Tipless Deliveries

I feel like every job has its blessings and its curses. My job at my local pizza joint is no exception.

The good side is, my co-workers are very down to earth, including the owner, and they have been patient with me during the three or so months I've been there as they teach me how to make a garden salad, grind some shredded steak, or form some dough into a ball. Really, it's unlike any other place I've worked for -- for the most part my ex-co-workers were just downright nasty, lazy, or they form the typical excuse, "It's just business."

The downside, is I despise driving, even though that's what I signed up for when I put my application in. I frankly don't blame anyone when they dislike driving as well; you're putting your life at risk and you have to be on guard constantly, because many drivers just don't care and will tailgate, honk at you, go past a red light, you know what I mean if you drive. What makes it worse, is every time I make a delivery, I have to pass a four-lane highway -- two lanes on the left, two on the right. It makes my deliveries incredibly nerve-wracking when I have to take a left -- there is, after all, four lanes you have to keep track of. Matter of fact, I had an accident on this highway a few months back. Accidents on this particular highway are very common.

In addition, there's the customers who just don't understand when it comes to tipping. And that's what this post is for -- to rant about this subject.

I'll start off with my most recent experience, which was Wednesday. The first delivery of the morning, I spend the 10 or so minutes getting to the house. A shirtless black man opens the door, his shorts not high enough to cover his boxers. He grins as he takes the food and hands it over to a white, cross-eyed dude. A shot of whiskey is in his hand, and the black dude is holding a big glass container of vodka.

"Want a shot?" the black man asks.

"I'm good."

He laughs. "Too early?" It's 11:30 AM.

"Too early," I reply.

"No such thing as too early!" He laughs again as I hand him a copy of the receipt so he can sign it. Sign it he does, but does not add a tip or hand me some cash.

"Thanks," he says. I say nothing as I take the receipt back and angrily trudge back to my Camry.

Later on that day I deliver to some foreign dudes who don't speak English. They're working outside and one of them is nailing shingles on the roof. I'm not sure who's getting the food, so after walking for a bit I turn around and one of them points to a palette with some stuff stacked on it. I place the food there.

"Are you signing this?" I knew it was kind of pointless to ask that as I showed him the receipt; I could tell based on his pointing that he didn't know English.

He grabs the receipt and calls out to his co-worker. They speak in a language I can't understand. He then carefully examines the receipt, and after a moment or two, decides to crumple it.

One of the other workers comes over and tries to talk to me. I can't understand anything he's saying, and at this point I'm getting confused. What am I supposed to do in this situation? Should I try to give him an extra copy of the receipt, or wait until he hands me cash?

The guy that's talking to me points to the man with the crumpled-up receipt and makes a gesture as if he was going to sign it. I look back at the man with the receipt and he then proceeds to throw the receipt.

As I drive away from the neighborhood with a lead foot on the gas, I started to wonder why he didn't sign. I checked the time he ordered. It was less than an hour ago. And it's a 15-minute drive from the shop. And then I thought, "Maybe because he thought the food was too expensive." He did examine that receipt closely, after all. But the prices aren't my fault; the price of pizza toppings, roast beef, cheese, and everything else has doubled since COVID. If it costs more to get the ingredients we need, we need to up our prices. Whoever placed the call was told the price ahead of time as well. So just because you're upset about the price, doesn't mean you shouldn't frigging tip.

Then the third time that day. Right across the highway from where the store is. Some kid answers the door, and I could almost immediately tell he wasn't going to tip, based on the look he gave me and how curt he was.

I hand him his sub sandwich. "Thank you," he says as he immediately shuts the door.

"I need a signature!" I raise my voice behind his closed door.

He opens back up. "What?"

I hand him the receipt and a pen. Yep, you know what happens next.

This is just a few of many examples -- crackheads, spoiled kids, the police, Home Depot, child daycare, old-school veterans, some of the rich folk. If you're reading this and you aren't aware, tipping your driver is common courtesy, just as you would tip a waiter. Especially since we don't charge for delivery. You don't have to tip me as much as you would a waiter -- I'm paid a little over minimum wage, after all. But I'm spending my gas, which I don't get compensated for. You tip me 10%, I guarantee I won't spit in your bag of curly fries the next time I deliver to you. Okay, that last part I was kidding, but that's really what I feel like doing when someone doesn't tip.

The Times When You Don't Need to Tip Me

Understandably, there are times when I don't blame the customer if they don't tip -- I blame myself. I'll take my first week doing deliveries as an example. It's sometime in June, and we're one of the few restaurants open during the pandemic before everyone else opens up a few weeks later -- therefore, we're getting more orders than usual. It's a Saturday night and we're slammed with orders. The manager is rushing me to get these deliveries done.

I take some orders and grab the receipts that come out of the printer. I drive 15 minutes away to one address, only to find a disturbed woman who answers the door.

"I'm sorry, but we already ordered."

I head back to the store, and by the time I get there I've already wasted over half an hour on this poor customer who's still waiting.

"Okay I need you to take these..." the manager touches the orders on the touchscreen where the deliveries are held.

"I still have a delivery in my car." I say.

He looks at me in disbelief. "You still have a delivery?"

I take him to my car and show him the order.

"It's going to this address," he says, and points to the receipt that's stapled to the bag.

The printer had run out of paper, and I ended up taking an old receipt.

The manager trudges back to the store, only to toss his hat to the ground and scream at the top of his lungs.

The delivery is going to some camp site. By now this customer has been waiting at least two hours. On my way there one of my co-workers calls me.

"Just so you know, the customer's only going to be paying half, 40 dollars."

"Okay," was all I could muster, as I was shook up both for screwing up this delivery and how the manager reacted.

"Bye," he said. I didn't respond and waited for him to hang up.

After getting lost at the camp site I finally find the right number, judging by the kids who are staring at me as I pull over.

The one adult who's there nods at the table for where I drop off the food.

"It's half off, it's $40," I say as he fumbles through his wallet.

"Mm-hmm," he grunts and slaps me two twenties.

"Thank you," I say as I immediately take my leave. Naturally, he didn't respond.

I don't blame him. I had disappointed that group of kids, and at that point the food was probably cold, lukewarm at best. So, if it takes me an excessive amount of time to get there, say, over an hour-and-a-half to two hours, there's no reason for that and therefore you don't have to tip me.

The next delivery I had that night was to a hospital. I'm still shook up, and rushing to get these deliveries done, so I forget to grab a diet Pepsi that they had ordered.

I curse out loud. I figure they only way I can get out of this situation, is by explaining to them that I forgot the drink and that they don't have to tip me.

That's what I said to the nurse that picked up the order.

"Well, I guess you're going to have to go to Cumberland Farms and get something from there," she says sarcastically, with a grin on her face.

"Seriously, I can go there right now -"

"No, it's fine." She then explains there's another worker there who doesn't have anything better to do and that he can go and get the drinks himself.

She signs the receipt and adds a $5 tip. I breathe a sigh of relief. She waited over an hour, I forget the Pepsi, and she still tipped me. Thank God there are some people out there who actually understand.

But yeah, if I forget your drinks or chips and the nearest place to get some is over 10 minutes away, I will kindly say you don't have to tip me. That's the one other time where you don't need to tip.

However, if I give your order fresh out of the oven, faster than you expected, and you got everything you ordered, there's no reason you shouldn't tip me. Don't get delivery if you're not going to tip. I will get upset if you don't and I will curtly leave your porch without saying anything. Don't be surprised if I rub your hamburger against my genital hairs the next time you order.

Heh, okay, again, I would never do that. But you get the idea.

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