Thursday, October 1, 2009


Let me preface this post by saying that I pride myself on my navigation skills and knowledge of my trade area. I love to be the guy who can answer any question anyone has: "2450 Westwood? 3rd house on the left, yellow house with a detached garage, white Trailblazer and orange Wrangler in the driveway."

That being said, there was a craigslist ad that irked me:

Local Pizza place looking for delivery driver to work evening and weekends. Must have gps and reliable vehicle. If interested please reply to posted email with contact information and phone number. Thanks

So I responded with an ad of my own:

Real delivery drivers don't use GPS. We use maps for a couple weeks to a month, and then we have our areas all but memorized. We laugh at GPS delivery drivers. You typically only have a 2-3 mile radius to learn, so a simple area map will do the job.

GPS slows you down and stops you from learning the best route to your destination. By the time you have your address programmed into your GPS, I am already at the house. I look at an ad like this and I see "Person needed to add 2 digit numbers together. Must have TI-84 or above graphing calculator".

As a 50 hour/wk delivery driver, this is just a pet peeve of mine and I hope I have trained a green owner/manager how to better run a shop. Have a nice day, all.
I see my post lasted about 5 hours before it was flagged for removal. Oh well, I posted my opinion, and I know I'm right. I've worked with people that had GPS. Over a two month sample when I worked at Pizza Hut, I averaged a 16 minute trip time. Of the GPS drivers, none averaged better than 19 minutes during that time. 3 minutes per delivery might not seem like much, but over a night with 20 runs, I've beaten Joe Technology by an entire hour. That's a butt kicking.

I've found the best way to learn a trade area is to start with the main roads and numbering system/parameters. Just knowing this will be of tremendous help. Then learn what the main drags are in subdivisions and learn the side roads. This is where it ends for many veterans. But this is where I just begin to get my edge. Once you have the normal way to get somewhere, it is time to start experimenting. Slow days like Mondays and Tuesdays are great days to do this, as losing a few minutes on a gamble won't be detrimental to getting an order to its destination on time. I also learn the timing patterns of the traffic lights, which lights use a delay, what routes have fewer traffic lights, what routes involve more right than left turns, and which neighborhoods I can cut through to escape rush hour traffic. GPS won't do any of that for you. If this seems excessive, just remember that the 15 seconds I wasted could mean the other driver gets the Arlington triple with 3 known great tippers, and I get the single to BFE.

I need something snappy to go out on: Put that in your GPS and smoke it?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Wish You Would Order From Someone Else

"Here's a dollar. I wish we could give you more."

I smirk, take the dollar, and say "take care". Behind the smirk, there is a lot more going on in my mind.

Yes, $1 is better than nothing, and yes, a buck was a good tip during the Carter administration. But don't tell me you "wish" you could give me more. Not when you made me wait 3 minutes and I got to survey all your toys. The 50" HDTV is a nice touch. The late model F-150 looks awful nice. But my favorite is your RV. Amazingly, your budget allows for these extravagances, but you "wish" you could give me more than $1. Awesome.

Here's your food. I wish I could have gotten it here sooner. Unfortunately, the good tippers got theirs in <30 and yours took almost twice that. Here's your two-liter of Mountain Dew. I wish I took it from the cooler instead of dry storage, and I wish I didn't shake it up in my car. Here's your pizza. I wish I ran the cutting blade all the way through it and put enough cheese and pepperonis on it.

If the lady wants to tip more, she should just do it. If she doesn't, she should just give me the dollar and not make things worse by saying what she says. No reason to rub salt on my wounds. If it were just one time, I might overlook it. But this has happened several times now, increasing in annoyance each time.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ode to Stiffers

The rims on your Escalade cost more than my car, but you "can't afford to tip me since times are tight". I hope you learn what "times are tight" REALLY means.

It's the first of the month, and you are using your welfare money to buy 2 large pizzas, 40 hot wings, and 12 bleu cheese cups (true story). I hope you run out of bleu cheese and don't realize it and eat the hottest wing in the bunch, meanwhile you don't have a beverage, the refrigerator and freezer lock, and the water goes out, causing you to weather your burning tongue. You lose your voice for the next several months and are unable to ask for taxpayer handouts to support your frivolity.

Your parents sent you to the door to pay and you pocketed my tip. I hope the money falls out of your pocket in front of your parents and Daddy finds the biggest paddle and the firmest belt in the house, and unleashes a whipping that Chuck Norris would envy.

You gave me a religious tract and told me that it was way more valuable than earthly money and expected me to be grateful instead of being furious that we are part of the same religion. I hope you start some sort of selfish charity and everyone sees right through it when you ask for donations. Catching wind of your cheap habits that you justify with religion, I hope they send you nothing but pizza menus in the donation envelopes you provide.

You are greedy and live in a McMansion and decided to buy another Tahoe instead of giving me a few bucks. I hope you forget to open your garage while you are yapping on your BlackBerry and drive your Tahoe into your McMansion causing both of these symbols of wealth (and debt) to collapse. And I hope you were also being miserly when it came to auto and homeowners insurance, leaving you with nothing but a pile of bricks and an SUV that needs a nose job.

You look down on pizza drivers and decide they are beneath you. I hope you lose your job and fill out an application at my pizza shop so I can look down on you when I tell you that we are not hiring drivers at the moment, but please feel free to check in periodically in case something opens up.

You somehow determined that the delivery charge is a replacement for the tip to cover your cheapness. I hope your phone number and address find themselves on a "special list" of customers who now pay a $7 delivery charge.

I feel better.

Friday, February 6, 2009

"Is a Dollar Cool?"

"Is a dollar cool?"

I was faced with that question 8 days ago at Conway Trucking around 5:30 pm, after brilliantly navigating Hilliard rush hour traffic, waiting 3 minutes for the guy to come out, and persevering through the aftermath of a violent snowstorm in the preceding 48 hours, which was essentially an area-wide skating rink.

Before I could muster out a seemingly graceful answer to a horribly dumb question, the trucker's coworkers heckled this cheapskate mercilessly over his tipping habits:
"A dollar, he drove all this way and waited for your a--!"
"Come on man, a dollar???"
"What is this, 1975?"

Okay, I threw that last one in myself. During all this, I kept a smile on my face and let the heckling truckers say what I wanted to say, despite the fact that Conway Trucking is on the very edge of our delivery map. To my surprise, the penny pinching trucker held firm and wrote $1 on the tip line on the credit card slip. Joy.

Fast forward 1 week:

I check my tickets and see that I have a stop to Conway Trucking. I get to said destination and inform the multitasking dispatchers who my customer is and have him paged. After 2 minutes, my customer comes out and greets me by saying "is a dollar cool?" I immediately recognize him as one of the hecklers from last week, and I share a good laugh with him before giving him his total, $18.60. He hands me a 20 and a 10 and says "this is to make up for that cheap bas---- last week". I said "Sir, you don't have to do that, but I greatly appreciate it."