Sunday, September 16, 2007

Miserable Night

On Friday night, the remnants of Hurricane Humberto roared through my area. Along with extended periods of torrential downpours, a tornado warning was issued for my county about 45 minutes before dusk. Later that evening, two tornado warnings were issued for a neighboring county.

I had to work that night and, let me tell you, there is nothing that’s more the pits than delivering pizzas in heavy rain. There’s one truth about pizza delivery everywhere: the worse the weather, the more people come out of the woodwork to order delivery. Like a snow forecast seemingly has a cosmic connection to a perceived need for milk and bread, rain makes people think that they need pizza delivered. And the harder it is raining, the more people come to this realization. Throw in a tornado warning and you can guarantee that the phones will be jumping off the hook at pizza joints all over town.

You can understand people not wanting to go out in that kind of weather, but does food magically vanish from pantries and refrigerators when rain begins to fall?

And Friday lived up to all the stereotypes about pizza delivery and rain and then some. When I arrived at work that evening, the place was in pandemonium — phones ringing incessantly, inside workers running around like chickens with their heads cut off, drivers bumping into each other in their haste to get the orders out the door, tempers flaring, orders being screwed up, and a full dispatch board that ran to several pages. The store had gone way beyond “hectic” to “frantic”.

You’d think I’d get a lot of good tips on such a night. But that would be a wrong guess. More than half of my customers stiffed me. Some complained about how long it took the orders to get to them — never mind that I had to wade through a monsoon during a tornado warning to get their f’in pizzas to them. One guy told me he really appreciated me coming out in the rain — and then stiffed me. I guess he didn’t appreciate it all that much.

After nearly four hours of this insanity, the rain stopped as the front swept on past. By this time, I was soaking wet and my hair stood out at weird, frizzy angles.

And it was like flipping a switch. As soon as the rain ceased, so did the orders. Once the weather cleared, business died away to nothing.



Cyn said...

with you in mind, when i was 'hoteled' due to Humberto and had to order out, i made sure to tip my pizza guys well. i'm just so glad there is such a thing as pizza delivery. so i appreciate what you do and you know if i'd been on your route...i'd have tipped you right. *wink*

*snicker* repeat comment from BC.

Anonymous said...

Amazing post. I never thought about people ordering stuff to eat when the weather gets nasty. I guess it is true though.

Lizzie said...

since i work in retail i have made it my special mission to be extra nice to retail and food service workers. i know what it is like to work with 'the public'.

LMC said...

I think the weather effects their brain also. It seems the worse the storm is the fewer brain cells the customers use. Hope you have dried out by now and your day is better. Snow season is about to start here so I will soon be going thru the chaos too. At least I don't have to work outside in it.

lisalisabobisa said...

I think they all should've tipped you well for delivering in that awful weather. Maybe all those people didn't have anything in their fridge and they didn't want to go

Chandramoon said...

Sounds terrible!

grimfairy said...

Libertine turns into Aqua Man at the sight of the first drop!!!

I wish there were more delivery people like you my way :)

elisataufik said...

hm.. somehow it never occured to me to get food delivered when it rains.. the heat from the kitchen would usually warm me up, so I would cook, even if it's just instant noodles.
But thanx for the insight. I'll make sure I tip my pizza delivery guy extra if it rains. I don't think that'll happen anytime soon, though, coz I live in Saudi Arabia! HA HA.