“Did you get lost?”

I remember one year, I’m taking this delivery to a house in the middle of a hilly town on a night that we happened to have a blizzard. We had just over a foot of snow and it was still snowing. How I got to work that day, I’ll never know (different car). Anyway, I kind of like working in those conditions. The roads are bare, with the exception of the occasional brave soul going somewhere themselves. The thing I like the most though is the way the night air is so quiet. It’s like time is standing still. You can hear everything, and the crispness of the cold without the wind is refreshing. The snow falls with only the slightest whisper as it brushes against the trees and touches the ground. To me it’s an amazing feeling.

After about half an hour of driving super slow, I finally get to the street. Of course it’s a hill, and a steep one at that. I started out okay, drove up, then followed the road to the left, went about 500 feet or so and got to the really steep part of the road. Just then my phone rings. “Hi Adam, it’s Ashley, the customer called and wants to know when you’ll be there.” Really? She can’t be serious, I’m thinking, it’s only been half an hour. The thing is, when it snows like that, every order gets backed up because we have to go much slower to get there safely. I can’t count how many times other drivers got in accidents in the best of conditions, let alone how many of them crashed because they weren’t careful in bad conditions. I tell her I’ll be there in few minutes. That was wishful thinking on my part.

Had I not stopped to get the phone, I might have made it. I had the momentum to probably make it up the hill. Now that I was stopped with no traction, I was dead in the water, well, snow to be exact. I put the car in first and gave it some gas. I got about ten feet and the car slid back. I tried again. Similar result, except this time I slid back twenty feet. “This isn’t working”, I said. I carefully let my car roll back to the bottom of that hill, put the car back in first and gunned it. The wheels ripped through the snow and just kept on spinning. Now I’m yelling at no one, “Murphy’s Law, right?” Of course. So I back up, go back to the main road, and start the whole process again. I go up the street. come around the corner, and when I get to the steep part I give it a little extra gas. Now I’ve got some momentum and I’m off up the hill. I’m trying to read the numbers on mailboxes and not crash at the same time. I’m half way to her house when my car starts slowing down, and, of course, I lose traction and start to slide backwards again. This time I say, “Fuck it”, I put the e-brake on, get the food, get out, and start trudging up the hill on foot through this mess.

It was probably 15 minutes from when the girl at the pizza place called to when I get to the woman’s door. I knock, and of course she takes forever to get to the door. She opens it and says, “Hi, did you have trouble finding the house?”. I want to throw the pizza at her and leave. I don’t, of course. I just politely explain that her road is steep, my car isn’t 4 wheel drive, and I couldn’t get up the hill. “Oh”, she says. Oh. How nice. I can’t help but wonder after experiences like this if people live in a bubble. Some people say ‘Oh’, some people get pissed and don’t really care what the weather is like, they want their food fast no matter what, and some people, the really good customers, are very appreciative and know not to say stupid things to the person delivering their food. Especially in a blizzard.

The Driver (Adam Smith)

© Adam Smith and drivershout.wordpress.com, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adam Smith and drivershout.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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“Kick Rocks” Pizza Delivery Nightmares by Adam Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

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