Pizza delivery is one of the world's most thankless jobs. Everyone expects their pizza to be delivered as soon as they call in their order, and if it's later than they expect, they take it out on the driver.
But that isn't always the worst that can happen, just ask the former and current delivery drivers who recently shared their stories with Reddit. Trust us, some of these stories are tough to get through. All posts have been edited for clarity.
"I delivered pizza for Pizza Hut for almost a year and most houses were fine. Some didn't tip, some did. Some were rude, some weren't. However, there was always one place that scared the beejesus out of me.
I got an order to take a couple pizzas and whatnot to this address I'd never delivered to a couple months in. I drove there, but couldn't find the street sign and my GPS was telling me to take a turn into a forested area with no discernible roadway. I was driving around for 15 or 20 minutes trying to find the right road to turn down and repeatedly calling this customer. I finally stopped where it was telling me to turn and got out and walked to the side of the road with a flashlight and see the narrowest dirt 'road' winding into some trees.
I assumed this was it and pulled in, and after a minute or so of slowly driving with the high beams on, I pulled up to two identical trailers in the middle of the woods. One on the right and one on the left. There were no numbers and this guy was still not picking up. There were no lights on in either house and, eventually, I decided I was not ready to die and decided to take the pizza back and said they never answered.
I leaned into my car to grab my phone to call 'HQ,' and when I stood back up, this dude was standing on the other side of my car, staring at me. He didn't make a single sound walking up to my car. Scared the snot out of me because it was like he just appeared. He looked like Vince Neil if he were a vampire. Dirty, long nails, heavy-set mouth breather.
I was paralyzed, my brain trying desperately to shift from 'gibberish in neutral' into 'something, anything, as long as it's in motion.'
He just plopped wrinkled cash onto the roof of my car, walked around and gently took the pizzas from my frozen hands and walked off into the darkness. He didn't even head to one of the houses.
$5 tip, though."
"I was working as a delivery guy in a college town in Texas a few years ago when Hurricane Ike made landfall. We were right in the path of the storm, a couple hundred miles inland, so everyone was told to stay indoors and not use the roads unless absolutely necessary.
Of course, I had to come to work anyway. I only had to make one delivery that entire lunch shift, and when I got to her door, she didn't have any kind of awning or balcony to stand under and took forever to answer the door, so I had to stand outside getting soaked (umbrellas aren't very helpful when it's raining sideways.) I handed her the food and the credit card slip, but she told me she needed to make sure we got the order right before I can leave.
I asked if I could come inside while she did this and she gave me this look of disgust and said, 'Uh-uh! You ain't gettin' my house wet'! Once she finished thoroughly inspecting her food, she signed the slip and wrote 'ZERO' in the tip line. When I got back to the restaurant, I learned that she had called and complained that one of her pizzas did not have the dollar off coupon that we usually stick to the box, and demanding that I come back and give it to her. I did not. But the story doesn't end there.
A month or two later, a cop came in the the restaurant to see if anyone could identify a person who used a stolen credit card here. We went to our receipts and sure enough, that was the hurricane day, where we had one delivery order the entire day."
"I delivered for a pizza place in Ohio. We had a very large delivery area. One of the areas was a very poor area that nobody wanted to go to.
One night, I got a five pizza order for an address in this area. As I got closer to the address, I could see multiple firetruck, ambulance and police lights over a wide area. It was like two blocks that were blocked by firetrucks. Nobody was getting in or out. I drove around to see if I could get access. Just as I realized I wouldn't be able to get through a cop flagged me down. He moved some orange cones and instructed me to drive around the fire truck. They waved me down to an address where an ongoing hostage/standoff situation in front of a house was going on.
Police were all around with bullet proof vests with weapons drawn and pointed at the house. They had firetruck spotlights shined on the house. A couple of officers with bullhorns were protecting themselves behind their cars. Apparently, a guy had taken his multi-family apartment house hostage. This had gone on for a couple of hours. The police were hungry and simply ordered pizza delivery to the scene. They didn't have much regard for my safety considering I had to get out of my car and set all the food, plates, and napkins on the tailgate of the fire chief's truck.
They did tip me $10, so the risk of being killed was worth it."
"There was one time that I delivered to this older man in an apartment complex. He invited me in and told me that his money was on his kitchen counter. He was seated on a recliner and let me know that it was hard for him to move much. I told him that was okay and set the pizza down on his coffee table.
I then took the money from the counter and noticed there was $20 more than necessary. I tried to hand him the extra and he told me to keep it, then asked if I could stay for a minute. Awkwardly, I asked him what he needed and he said, 'Just to talk.' He then proceeded to tell me about how he hadn't talked to his only son in ten years.
I listened and tried to tell him maybe he should just call his son up, see how he was and he very rudely asked me what do I know about anything. I moved to leave and he suddenly blurted, '...And I have Lyme disease,' and then laughed as though he were kidding and were just making a joke about how his life sucked and on top of it all, he had a debilitating disease.
I wasn't sure what to do, so I awkwardly chuckled. He yelled at me, told me it was a serious disease and told me to get out of his house. I quickly obliged him, tucking my well-earned $20 into my pocket. The next week, he called again. I let the new guy take it."
"A friend of mine delivered to some woman in her 20s. The pizza place had a cash/card only policy and everyone knows it. She claimed she had cash but couldn't find it, so she wrote a check and a good tip. He figured he might as well try to get some money out of it. Went straight to the bank and the check bounced. He tried going and knocking on her door but she wouldn't answer.
A few weeks later, he comes back to the store from a delivery and the manager is walking her around the kitchen, he points at her and says that is the girl who tried to con him, and the manager ended the interview instantly."
"I used to deliver pizzas. This one order was to a nice house in an OK part of town. I ring the doorbell, and wait patiently for the door to open. When it does, I'm greeted by a lady and her young son. She's clearly been crying, but is doing a good job of holding them back. I don't acknowledge it, it's none of my business and she's clearly not looking for solace from the pizza guy. I remind her what the pizzas cost, and she hands me some cash. Standard stuff.
As I'm digging around in my bag for change, the kid pipes up, 'I have to tell you something.'
'What's that?' I say, half listening as I try to work out how much change to give back.
'My dad's not coming home.'
Oh no! 'I'm sorry to hear that,' I tell him. I stare at my bag as I pull out the last of the change, trying to avoid looking at either of them as I hand it back with the pizzas. As I leave, habits formed over a thousand deliveries almost make me tell them have a good night, but I catch myself enough to say 'enjoy the pizza' instead.
Judging by his mom, the parents would have broken up some time that day. I'm guessing I'm probably the first person that kid told."
"I was a pizza delivery driver for all of three days. The guy that hired me apparently had no authority to hire people, he just wanted to get some help for the shop while the manager was out of town.
When the manager returned, he basically asked me who I was/what I was doing there, then fired me.
Before I got fired, my first delivery was to a high school football game where someone ordered 100 pizzas. I drove an Acura Integra at the time and it was filled to the gills with pizza as I made my way up there. I dropped off the pizzas, accepted payment, and wished a good day. And what did they leave as a tip? Nothing, Nada, Zero. One hundred pizzas and not even a nickel for a tip..."
"I witnessed a knife fight on my first run. It was just girls, though, and they didn't really have their hearts into it, so I called the cops and continued on my merry way.
My fiancé once received an order for delivery to a decent apartment complex. He arrived to find that all the lights were off in that particular apartment. Warning bells told him not to go up to the door. He listened to the bells, but it didn't matter. A glance in the side mirrors showed three guys hunched over and closing in fast. Panicking, he popped the car into gear just when he felt cold steel touch the side of his head.
'Don't do it,' the guy behind the glock called out.
My fiancé slammed on the gas, but was facing the wrong way in the parking lot. The car jolted forward, hopped the curb and crashed into a tree. The car doors no longer open and by this time, the guy caught up to him. They forced him to crawl out the window and lay on the ground face down. He did what he was told and got down on the ground.
The guy took his wallet, cell phone, and the pizza. My fiancé glanced up to see the weapon being cocked in his face. He turned his head back to the ground and heard the click... The cops came and found them because they took the pizza. The weapon was inside. We were told it had misfired. The guys got 10 years each for attempted murder. All for $19, a cheap cell, and some pizza."
"When I was about six months pregnant with my first son, I delivered for Papa John's in an area that was mostly not so great. Now, that area has the highest violent crime rate on average in our state, so that should tell you how bad it was about 10 years ago before it got downright awful.
One neighborhood in particular was the worst of the worst, and usually another driver would take it since I was pregnant, but that Friday night we were short and super busy, so I did it without hesitation. Gotta eat after all, right?
So, I get there, get out of my truck with the pizza, and get a really, REALLY bad feeling. Quickly look around, and see a group of guys watching me. I put on my war face more or less and, as a second thought, stuck my big belly out a bit so it'd be way more obvious in the dark.
One of them approached me and was like, 'Oh, you pregnant?'
I just shrugged and said 'Yeah... that definitely ain't a basketball, dude.'
He chuckled at that, walked back to his friends, and I heard him say, 'Naw, y'all, come on, she's pregnant.'
They all walked away and the dude that I'd spoken to gave me a nod and smile, told me to take care. Found out later that one driver had been brutally beaten in that lot less than a couple months before I'd been hired, and if I hadn't been pregnant, I might've suffered the same or worse. Glad that didn't happen."
"I work at Pizza Hut. One day I delivered to two guys who were in the middle of a fight and one of them started cussing me out about how I was late (which I wasn't) and the other one started defending me saying I wasn't late just to disagree with the other guy then they started asking me questions they didn't really want answers to about their disagreements like, 'Don't you see how he doesn't listen?' and kept fighting in general.
Eventually, one of them paid me and I left but the entire thing was uncomfortable. Also, just today I delivered to a guy named Homer who must have been 100 years old and was wearing only briefs outside (it was 105 today) and looked like someone who would have written 'The Odyssey.' He gave me a dollar as a tip."
"I used to work for Pizza Hut when I was in high school.
One day, one of the delivery drivers didn't return from a delivery. After 30 minutes, the manager tried calling him, with no response. He tried again about 15 minutes later, and a police officer answered the phone to explain what had just happened. Apparently, the driver showed up to deliver the pizza, and the guy that answered the door was wasted and violent and ended up throwing the pizza in the driver's face (I think he said the order was wrong or something).
The driver had piping hot pizza sauce thrown in his eyes and then he fell down the stairs, breaking his arm.
That has to be that guy's worst delivery ever."
"I used to deliver pizzas for a local pizza place to the Clemson football team's dorm many years ago. I'm not saying the football players were all pricks, but I delivered a couple pizzas a week for a year or so, and I never once got a tip (I mean literally not once), and they would frequently try to scam me by ordering a pizza for the dorm room next door. When that person didn't answer, they'd offer to buy the pizza for half-price since otherwise I was going to 'get nothing.'
All the delivery guys would just sigh and shake our heads every time we got an order from that dorm."
"My dad drove for Domino's when he was 17 and 18. He was the best driver they had ever had, he got a plaque in the store for most pizzas delivered in a night. From what he tells me, he would just speed everywhere and he would take twice as many pizzas as the other drivers each time he left the store. So one night he's making deliveries and this woman pulls right out in front of him without even looking. He stops almost in time, but messes up her bumper a bit so they pull into a nearby parking lot to assess the damage. When they get out of their cars, he tells her, 'Ok so if I don't get these pizzas delivered within a half hour these people get them for free, so just wait in this parking lot for 15 minutes and I'll be back'. The woman says okay and he drives off. He delivers a the pizzas and gets back to the parking lot, but she is gone so he just goes back to the store assuming she just didn't care about the minor damage. As he pulls up to the store, he notices the woman is there, with some police officers. Now, my dad had already had a good amount of points on his license, so the cops yelled at him a bit. He had to go to court and had a suspended license for a year."
"In college, I worked as a pizza delivery person. On my first day driving solo without my trainer, this order came in, and as soon as the ticket printed, everyone groaned and started saying, 'Not it!' So naturally, they sent the new girl... I get to the address and it’s one of those high rise retirement communities.
When I got into the lobby and signed in, the receptionist just tutted and muttered, 'You poor dear,' under her breath. By that point I was a little nervous. I found the door and knocked. I heard a recliner noise and a very old man’s voice say, 'Oh pizza's here.' Then the door opened.
Before me was a man with a pristine military hat stating he served in WWII, boots polished to the nines, socks so white they reflected light... and well nothing else. He was completely undressed and at least 90. I blinked in shock, and he smiled so wide and thanked me for delivering the pizza all the way up on the ninth floor. He then said, 'Oh let me get my money!' And then turned around, bent over, and began digging through a backpack on the floor for his money. I could not only see his whole butt but his butthole too, but I’ll never forget what the back of those saggy balls look like.... never.... Thankfully he was so old, his junk had receded back into his body. So I didn’t have to see that.
He finally found the money, counted out the price of the pizza in change, then counted out a $2 tip for me in change, handed it over and gently took the pizza from me. He was so happy to have that pizza... He asked me to wait a moment while he set it down and then before I could say anything or prevent it, he pulled me into a hug. 'Thank you for my pizza. Thank you.'
Once the shock wore off, he became my favorite delivery. He would order every single Tuesday. Always at the same time. He never wore clothes. Always had the whitest socks and the most polished boots. Always wore that WWII hat. We became friends, as much as a delivery driver and a customer can. I never asked why he didn’t wear clothes. He seemed like it was the most normal thing ever and never seemed to notice or act like he should be embarrassed or that his behavior was odd, so I just went with it and acted like it was normal as well.
One Tuesday he didn’t order. We were all worried. Then the following Tuesday he ordered six pizzas. I was surprised, but relieved he was okay. I once again volunteered to take his order. Only when I got there he wasn’t the one who answered the door. Instead it was a different equally old undressed man in a military hat and polished boots. You could tell he had been crying and he invited me in.
Sitting around the dining room table were eight other very old undressed men. All with hats saying they were WWII vets. And in the middle was a framed picture of my undressed man.
It was a wake. My favorite customer had died two days after my last delivery to him. The men in the apartment were the last of his war buddies still alive and they’d gathered to remember him the only way they knew how, undressed with pizza.
It was the only time I joined a customer for lunch.
And yes, I kept my clothes on and acted like it was completely normal the entire time."