Known Johnson

November 21, 2007


Filed under: General — Tom @ 11:49 pm

The pizza delivery guy came, and I could tell he was distracted as he removed the pizza from the insulated carrier. He kept glancing up, around me . . . I felt a little weird, because I knew what he was looking at. “Is that your music collection?” he finally asked. Yes, yes it is – I have to keep it up here in the front of the house because it’s really the only place to keep it. I felt great relief when he revealed he was one of us – a music freak – and had a big collection of CDs and vinyl at home, too, but I could tell he was kind of in awe at the sheer number of spines that were facing out at him. And, frankly, it’s a little scary to me, too. It’s sitting right here where it could so easily be taken, conveniently stored in cases that can be carted off in one piece with every disc in them – I built them that way, after all, to make it easier for me to do that very thing. It just didn’t occur to me while making them that someone with less-than-saintly intentions could do the same.

We talked for a couple of minutes about music and then I paid him, let him keep the change, which might have seemed a bit too much, but having been a delivery driver myself, I will never, ever shortchange a tip these guys unless they majorly screw up. Like, “eat the pizza themselves” screw up. It’s just a thankless job, delivering. It sucked. You smell of the food your carry, your car always smells of the food you carry, you drive around neighborhoods that twist and turn and dead end like some sort of sadistic game, and you often got cheated out of the tip on the deliveries that were the most painful. Put it into perspective: if you can afford to have food delivered, you can afford about 30% for the driver. Think of what he has to put into it – gas, oil, sanity.

And I especially can’t justify shorting a guy on a tip when I was waiting for UPS to drop off the $40 remaster/boxset* of a CD I already own. Gotta put things into perspective.

*Which arrived at nearly 8 pm. UPS dude had a long day. Man. And he doesn’t even get tips!



  1. I’m sure the UPS guys gets paid a whole heck of a lot more than the pizza delivery guy.

    Comment by bekah — November 22, 2007 @ 8:20 am | Reply

  2. I frequently tip the pizza guy $10. According to your 30% rule, I might be shorting him a little on the large orders I make when I have a few friends over. Regardless, whenever they see the $10 tip, they look surprised and say thank you a few dozen times. That feels better to me than eating the pizza.

    I worked in fast food for 7 years. My brother worked at a pizza place for a while. He wasn’t a delivery driver, but he heard all their stories about 5 cent tips and all that. Plus, the district manager would typically have my brother running the entire pizza store (a fairly popular regional, if not national, chain) by himself, on Saturdays, one of their busiest days.

    So yeah, I know what it’s like to have a crappy job that doesn’t pay worth crap and causes you to develop a general hatred for humanity. That’s why I tip. 🙂

    Comment by Uncle Midriff — November 22, 2007 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

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