I had taken some time off from the pizza delivery game. A week of it was definitely by choice. When I schedule a week off from the bank, I like to have the same time off from the pizza joint. What's the point of taking a vacation from one job if you have to work another? But that week off turned into more than two weeks away from driving around with hot pizzas in the back seat.
The week before my official vacation was to start, I was only scheduled to work one night. That one night, I went into the store after a long day at the bank, and the place was pretty much dead. So before I even clocked in, the powers that be asked if I wanted the night off. So I said sure. Never look a night off in the mouth.
So last Thursday I finally returned to delivering pizzas. I put the sign on top of my car, I lit it up, and I started making my rounds. It turned into a pretty long night, causing me to stay an hour past my scheduled time off. Even though I was tired, I try not to complain about that kind of thing anymore. The money helps. Sometimes.
There are times when staying late doesn't pay off. There are times when I just happen to be the one unlucky enough to get the neighborhoods that are notorious for not tipping well. Or at all. There are plenty of areas in Wake Forest that drivers like to avoid. Again, it isn't because they're considered dangerous, the residents just tend to not care to give that little extra to the guy that's bringing them dinner. It could also be that they care, they just don't have the extra to give to the guy that's bringing them dinner. A rule I've made for myself, especially after being the guy on the other side of the door, is that if I can't afford a decent tip, then I can afford to go and pick up the food myself.
Anyway, I digress. I was delivering to this apartment complex on the edge of our store's map. In the year and a half that I've worked with this pizza chain, I have never received even a dollar in tips from anyone living in these apartments. And I've never delivered to the same apartment twice. The folks in that neck of the Forest just don't tip. Every time it's either been exact change in cash or they sign the credit card receipt while leaving the tip line blank. And if that's how they want to do it, so be it. Maybe they think that two dollar delivery charge is my tip. It's not, by the way. There's even a disclaimer on the box that tells them the delivery fee is not the driver's tip. I'm just saying.
So I get to the address and knock on the door of apartment 101. This guy answers the door and makes like he's about to grab the receipt so he can sign it. But it turns out it isn't his apartment and it wasn't his credit card that paid for the pizza and wings. This girl appears from nowhere shouting about how she needs to sign for it. So the guy moves back toward the kitchen where there are a couple other guys standing around having a swell time. Meanwhile, in the background, the Signing Girl's boyfriend is shouting and laughing, asking who's at the door. She starts laughing and I start thinking I'm missing out on some amazing joke.
Out of the corner of my eye I look into the darkened room to where the Shouting/Laughing Guy is sitting on a couch waving a gun around. I act like I didn't notice, hand over the pizza, grab my copy of the receipt, and wish the Signing Girl a nice evening. And then I leave.
When I got back to the car, I thought back on the moment. And I said to myself, "Pretty sure that dude had a gun." I drove away, never to return again.
I didn't have a panic attack. In fact, at no time did I feel like I was in any danger. It's possible that I was in some danger. Not that the Shouting/Laughing Guy with the Gun meant to do me any harm. But accidents happen. Idiots waving guns around cause them to go off all the time. But, as you can clearly see, I lived to tell the tale.
I also learned a valuable lesson that night. Don't tweet about coming in contact with idiots with guns. Apparently this can cause all sorts of people to become concerned over your safety. Especially if your mother reads said tweet.
But, let me state, for the record, that I'm fairly certain that my job at the bank could be considered slightly more dangerous than delivering pizza. This is based solely on statistics. How many banks were robbed at gunpoint last year? How many pizza dudes? I don't know the answers to those questions. So if you want to do the research and let me know, there's space for the comments below.
I was not shocked that I did not receive a tip from that delivery that night. I assume that my tip was that I got to walk away with both my kneecaps intact.