This article is written under the assumption that delivery people are people, too.
We are happy to serve you, public. We are grateful for the business you bring us and intend to continue offering the best service possible to your doorstep, regardless of what happens there.
But at the risk of eliciting the phrase “first world problems”, if I may say so, we drivers risk our necks. The weather is nuts, the mugging threat is ever-present, and other drivers are doing very little to lower our blood pressure.
One day I shall crack, and the last you hear of me as they drag me into the funny farm will be something about an extra large pepperoni whose recipient forgot the tip or expected us to deliver to some preppers’ bunker two hours away in the mountains. That’s one thing.
But here are six lesser-known but consistent habits of pizza customers that also hasten the fateful day of our committing. If you wish to help, please read on.
1. Misplace your credit card when you’re placing your order.
Whatever you do, if you’re paying with a credit card over the phone, do not ensure that your card is within arm’s reach as you call. If we’re doing this thing properly, there should be at least a three-minute archaeological dig for the thing while we drivers wait on the other side, other phones ringing off the hook, orders stacking up beyond the screen’s edge, pizzas sitting in the warmer waiting with nobody to take them, and their future consumers adding their own follow-up calls to the melee.
2. Order from out and about, then try to beat us home.
The occasional customer, trying to plan ahead, will call from WalMart to order their pizza with the intention of getting home before our estimated 30-40 minute delivery window.
Key word, estimated. We sometimes outdo ourselves. Often, in fact.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve reached a residence with an order far ahead of the 30-minute mark, only to get no answer. I call the number and yep, they’re still pulling their kids off the checkout conveyor and trying to get out the sliding doors, not having expected me to be so early. Oh, friends! I must then wait in the car at temperatures sometimes 30 below, sometimes 30 Celsius, while they barrel home in a manner that would make the Simpsons proud.
Or it will be…ahem, a post-activity period that they’re trying to time their food for.
Trust me, folks, when you open the door panting for breath, hair tousled, and distractedly fumbling with a robe, we can take a fair guess as to what you were just doing.
All because you didn’t allow us a chance to beat our usual delivery times.
If you want to embarrass us, feel free to keep trying this. (I suppose I’m not in a position to know when it succeeds, come to think of it.) But if you want the opportunity to be that customer who gets a fresh, piping hot pizza after just twenty minutes, order from home and give us a chance to excel for you!
3. Don’t turn your porch light on.
I’d seriously say that it’s the minority of customers who light their house numbers so we can find them.
It’s not so bad if their neighbors have theirs illuminated to help, but they didn’t just order 32 hot wings and a single side of marinara (yes, I’ve seen that order), so they’re even less likely to do it.
This leaves us delivery drivers trotting down darkened streets in the middle of winter, walking up to five different houses and awkwardly squinting. Talk about daring the neighborhood watch. I’ve actually seen people quit over this. (Did I mention we’re carrying food? In bear country?)
To ensure our trip to the loony bin as early in life as possible, please continue to ensure that you do not illuminate your house number in any fashion. The simplest strategy here is simply forgetting to turn on your porch light, but there are many helpful variations! Black numbering on dark brown siding is always a winner. Or you could stick the numbers right beneath the light, exactly where the mounting’s shadow falls. Then there’s the classic move of slapping big numbers on the front of a pillar and then positioning the porch light directly behind the pillar. We do love the classics.
4. Let slip the dogs of war when we knock.
Okay, folks. You know you ordered a pizza. You did not forget you have dogs. Why not stick your little treasures in the backyard once we arrive? (Again, I suspect many do and I never know it.)
Yet I am so often bombarded by what I suspect would be “Ride of the Valkyries” if dog language could be translated, as they slam into the closed door en masse, their barking drowning and frantic skidding on the foyer linoleum out the ineffectual cries of their owner: “Fluffyyyy! Boboooo! Snifflllles! You stop it!!!”
And sometimes there’s a doggy door. Which promptly becomes a cannon. Aimed right at my groin.
Forgive me – I almost had my thumb ripped off by a dog when I was eleven or thereabouts, so I’m still a little leery of the species if I don’t know the owner.
5. Offer a $50 or $100 bill for payment.
I know this is all some of you have for various reasons, but consider: we drivers are not permitted to carry more than twenty dollars in our cars. Same reason as convenience stores: to carry more makes us targets for mugging. Plus, if we have an accident, our earnings for the night are scattered all over Sixth Street. Along with our lower intestines.
Even if the order is large enough to where can break your ginormous bill with our twenty, doing so drains that twenty. The other day I was on a double run; both orders were from a trailer park. The first customer handed me a fifty and got that twenty in return. I actually had to turn around in full view of the other customer down the street, return to the store, and get a new bank before taking the second order. The walls are closing in…
Then there’s the possibility that your benjamin might be counterfeited without you knowing.
I do not wish to inconvenience you, but if at all possible, please pay with cash using lower denominations. We’ll love you forever!
6. Ask for specials first.
Okay, this may vary for different chains. But here’s the dealio for mine.
- Specials are the last thing we put into the system. We can’t apply a special to an item that hasn’t been selected yet.
- We have specials for a ton of different combinations – probably fifty specials overall.
- We don’t run weekly or daily specials. We may emphasize a few for various periods, but most of them run for months at a time (I think our “2 for $24” special was on when Moses parted the Red Sea). So the answer to “what are your specials?” is probably the same as it was two weeks ago.
And the best answer to that question is, “Well, how many pizzas are you thinking, and what sizes?”
See, we like you. We give you mad props for looking for savings and don’t blame you at all, but we want to keep your business in the first place! If you are looking to save money, tell us what you’re in the mood for, and we’ll be happy to find you a special that saves you some moolah. Trust us!
I sincerely hope that my sarcastic ranting has not sliced up your enthusiasm for pizza. Please feel free to order and we will continue to serve you with a smile, no matter what.
Please note I’m out this week, but will reply to your comments when I return. (I’m picking out my bed at the asylum.)