Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Courtesy or Good Health Insurance?

This afternoon on the Hugh Hewitt Show a serious topic of concern to most Americans was being discussed by the host and his audience; tipping the pizza delivery man.

Hugh's switchboard lit up with callers eager to voice their support or denial of tipping the pizza man. (In fact, as of this post time, the damn topic is still about tipping the pizza man!) We even heard from a pizza delivery man himself who whined about the wear and tear on his car and the paltry base salary he earns excluding any meager tips he may collect. Callers were talking about common courtesy, services rendered or not, and whether or not the simple un-skilled act of putting a pizza into a box and driving it somewhere warrants a financial bonus. They were all missing the point as far as I'm concerned, so I reached for the phone and cued up the speed dial.

I couldn't care less about the pizza man's financial straights or the duress his '78 Datsun pickup goes through every night as he tears around town. I don't think much about whether or not delivering something from point A to point B warrants some additional monetary award. I'm generally considered courteous and fair and always provide a financial tip where tips are customary and those tips I leave are reflective of services rendered. Fair to good service warrants the baseline 15 to 20%. Great to excellent service will earn the server 25 to 30%.

But the pizza man. What should the pizza man get, if anything at all? That was the issue. In my call to Hugh, I now consider it a public service announcement, I explained that when one orders a pizza from their regular pizza place and they bring to you something that you and your family will put in your mouths you had better tip the driver. Don't think the slackers, hairballs and shady looking characters running the pizza joint aren't smart enough to know who's naughty or nice. Why do you think you're asked for your phone number when you call in your order? Up pops your address, and in most places your last 5 or 10 orders. THEY KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE LIVE AND WHAT YOU EAT! To avoid one of the myriad of communicable diseases spanning the globe, I suggest you provide the pizza man with a tip and a gracious thank you.

I tip the pizza man handsomely. The pizza man likes me and the family who lives at my address. As a result of this symbiotic relationship, my address will, on occasion, benefit from an extra goodie in the order or one of the items may have come to us gratis. "Courtesy of the management", I'm told by the driver. The curmudgeon who called in several calls after me and accused me, Saint Wagonboy, of promoting theft and nefarious pizza shenanigans needs to live a less conspiratorial life. Customer service is customer service. And spending a little extra at a regular local establishment is just good insurance. Health insurance, that is. -Wb
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