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Showing posts from December, 2014

The Flu Test

I rocked a fever above 101 all day yesterday. No runny nose. Just felt like someone had taken a baseball bat to my lower back. Amazewife went to work at about 5:30 and kept in touch. When she wasn’t talking people down from suicide  or helping parents not beat their children, she was googling flu cases in Omaha. Google + illnesses = sadness.I guess there have been hundreds of cases of the flu in Omaha, and that’s just from people getting tested. She texted me later.“I nawt YOU To tedtes maƱana.”Spanish? What the heck? Then I realized I had one eye open and my vision was crooked. I took my temp. 103.1.   I’m so not as cute as that baby. That’s just our thermometer.I put the thermometer down and read the text again.“I want you to get tested.”Tested? For what? Oh yeah, the flu. I asked her for the address of the clinic in question. Turns out she had already called and found out they still had flu tests.Told you. Amazing, isn’t she?I updated her on my temperature.“Maybe you should drop th…

Day 50 & 51: Vision

(Note: I decided to rewrite this 1/1/2015. It was too… busy…)I’m sick. Don’t worry. It’s temporary.But I have to share this. Vision is important, and change takes vision.“Where there is no vision, the people perish”Proverbs 29:18It’s pivotal. Think back on something bad from your life. Something that was difficult. Make sure it was one that has since gone away. I’m sure it left in part because you had an idea of what life would be without it, and that vision made all the difference. This is why I deliver pizzas. Sometimes it’s hard. But there’s still the vision. Grab your own financial vision. Make the difficult sacrifices to reach it.“But RI,” you ask, “what is your vision of cars and transit?”Wow. I am so glad you asked. I drive a lot. Most drive a lot. Bear with me here (grammar Nazis click the link), but 30,000 people die in cars every year in the United States. Also, hydrocarbons are a volatile stock. No pun intended. This T-Shirt was a gift from the Oatmeal. They sold them to he…

Day 48 & 49: Death and Pizza

A 63 year old Domino’s delivery driver died outside an apartment in Birmingham, AL on Sunday. "My Father was simply trying to earn an honorable dollar. He didn't feel entitled for it, he worked for it, and it makes me sick to my core how someone felt they were entitled to his money (and drivers never carry much, he always deposits it every time he runs back to the store) or his life over what? $20? My dad’s life was ended for $20??? I can't bear it. I just can't believe it," his daughter said on the site.That story stuck out Monday. It was plastered all over a private driver’s group I’m a part of. I saw it on my phone. I even got a message from a friend on Facebook.“Stay safe,” he said. He included a link to the story.“I saw that. Sad,” I said. Those law enforcement officials will do their best to solve that crime. I’m sure of it. The Pizza Delivery Driver’s Forum has opened my eyes to how bad this problem is. (I am affiliated with the forum as a contributor and …

Day 47: Thanks, Although Late

The cook deposited a fresh-baked pizza pie into the insulated bag. He printed the ticket for the order and placed it in the pocket attached to said bag. I looked at the number: “38”. I looked at the dispatch. The orders started at 40 and went on from there.“Hey, did that order just finish?” I asked the cook.“Yep, just now. It might not show up as complete yet,” he said.“Huh,” I said. I looked at the screen again. “It doesn’t show up at all. It’s like someone else already took it.”The cook furrowed his eyebrows and shook his head. He went back to making pizzas and I searched for Cap’n. I found her. She wasn’t sure what was up. I left the store, delivered a pizza, returned and was on my way to another delivery when the manager flagged me down in the parking lot.“You know, 38 is in your name,” she said. “It was a super short drive time, so it must have let you take other orders for some reason. Make sure you take it first. It’s cash.”I hopped to it. I called the number and let the person…

Day 45 & 46: Tick and Tock

Monday and Tuesday were very good days for tips. On Monday, I brought home $57 on 9 deliveries. That is fantastic. I was so grateful. Tuesday night was even better. I delivered until thirty minutes past close. I got in and the shift manager told me to cash out so we could finish cleaning. I counted my cash, tallied my credit card receipts and my jaw dropped. $59. That’s unheard of on a Tuesday!I texted my wife, did the dishes and headed home. I walked in the door to our home and shed my cold weather clothing. I took off my non-slip shoes. I went to take my wallet out of my front pocket and felt the rustle of paper. I started to chuckle. In my tally I had forgot a bill out of my tips. Nay, not just any bill. I forgot a $20. It felt like Christmas. What a welcome surprise. Then, as I was counting the total for my spreadsheet, I found another $1 in change in my pocket.My Tuesday went from $59 to $81 in just three easy steps. Money aside, I’ve mentioned how I love the people I work with. …

Day 44: The Tipsy of the Iceberg

I watched alcohol exchange hands between employees in the restaurant today.No, there were no shot glasses involved. Nobody was drinking out of a bottle. Nobody was drinking it period. It all began when a coworker informed us that he had a bottle of alcohol in his backpack.“You carry alcohol around with you in your backpack?” a driver asked. “Sounds like you’ve got a problem, buddy.” The driver ended on a chuckle.“I don’t have a problem,” the coworker said. He didn’t laugh. He explained that he was selling it. He got it out. He held it up. Vana White, all the way. “This is the $17 bottle of the stuff. I’m selling it for $3.” Or maybe it was $2? I don’t remember. I remember thinking, “Sounds stolen.” I left right after that with a delivery in hand.“But RI,” you may ask, “I thought you said that you saw it exchange hands?”I did. Right after that delivery, I walked into the back of the restaurant just as the coworker handed the bottle to another coworker. I felt icky.I love getting out of…

Day 43: A Tired Friday

We had a server go poof at job #1.I am a Senior Support Technician / Service Lead for Layton Flower Technologies.We rock.We service small to medium businesses as a Managed Service Provider. This particular customer called in to inform us that nobody could get on to the server. Turned out to be a catastrophic filesystem meltdown. Wednesday: 8AM – 2AM (Thursday)Thursday: 8:30AM – 5 PM (on-site with customer)Friday: 8:30AM – 3 PM (on-site with customer)I got to the restaurant last night. I felt slow. I parked slow. I got out slow. I went inside slow.It was hopping. The shift manager was busy. I had to wait to get started. I crossed my arms and leaned against a wall. “Why are you just standing there like that?” one of the gals said. “I have to wait for the shift manager to get started,” I said. I can imagine I looked tired. Felt like I had bags under my eyes big enough for $200 in groceries. They were drooping low enough. If I didn’t use them for groceries, maybe I could add a fun dimensi…

Day 42: Fights

I delivered to a fight Monday night.Pizza accompanies a lot of fights of all different kinds. WWF. Boxing. MMA. People spend all kinds of money to spectate those events. I remember watching wrestling and having pizza delivered this one time. It was my stepdad, my sister, maybe my brother and I. I got smacked that night for some reason. I remember being hit across the chest. Maybe I mouthed off. Maybe I made a face. I think I said something to my sister that I shouldn’t have. I don’t remember. I just remember the consequence. It stung in a way that has lasted eighteen years. See? Fights. Pizza.I pulled up to a large apartment building on South 13th Street. It used to be a school. You might know the place. It is across from Zesto’s, right by the zoo entrance. I hopped up the steps. Not like a bunny. I hopped like a svelte delivery man. I opened the door to the vestibule and stepped inside. I tested the inside door. It was locked. There was no code on the receipt.I dialed the number.“Hel…

Day 41: My Dog Named Ego and the 60 Day Review

I have a little dog. Or maybe he’s big. His name is Ego. I don’t quite know what color he is. Sometimes he’s green. Sometimes bright red. Other times he’s that shade of brown and slate most associated with nausea. He has three legs sometimes. Others, he has two. Then four. He shrinks. Sometimes he expands. Boy, does he expand. Think Clifford. Don’t get me wrong. Most of the time he’s a normal dog. I spoil him rotten. I give him lavish treats. I invent reasons to stroke him. Even when I’m mad at him or he’s naughty, I still feed him way too much for his own good. Other people feed him, too. I try to tell folks that he’s not that kind of dog. Sometimes I don’t treat him very well. Not that feeding a dog way too much is treating him well. It’s not. I mean, sometimes I don’t treat him well on purpose. It’s hard to find a happy medium. He followed me to work yesterday. He dug a piece of paper out of the trash and brought it to me. It was greasy and almost see-through from the oil. “60 Day …

Day 40: Proof that Smiles are Important

In “5 Things Every (Beginner) Pizza Delivery Driver Needs for Success”, number 5 was that you need to smile. “You’ll make friends out of the regulars, and regulars out of the once-in-a-while deliveries.”It was ten minutes before closing time last night. I took a phone call. “This is that one pizza restaurant in South Omaha, could you please hold?” I’m supposed to put people on hold if there is a greeter nearby.“That’s fine, I’m just calling about a delivery.”Her voice was terse and stressed. “Oh, I might be able to help, ma’am. What’s the phone n-““It’s just that I was told it would be here in forty-five minutes and it’s been forty-five minutes.”She gave me her phone number. I found the receipt. There were five minutes left until the expected delivery time.I let her know that it was done and a driver would be leaving in short order.“Well do I get a discount or something because it’s late?”“Let me have you talk to a manager about that one. Hold on.”I passed her off and went to ready th…

5 Things Every Pizza Delivery Driver Needs for Success

Updated: 2/1/2016.

“How many times has Dave Ramsey said, ‘Deliver pizzas’?” Said someone on the Dave Ramsey forums.The answer is: lots.I hear it often when I listen to his show. That and ‘sell the car.’ (Car payments KILL people’s wealth-building income every month. )Since first posting this list back in December of 2014, I’ve heard great, quality responses and suggestions. The original list of five things has been updated as follows:A kit for receipt convenienceA fuel efficient car with an accurate GPSA need for speedThe “Wow!” extrasA smileThese tips apply no matter what company you drive for. (No pun intended.)Let’s learn something.1. You need a kit for receipt convenienceDon’t underestimate the power of a simple receipt kit. It is as follows:A clipboard. A suitable pen for your clipboard. A cheap, small flashlight with a clamp or a tether.A clipboard and pen are must-haves. It is easier on you. It is easier on them. Not having one demands more of a hungry customer than is necessa…

Day 38 & 39: Chisels and Monster Trucks

I made over $100 in tips in the last two days. That is phenomenal for a Monday/Tuesday.Other interesting things have happened. Merc has moved on to bigger and better things. No, he didn’t die. I came in some time during the last week, asked where he was, and found out he was gone. Cap’n let me know. Speaking of Cap’n. I was running a report on the back computer. I sat on a small, hydraulic chair. The fabric was crusty and powdered. The cushion was well worn from many a backside. The hydraulic system seemed flawless. As I sat working, I adjusted my feet underneath. I lost altitude.I didn’t think anything of it. The loss of altitude coincided with my foot adjustment. You’ve done that before. You hit the button with your heel and boom, you’re eight inches closer to Mother Earth. “Nothing?” I hear. I turned around and started. Cap’n was right there.“I didn’t get anything out of you?” she said. She had a wry smile.“Uhhhh, you startled me just now standing there!”“I lowered your chair and y…