Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

So last week I had an issue with the owner where I work. It was a Friday, I had just clocked in and literally was on the clock for one minute when I heard him in the back say, “Look at this kid, he’s just going to stand there. He’s lazy, that’s why he couldn’t keep his pizza place in Wallingford open.” That pissed me off. That’s personal business that’s no one’s business but my own. Yes, I did have a pizza place of my own, and yes, I did have to close it. It wasn’t because I was lazy, though. I worked there from 9 in the morning till usually 10 or 11 at night, often staying well after midnight, even leaving at 2 or 3 in the morning sometimes. I was even there on Mondays, too, the one day I was closed. On average I worked between 80 and 90 hours a week. The reason I had to close was that I was competing with 29 other pizza places all using inferior products and selling their product for much less. I was also underfunded. I basically ran out of money before I could change tactics. That was my first real business, a great learning experience, but one I ultimately failed at. I have no doubt were I to do it again, I would make it work. But that’s not for this guy to talk about in front of everyone in the kitchen.
I went right up to him, and said, “Is there something you need me to do?” To which he replied, “I shouldn’t have to ask.” I disagree. As a driver it isn’t my job to second guess the owner or to be a mind-reader. As it turns out, he wanted me to cut pizzas. Fine. No problem, but more than one driver has stepped in to cut pizzas only to have him push them out of the way and say, “I’ll do it, I want it done right.” That being the case who would volunteer to potentially get abused? Lately he’s been there more and more, getting in everyone’s way, making people make mistakes, yelling at people, generally pissing everyone off. One guy got so fed up he refused to do any work one day. He was fired on the spot, although when he threatened to get unemployment the owner changed his tune and said he still has a job. Another guy walked out that same day. The day before another guy quit. I’m sure the owner was thinking they just weren’t team players, but the truth is he forced them all to make the tough choice to leave. This is a guy who’s said over and over to us he doesn’t care about his employees, that we need him, he doesn’t need us. Nice guy, right? If everyone could agree to walk out en masse I bet he would care.
The bottom line is I am not the guy to fuck with. I am not stupid. I know a little about how the business runs and if he wants to play games with me, I can play them right back. I can find another job like this fairly easily (took me one day of looking to find this one). The question is can he take the repercussions of his actions? Fortunately for him, I’m not spiteful, but if I were, I could make his life very uncomfortable there. Nothing illegal, mind you, but every business has it’s secrets. If you know them, there’s a chance you can ruin them. And guess what? I know some of them.

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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Ninjavideo Sucks

This has nothing to do with driving, but I don’t promise all my posts will just be about driving. I stumbled on Ninjavideo after Stage 6 closed down. Ninja had some good content and still does, but their website is very buggy. If you question them on why something doesn’t work 99.999999999999999% of the time they tell you it’s your fault, then ban you for not posting the question the right way. If you look up the rules on how to post a broken link there are literally pages upon pages of how they will accept a question. Then, more often than not, even if you do post the question in the right way they call you a bitch or a moron, and whatever else they feel like it at the time. Then they ban you. They love banning people. As if they banned every single person they would have anything to do. Then they’d just be script kiddies playing with themselves. I sincerely do hope some hackers make it their habit of taking down their website. They deserve it for being complete assholes. There are pictures of “Phara”, the bitchiest of their members online if you do a search. Google something like Phara sucks, or fuck ninjavideo and you’ll find her pics.

I recommend using Ninja for one purpose only: to see if anything new has been released that you want. Then head over to The Pirate Bay and get it there. Those guys are awesome. They’ve had issues, too, but they’re not dicks about it, and they’re honest when it’s on their end. If it’s on you end, they’ll help you fix it without making you feel stupid. They don’t stream, but who cares? Get what you want to see, and give a big FU to Ninja 🙂

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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Dogs Are Funny

On my travels I come across a lot of different dogs. Most of them are friendly, all of them bark. They’re sort of like kids in the sense that they get excited when someone new is at their house. I’ve had both good experiences with them, and unfortunately, one bad one. The breeds people have vary, from Chihuahua’s to Great Danes and everything in between. Yesterday I met two Poodles, a Pug, two Labs, and a Bulldog. They were all nice. The funny thing about the dogs these people have is they seem to be starved for attention. They just want to be pet. So I usually do. The even funnier thing is they often come into the yard to see me and after the transaction is over the owners are like “Come in the house (insert name)” but they rarely listen to them. But they listen to me. It’s funny, I snap my fingers and say, “Go inside” and the dogs obediently turn around and go inside. I’ve had owners look at me, stumped, and even say things like “Well that’s nice, we feed it, but it obeys you.” Lol, go figure. Pets and little kids seem to like me for some reason. Maybe it’s the Santa Claus factor. You know, pizzas are like gifts. To them anyway.
The one bad experience I had with a dog was while working at my friend;s place in Milford. I go to the house and a kid opens the door and out pop two Pomeranians that proceed to start biting me on the legs. I’m trying not to hit or kick the dogs, the kid is laughing, and the dogs are drawing blood. That’s how hard they bit me. The kid finally pays, screwing me on the tip, of course, and I leave without having to punt these little fuckers to the 50 yard line. When I got home that night I noticed my legs had some pretty deep bite marks in them. I cleaned it up as best I could, but I was concerned. Anyway, over the next few days it bothered me enough to make a complaint with animal control. So they go to check the story out and it turns out that one of the dogs was foaming at the mouth and acting strange and the owners had it put down and cremated. The other dog they denied even owning. More on that later. So now animal control tells me to go to the ER and see what they say. So I do. The doctor comes back and tells me in all the years she’s seen potential rabies attacks only a very few needed the shots. I’m about to sigh when she says, “You’re one of them.” It was like the world fell out beneath me. I mean in hindsight, getting bit by a rabid animal isn’t really that big a deal considering we have the medicine to prevent something very bad from happening, but the idea that if I went without going to the ER I could have actually gotten rabies and died from it freaked me out. FYI folks: the rabies series is like having liquid fire injected into your blood. Literally. It burns like nothing I’ve ever felt before. There are like 6 of those shots, but then there are the booster shot, tetanus shots, etc, etc. If you go through this accept feeling like a pin cushion for a few weeks.
I sued them. It cost a lot of money and it was totally avoidable. At no point did they apologize or offer to pay my bills. Not once. And they denied having the other dog. They later got caught getting it from a friend’s house, which is part of the reason I won. I didn’t get a lot of money. The lawyer got some, I owed my father some, and when it was said and done I had around $7,000. It sounds nice except this took months to get and I had to get bit by the dog and go through what I did. I still hate those dogs and I still get nervous around them when I see them. But I promise you this: the next time one bites me, he’s going deep, all the way to the end zone.

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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People Who Wait Till Last Minute

This isn’t really a pizza delivery blog, but the cash for clunkers program is ending tomorrow night and I know there are people out there who said they’d do it eventually who are going to lose out on $4500. How much says if you stole $4500 from them they’d call the cops and have you thrown in jail? And when they go to buy a new car how much says they wish they had that $4500 they couldn’t be bothered to do anything about while the program was running? Nice job people.

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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Cash For Clunkers

This new program is a great idea, and will probably help out people who use cars for work, like drivers if they trade their car for a more fuel-efficient car, but why not just make a law that no car can be manufactured that does under “x” mpg? We have the technology to make that happen, why not use it? Personally, I’m anxious to see when cars like the VW Polo are released in America. The car is a turbo-diesel that gets between 60 and 70 miles per gallon and sells for thousand LESS than a Toyota Prius. And it looks pretty nice, too. There’s a picture of one here: Polo

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

I bought the domain kickrocks.us so I will be moving this blog there, most likely just mapped from wordpress. Depends if I want to learn how to use the actual program and pay for hosting or not. Some “person” is cyber-squatting kickrocks.com and wanted like $3,000 for it. Smurf that.

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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A Cat That Barks

The other day I go to this delivery and a Siamese cat walks up to me meowing the the whole way. I love Siamese cats. I suspect I’ll get one some day (right now I have 3 of my own cats). I ring the bell, nothing happens, so I pet the kitty a little. It purrs and meows and does the whole slinking around like it loves the attention. I ring the bell again. This time the customer opens the door. I asked, “Is that your cat?” He says, “Yup, he thinks he’s a dog.” FYI for cat and dog owners alike: no cat thinks it’s a dog. Cats are way smarter than that. That’s why they say dogs have masters, cats have servants. There are lots of talkative cats in the world. Doesn’t make them confused. It makes them vocal. I have one. My littlest cat, Luna, LOVES to talk. If you meow at her, she’ll do it back. You can actually “talk” for quite some time with Luna. I also taught her how to shake hands like a dog would do, but that’s just a trick, not a personality trait. If cats think they’re anything, it’s that they’re gods. One of my cats, Fluffer, thinks he’s a repository for food. Lol. He weighs 22 pounds. The other cat, Rogue, thinks she’s a spy surrounded by North Koreans. They all have their quirks, but it’s who they are. Not to knock dogs or anything, I just don’t like the idea of a cat being called anything other than a cat.

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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Visualize This

I love the bumper stickers that say “Visualize Using Your Turn Signals”. I really wish people would. Seeing as how we’re on the road for hours during the day, we see this a lot. The guy in front of you will either slow down for no apparent reason, or, even better, suddenly stop short and turn. Either way, they should let the rest of us know about it. I’ve asked people about it and they’ve said it takes too long to signal. Really? It’s right there next to the steering wheel. You can hit it with your finger while you’re driving. How does that take too much time? It’s like the people who’ve told me they drive with their high beams on and don’t care if they blind other people, which is funny because if I get blinded and lose control of my car, I’m going into the light: your headlights. I’m taking you with me.

Anyway, I’ve also seen people turn left from the right lane with no signal, right from the left lane with no signal, and, of course, cut me off with no signal. Sometimes I want to follow them and yell at them to use their turn signals, but that would result in me getting arrested for road rage or some nonsense. I remember back in the 80s police officers used to give tickets for people not using their signals. I’ve even seen people turn left at a red light with no turn signal. Right with no signal at the light is tolerable, you’re not getting in my way at that point, but left at a red light? Come on, even if you do signal when you do that, you’re an idiot. There are good reason for laws requiring the use of turn signals: they let the rest of us know what your plans are ahead of time so there’s no accident. And i know the argument you shouldn’t be following that closely, but come on, even if you do keep a reasonable distance, you know when these mental midgets slam on the brakes and suddenly turn, you could hit them. Or at least spill your coffee.

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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“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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Cut To My Core

Yesterday, I’m coming up a street on my way to a delivery, and some moron jumps out right in front of me and proceeds to go a whopping 25. There was no one behind me for at least half a mile. So I’m yelling (through the glass), “Really? Really? You couldn’t wait? Fucking moron!” I seriously hate when that happens. If you’re going to cut me off at least do the speed I was going or faster. If you have no intention of going as fast or faster, wait. Seriously, he would have had to wait 2 seconds for me to pass. Why is it that those two seconds are so important that he has all the time in the fucking world to go 25? I don’t get it.

At the top of the street, it happens again from another moron. Keep in mind that my car does 0-60 in about 5.5 seconds and can beat a Porsche Boxster as well as 90 % of the cars on the road. So I’m not exactly one of the slow ones on the road. Every time this happens it feels a little like someone yanked a choke chain around my neck. The next guy had the decency to go about as fast as I was going, so I was less annoyed. Annoyed that he did it, but not really annoyed at his pace.

So I get to my delivery, get my tip, get in my car and head back. I’m coming down the road the pizza place is on and a woman comes flying out of a side street without stopping, signaling, or even looking. A few seconds later and I would have hit her, and it would have been entirely her fault. Moron number three. We get to the light where the pizza place is, and just as it turns green and she starts down the street I give her the finger to let her know what I think of her driving. It’s a small consolation, but if it’s that or nothing, I’ll take giving the bird every time.

I don’t think people realize how many of these scary on the road stories there are. Literally hundreds. You can’t imagine the number of ways we almost die delivering you hot food quickly. But we do it. We do it for the tips. Remember that.

FYI: My blood pressure is always perfect when I go to the doctor. I don’t know how or why, I just know that it is. Maybe because I get mad, then get over it. I don’t carry this stuff around. That would be bad. You’ve heard of going postal, right? You don’t ever want a driver going mental like that. Trust me on that one folks, it wouldn’t be pretty.

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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