[set alliteration to ‘off’]
Yet, again a pizza deliverer disobeys his employer’s mandate to disarm and survives because of that choice.
The 31-year-old driver told police he was walking to the door of the house when he noticed a man hiding behind a bush in the yard. The man called out to him and told him to drop his money. That’s when the driver says he pulled his gun and fired.
The article actually states that two different pizza guys died in two other attacks prior to this particular event and then closes with a statement from Papa John’s that employees are prohibited from carrying weapons. Think about that. Faced with the choice between possible death versus unemployment it seems pizza delivery folk and pharmacists seem to be prone towards self-preservation and anti-authoritarian tendencies. I can relate.
There was a time, not too many years ago, when I was working three different jobs to get by. One of those jobs was delivering pizzas for the Chickenfoot Pizza Co*. I thought that I had been pretty sharp by choosing a store location in a well to do area surrounded with McMansions and high end condos. It was a bit of a surprise to find that the coverage area also included a substantial portion of an area best described as “the wrong side of the tracks”. Nothing really encourages rigid adherence to daily carry like having to dress in bright colors and go strolling through the darkened labyrinths of the worst housing projects and cheapest apartments. Afterwards it occurred to me that I hadn’t considered the proximity of such neighborhoods to the store because it was second nature to me to avoid those same neighborhoods. I’ve always been a bit bigger than most, but it was in that job where I became utterly determined to ‘not look like food’. I gathered my height, squared my shoulders, strode with purpose and made eye contact. I didn’t hint at challenging anyone; to a predator that would have to be answered with a show of strength. My intention was to silently acknowledge awareness of my surroundings and present myself as more effort than I was worth; to create just enough doubt in others to remain safe.
It was a fact that the job required me to assume risk to myself in order to complete the duties of the position. Never was that more evident when I delivered a stack of pizzas to group of about a dozen cholos. I’d made it a conscious habit to hold the insulated box carrier with my off hand to keep my strong hand free. Standing there on the fourth floor walkway next to a thin railing barely three feet tall looking into an apartment devoid of furniture but packed with guys wearing khakis, tank tops and black shoes, I began to think maybe I should have stitched my holster to the underside of the bag rather than wearing it in my waistband. Gladly, the delivery was uneventful. I smiled and handed them the pizzas, took the cash they handed me and without counting it said, “Thanks” and left.
No matter the job, I’ve always striven to put in an honest day and earn my pay. That does not mean I give my unquestioning loyalty to an employer. I read my employee handbook and knew weapons were forbidden. My boss was a good guy and thankfully not too diligent in getting my to sign the employee agreement. Oddly, I always managed to forget to sign it, lose it in my car, etc. Even if I had eventually been made to sign it, I still would have carried. Being cognizant that the corporate bean counters established the policy to reduce liability (their risk), I felt no compulsion to agree to a policy that shifted that risk to me and stated (in essence) that in the event I were I challenged on the battlefield of pizza delivery, it was easier for them to console my grieving family than to fight a lawsuit from the surviving family of the “choir boy who was turning his life around”. I could easily tolerate being fired from a menial job rather than bleeding out on a dark stairwell witnessed only by feral cats. At that time my only concealable handgun was a Ruger SP101 DAO in .357 Mag; I carried it in a IWB kydex holster from Hoffners and kept a Surefire Z2 (60 lumen incandescent) in my offside front pocket. The episode above was a stern wake up call that even with a spare speedloader, having only 5 shots on tap was a risk in itself. As soon as I was able to afford it, I quit that job to further reduce risk to myself. I understand that no aspires to be a pizza delivery man, and certainly not all delivery jobs may entail as much risk as I endured for that short time, but for those that are in such situations I strongly advocate that they enact their own “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Because in the end, sometimes the correct thing to do is apologize after the fact than to ask permission beforehand.
[*not that brand matters, AFAIK all corporate pizza companies have the same policy]
h/t SSI for the news story