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Hello Fellow Kossacks,

I have been holding this in for too long now, and I feel it is time to avail myself of the amazing pulpit that is the Daily Kos.

Friends, tip your friendly delivery driver. Please. And tip well.

I have been a friendly delivery driver for the better part of 2 years for a medium sized pizza chain. I like my job. In fact, I cannot think of a better job to have while putting myself through college: free pizza and occasionally beer, little responsibility, and endless hours in my (small, very economical) car listening to Air America and Pacifica radio.

However, tonight was one of the worst nights of my life as a friendly delivery driver.

I work in a small but very wealthy town in the East Bay, California. It's a "San" town, like San Francisco, and the second word rhymes with the Spanish word for ham. A one bedroom apartment in this town will cost ya $1200 a month, and a modest 3 bedroom house is a bargain at half a million. We're talkin' rich people here, about 70% of whom are Republicans whose tax cut this year will exceed my 2004 wages.

I took 21 deliveries tonight, and made a grand total of $27 in tips. That, my friends, blows. $630 in pizza, salad, and soda, and I brought home $27. I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore.

So, I'm going to lecture you. Let me start with the basics:


That's right. That sign, to most average people, might make you think, "Hey, pizza sounds good tonight!" But to someone in desperate need of a buck, that sign means, "Hey, that nerdy white guy probably has a bunch of cash on him!" And even though I don't usually have a bunch of cash on me, they don't know that. The sign doesn't proclaim, "This friendly delivery driver is just as broke as you." I have been personally assaulted once, and it sucked. Delivering pizza, even in a rich town full of SUV driving Republicans, is dangerous.


You know this. You see shitty drivers every day. Guess what? You're friendly delivery driver has to deal with them 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I have been rear-ended twice. Luckily, I have never been injured by a shitty driver, but some of my friendly driver friends have been. People... are shitty drivers.


I have to change my oil once every 4 to 6 weeks. My employer doesn't pay for this. Nor do they pay for tune-ups or new tires or anything else. I get a small "per-delivery" reimbursement, but it pays for nothing. When you see a "Delivery Fee" on your receipt, PLEASE KNOW THAT YOUR FRIENDLY DELIVERY DRIVER GETS ONLY A FRACTION OF IT! Why? I don't know. We're talking about corporations here, and corporations are evil. Your friendly delivery driver is not. Tip him/her.


It should come as no surprise to you that delivery drivers make shit in wages. I know there aren't any Kossacks that need me to distinguish "minimum wage" and "living wage" for them. Tips bridge that gap (and that goes for servers, car-washers, bellhops, and anyone else with a tip-jar in plain sight).

Are you all with me so far? Good. Thanks for hanging in there. I know this is difficult. You're feeling lots of liberal guilt for being such an asshole to your friendly delivery driver in the past. But we're almost done. All that's left is to tell you why your excuses for not tipping LIBERALLY are bullshit.


You, my non-friendly customer, are full of shit. And you should be ashamed of yourself. If you're so damn poor, what the hell are you doing ordering a fucking pizza from a crappy, overpriced pizza chain? That $20 you just spent on one large pizza could have gotten you 4 of the same size and quality in the freezer isle at the supermarket. Your stupidity is not an excuse for being a shitty tipper. In fact, next time I see you, I'm going to charge you a 20% "stupidity" surcharge.


See above, you jackass. And if you're really worried about it, ask your friendly delivery driver what portion of that fee he/she actually gets. And if you don't want to pay the fee, please feel free to get up off your lazy ass and go pick up the goddam pizza yourself. And while you're driving to the restaurant, you can ask yourself when you became such a miserable old codger.


And you still play D&D in your mom's basement, don't you? Nevermind, there's no hope for you anyway. But remember, I know where you (and your mother) live.

There is, amazingly enough, plenty more to say here, but I've lost the energy for it. Plus, I'm sure kid oakland has posted some amazing diary that I should be reading. So I'll simply leave you with a few reasons you might want to give your friendly delivery driver a little something extra, on top of that little something extra:

  • Do you live 9 million miles from the restaurant? Well guess what? Not only is your shitty tip costing your friendly delivery driver money, but he/she also could have made 3 or 4 more deliveries in the time it took him/her to get to you. We love our crazy-militant-reclusive-boondocks customers, but you need to love us back.

  • Does your friendly delivery driver have to walk up seven flights of stairs to get to you? If so, not only does he/she have to walk those stairs, but these stairs are a dead giveaway that you live in an apartment complex that has no available parking for at least 5 blocks. We... hate... you...

  • Is it raining? Or is it 120 degrees outside? Is it a holiday? Yeah, you on Burns Circle! Stiffing me on Easter Sunday... Jesus. Did your dog attack your friendly delivery driver? Are you a hefty middle aged man who answers the door in a speedo?

    And most importantly:

  • Does your house/apartment reek of marijuana? Throw in a few extra bucks, and the authorities don't even have to know.

Please, folks, tip your friendly delivery driver. And tip him/her well. You owe it to yourself, but more importantly, you owe it to me.

Thank You.

Originally posted to HigherPie on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 01:21 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4.00)
    Help me feel better, would you?
    •  tip for you: being a jerk worked for me (none)
      I worked four days as a driver for a little greek pizza joint in a northeastern town of 12,000 populated with liberals and rehab cases.  In that time I learned that when I'm handed a $20 for an $11 pizza, I ask "How much change do you want?"

      Hey, it worked.  I have no shame.

      I left the job to try my hand at being a Toyota salesperson...  Biggest.  Mistake.  Ever.

      "listen all y'all this is SABOTAGE" - beastie boys 1994

      by mr northstar on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 01:49:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fuck that (none)
        Where's my butter sauce? And what's up with the 80% crust ratio. I beat my pizza guys with a foam baseball bat and then throw the tip out into the yard and watch them dig around for it.

        OK, just kidding. I was actually a Dominoes driver for one night. I totalled my car on my third delivery. When I say totalled, I mean that technically. My '73 Chevy Vega still got me to Boston and back just fine.

        My first delivery (same night) was the worst however, although not as expensive. I had beer poured on my head from the upstairs balcony of a dorm. They mostly missed. But not enough to keep me from being all sticky while I filled out the accident report with the cops after my crash.

        I used the cop radio to call my manager to come get me and what did he do? He came and got the two undelivered pizzas and the hotbox and left me on the side of the road.

        So I don't order Dominoes, but I always hook up the drivers.


        "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." George Bush

        by TocqueDeville on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 02:15:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay... (none)
          You your night was worse than mine. :-)
          •  Perhaps, but you're still surviving the game (none)
            I left Dominoes with an almost fistfight with the manager who left me on the side of the road.

            My dad put himself through medschool as a postman.

            Props to you man for perserverence. Hopefully, we will create a world where it's not so fucking hard to go to college. And, that leads me to another point: Thanks for providing us with a dose of what all this shit we talk about every day really means. You know. To real people.

            Delivering pizzas to pay for tuition is just as (or al least, almost) heroic to me as any American. Folks like you are exactly who I'm fighting for. I hope we don't let you down.


            Tocque Deville

            "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." George Bush

            by TocqueDeville on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 02:39:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As Jon Stewart would say... (none)
              I'm no hero. Hell, I'm damn near privledged compared so some of the people I know trying to get through school. But thank you.

              By the way, community college tuition has been raised in California from $11 to $18 to (just announced) $28 a unit (and it's all happened in the last 2 years). I know it's still a pretty good deal compared to CC fees elsewhere, but California used to pride itself on affordable, quality community college education.

              Glad my asshole grandfather got his multi-thousand dollar tax cut. I know what I'll be bringing up at Thanksgiving dinner.

  •  2 and a half to 3 bucks (none)
    is what I usually do.  Order usually comes in at around 14 something and I round it up to 17 dollars.
  •  I feel your pain (none)
    Although it was long ago, I was a friendly delivery driver myself for several years.  To this day my friends dread leaving a tip or getting delivery in front of me because they know they better tip at least 20-30% or get a lecture they would glady pay $50 not to sit through again. So hear! hear! to your friendly delivery drivers.

    On the alter of God I pledge undying hostility to any government restriction on the free minds of the people - Thomas Jefferson

    by OCD on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 01:29:00 AM PDT

  •  How about a tip right now (none)
    Thanks, I need that rant.

    I used to deliver pizza when I was at college.  It was the best worst job I ever had.  It is amazing how cheap people can be.

    A good tip goes a long way - we should all reward what we like.  And we should all like someone who is busting their ass to carry food up 3 flights of stairs we were too lazy to walk down!

  •  My roomate was a pizza delivery guy in college (none)
    -and I always used to let him have free reign on the beerchest after he got home at 1am in the morning. He looked like that guy in the bar who was real quiet with a hint of a look that he is just about to snap. I could tell that it was that kind of job without bugging him about it.

    Finally, he quit after about almost three months. When I asked him about why he finally packed it in... he said, flat out,

    "The whole job is a disaster, the tips suck, I am killing my Honda with the excess mileage, and I have to fill in making pizzas and stuff during the rush... no runs means NO CHANCE at tips."

    Also, I dead on agree with your frustrations. But the Daily Kos is not made up of rich asshole Republicans from upscale gated Republican suburbs who are the type of folks who would stiff a working guy trying to make a living. We are probably all working for a living ourselves.

    Hey!... cut and paste this one over at or the wild reactions to this might make you laugh and take some of the stress off.

    Hope you feel better tomorrow.

    Whenever the Chicken Little Brigade starts up, just keep on fighting. Its always easier to run than it is to stand, win or lose, for what's right.

    by LeftHandedMan on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 01:37:34 AM PDT

  •  i do tip, but don't like it (4.00)
    I like the European way of doing it: if someone gives you extra good service, you give them a buck or something, but otherwise you pay the agreed-upon price.  I'm fine paying extra for delivery, so why doesn't the damn pizza company charge me a reasonable delivery fee, that covers both their expenses and the wages for the person delivering the pizza?  I mean either way I'm going to have to pay it, so why not charge me up front?  Does it "sound cheaper" when it's "hidden" in the tip or something?  I mean I'm not stupid, I take that into account when I'm considering how much something costs, and it irritates me every time I have to do stupid mental arithmetic for something that should've been already calculated and added to the delivery fee.

    And on the subject of tips, WTF is with tipping at bars?  I can see tipping, but apparently the current "expected tip" at a bar is $1 per drink, even if you order a coke or a bottle of beer.  $1 for 3 seconds of work?  The justification I hear is that they need the money, but I guess it must vary widely, because the two people I know who have served as bartenders have both made a fuck ton of money doing it.  On the order of $100/hour in tips on a good night, or $50/hr on a bad night.  That's engineer-level pay, ffs.

    A libertarian for Kerry.

    by Delirium on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 01:57:46 AM PDT

    •  It's Hidden Because... (none)
      More people will buy a pizza for $19.99 and gove a 3 dollar tip than will buy a pizza for $22.99 with the tip included. Just the way it is...
      •  makes sense I guess (none)
        Still kind of sucks.  I must be one of the only people that actually mentally calculates how much it "really costs" when considering where to get food from (for example, a $6 burger at a place with wait service is "really" more like $7 + tax, while a $6 burger at Burger Joe's is "really" $6 + tax... but crappier).

        The thing that really bugs me though is that it's a percentage.  It takes the waitperson no more/less effort to bring me a $20 entree as compared to a $10 entree, so why should the service charge be different?  I'm fine with paying more if I order more things that take more effort, or have lots of special requests, and etc., but one $20 plate versus one $10 plate isn't twice as hard to bring to my table.  And I actually feel kind of bad when I order lots of cheap stuff, because they still did the same amount of work, but even a generous tip of 20% is very little money.  On the flip side, sometimes I order expensive stuff, and 15% feels like a ripoff considering how much work the waitperson did.  Etc.

        A libertarian for Kerry.

        by Delirium on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 02:05:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed on the bar tipping thing, but.... (none)
      most bartenders don't make nearly as much as the people you know. If you work in a high-end establishment or a large and very busy bar/nightclub, you can make some serious cash. You average cornerbar sluds-slinger, however, isn't bringing in all that much.
      •  i should probably have mentioned (none)
        That one of them, who made the most of the two, was a good-looking woman.  That probably helps. =]

        A libertarian for Kerry.

        by Delirium on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 02:11:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right! (none)
          I was thinking that your freinds may well have been attractive woman.
          •  Point of Clarification (none)
            Attractive guys get good tips also.

            Related. I'm old enough to remember when tips weren't taxed. Reagan decided that it wasn't fair, and implemented the current situation.

            Typical rethug logic. How DARE waiters, waitresses, and bartenders make anything extra without taxing it!

            •  Ummm... (none)
              Don't tell anyone, but occasionally we forget to report some (read: lots/most/hella/all) tips. Especially the cash ones.

              We were inspired when Bush gave his whole "people cheat on their taxes anyway so why tax them" speech.


            •  I think it makes sense, actually (none)
              I mean, why should a significant proportion of a waiter's income not be taxed, while all of a steel worker's income is taxed?

              A libertarian for Kerry.

              by Delirium on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 01:10:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh Trust Me... (none)
                I ain't sayin it's fair, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

                And if you want to talk about fairness in the tax code, I would suggest starting somewhere other than waiters and drivers not reporting tips. I'm not the one screwing the steel worker.

                •  oh, that I'm fine with (none)
                  I was disagreeing with the person who said it was "typical Rethug logic" to tax tips.  I'm all for cutting corners where you can, especially if you're not in a position where you have so much money that you can easily pay whatever comes up.  But it seems odd to in principle make tips untaxable while other forms of wages are taxable.  I'm fine with the current situation, where they're taxable in principle, and people usually pay taxes on some of them, but "forget" to report some of them.

                  A libertarian for Kerry.

                  by Delirium on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 02:15:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Y'all don't understand (must be too young) (none)
                    Waiters and waitresses, on the whole, earn crap. They earned crap years ago when Reagan changed the law. Tips were always taxable but there was no way to verify that, so in effect, they were untaxable. The "Rethug way" is to raise money on the backs of those least able to afford higher taxation rather than on the backs of those who CAN afford it (cf. Current Administration).

                    The Reagan change required deductions from (minimum wage) pay based on overall receipts. Many of  my friends were taxed as if they were getting 15 pct tips EVEN IF THEY RECEIVED NOTHING. I watched friends earning about $11,000 year WITH tips lose 1-2000 per year to these new "taxes." Those working at higher end establishments also saw zero and even negative pay on their paystubs.

                    At the time, those poor steelworkers were earning more than $20 bucks an hour (if Unionized). Please note that once the waiters and waitresses of the world got screwed, the anti-labor GOP started working on them (see "Union Busting" and "Outsourcing"). Luckily, a lot of the out of work steelworkers can now get jobs as waiters and waitresses (see "Service Economy").

                    So, I don't buy your "tips should be taxed too" argument. Doesn't sound very Libertarian to me whatsoever, IMHO.

    •  Tip (none)
      I'd rather just tip the server and see the money go right into his or her pocket.

      Class warfare IS the answer.

      by bink on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 06:31:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I feel for you (4.00)
    I tip 5 bucks for food delivery and 15 to 20% of the bill in restaurants. And I am not rich in any case.
    It is just I don't order food or go out too often.

    By the way - there is this cool site that everyone can check and bookmark.
    •  do you know any tip lists for misc. things? (none)
      That site is neat, but it seems to be focused on restaurants, unless I'm not looking hard enough.  Are there any sites that give information on what you're expected to tip for various items?  I don't mind paying for service, but one of the most irritating things about this whole tipping culture is I never know how much I'm supposed to pay!  For example, what's a reasonable tip for a taxi driver?  Bellhop?  Etc.

      A libertarian for Kerry.

      by Delirium on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 02:10:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For a bellhop... (none)
        At least a buck a bag, minimum $3, and double it if he parked your car and brought all your stuff in for you.
      •  There is a drop down menu - Quick Navigator (none)
        All kinds of tips there - taxi drivers included.

        In the Quick Navigator chose US. There is your taxi tip :)
        •  ah, thanks (none)
          I must be blind. =]

          Now I'm amazed to discover I'm supposed to tip baggers at the supermarket?  I mean, I tip people if they carry things out to my car, but if they just put my food in the bags?  Odd.

          A libertarian for Kerry.

          by Delirium on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 02:36:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well (none)
        I hardly ever use bellhops, but I do make sure to leave $3-5 every morning for the maids in a hotel. Taxi drivers I give around 10-20% - more for short trips, often up to 100% if I only wanted a couple-mile ride.

        Cocktail waitresses & bartenders get a buck a drink, unless I'm in Vegas and winning (in which case I drop larger chips on their tray).

        I don't tip gas pumpers here in OR, both because I have no choice but to use them and because the first couple of times I tried they looked at me funny and refused.

        15-20% for a haircut.

        And that's about all the tippable services I can think of right now.

        •  Every morning? (none)
          Nice!  I just tip the maids on the last day, but now that I think about it, it is probably better to spread it out, as different people are obviously working different days ...

          But when you think about it, an extra few dollars here and there probably won't break anyone's bank, unless you are seriously down on your luck.  But if everyone does it, it really adds up for people in service jobs.

          When I was in college, working as a bartender, that extra two dollars you gave me would buy six packages of Ramen noodles, which was two or three meals.  Things were really that lean and I appreciated it.  Also, in some states, your income from a service job is taxed at your wage, plus fifteen percent of your total sales -- meaning that they assume you are making at least fifteen percent tips.  If you don't tip, your servers are LOSING MONEY.  I believe that Oregon is one of these states.

          Class warfare IS the answer.

          by bink on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 06:35:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yeah... (none)
            I leave a little bit every morning because, like you said, there might be different maids every day.

            I didn't know OR taxed tips on the full amount of sales - I thought it was on something like 7% of sales. I do always try to leave tips in cash, since a friend of mine who waits tables says that tips left on a credit card get taxed at the full amount (plus it takes longer for the server to get them).

  •  A 4 for you, my friendly delivery driver! (none)
    Being a commission-based slave myself, I know your pain. What's more I onced lived with TWO delivery drivers and am good friends with another. They all had a version of your story:

    "Three-Story brick home. Three SUV's in the driveway. Five miles out of my way. Place an order every weekend. AND NEVER A FREAKING DIME!!!! ARRGGHHH!!!"

    Even though I was complete lush at that point in my life, I was usually sympathetic enough to stop hoarding my alcohol and offer them a stiff drink.

    I concur with the above poster's suggestion: Put this on Free Republican. Hell and while your at it, e-mail it to the American Enterprise Institute, too. End it with "Oh and by the way, I love the website!!", just to make it relevant.

  •  My rules on tipping (none)
     Pizza delivery guys get at least $2 out of me, unless they work for one of the locally owned places, in which case they're getting $3. If it gets there insanely quick I'll go as high as $6.

     Wait staff in a restaurant get 15% if they are ok and 20+% if they are awesome, 15-20% if it's a locally owned restaurant and they are ok, 20+% if they are awesome. If they suck I'll go down to 10%, if they really suck they'll get $1, or even nothing (that's really rare though, it takes some effort to be that bad). Often if it's just me and my wife having breakfast together the bill will be really cheap in which case we usually leave huge tips. There is this one great breakfast place in town owned by these two really nice women, we usually just round the bill to $20, even if it's under $15

     I agree tipping is stupid. It's become institutionalized which has completely destroys its meaning. It's become a kind of additional fee which you technically don't have to pay, but which if you don't pay there may be negative social consequences, like crap service the next time you are there. It's also one of the major reasons young people get treated like crap in so many restaurants. My girlfriend in highschool was a waitress so I learned first hand what crap they go through. Ever since then I've always been a good tipper and am always as nice as I can be to wait staff. I never leave less than 15% unless it's deserved. However because young people have a reputation as bad tippers they often get bad service, I've been places where the service provided to my table is explicitly below that of other tables - the only difference being the average age of those sitting at my table compared to the others.
    So, all around tipping is stupid. If a fee is expected, include it in the listed price! If it isn't in the listed price it shouldn't be taxed! (it's absolutely absurd the IRS taxes wait staff on tips).

  •  Good rant (none)
    It seems to me that it's just common courtesy to tip the pizza guy.  I do add an extra dollar or two if the driver is friendly though.
  •  if you give 20% (none)
    ...for walking the grub from the kitchen to the table, your friendly delivery driver should get no less than 30%.

    i'm always good for 3 or 4 bucks, minimum.  I also ask about unadvertised specials, and throw my savings to the driver.

    A proud member of the reality-based community!

    by roxtar on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 04:54:57 AM PDT

  •  I strongly recommend (none)
    Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash

    The main charachter refers to himself as "The Deliverator" ... of course, missing that 30 minute window is deadly!

    They ask for trust but somehow I've got serious doubts / Open up the window let the bad air out

    by Catriana on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 05:56:56 AM PDT

    •  Neal Stephenson's future prediction (none)
      His future America has only two industries - software and pizza delivery.

      He got one wrong.

      Expect pizza delivery to be outsourced next.

      "Bush too evil even for me", Great Old One says

      by Jon Meltzer on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 07:39:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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