The kids were screaming for pizza- not the homemade kind. "We want delivery!" they chanted, descending upon me in pestilential droves as I attempted to get some work done. I didn't have the heart to deny them, and placed the pizza order online, in an attempt to get the 'First Time on Internet orders' discount. I set out the money for payment, including a four dollar tip to cover the typical 15% of the bill amount.
"Delivery time would be 75 minutes." stated the website. Hmm, a slightly long wait, but not really a problem. Dinnertime would still be at a reasonable 7 o'clock. Till the clock kept ticking and tocking, with no signs of the delivery. At 7:05 pm I roused myself to call up the pizza place. "What order? Oh, that one. It's still here and hasn't gone out yet."
Sigh. Why can't I get lucky with such a simple thing as an internet order for pizza delivery?
"Do I have to come and pick it up or will you still deliver?"
Mumblings in the background. "OK, we're sending somebody out right now." I went back and removed one dollar from the tip money pile.
"It will be at least half an hour", I gloomily predicted to the kids and my parents. But barely ten minutes later,at 7:20 pm, the phone rang.
Pizza delivery guy: "I'll be there soon. The pizza store manager had placed a hold on your delivery for some reason, but forgot to inform you about it."
"What time do you expect to be here?"
This wasn't bad at all, just about 15 minutes off from the actual estimated delivery time. The driver must have driven hell for leather (or maybe that should be hell for tires) from the pizza place to reach our home so soon. I fished out the one dollar note from my purse and placed it on the tip pile again.
Sure enough, three minutes later, I noticed the driver slowing near our mailbox, and opened the door. He backed up onto our driveway and mournfully trudged up the path to our house.
"Really sorry about that. I wish the manager wouldn't do this to me. It makes me look bad, as though this late delivery was my fault. The manager put a hold on your order for some reason, but didn't call to let you know. So I get pulled out the kitchen while doing the dishes till I'm asked to deliver pizzas, and end up delivering late."
I collected the change for the pizza order from him and handed him the four dollar tip. "Thank you very much, and sorry again about the late delivery", he said as he walked away looking less disconsolate.
Just a kid, barely a few years older than my son, probably a high schooler working for cash during the summer. My tip likely meant another gallon of gasoline for his car to compensate for the fuel burned racing to our house to deliver pizza.