Monday, May 12, 2008

Deliverance

I have but one passion in life-- delivering food.

Each week, Sunday afternoon brings joy and happiness. Each Sunday night, after my shift, comes the darkness and depression, only alleviated by the realization that my next evening of delivering food is only seven days away. From the look and feel of my uniform to the sweet scent of my food bag, there isn’t one thing I don’t love about delivering food. And there is nothing I would rather be doing on a lazy Sunday afternoon than driving my Daewoo and spending quality time with the take-out personnel at California Pizza Kitchen.

Now, if you’re anyone other than a certain customer who I delivered food to last night, you probably understand that the above paragraph is dripping with sarcasm. You see, the customer, let’s call him “Dick,” apparently doesn’t understand what kind of work goes into delivering his chicken fingers.

First, I get a call over my radio telling me to report to a specific restaurant. I now have less than one hour to complete the order. Five minutes into my drive, I get cut off by a yuppie in BMW who is too busy to signal because he is trying to figure out how to text on his new Iphone. He then flips me the bird because I honk at him. Once safely at the restaurant, I am ignored by the take-out person for five minutes for no other reason than he or she hates dealing with delivery drivers. Once the take-out person finally acknowledges my presence, he or she tells me, “Oh, we just got the order,” even though I know the restaurant received the fax twenty minutes ago. Now I have to wait fifteen unnecessary minutes for the food to get ready. So, I tell the take-out person that I’ll be back, run to my car (and almost get smushed by an SUV), and drive to the gas station so I can fill up for the low, low price of $4 a gallon. When I get back to the restaurant, the food is ready but sitting somewhere behind the counter. So now I have to wait for the take-out person to help a line of seven customers before I’m handed the food, which means that I watch the food cool off for a good ten minutes, ten minutes that I could be driving with the food in my heat bag. The only good news is that the now-cold food all has to be remade anyway because there is cheese all over everything despite the note on the fax saying that the customer is allergic to cheese. By the time I finally get the food, I have less than ten minutes to get the order across town. Risking life, limb, and traffic ticket by driving my Daewoo above 40 miles-per-hour, I manage to get to the right address on time, but of course, the customer lives on a block full of apartment buildings, and there is no parking anywhere. I park five blocks away and hike it. When I get to the apartment building, the customer’s name is not on the buzzer, and I’ve left my phone in my car, so I have to get dispatch to call the customer. And then I get another order and start all over again.

So last night, I handed Dick his food, and he asked me if tip was included in the price. I told him it wasn’t, so he tipped me $1.38 on a $36 order, a 3% tip.

Please tip delivery drivers at least 15%. For the love of God.

4 comments:

Kristy said...

I tipped the delivery guy 25% on Tuesday night because I was wearing a Flyers jersey in Pittsburgh.

Thank you, Nathan! haha (:

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