Balance

July 6, 2010 at 10:44 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
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I’d like to know where people in this fairly rich neighborhood I deliver in get off tipping the way they do.  I’m not complaining.  Okay…maybe I am.  But some of this shit is ridiculous.
That was my thought process the first two days I worked.  The fucking people–it doesn’t matter how big their house is or how big their order is–they tip two dollars.
I delivered 60 dollars worth of pizza to a half a million dollar house (And by the way, this is half a mil in the real world, not Califuckinfornia, where 600k gets you a 1200 square feet on an eighth of an acre.  Here in the Midwest–aka the real world–600k will get you half an acre and 4000 square feet in a great school district.) and got a two dollar tip from the mature executive with bright teeth in his pricey coif and pressed shorts dressed for leisure/action, and matching Lexi in the driveway.
If I have to refresh your memory, the minimum acceptable on 60 bones is six clams, which is only ten percent.  Nine bills would have been fifteen percent.  Then round it out to ten to show the world you’re not an asshole, asshole.
But the money is decent overall, even though it’s slow in coming.  Rob is the new manager, and he’s a young guy.  I would put him about mid-20s.  On the last night I worked before I hurt my knee, he remarked that it was a bit slow.
I said, “Look, I sound like an old asshole whenever I say this.  But I’ve been doing this for about 24 years.  The weeks right around the Fourth of July are historically the slowest of the year.  Always.  Maybe it’d be different if we were a resort town.”
“Yeah, everybody goes to the Lake.”
“I just wish I knew what the hell Lake ‘they’ are talking about.”
Rob and I had made amends, after I made the mistake of presumption.  A few days earlier, I was on a delivery.      The customer answers the door, and he’s holding a credit card.  That’s going to be a problem.  The order said cash.
The family communicates randomly, and I’m there to pick up the pieces.  The oldest daughter ordered online, but she didn’t specify a card and she says the order screen didn’t ask.  Possible, even likely.  No, I don’t have a machine to put the card, slide it (Ca-chink!) and give them a carbon, because this isn’t the 70s, or a third world country.
The family is running around back forth, collectively a group of chickens-sans-cranium, trying to come up with a solution before the buzzer goes off and they lose a turn on this game show.  I manage to get someone’s attention.
“Hey, here’s what we can do–”
I had call the store and run the card right then.  I said, “As long as you don’t need me to bring back a receipt, we’re good.”  They agreed.
I listened to the young lady’s end of the conversation, trying to pick up a hint about what was going on.  The card went through, and everything was fine.  Well, hey, Lama–How about a little something, you know, for the driver?”
But I’m not going to *ask*.  In addition to probably being against some ridiculous company policy (which wouldn’t stop me), I feel that it is just plain rude.  I didn’t ask, and they didn’t offer.  I left empty-handed.  Back in the car, I called the store and talked to Rob.
I had to fill him in on what happened–he wasn’t actually a part of it.  Oh.  I explained, and in a hurt tone, I said, “Why didn’t whoever took the card ask the customer if they wanted to tip the driver, since there was no coming back with a receipt and all?”
Well, the thought never occurred to him.  No one had ever ever done it for him, it’s not how things are done here.  He may have almost said policy, but I know that rules aren’t that specific, no matter how anal a company is.  But he didn’t quite get it.  I was mad, then I cooled down when I realized I was fighting a losing battle here.  It is only two bucks (if I’m lucky), and I’ll get over it.  I’m not going to start a fight about it.
You see–when I was a manager, and this situation occurred (customer at the door with credit card that hasn’t been run for whatever reason), when I take the call at the store, the driver is standing there.  He can’t ask for a tip, but as the nameless, faceless person in the store, I can ask for one on his behalf.  More often than not, they will say to add a few bucks, or tip in cash.  All they need is a reminder.
But it’s not done that way at Pizzarama.  The culture there I’ve experienced is that they use the facade of professionalism to cover for the fact that they are rude and a little selfish, and don’t give a shit about people.
Maybe I’m saying wrong, because I don’t think it’s a bad thing.  You KNOW how I feel about the customer.
However, in this situation, it bit me in the ass.  I had time on the long ride back to the store to think about it, and I apologized to Rob when I came back.  He may have almost said he was sorry as well, sort of a generic sorry-for-the-inconvenience-that-your-misinterpretation-caused-you kind of apology.  Still, he did say, in future scenarios he would keep that in mind.
We have achieved pizza detente.
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