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Sunday, 3 July 2011

Boy's night out? Not all bad.

The stories are slowing now that I've left my pizza delivery job, but I still have some corker customers that I just have to write about.

About 6 weeks after I started my delivery driver job, I was doing my first close (covering another driver during a family emergency). It was late on a Thursday night and we get an order for 10 pizzas. Not unheard of, but again, not exactly the norm - and the delivery address was for a local hotel/motel. Okay, verify the order, and send it out with the very new, very short, very chubby female delivery driver. I rock up and knock on the door of the room. No response. What the hell? Then the next room's door opens and a good-looking young bloke in his mid-20s wearing nothing but a towel sticks his head out and advises me they're in that room. No problems. As I'm walking under the light, he suddenly realises something is amiss - although my face is shaded by a cap, I have boobs - and boys don't have boobs. The look on his face went from 'yay food' to 'oh crap' in about one nanosecond. By this point I've reached the door, and see that there are 10 young, good-looking, scantily clad footy players on a boy's night out chilling out on the beds and floor watching TV.

It was one of those moments. The ones where nothing is as it seems, an alternate reality. They're staring at me, I'm staring at them, and nobody can quite believe what they are seeing. I certainly was NOT expecting ten practically naked guys. Suddenly it clicked for everyone that something had gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Cue the frantic yells of "Oh shit, that's a girl!" and "Dave, put some farking clothes on!", ten fully-grown men frantically trying to find pants to put on, and me backing away from the door as fast as I can while trying not to drop my pizzas and laughing so hard I can barely see straight.

After a few seconds one of them has found some jeans (I think they may have belonged to one of his friends, as they were hanging off him) and comes outside to pay me. Unfortunately, the only place to put the pizzas down for them was a chair just inside the door of the motel room. Cue more frantic scrambling as they realise that I haven't left, and half of them still need clothes. I think they ended up pushing three guys into the bathroom or behind the wardrobe because they couldn't find anything to put on.

By this point I'm trying not to laugh so hard I have stitches, and my face has gone bright red. I put the pizzas on the chair as fast as I can without smashing them up or looking at anyone. Obviously nervous, one of them tries to break the tension and makes a comment I'll never forget.

"Do you see anything you like? We've got some pretty good specimens."

I finally couldn't take any more. I laughed so hard I cried. And they gave me a $12 tip for my troubles.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

S&M

Most of you know Rihanna, and most of you will know the song S&M. You may even listen to Nova 96.9 radio for the drive show with Fitzy and Wippa.

If you do, you will know the 'na na na na COME ON!' game. The rules are - you call a business and ask for something ridiculous. After the second negative response, the only thing you can say is 'na na na na come on' until the person hangs up on you.

Well, you've gotta love school holidays - bored kids, access to phones, and the store's phone number broadcasted all over the TV and radio.

*Phone rings*

Me: Thanks for calling, this is Sarah, how can I help you?
Girl: Hi, can I order delivery?
Me: Sure, can I start with your phone number?
Girl: *Gives number*
Me: Ok, so you're in our system as *address* - and what can I get for you?
Girl: Do you have any pizzas for a dog?
Me: Uh... wha?
Girl: Like, can you put dog biscuits on a pizza?
Me: I can give you a simply cheese and you can put dog biscuits on it, but I don't recommend feeding a dog pizza.
Girl: Why not?
Me: Well, it's against health laws, we don't have any dog biscuits on the premises, and your dog can get ill from eating too much cheese. What about a meatlovers without the BBQ sauce? You could give your dog a slice of that.
Girl: Na na na na come on!
*Kids snickering in background*
Me: *Silence*
Girl: Na na na na come on!
Me: *Silence*
Girl: NA NA NA NA COME ON!!
Me: I listen to Nova too. So, na na na na get stuffed, and don't call here again.
Girl: *Hangs up*

Monday, 6 June 2011

A serious note.

On a serious note, it's not all funny and crazy customers.

Up to 15% of employees in Food Service suffer from depression at any one time. This is second only to nurses and childcare workers.

Next time you see your fast-food delivery person, waiter, waitress, etc, give them a smile and tell them they're doing a great job. It really does make a difference.

"You're the best driver I've ever had"
"You're a legend"
"Wow that was QUICK!"

These are things we all love to hear.

However, if you have a complaint, please let us know - we want to make the experience better for you, and we do take all complaints seriously.

If you ever do feel that things are getting you down or you just don't feel right, Lifeline and Kids' Help Line are 24-hour confidential help services that are there to support you.

Lifeline: 13 11 14
Kids' Help Line: 1800 55 1800

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Congratulations! It's a girl!

Just a quick one before I forget:

I was delivering a pizza to a house late one night. I knocked on the door, per the norm, and waited for someone to answer the door or call out 'who is it?' as some people do. Instead, I hear a thunder of little footsteps, and someone crash into the other side of the door. The door handle turns back and forth before the little guy realises it's locked. So, he bangs on the other side of the door and calls out 'who is it?'

I respond with my standard greeting of 'I have pizza for you!'

The little guy goes silent for a few moments and then yells 'DAD! THE PIZZA BOY SOUNDS LIKE A GIRL!'

I swear I almost died laughing. I called out to him 'I am a girl!'

The little guy  runs off down the hallway yelling 'DAD! THE PIZZA BOY SAYS HE'S A GIRL!'

By this point I was laughing so hard I had to put the pizzas down as I was worried I'd drop them!

Finally the father comes to the door, opens it, looks me up and down, and says 'Oh my goodness! I am SO SORRY about him!'

The little guy looks at me for a second then takes off up the hall screeching. I laughed so hard tears were rolling down my face, and I cleared a $3 tip for it.

I did end up delivering to him a second time, and the little guy went through the same routine, except this time yelled 'Dad! The pizza boy that is a girl is here!' and I started laughing all over again. They're some of my favourite customers now.

I know you are, but what am I?

Pizza delivery brings a whole new level to the childhood game "I know you are, but what am I?" although in our case, I call it "I know you know you live there but how am I supposed to know you live there?"

For example, in Australia (I'm not sure about other countries) and especially in my delivery area there are a lot of apartment buildings. Addresses run as apartment number first and building number second. For example, 19/57-59 means until 19 in the building that spans blocks 57 and 59 of the particular street. Not hard, right?

Well, you have your normal reversals. So, 2/16 becomes 16/2 and you end up bothering some poor old lady at 2am. You've got your wrong apartments- 14/2 becomes 15/2 and you spend 10 minutes banging on the wrong door before the customer comes out to find what all the noise is. You've got people that live at 2A that tell you 2 (see above result) and then there's the people that live at 2 hill road but tell you 2 hall road and you end up in the wrong suburb. Sometimes they're not even home when you arrive! They order on the way home but get stuck in traffic. Or they are home but asleep in the bathtub.

Better yet are the addresses that are incorrect with an incorrect phone number also. This means not only do you not know where they live but you can't even call them to confirm it. Fortunately if it's a regular you can usually figure out the correct address and deliver it anyway, but sometimes it's just not possible.

Worse still are the games of "I know you know you live there, but how am I supposed to know you live there?" that are played late at night on a dark street full of houses and NOT ONE SINGLE ONE HAS A HOUSE NUMBER! Please, make sure that your house has a clearly visible number somewhere on the letterbox or fence of possible. This means don't put white numbers on a white mail box, or bronze numbers on a brown fence. It just makes it that much harder to find you and get your pizzas to you. We know you're hungry and we're doing our best.

What makes it all worthwhile? Seeing the happy little smiling faces and hearing the little voices yell "MUMMY! PIZZA'S HERE!!!" and knowing it's a job well done.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Rain. It's a zombie's favourite weather.

It may be a zombie's favourite weather, but delivery drivers hate it. Rain. Ugh.

Imagine having a shower fully clothed - that's how I felt during tonight's shift. Freezing, pouring rain running in rivulets down my clothing - both outside and inside. Dripping off my hat, my shoes squelching. I've done this before - I know the company delivery truck has great straight-line speed in the rain, the braking is good, but the cornering is awful. I know how it feels to run around in the rain all night. I actually don't mind the rain providing I have a warm waterproof jacket of some sort. What I hate is that every bogan hillbilly idiot and their goat decide to either order a pizza when it rains OR get in the car and go for a drive at 20km/hr under the speed limit.

For example, tonight I dealt with rain traffic. It's like normal traffic crossed with car hillbillies. Think MANY cars driving 20km/hr under the speed limit. Throw in a few learner drivers for good luck. Now, take three hot pizzas and a cranky customer. Make sure the traffic stops close enough that you can see the house you're delivering to, but far enough away that it's impossible to park the car and run.

Then, add in a flooded street that collapsed in the middle, taking a taxi with it. A taxi that now has water up to the windows and is still sinking while the poor taxi driver and his passenger look on. I hate to think of the insurance claim.

Now, have three customers pay for their $50+ orders in $1 coins. Then, have a customer order $20 worth of food and try to pay with a $100 note, without asking for extra change. Ensure said customer yells at you extensively. Include cussing that would make a sailor blush. Offer them the $1 coins and cue more swearing and a pizza thrown at you. Run like hell.

Add on rain brain. When it rains, people simply stop thinking. Tonight we had a customer who ordered a pizza, then disappeared. Our driver rang the doorbell repeatedly, knocked on all the windows and called the phone number provided. No response. He returned to the store. 20 minutes later we get a call asking where the pizza was. Apparently the customer ordered a pizza, took prescription medication and then took a bath - and fell asleep, in the bath. Who orders a pizza and is told half an hour for delivery, so they hop in the BATH? And fall asleep? I hate rain brain!

Anyway, after all of that, I only cleared $5.45 in tips after 7 hours of work. I guarantee you, I'm not doing this job for the money. I'm doing it because I love my job, and my customers.

Monday, 23 May 2011

That Pizza Delivery Girl

People often ask me what my job is like.

My job is like every other pizza delivery job. It's hot, it's often painful, it's hard and dirty work. Quite often when it rains, you get soaked and then get a cold. I've gained a lot of upper body strength, and lost a lot of weight since starting. Clothes get ruined, fingers get burned and cut. We get robbed, and have things thrown at us; we get yelled at and complained to. Dogs chew our shoes and jump all over us, children try and rip the pizzas out of our hands. It's a crazy job. And I love it.

The thing that makes me different is that I'm a girl. You don't often see a girl doing this job. It's hard and dangerous. I work hard to prove that I belong there and as far as I can tell, I'm doing just as well as the guys.

Most of my co-workers and customers are wonderful people. One of the things I've learned about my job is that nothing suprises me any more. From people answering the door naked, to being attacked by animals, to being yelled at for being late - nothing phases me. I can stand and take anything you throw at me without showing any emotion. I can calm and placate any person or animal. I show no reaction to physical pain. I no longer cry.

The plan for this blog is to post some of my hilarious, painful and cringe-worthy stories from my job in the hope that it will open people's eyes to the things we go through on a daily basis. I don't want sympathy - I want you to laugh with me, cry with me, and share a small part of what makes me happiest - my job. I don't want anything more than to share my story with you. I hope this blog can bring a little bit of sunshine and laughter into your lives. If it does that, well, I've achieved my goal.

Simmi