From Champaign, IL — 10/05/2009
NOT A BAD JOB IF YOU WANT TO MAKE DECENT MONEY FOR WHAT IS ESSENTIALLY UNSKILLED LABOR
I was a driver and worked here for about 3 years throughout college and for a year after graduating.
I should probably preface this by saying I worked in a college town, so my experience may have been totally different than city/suburban locations. College town environment means the store is constantly busy from lazy college students and BIG ORDERS during morning hours and during dinner rush. But during the summer months things slow down considerably, but I didn't mind to much because I busted my ass so much during the year I could use a break. The best thing about this job is the pay, as I would make about $2500-$3000 a month depending mostly on luck. You would get $6.00 hourly plus tips, and at my store, your gas compensation was tied to the dollar amount of orders, so you would get 5.5% of the ticket price so your bread ticket is usually the big orders. So on a let's say, $400 order, you would automatically make about $22, and hopefully about $50 tip if the customer is reasonably generous. So that's $72 on a single delivery, so bad for about 20 minutes of work. Of course, the problem with this system is that piddly orders less than $15 you could get fucked, but most customers were pretty generous, so I could still expect to get tipped about $2 a delivery. Overall, you could expect to make at least $100 just in tips and on a good night, anywhere from $150 to $200. Going home with that much CASH was always great.
Another great thing was the nature of work being a delivery driver. Being in the store SUCKED, but we were almost always reasonably busy, so more than half of my shift was spent on the road, which was pretty awesome. Just sit back, crank up the tunes, look at the pretty college girls around town, and pump your adrenaline to drive quickly to hopefully get better tips. The cops were USUALLY pretty chill with us exceeding the speed limit by 10 miles. It's hard on your car though, so I wouldn't recommend driving a bimmer to work.
Job security was GREAT at my store, as long as you got along with the managers, and didn't come to work drunk/stoned you could expect to work there as long as you wanted (actually, you could get away with being stoned as long as you didn't do it too often and didn't act like an idiot as pretty much everyone in the pizza biz smokes pot). You could take a few months off if you wanted, and then come back no questions asked. After I got buddy buddy with everybody, I could show up 30-60 minutes late, and no one would really care as long as we weren't busy. Excluding our ANNOYING DM, work was usually pretty chill, and when the shit wasn't hittng the fan, we would joke around and watch youtube videos on the back office. It was a great little family we had there, and a lot of guys working there had been there for about 10-20 years.
The biggest one is there is no opportunity for advancement really. I was making about 30-35k before I even graduated college which was AWESOME, but that's all you'll ever make. It's a lousy resume builder, and all I really took away from it was knowledge of the food service industry if I ever want to get into franchising later in life.
Number 2 was definitely lack of respect. Most customers were pretty nice, but you wouldn't believe the stuff some customers were stir over ridiculous shit. Customers making up complaints to get free pizza were COMMON and we'd have to SMILE and waste time and money bringing them free shit. Working in bad weather was HORRIBLE...especially the rain. It's really degrading when you rush through a torrential downpour, get your feet wet, and then a run a goddam pizza to someone's door that makes a crack about the weather and then stiffs you (our term for not getting tipped). Not to mention that customers NEVER seem to understand why it's difficult to deliver shit QUICKLY in shitty weather. Gee, I dunno, maybe it's because your goddam street is a fucking RIVER, and believe it or not you can't exactly jam your car down the street when it's in danger of becoming a boat.
Number 3 is that this job WILL turn you into some manner of racist. I'm a pretty liberal guy, but you very quickly learn that certain minorities will almost NEVER tip you. There's no vicious cycle, I always routed according to what would get me back into the store the fastest, and gave equal service to everybody even if I knew they would probably stiff me. But it's a fact that certain cultures ingrain stinginess into their young and those working for gratuity will get fucked. The worst offenders were definitely black people (as I'm sure anyone who works for gratuity will confirm) and they would often complain the most as well. It's a real slap in the face when you have to drive to the ghetto, arrive at the person's house in 15 minutes, and get stiffed on a $40 order and have to take it in stride. The racist thoughts running through my head really made me sick after a while, and that's a big reason I had to leave this place.
Number 4 was the hours. A 10-12 shift was generally expected, and I would pull 50-60 hour weeks. If you worked nights, you could expect to make more money, but forget about having a life. I started out working nights, but I had to shift to working days after a while because it made me really depressed after a while never seeing the sun, never being able to hang out with friends, and going to bed at 10 in the morning and waking up at 5pm.
All in all, it was a good job for what it was. It's unskilled labor after all, and anybody can walk into this job and make decent money FAST once you learn the streets. But it's not a place to stay if greener pastures await.