Saturday, May 19, 2007

Open Thread #25

Wow...this is the 25th open thread. Make it a good one!


Anonymous said...

I want to fucking say how if gas prices go up, and people don't tip their delivery drivers,. that's totally fucked up.

WE bring you food, save you the hasle of leaving your house, deal with traffic, deal with idit drives, and get absolutely nothing in return but a thanks, maybe, and some pocket change.

That's totally fucker.

Anonymous said...

I always tip the drivers, but I have always wondered how they get paid. How does it work--milage?--per delivery?
Oh and if you could explain it without calling me a f***er, that would be even more appreciated.

ben said...

anonymous #1 - maybe you don't get a tip because of your crappy attitude

Anonymous said...

You don't like your delivery job? Get a new one. No one forced you to take that job. Go get a new one that doesn't make you drive your car and burn your gas. McDonalds is always hiring... I agree with ben in that your piss poor attitude may have quite a bit to do with the amount of your tip.

MattFacingSouth said...

15% is standard tip for me, but that's for standard service. Above standard, meaning courteous (even friendly), correct order, and ahead-of-time service will get you in the neighborhood of 25-30%.

Below standard, meaning late, incorrect order, and/or surly will get you 5-10% at most.

Because I live in Grand Forks and don't have a multitude of delivery options, I tend to give a lot of repeat service, even to those companies who "mess up" from time to time. In that case, tips are my way of sending a message back down the line about service. If the drivers like their tip, then I assume they'll put positive pressure on the line cooks to make the order fast and correctly. If they're not getting good tips, then they can wallow in it or do something to change their service.

There is one place in particular that I give a $4 tip on a $6 order if they get it to me within 10 minutes. I've never verbalized this to them. Results: if it's not a n00b driver, they get there pretty damn fast. I have to believe it's because word has spread that promptness (along with everything else) gets rewarded. The converse seems to have worked as well, but I'll go the extra mile of calling the management if the driver is particularly rude.

One place consistently delivers 90 minutes after the order is put in. Lately they've almost been rude on the phone like "another delivery... fine." What the hell?

JoshTee! said...

In reference to the first post, couldn't the same be said about someone commuting to work? They pay for the gas, deal with the traffic, and do whatever work it is that keeps you happy. Why, we should just start tipping everyone who has a job! Let's call it... an hourly wage.

Like someone above me said, if you don't like it, quit. Some people need money more than you do, like it or not, and just because they may be treating themselves to a pizza (or whatever else) shouldn't mean they're evil for not wanting to hand out money to someone that may blow it on cigarettes, alcohol, or anything other than bills to get you by. Same goes for servers in restaurants.

I don't tip unless the service really knocks me off my feet. Otherwise, I imagine I need the money more than they do. After all, why else would they have chosen a job where your pay depends on the people you deal with?

I've worked my ass off throughout my employment history. I've gone far out of my way for people while working in customer service, and have slaved for much less than most waitresses bring home in a night. Yet, in seven years, the total amount of tip money I've seen has been less than $10. Why? Because I've only worked in jobs that society doesn't deem tip-worthy. The pay's pretty much the same, and the work is sometimes MORE intense, but I don't see a dime.

So forgive me if my sympathy hasn't followed me to this post. Just be glad you GET tips occasionally.

ex-driver said...

I started driving deliveries 25 years ago for the "Moon". Back then, we got $1.40 a delivery + .10 a delivery for gas, plus tips. It wasn't unusual to pull down $100 on a weekend night,in cash, tax free. It was a good gig. We were "independent contractors" who played pinball and sat and smoked ciggs until the next delivery.

It changed after a while, they started paying us min. wage and whatever tips we got. It still wasn't too bad, but not like the "old days". Now, since we were on the payroll, when not driving, we had to wash dishes or clean up, etc. We actually had to work. Ha!

I still did this job on the weekends as part time for MANY years. I think I may have done this for 15 years. Have not done it now for about 10 years, thank God. :-)

Anyway, it was a great p/t job, maybe not now that the gas is so expensive, but it helped me alot. I understand the frustration of the original poster, we used to talk like that among ourselves, in fact we had the town pretty much mapped out in our heads as to the addresses that did not tip, the good looking wives, the people who always gave over $5 in tips, etc.

However, at someone's door, no matter what, I was ALWAYS polite. ALWAYS had a smile. ALWAYS said sir or maam. If they didn't tip that time, maybe they would the next time. Or for the next driver.

Enough rambling about being a delivery driver! I did however, really love doing it.

Anonymous said...

Joshtee!, you can only be described as an idiot.

You don't tip because you think your server "might" spend it on cigarettes or alcohol, are you serious? That might be the single dumbest thing I have ever heard. You better quit paying taxes because your senator "might" have a bourbon after work today.

It is true, you don't HAVE to tip a waiter, there is no legally binding agreement, but the waiter doesn't HAVE to bring you your food in under 2 hours either.

If you NEED the money more than your server does, then make your own damn dinner. Servers are providing YOU a service that YOU "ask for" by sitting down at their table. You are entering into an agreement to pay them for satisfactory service. This is the international agreement that humans with an IQ above 70 understand is included in any trip to a sit down restaurant. So please do not try to relate this to "not tipping" other service jobs.

If you "slave" for much less than most waitresses brings home in a night, then you are either "an idiot who can't land a job which is better than high school janitor" or "an idiot who is too stupid to quit and go find a job that will pay him more than a waitress".

Either way, you sound like an idiot to me, and a jealous idiot to boot.

MattFacingSouth said...

Leaving all the personal insults aside, I'll put it this way:

You provide good service (product), I'll tip well for it as an incentive to continue that kind of service. Everybody wins.

You provide average service, I'll give you an average tip because I know it's built in to your wage system and expected.

You provide bad service, I'll hold back a little. Think of it as negative reinforcement - a pay cut designed to let you know that kind of service can not continue if you want to remain in business.

This is a trade-off certain industries have accepted; you and your employer have put that power into the consumer's hands. To expect anything else is missing the point of tipping, and unreasonable.

Don't like it? Change the system or do something else. I'm sure your employer would just love this conversation.

I suppose in this day and age some people have missed the point and feel they're owed something for just being.

Anonymoose said...

Typical North Dakota.

"I'll tip ya when I'm damn good and ready to tip ya, donchaknow!"


"Uffda, donchya forget kiddo, you work for ME when ya bring my food, then!"

The Goddamned entitlement attitude in this state is mind boggling. People here just don't get it.

Imagine the entire country ordering out for pizza one night, I'd bet it would sound like this:

NORTH DAKOTA: Geez, I'm purdy hungry, then. We should order one of them peet-zas, donchaknow.

THE REST OF THE COUNTRY: That sounds like a great dinner option. Let's split the bill and the tip.

NORTH DAKOTA: Holy Smokes!! Did you say TIP?! Oh, man, I don't tink I have enough money for supper and a TIP on top of dat!

THE REST OF THE COUNTRY: Um....if you don't have enough for the tip, why did you suggest that we order out?

NORTH DAKOTA: Uffda! Tha coop-on I gots here says dat tha peet-za costs $9.99 with tax. It don't say nuttin' about no tip too.

THE REST OF THE COUNTRY: Well, I'm sure it doesn't have the tip included in the price, but when you order food from a restaurant, you tip either the server or the delivery person. That's part of the experience of paying someone to feed you.

NORTH DAKOTA: If it ain't in tha price on tha coop-on, it ain't part of tha deal. Tha damn driver can just go straightta Hell if he thinks I'm payin' him extra to bring my food over. He's already chargin' me for tha peet-za and tha pop, I ain't givin' him no gas money too!!

THE REST OF THE COUNTRY: No, no. HE'S not charging you for the pizza, the restaurant is. He's just bringing the....oh, nevermind. You suck.

MattFacingSouth said...

You're actually full of shit; I'm from California and that's how we did it, and still do, out there.

The entitlement attitude of some delivery drivers is boggling, dontchaknow.

We see these types of rants all the time from wait staff and drivers on various blogs. Here's the deal: it's the way the system is designed. If tips were mandatory, then they'd just be built into the bill (and are in some places). But to argue any other reality is absurd.

So answer me this - why aren't they built into the bill? Take your time...

Anonymous said...

Nice generalization, moron.

MattFacingSouth said...

I'll just mark you down for "Oh, I hadn't looked at it that way."

Anonymous said...

They aren't built into the bill because it gives the waiter/server/delivery driver incentive to work hard and earn some money, you moron. Waiter's etc., are not usually working toward a career goal. They are rarely promoted for working hard and they don't often receive raises. The whole idea of tipping is that good servers will make more money and be rewarded for their hard work, while bad servers will not. Thats not too tough of a concept to grasp, is it?.

MattFacingSouth said...

Are you talking to me? Because that's exactly what I've been saying. I fail to see where the issue is; it seems we agree.

If it's that North Dakotans in general are bad tippers, then the system needs to change to compensate, i.e. you need a higher base wage.

Regardless of the internal system, I don't think forcing it down people's throats is the way to go. If anything, these vulgar rants are going to attract more ire than they're worth; you kind of come off as the person I wouldn't want to tip.

My 2 cents: write a well-worded letter to the paper.

Anonymous said...

Ahh...the tipping issue. Who cares!
C'mon people, the original anon was just baiting everyone. The following posters were just suckered in.

What do I know?
I always overtip.
I even tip excessively on to-go orders.

Anonymous said...

North Dakotans are notoriously bad tippers because North Dakotans earn notoriously low salaries!

MattFacingSouth said...

Well, I didn't know I should tip based on gas prices. That was a new one on me.

Seriously, what do you delivery dudes expect for tips? Is 15% enough? A few bucks? What?

Anonymous said...

Delivery driverse generally make minimum wage + commission + tips. I worked at a couple of places, but the commision per delivery was roughly $0.75 to $1.00. The average tip is $1.50 or so. It was a good gig when gas prices were lower. If you averaged 3 deliveries per hour you made $5.15 + $3.00 + $4.50 for that hour. $12.65 for that hour isn't bad.

My only complaint was that if you live really far from the business, don't give less than $1 for the tip.

Oh yeah, and if it's dark outside turn on your light so they can see the address.

MattFacingSouth said...

It sounds like some businesses are behind the ball with wages, then.

If your margins are that low because of gas prices I don't think it's reasonable to expect to make it up in tips when most people don't know gas costs are on you - I certainly didn't.

I'm also aware of the fact that most places up here have a delivery surcharge. Where the heck does that fit in to the equation? I still tip when those are there, but not as much as I might have otherwise.

Seems confusing.

webmasterzero said...

I used to deliver for Happy Joe's in GF, which was a great job until gas prices skyrocketed.

I always thought a good tip for an average order was 10%, or at least $2 (one for the drive there, and one for the drive back), whichever is greater.

Another thing, which any of you former or current drivers will probably find to still hold true. Most deliveries to apartment buildings - end up being on the third floor, opposite end of the hallway. 90% of them are that way for some reason.

I always thought that was funny. And also, how people in poorer areas of town tip well, but doctors and lawyers hardly tip anything.

Kelly Clow said...

At the risk of being viciously attacked by anonymous posters on here again, I'd like to say that the "Anonymoose" thing was actually kind of funny.

Really wrong and really divisive, in my opinion, but still funny as Hell.

I personally don't think it's too much to tip at least a Lincoln to the driver for delivering my dinner to me. Obviously, times are tough all over for everyone when it comes to gas prices, but the kid has to meet delivery times, not crash his car trying to meet those times, deal with traffic cops who are literally stalking delivery drivers, keep a watch out for criminal activity (if their company is part of some neighborhood watch program with the local authorities) and keep from being mugged in the dark, all while bringing me something I could have gotten off my ass to get for myself in the first place.

I've never been a delivery driver, but I respect them none the less.

On the flip side, if you expect to make a living that allows you to feed your kids and keep your mortgage up to date, you should probably seriously consider getting a different job.

webmasterzero said...

Kelly nailed it.

If you are too lazy to get it yourself, then you should (at the very least) give someone a buck or two (or more) to bring it to you. Especially with the way gas prices are, and with summer road construction, etc.

One last thing...someone above mentioned essentially that "if the driver is late, or the service is poor, I won't tip them to send a message".

I wish it were as easy as that, but it's not. From my experience, the most common reasons for being late on a delivery are due to

1) you have no idea where the address is (lame excuse), but sometimes you get incorrect info - wrong addresses, wrong phone numbers. It happens, there's not much you can do about it.

2) sometimes customers have no idea where they placed their money. Occasionally, I've taken orders over the phone where the customer has no idea what the address is, what they want to order, the phone number of where they're at. See #1.

3) you get pulled over speeding, or trying to get to your delivery on time. It rarely happens, but it does.

4) someone steals your remaining orders. Also, it happens rarely, but did happen to me once. I delivered to a warming house in GF and had to park miles away (it seemed). I came back to find my other two orders were gone, and tracks in the snow leading in the opposite direction. It's pointless to try and chase someone that has stolen your food, so then you have to go back to the store and remake everything...which takes forever.

Anyway, it's not completely fair to say if the driver is late, he or she doesn't get a nickel. You just have to be patient with them and know that they're trying to keep you happy (because what delivery driver is out there to screw up every order, and piss everyone off - aside from the anonymous poster that started this thread?).

Does someone have something else to mention - local happenings?

Anonymous said...

"Attacked", you say? Did you forget? You started that whole thread of B.S. by attacking someone under a screen name. But, you got blown out of the shadows.

No big deal, my memory isn't that great either.

JoshTee! said...

"Joshtee!, you can only be described as an idiot."

Is it idiotic to require that the service provided equal or surpass the work I've done to earn their potential tip money? Or to not feel sympathy for a person that whines about making $20-$200 more than I do in an eight hour shift? I would say that you may be able to argue that it's selfish, but you're really going to have to work harder to convince me that I'm an idiot.

I'll tell you, I know waitresses at almost every point in town, and I can tell you what each of them make. It's a lot more than I do, and the work isn't much different.

"It is true, you don't HAVE to tip a waiter, there is no legally binding agreement, but the waiter doesn't HAVE to bring you your food in under 2 hours either."

You're absolutely right. The only problem with your fantasy, 2-hour-wait restaurant is that no one would go there. The employer is already paying the server to deliver the food within a reasonable amount of time. I'm sorry if what the employer is paying is shit, and I hope that someone else can afford compensating you, but right now I'm only paying the price it says in the menu. ;)

webmasterzero said...

I'm sorry if what the employer is paying is shit, and I hope that someone else can afford compensating you, but right now I'm only paying the price it says in the menu. ;)

Although it might be a contradiction, I agree.

Tipping for good to excellent service shouldn't be a big deal, sometimes it is, but also pretty rare, and you shouldn't "expect a tip", but should rather "work for it". That's why you provide excellent service.

If it was just expected, everyone would work these sorts of jobs and provide crap service, because there isn't any incentive toward providing good service.

Semi-unrelated, but I've been pretty poor and wanted to go out to the bar a few times. I've tipped poorly, and been treated as a lesser customer based on that fact. It seems unfair if you don't work a "tipping" job, but I guess you have to realize where that person is coming from also. Dealing with drunks to semi-drunks all night, every night deserves something.

If it weren't for bartenders, I think we would be dealing with vending machines and jukeboxes exclusively. I'm sure someone can create a machine that mixes drinks just as well as a bartender.

Also, pizza vending machines do exist.

webmasterzero said...

Also, I can't believe this entire thread has been devoted to tipping drivers and wait staff.


Anonymous said...

One sure way to get less of a tip out of me. . . Ask "Do you need change for that?" Guarantee you that I'll say yes and think of tipping you less. Especially if the service was in any way lacking. I don't care if any of the wait staff thinks it's more convenient. I hate it and I'm the one with the money.

Otherwise, as for delivery drivers, haven't done much delivery lately, but usually do try to tip the driver at least a couple of dollars, depending on what was ordered of course. Did have a pizza delivery once that was really, really late and we finally called the place and found out that the police had just shown up there to tell them that their delivery driver had been in an accident. Manager ended up bringing us our pizza and didn't charge us for it.

Often go to the same pizza place to eat there and a friend and I got to the point where we'd go in sit down, the waitress would set two Cokes in front of us and tell us the order she put in for us. Which was always right being that it was always the same. She got tipped well.

A lot of my dining out experience (in the Twin Cities mostly, not GF) is with a friend who used to do delivery for KFC a long time ago in GF. So he tends to want to tip well. Although he really hated the beginning of the month when he delivered for KFC. That was when everyone got their welfare checks and would order supper from KFC. He said they'd rarely tip.

Well, enough rambling on about tipping...

What events are going on the week of the 4th of July up in GF? Will be there to shoot off fireworks and drive around in a Cadillac convertible (while I can afford the gas that is...)


JoshTee! said...

Let's talk about bad slogans and jingles for local businesses. Like Blue Moose: "Blue Moose Bar and Grill, A Place in East Grand Forks."

There's oh-so many.

Anonymous said...

I've always been kind of bothered by the Blue Moose ads. Their radio ads make it sound really classy...but it is still just a glorified log cabin. I was somewhat disappointed the first time I went there for dinner.It wasn't what I expected from the ads, though I guess those expectations had no place in the Grand Cities.

Kelly Clow said...

'Attacked', you say? Did you forget? You started that whole thread of B.S. by attacking someone under a screen name. But, you got blown out of the shadows.

No big deal, my memory isn't that great either."

Here we go again....

Anonymous, email me at, if you really want to do this again. These people don't want anything to do with our petty little arguments.

Christ knows I'M sick of reading them on here.

And besides, I don't want to get banned from this blog for getting all muddy with some anonymous retard. Email me directly and let's do this without the audience, OK? I just want to move on, like everyone else here does.

Anonymous said...

RE: Ads

This, from today's Star Tribune:
"All one needs to do is watch (or at least attempt to watch) a Burger King ad to understand why they are going away. Their campaigns are so out touch with its customer it is silly. The dude dressed in the king costume is scary. Those chicken ads are scary. Their brand has been destroyed."

Anonymous said...

Those BK ads are quite scary, especially the one out promoting breakfast sandwiches last year where the Burger King is staring into the guy's bedroom window...

Yet, those Burger King latex masks are selling for $40-50 on Ebay right now... so the creep-show commercials must be doing something right.

My all time most abhorred commercial ad...

Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa Cappucino from VD. May the marketing genius who thought of that one be forced to spend all of eternity next to a black board scratching devil.

JoshTee! said...

I've always thought that Burger King ads have been the funniest on TV. Anyone who doesn't think so probably still thinks Steve Martin is the cutting edge of comedy.

As far as that Blue Moose ad goes, I was referring to the "Place in East Grand Forks" line. It just... doesn't make me want to go there. Usually you get phrases with juicy adverbs that pique your interest. Blue Moose is... a place in East Grand Forks. Cool.

Or how about Happy Harry's. "Savin' at Happy Harry's" is just fine, but it's when the kids chime in "WE LIKE IT!" that I begin to wonder who puts these radio spots together.

Shooting Star has a terrible line, too. At the end of the ad, after the "Where the Stars Always Shine" bit, a guy screams "WHO WANTS MORE?!" Sounds more like a quote cut from Gladiator than a catchphrase for a casino.

Anonymous said...

"Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa Cappucino"

I don't know, I always sing along with:

"Crappa Crappa Crappa Crappucino"

It should also be noted that I've never actually drank one... the commercial and my version of it may have something to do with that (well, that, along with the fact that it comes out of a machine.)

GrandForksGuy said...

Rydell's: "Nice, just ask around."

WHAT???? Worst. Slogan. Ever.

GrandForksGuy said...

I actually love Burger King's ads! They are so freaky that they work. Indeed "The King" is scary...scary in a funny way. Those Whopperette commercials were also great...

Anonymous said...

what? stop it!