BC student shares his adventures during his time as a delivery driver
Nate Perez, Reporter
May 2, 2012
Filed under Features
Drug abusers, prostitutes and weirdos are something that Eric Garcia deals with regularly at his job.
It’s something he’s almost desensitized to.
Garcia, 20, is a history major at Bakersfield College. When he isn’t at school, he works part-time as a pizza delivery guy at Hungry Howie’s pizza.
Hungry Howie’s drivers are typically sent out to the poorer neighborhoods in town, such as Union Avenue, Pacheco and so forth. The drivers do get the opportunity to go to the more middle-class neighborhoods, but those neighborhoods are not as frequent customers.
“Tips are what give me my gas money,” said Garcia. “They’re usually better toward the nicer areas, but in the rougher neighborhoods, sometimes when people are drunk they tend to tip more than they normally would.”
Garcia has encountered his fair share of prostitutes and junkies. It comes with the territory, according to him.
Garcia has been invited in for adult activities at a few hotels in town. The scene can be disturbing to some, according to Garcia: unpleasant looking women sitting down in front of their hotel room doors waiting for their next client.
“I ended up knocking on the wrong door and the woman asked, ‘what is it?’ and I told her, ‘it’s a pizza’ and she said, ‘is it a large sausage?’”
“I [went] next door and it [was] the right hotel room. They open the door and some guy is under the covers with a prostitute. The woman who paid me was in a robe and asked me ‘do you want to come in?’ They saw the money I had for change. It was like they all saw green and jumped.”
Aside from call girls, Garcia often encounters awkward situations such as fake bills, credit cards and the occasional creep.
Garcia has never been put into a situation where he has had to exchange blows. He was once sent to deliver to an abandoned house.
By good fortune, the neighbors were outside and warned Garcia that the house had been empty for quite some time.
Delivery drivers get a preconceived notion on whether or not they will get tipped based on location, attitude of the customer over the phone or if the customer is a regular, and delivery drivers do remember if customers forgot to tip the last time.
It’s almost like that sour milk taste that doesn’t go away, according to Garcia.
Garcia emphasizes that as a delivery driver there are more bad things than good. His car receives more maintenance than usual and filling up his gas tank is a far more frequent task than the average driver. Garcia encourages people to tip their delivery driver. They never forget.