Life Goal: Not Getting Shot for a Pizza

I always thought it’d be fun to deliver pizzas. And it is… Or at least aspects of it are.

You drive your own car, listen to music, smoke if you want to, and aren’t supervised constantly. While you have to keep in mind your own car’s gas and repairs, if you’re easy on how you run your car, and know where the shortcuts are, you can shave off car expenses.

Poor weather conditions can be positive in that you will have more people wanting to just have something delivered instead of going out—thus more money-making possibilities—but you’ll have less safe roads to drive on. But if you’re an experienced driver, this isn’t usually too much of an issue.

You get minimum wage, yes, but you also get a delivery fee of about $1.00 per address, plus tips. If you can make 4-8 deliveries per hour, you can make a decent living wage. Essentially, to many, especially to the friendly but quiet types like me, it really can be a dream job.

But there is a dark side: Fear.

You hear the urban legends and you have read the articles.

Real headlines:

  • Pizza Delivery Driver Shot & Killed
  • Pizza Delivery Drivers on Higher Alert After Deadly Shooting
  • Pizza Delivery Man Shot, Robbed in Winton Hills
  • Pizza Delivery Driver Shot and Killed in Park Hill
  • Pizza Delivery Man Shot By 2 Philadelphia Police Officers
  • Pizza Delivery Driver Shot, 2 Men Wanted
  • Police Arrest Teen in Pizza Delivery Driver Shooting
  • Pizza Delivery Driver Robbed, Shot in Arm
  • Driver Shot, Killed During Pizza Delivery
  • Pizza Delivery Driver Dies After Being Shot

You get the idea. And if these headlines start to make you paranoid, you can add to the fear by researching pizza delivery deaths. reported that the Bureau of Labor Statistics repeatedly says that pizza delivery is one of the most dangerous jobs to do in the United States. Drivers/Salespeople ranked fifth in the “10 Most Dangerous Jobs” list, stats again from the BLS.

Every delivery could be a potential mugging. Every person walking by could be an ambush. Every door opened could be the last. Every second that is delayed on the porch or in a hallway could be a plotted assassination … for the $15.00 in your pocket and a mediocre 14-inch pepperoni.

It got to the point, when chit-chatting with my co-workers, I found out I was the only one out of six or seven drivers that hadn’t been robbed yet. How true this is, I cannot truly say, but can only depend on what my co-workers had told me. Perhaps it was just a matter of time before I was robbed. Not all crimes involve death of the victim. But, of course, years could go by and nothing would happen. You just never know.

After about three months, my car died. Fortunately, it was only a supplemental job, a second income, so I wasn’t too devastated. But I’m glad my car broke down and had to call into my job to quit. I was forced to get out of delivering pizzas. And my wife can be more at peace that her husband is a little safer—and less paranoid—in this metropolis.

If you do delivery pizza and wish to cut back on the fear, I found these helpful:

  • Intuitiveness is helpful
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Never have more than $15 in smaller bills on you
  • Avoid situations that look suspicious
  • Don’t go indoors
  • Keep walking distance from your car door to house door low
  • Drive around the block a few times if you have to
  • Point your headlights to the entryway
  • Have a high-beat LED flood/flash light
  • Have a cellphone on you at all times
  • Make sure the pizza establishment knows what deliveries you’re running
  • It is permissible to have a weapon inside your vehicle
  • Flash and stop an officer, telling him/her of suspicious neighborhood activity
  • Buying a dash cam couldn’t hurt; it might be your only witness

Most of these can be applied to almost any workplace environment that has a fear factor: security guard, EMS, dog walker, direct sales, flier canvassing, bus drivers, etc. One shouldn’t have to work in fear.

– Previously published at


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