I'm going to be honest here, I've never worked as a delivery person in any capacity. There's a reason for that. I grew up very close to my cousins. One, who was about three years older than me, took her first job as a delivery driver for a wings place. She quit after one hilariously awkward incident - and according to what I just read on Reddit, she's not the only one.
So let me set the scene, this is Christmas time in South Florida - so there are little hats on all the flamingos, our palm trees are lit up all fancytime, and Santa is chillin in board shorts. Christmas carols filled the air as she pulled up to the house to make her delivery. Now, if you're thinking things like Jingle Bells then you're clearly not from South Florida. Here, we have only Feliz Navidad - which we reserve for sacred moments - and THE official South Florida Christmas Carol, which was blasting. I'll tell you what it is in a second.
When the customer opened the door, it was a young latina who had apparently been hitting the coquito HARD that night. She took one look at my obviously afro-latina cousin, drunkenly shouted "WEPAAA!!!", grabbed her by the arm and dragged her inside. The family then proceeded to force my cousin to sing Mi Burrito (nope, I'm not kidding, that's what we listen to and it's about a donkey not an actual burrito, relax.) very very loudly with them while it blasted on repeat through the speakers.
Cousin had to let them beatbox and sing the song three whole times before they were satisfied, paid her, tipped her well, and let her go... but not before the entire family hugged her.
(If you've never heard it and you want to know what Christmas in South Florida is like, go grab some coconut rum and enjoy this four minutes of festive before moving on. There's rapping, way more percussion than the baby Jesus probably needs, it's sung by a kid, and most of us have twerked to it. Merry Christmas, right!?!)
So yeah, between that and some of these stories on Reddit, I'm 100% positive that delivery work is just not for me. If I can avoid getting dragged into someone's Christmas rap battle, having to touch the hole in anyone's head, or getting paid by a giant talking squirrel I will. Read through people's awkward delivery experiences (some were edited for language or clarity) and if you have your own horror stories, share them!
Definitely No Girlfriend There
I used to deliver Chinese food. I was a 19yr old female, so I had my fair share of creeps hitting on me, or drunk guys grabbing me, but nothing that ever made me feel unsafe. I was also the only driver, so all of the regulars knew me, and I knew all of them. This one time, I went to a house I'd been to before, but it was a different unit in the house. A guy was standing out in the front yard. It was like ten degrees out, so that was weird. I parked and took the food over, and the guy says he recognized my car from the neighbors ordering so he came out. He was middle aged, with a sufficiently creepy manner to him. The total is like $20; I give him the food and he gives me $30, and asks for $5 back.
Of course I don't have exact change, so I tell him just to give me the $20 and not to worry about it. He insists that he tips me, and starts saying "just come up with me and I'll get you some change." I'm already creeped out, and I keep telling him it's really fine. Then he goes "come on, I'll see if my girlfriend has change." That, of course, puts me at ease. If he's got a girlfriend in his apartment, he's probably not gonna attack me or anything.
So I follow him up these stairs at the back of the house (on the outside; he had the upstairs unit) and make a point of staying outside while he goes in the door. Then he starts going "oh it's so freezing outside, just come in a sec while I get the change." He was really insistent, so I just stepped halfway inside the screen door. He keeps trying to beckon me in and tries to shut the door behind me, but I'm looking around this tiny apartment, and there's definitely no one else in there. I panic and stammer that it's against restaurant policy for me to come inside, and I back out of the doorway despite him trying to assure me he'd get a tip for me if I just came in for a sec and trying to shut me in.
I tell him it's really fine- Merry Christmas and all that. I book it down the stairs and to my car, and he stands there on the deck staring at me as I leave.
I quit shortly after.
As a pizza guy in college, I had a gun pulled on me as a 'joke' at the door.
Guy opened up the door with what looked like probably a .45 or something pointed in my face and said something like "Who the f^ck are you?"
His wife and two young kids were standing behind him and everyone had a biiiiiig laugh at my expense. Not surprisingly, he gave me a shitty tip and then immediately went on the DO NOT DELIVER list.
Superbowl And A Dead Son
My junior year in high school I worked at a Chinese food restaurant as their delivery guy. It was Super Bowl Sunday and surprisingly we were not getting much business. (I guess pizza is the main choice for football games.) That night I delivered to an elderly mans home and he noticed me glancing at his TV in his living room to check the score. There were only 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter so he invited me inside to watch the end of the game.
We sit down in his living room and during a commercial break he tells me about how his son would always drive across the country to come and visit every year to watch the Super Bowl with him. I noticed a sad look on his face and he then explains how his son was killed in Afghanistan 5 years prior and how I reminded him of his son. Me and this random elderly man watched the last 3 minutes of the super bowl together. He ended up tipping me $40 and thanked me for sitting with him during the end of the game.
It was sort of awkward at first but looking back on it, I'm glad I was able to bring back some good memories for him.
Squirrel And A Pink Tutu
I do delivery for a deli/pizza/ice cream shop. This happened just the other night.
I was greeted at the door by a 400lb hairy man wearing nothing but a pink tutu. Thank God his family jewels were hidden. As he's signing the receipt, I hear a woman ask if it was the food and he confirmed. Out of nowhere comes this woman wearing a full furry squirrel costume (head and all) and hands me a $20 tip.
As I'm putting my phone away, both of them are standing there nonchalantly, checking their order, and acting like what I was witnessing was completely normal. Like everybody dressed that way at home. I ended up driving my car a couple houses down and having a good WTF laugh before heading back to the shop.
I delivered to a motel and the guy had climbed off his girlfriend to answer the door. He didn't bother trying to cover himself and made no attempt at covering up the girl. I turned and looked at the street while he searched for his money. He barely closed the door before he was already back on top.
Delivering pizzas and an obese black man at the door offers sex instead of money for the 5 pizzas. I politely declined, he reluctantly pulled a $20 bill out of somewhere and I drove off.
I got chewed out by this alcoholic woman in our delivery area once. She called us up, I took her order myself, and sent it on its way when it was ready. I got a call from my driver a few minutes later, and the alcoholic was saying she already got her order.
I was slightly confused because we weren't so busy that a doubly-made order would slip by me. I checked with the other drivers just in case, nobody else had gone that day. She did, however, order the same exact thing the day before.
We ended up settling on the solution that in her drunken stupor she forgot she made an order the day before, found yesterday's leftovers, and ate that thinking it was fresh.
Feel The Hole In My Head
So this didn't happen "at the door" but in the house.
I used to deliver helium and balloons. Mostly wholesale to party stores and such, but occasionally to an individual for a party.
I had to deliver to a lady with loads of health problems one time. She was legally blind, in a wheelchair, and had several brain surgeries I believe.
Once I deliver the helium tank and balloons, I explain how to set it up, and attach the nozzle and I place her hands where she can feel what I'm explaining.
As I'm getting ready to get the signature and leave, she starts talking about her brain surgeries and how she has a hole in the back of her head. I try to be polite, but dismissive and get on my way. But she is having none of that. She insisted I touch the hole in her head so I can see what she's talking about. I obviously politely decline and she presses further. She reaches out and grabs my arm and guides my hand to the indention in her skull - all in one swift motion before I can react.
The feeling of my fingers pressed an inch or two into a hole in that lady's head will always haunt me.
I used to deliver for a Butcher to Restaurants and Supermarkets.
At one Supermarket, I asked the Supermarket Butcher for Payment, as soon as I said "C.O.D." (that means cash on delivery - meaning he had to pay for the order in cash instead of getting billed for it later) he pulled a steak knife on me. (A butcher Steak knife is not like a table Steak knife). "You no say COD to me! You no say COD to me in front of customers!"
Obviously English was not his first language and he came from a culture where the illusion of self respect was more important than genuine integrity.
Saving Lives or Ruining A Birthday Party
One time i was delivering a bounce house to a summer camp in the So. Cal mountains. When I arrived the camp appeared to be deserted. After walking around for about 15 minutes, I heard some sounds coming from a cafeteria or multi purpose room. I walked in the door to find about 50 middle eastern men having some sort of meeting.
This was surprising to me because I had not seen a single vehicle on the premises. The moment I stepped in the room everyone went silent and started staring at me. I announced who i was and that i was there to deliver a bounce house. I was quickly told that I was not allowed to speak while I was in that room.
So naturally I kept talking, asking questions about what organization they were with and where I could set up the bounce house. The one man who was willing to speak to me started to get very upset telling me that I was not allowed to speak or be in the same room as these other men. The man ushered me outside and showed me where to set up the bounce house. i asked him what it was for and he replied that it was for the kids.
But I saw no women or children anywhere on the camps property. This whole situation had me very uneasy and seeing how it was November 2001 I decided to call the 9/11 anti terrorist hotline.
To this day I'm not sure if i saved lives or ruined a child's birthday party. I guess I'll never know.