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Whileourouractual actualjobjobmight mightnotnotbebethatthatterribly terriblyinteresting, interesting,thetheobservations observationsassociated associatedwith withit itcancanoften oftenbebememorable memorableandandatattimes, times,eyeeyeopening. opening. While


he life of a pizza delivery person is that of an observer. While our actual job might not be that terribly

interesting, the observations associated with it can often be memorable and at times, eye opening. The variance on lifestyle observed over a single shift can serve as a true cultural indicator of the difference in fiscal standing and philosophies between people who, in a global sense, are close neighbors.



ver a single eight-hour shift in

through the process of ordering over the

my dealings with greasy food,

phone with a credit card. The combinations

I would learn a good bit about

of pizza and personalities are seemingly

the people I was serving. In answering the


phone and taking their order, I would learn their names, phone numbers, addresses and even their credit card numbers. One call could have me speaking with with a woman with a thick southern accent wanting me to bring extra napkins for her three kids. The next conversation could be between me and an elderly man, guiding him

T h e c o m b in at io n s o f p iz za a nd pe r sona l i t i e s a r e s e e m i ngl y i nf i ni t e.



hile it is untrue to say that it was easy to classify people and their paying (and more

importantly, tipping habits), there was a particular model that seemed fairly easy to follow. The poor would rarely tip. The middle class gave the most consistently good tips but could sometimes surprise with unexpected stinginess. The rich were the toss-ups. At times, they would completely neglect to tip simply out of what I assume was an ignorance of the situation. Other times, a well-off individual would give you a day-changing tip, showering your uneventful pizza life with a brief moment of financial sunshine.


It was not uncommon to speak with an individual over the phone whose southern accent was simply indecipherable.


ayment by credit card, as a driver, was a concept viewed with general d isdain and a hint of optimistic in-

trigue. Working at a Papa John’s, servicing the mountains of western North Carolina, it was not uncommon to speak with an individual over the phone whose southern accent was so overpowering that he or she was simply indecipherable to a Yankee such as myself. Regardless of accent, many people would feel the need to recite their credit card number at a speed similar to that of an auctioneer. This, to say the least, was a bit annoying and awkward as it is embarrassing to have to ask someone to repeat himself multiple times. Once I was finally able to enter the credit card information into the computer, it was too often the case that I knew I would be not only making, but delivering the order as well. All of this for a tip... that would be taxed.



V - +

In my experience, credit card tips were exceedingly average, usually in the three dollar range.



ard-tippers were people of all

walks of life. There was no particular demographic more likely to

use a credit card than any other. Apparently

Americans are United in their debt. In tipping with credit cards, the concept of “keep-thechange” is thrown out the window. What was

once a situation that benefited the driver by virtue of general mathematic ignorance had become a tool of accuracy for the consumer.

The gratification of receiving a credit card tip in terms of the overall experience for a

driver was just not the same. Nothing, for a

pizza man, can rival the feeling of leaving the job at the end of the day with a fist full of

cold, hard cash. Simply having one’s taxed

tips added to his or her paycheck destroys all financial novelty of the job. In my expe-

rience, credit card tips were exceedingly average, usually in the three dollar range.

There was one common deviation from this rule, however.




My bills, like yours, require swift payment.


large order to a hospital was al-

ways a beacon of bright optimism

for a driver. While a hospital would

seem to be a depressing place to anyone not having a baby there (and even still,

some of those people as well), to us, the Hospital was a place where wealth was

born. So many kind doctors would order

pizza for their entire staff. These wealthy, noble, men and women would always pay by card; too much in a hurry to deal with the flaws of the paper currency system. Their tipping would be incredible often

exceeding double-digit dollars. With their

wealth and smarts, a credit card payment would not likely be a risky one. To the rest of the world, however, I would request or-

ders be paid by cash. God knows, the obesity caused by junk food is a large enough epidemic without the horrors of massive

debt accumulation. Plus I like taking my tips home. My bills, like yours, require swift payment.


Credit Card Booklet  

This booklet explores the connections between paying by credit and delivering pizza and how it is reflective of American consumerism.

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