Be cool to the Pizza Dude

NPR junkie that I am, I’m listening to an interview on my local affiliate with the person who produces the “This I Believe” segment on NPR. (Link takes you to the program’s site.) They just played one segment from the show entitled “Be Cool to the Pizza Dude.” You can listen to it or read it here.

For the link-phobic:

Be Cool to the Pizza Dude
by Sarah Adams

If I have one operating philosophy about life it is this: “Be cool to the pizza delivery dude; it’s good luck.” Four principles guide the pizza dude philosophy.

Principle 1: Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in humility and forgiveness. I let him cut me off in traffic, let him safely hit the exit ramp from the left lane, let him forget to use his blinker without extending any of my digits out the window or towards my horn because there should be one moment in my harried life when a car may encroach or cut off or pass and I let it go. Sometimes when I have become so certain of my ownership of my lane, daring anyone to challenge me, the pizza dude speeds by me in his rusted Chevette. His pizza light atop his car glowing like a beacon reminds me to check myself as I flow through the world. After all, the dude is delivering pizza to young and old, families and singletons, gays and straights, blacks, whites and browns, rich and poor, vegetarians and meat lovers alike. As he journeys, I give safe passage, practice restraint, show courtesy, and contain my anger.

Principle 2: Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in empathy. Let’s face it: We’ve all taken jobs just to have a job because some money is better than none. I’ve held an assortment of these jobs and was grateful for the paycheck that meant I didn’t have to share my Cheerios with my cats. In the big pizza wheel of life, sometimes you’re the hot bubbly cheese and sometimes you’re the burnt crust. It’s good to remember the fickle spinning of that wheel.

Principle 3: Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in honor and it reminds me to honor honest work. Let me tell you something about these dudes: They never took over a company and, as CEO, artificially inflated the value of the stock and cashed out their own shares, bringing the company to the brink of bankruptcy, resulting in 20,000 people losing their jobs while the CEO builds a home the size of a luxury hotel. Rather, the dudes sleep the sleep of the just.

Principle 4: Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in equality. My measurement as a human being, my worth, is the pride I take in performing my job — any job — and the respect with which I treat others. I am the equal of the world not because of the car I drive, the size of the TV I own, the weight I can bench press, or the calculus equations I can solve. I am the equal to all I meet because of the kindness in my heart. And it all starts here — with the pizza delivery dude.

Tip him well, friends and brethren, for that which you bestow freely and willingly will bring you all the happy luck that a grateful universe knows how to return.

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~ by Jen on September 24, 2007.

6 Responses to “Be cool to the Pizza Dude”

  1. Garpu,What an awesome piece. That’s a keeper. Very well done. Sometimes I actually tell people who go off on a fast-food restaurant rant to lay off the people working at Dunkin’ Donuts or McDonald’s. How much do the complainers think these people make an hour that qualifies them to have to endure such verbal abuse? Do they realize how much turnover there is in these McJobs? We should strive to be empathetic “Franciscans” at home, at work, and behind the wheel. I don’t use my horn at all anymore, except if there is danger to alert someone to.I’m an NPR listener too. 🙂

  2. It messes with my mind going into a Dunks that there’s no tip jar. then again I’ve embarrassed the hell out of the Hoopy Frood by asking for a grande drip with room in one before. Plus the thought that someone else would put in cream in your coffee (that isn’t steamed milk) is beyond fathomable. Conversely, he’s confused baristas out here asking for a “lahdge”. ;)I don’t drive, but it amazes me how some people can act towards others on a bus, especially people who need the lift.

  3. The Tao of the Pizza Dude. I love it! As an ex-waiter who struggled to raise a family on minimum wage and tips for ten years, I have nothing but respect for anyone who makes their living in any kind of service industry.As for the driving thing, I found my own stress level reduced dramatically as soon as I realized that no matter how fast every one else wants to drive or how many people pass me, I’m still going to get to my house before they do.

  4. Yah when I heard it on NPR, I knew I had to pass it along. The Hoopy Frood was a pizza dude for a bit, so I try to be nice to them. 🙂

  5. he’s confused baristas out here asking for a “lahdge”. Haha. You mean when he pulls up to the drive up window in his “cah” and asks for a “lahdge regulah” coffee. 🙂

  6. Yeah where “regular” doesn’t mean “with cream and sugar.” 😉 Most coffee places out here don’t have drive throughs, either…

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