Monday, July 24, 2006

The Best Job Ever

Of all the various and sundry jobs that I have had in my life to scrape together enough dollars to survive, I believe that being a Pizza Delivery guy was my favorite. It was an adventurous job, and sometimes it was fairly dangerous. But all in all, I enjoyed it more than I probably should have.

Being a pizza delivery man (not pizza delivery boy) is a lot like being a garbage man. What I mean is that all children think that your job is the coolest in the universe. Think about it, to a kid, what could possibly be more awesome than driving around giving pizza to people. They probably have fantasies that the pizza man gets to eat all the free pizza he can stand. Imagine these ingredients to a kid: Drive a car, listen to the radio, eat pizza until you're sick. Beautiful. And basically, that's pretty much true. That is, to my mind, the ultimate dream job for every kid.

How this is similar to being a garbage man should be fairly obvious. Even though every kid wants to ride on the back of the garbage truck and be the garbage man, every parent knows that garbage is disgusting and the pay leaves something to be desired. Typically, the parent points to the garbage man and says, "Now son, if you don't get an education, you'll wind up doing that for a living." This is, in my humble opinion, about the most idiotic, demeaning, scandalous, rotten, stuck-up thing an adult can say to a child. The garbage man should hop off the back of his truck and stick dad in the chute for saying such a thing. There's nothing wrong with hard, smelly work and not being wealthy.

I know that parents told their kids that if they didn't get an education, they'd wind up delivering pizzas for the rest of their life. Unfortunately, I actually had a bachelor's degree and was working on a Master's, and I still had to deliver pizzas. Even worse, I wasn't ashamed of it, and I actually enjoyed it. Further, I believe that God took pleasure in my pizza delivery. It grew my faith, and I rejoiced in the fact that I had money to spend. How, you may ask, did it grow my faith? It helped me to be more patient and less angry.

Here are several things that used to make me exceedingly angry that God used to mellow me out:

1. People who do not know where they live. You may be one of these people. You may have lived in your house for 20 years, but you couldn't tell someone how to get there if they were across the street. You used to aggravate me. How can you expect to get a piping hot pizza to your house if even you don't know where you live? Plus, you probably get mad when your pizza's late, and it's because you "forgot" to tell the driver about that second turn in your subdivision.

2. Stingy people. Let's face it, the reason that you have the guy bring the pizza to your house is because you are too lazy to get in your car and go get it yourself. Yet, when this dude drives across town, burning his own gas, you don't have the decency to give the guy at least $2. If you are one of those people whose order comes to $10.57, and you give $11 and say, "Keep the change!" You should be flogged. Horsewhipped. Tarred and feathered. Skull-dragged. (This is not from anger, it is simple truth.) I actually had a person give me .25 cents as a tip, in the rain, and as she handed it to me, it dropped to the ground through the cracks in her porch. She looked at me, standing there rain-soaked and said, "Well, there's goes your quarter." What a great opportunity for spiritual growth!

3. Trailer parks. I hate trailer parks because every trailer looks the same in the dark. And if you knock on the wrong door, they will gladly take the pizza and pay you for it. That means you have to come back to the trailer park, waste more gas, and deliver the pizza to the angry guy whose pizza should have been there an hour ago. All this equals, "No tip for you!"

This may not seem like much, but I assure you that there is plenty of room for growth from those few peeves. But all in all, especially on Mondays, I wistfully remember being the pizza delivery man. Those were the days.

6 comments:

Even So... said...

Thanks for this, Brad. I too delivered pizza whilst in school. Funny thing is, I went for theological training after my other career, which was that I owned several pizza shops.

Imagine, going from the owner to the driver. I was the owner in Orlando, but I was the driver back in the town I grew up in. Imagine what it was like to ring the dooorbell, and have someone you went to school with (who was not an honor grad, popular, athletic and such as you were, but now makes 100k) say "oh, so this is what you're doing now" after having been the hotshot growing up.

After giving out the "I'm getting my Masters, I'm an associate pastor" spiel 100 times, I finally realized that God was teaching me humility, and I loved every minute of it after that, and learned as much there (no kidding) as I did on my thesis.

Lots of stories to share if you are ever intersted....

Even So... said...

Got to share one more, it will be worth it...

We had this customer who never, ever tipped, was rude, took minutes to answer the door, and I always seemed to get her.

Well, one night I got the order, went to the door, and after I knocked, I noticed a penny on the ground. Immediately, I went into this song and dance about how she was going to tip me now no matter what 'cause God gave me a penny! I literally was dancing around, making up a ridiculous song in my head about it, and feeling all good, and then she came to the door, several minutes later...

I told her the total...12.79...she started handing me the lumps of change like she always did...as I counted, I thought to myself, "too bad lady, 'cause you are tipping me whether you like it or not, ha ha!"...

Suddenly the money was all counted, and.....she had 12.78! She asked if it was alright that she was missing "just a penny"...

I am no overt mystic, but I am telling you I could hear God laughing as loud as thunder during a storm!

I felt like one of those cartoons whose head turns into a "donkey", and then back again....

Then I laughed too; I learned something very valuable that night...

pilgrim said...

Well I never delivered pizza--but working as an acrcade attendant seemed cool when I was younger--before the days of good home consoles.

Surrounded all dya by pinball & video games and getting tips from really good players as well...

Unfortunately it didn't pay well...

One Salient Oversight said...

I live in a country where tipping is not customary. It saves lots of time and no customers get accused of being stingy.

Jim said...

Brad, great story.

Even so, that is hilarious.

Salient, what country is that pray tell?

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Very funny.