is walking your lazy ass to the trashcan and throwing the boxes away when you’re done… and the driver only gets a dollar. This is a slap in the face. ESPECIALLY when the majority of deliveries occur during shitty weather. In Kansas (where I was living at the time), there is TONS of shitty weather. And when the newsman says it’s too dangerous to leave the house- everyone calls in pizza delivery for dinner. I’ve driven when it was hailing, when there was flooding, during tornado watches, ice storms, or when it was so hot outside that people were actually dying (and I didn’t have air conditioning in my car). Driving across town in traffic or weather that is too dangerous to be driving in, only to be met at the door by some asshole glaring at me… and then saying “Keep the change” for my tip when that change is only $0.65. And I don’t know how it works now, but when I was a driver we didn’t get any compensation for gas.

To add insult to injury, you still have to wear a stupid fucking uniform. And have that bullshit gonadian fucking “delivery driver” company sign on the top of your car. And that pizza smell never leaves your car. Ever. And at the job I was at, the drivers had all the same closing duties as everyone else in the restaurant- so the final scrub down of the restaurant was ours to cherish as well as the other employees. And the pay is minimum wage. It’s all a rotting pile of shit.

My point being that this is a monumentally crappy job. And if you’ve had a rough day and would like for food to magically appear at your doorstep, hot and ready to eat…. don’t be an asswipe to the magician who brought you your food- and have the decency to thank them for making your evening a little easier by giving them more than a goddamn dollar. Because their rough day is just starting- and by the time they get off, there is no magic left in the world.

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9 Responses to “You can keep your dollar…”

  1. whitney June 18, 2008 at 8:57 pm #

    i do the same…. i still tip at least 29% even if the service isnt the greatest. james and i went out tonight for our 7 years. the waitress only came back to refill our waters once…. but at the same time, it’s not like we were sitting there NOT getting our food or anything… we were satisfied and the service/food is great… and on top of that, they were in the middle of closing. even though they only came to the table once, which doesnt count getting the order or bringing the food, they took care of us. the total came out to 40 bucks and i still tipped 8 dollars. cause just like you say… theyre on their feet all day serving lots of unappreciative assholes.

    and i can definitely imagine pizza delivering being a sucky ass job. but i can’t imagine you driving around with a pizza hut light on the top of your car wearing like a red polo with a matching hat. hahaha. i’m sorry. i know, i’m totally an asshole for laughing, but it’s just a silly image for me to take in…

  2. whitney June 18, 2008 at 8:57 pm #

    by 29% i meant 20%… but 29% is good too!

  3. Brandi Read June 19, 2008 at 3:52 am #

    I wait tables three or four days a week, so I appreciate your blog a lot! In addition: I make 2.65 per hour plus tips. The federal government assumes that I make 8% of my total guest sales and taxes me for that amount. So, I pay taxes on 8% of your bill whether you tip me or not. When you stiff your waitress she is actually PAYING to serve you.

  4. christine June 19, 2008 at 9:49 am #

    its sometimes hard to show your appreciation to someone waiting on you esp. if the place is busy so i try to always leave a big tip. i figure hey, why not, its probably not the most desirable job and they need to catch a break somewhere, why not tip well.

    i can never understand how some people could yell at a stranger!! some people are beyond nasty, no matter what you do to make them happy. its crazy how much convienece people want yet dont want to pay for it, and on top of that it feels so shitty to not be appreciated for what youre doing.

  5. Cassie June 19, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    Right on!

    I waited tables for 6 god aweful years. It is insane the amount of people who will sit there and treat their server like TOTAL SHIT and still not tip. I never felt sorry for a horrible customer when another server “fixed” their food for them. I also never watched them do it. I’m just not that kind of person.

    I tip 20% no matter what. Server pay in MO is still $2.13, and that isn’t enough to take care of one person, let alone a family.

  6. Tawni June 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm #

    David and I have both worked tons of food services, and we leave a tip of no less than 20% every time. Even if the service sucks. You and I know that much of the time, the poor service is due to things beyond their control, like slow food preparation in the kitchen, demanding, nit-picky managers asking for unreasonable amounts of “side work” or understaffing. But even if it’s all their fault, I have so much sympathy from working the shitty jobs myself that they are instantly forgiven. Those jobs are hell on Earth.

    I delivered pizza too. I absolutely hated it. I was in a college town, so I heard “I’d tip you, but I’m a college student. I’m poor. Ha ha.” from nearly every customer. I always wanted to scream, “I’m a college student too, but Mommy and Daddy aren’t paying MY way through life, you fucking trustifarian dorm rat, so cough up a lousy dollar!” Like you said- I just drove dinner right to the door, in my crappy, air-conditionless car, the least they could do was help me offset some of the gas, wear and tear I’d have to spend my own money on.

    I also didn’t feel safe delivering to the guys and frat houses at all either. Did you get the willies or feel vulnerable sometimes, too?

    I love this blog. I like to think that if enough ex-food service employees bitch about this sort of thing, maybe people will start realizing how hard it is to work the poorly paying, extremely physically exhausting jobs that make the world go ’round. (But I’m a Pollyanna that way, as you know… always hopeful.)

    Thanks for being so fabulous. xoxoxo. πŸ™‚

  7. Kristen Ferrell June 21, 2008 at 8:53 am #

    I hated delivering to frat houses (the guys were always such assholes and I KNEW they had the money for tips, but were just dicks because they never even said “keep the change”)… but what made me REALLY nervous was delivering to the crazy people in the run down houses or trailer parks, or people with huge dogs. On multiple occasions I have knock on the door of some dilapidated house or trailer that had looked like it had been abandoned for years, and some really scary guy would answer the door and say with a creepy leer “Why don’t you come on inside and I’ll get your money”… to which I would take a couple steps back and say “Nope, I’ll wait right here”. They would get grumpy and get me my money and send me on my way. A couple times, they pulled the money right out of their pocket- which means that they didn’t need me to come inside at all, so why did they ask me to? THAT’S the shit that creeped me out.

  8. Cassie June 23, 2008 at 11:58 am #

    Eeeeeek! Is all I can say to that.
    Scary.

  9. Sunny July 5, 2008 at 3:35 pm #

    I waited tables for two months at a Denny’s. It was the only job I ever had that I just really sucked at. So I tip well, because those people earn it. The absolute worst is when folks let their kids completely wreck the place – crayons ground into the carpet, food all over everything – and STILL don’t tip. Or, you know, they leave you a dollar.

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