Pizza delivery wasn’t the most glamorous occupation, but the bills were paid. A college kid paying rent, utilities and buying enough ramen noodles and frozen pizza just long enough to sell those expensive college textbooks back to the school bookstore. On that day, he may splurge and buy a single ribeye to sear on that tiny dollar store charcoal grill.
Those dang halfwits down at the university were so crooked that he felt like he was getting a whipping for something his little brother wouldn’t take the blame for. The book originally cost enough to pay his electricity for three months. When the lady at the bookstore scanned the gently used text and the price came up on the screen his heart sank. Just enough to get a twelve pack, a hair-cut and a tank of gas.
He worked relentlessly taking shifts when no one else would. He balanced studying literature, pre-calculus, and English 101 with slinging pies into boxes and carrying those cartons through the busy streets racing the clock to get the most deliveries on the night. Surely with the most deliveries he would take home the most money.
There was a map in the restaurant of areas of the big city that were off limits for deliveries after dark. These places posed a threat to the drivers and orders should be denied in these areas for delivery. However, several non-delivery employees on occasion somehow forgot to settle the address before finalizing the order.
On this night, he would grab the warmer bag and look up the address for the delivery only to find that the area was one of those restricted for deliveries. He agreed to go ahead with the order since the pizza was cooked and ready. He grew more and more anxious as he approached the low income mobile housing establishment on the side of town that most would have refused to approach even during the daylight hours.
He hesitantly knocked on the door. His hands barely touched the door as if he hoped for a quick no response and a get out of dodge card could be played. He would take the loss on this receipt just to avoid any trouble from the dilapidated single wide. Just as he was about to walk off the wooden patio adjacent to the front door an older aged man with alcohol on his breath answered the door. His grin could have passed for that of a newborn with a bottle full of formula. The customer agreed on the total and gave the young driver a wad of wrinkled up bills. With a wink he told him to keep the change.
Earlier that week the college student had been told the same thing from another customer in a lot different location. This house was situated in the middle of a golf course on a country club campus. He knew a lot of country folks and assumed these people would be just as down to earth as the others. He was surprised when the woman opened the door with a frown and told him that it took long enough for the delivery but that he could keep the change either way.
The fence surrounding the property of one of the customers cost more than the entire property of another. The impact of both experiences stayed with the young man for years. He decided that making assumptions of what’s on the surface would be a thing of the past.
I’m glad he overlooked what looked like a hopeless case and believed that a snotty nosed high school kid with some issues could be something. The surface was rough to say the least, but thank you for the constant encouragement. Thank you for not giving up when failure was evident.
Thank you for believing!