The Pizza Dude with Attitude

I order pizza for dinner a lot at our house. We used to do it once a week, but lately it has been more like every other week. I usually order the same thing each time, from the same place, and so it comes as no surprise that we see the same few faces of the delivery people a lot. The doorbell rings, and the dogs begin to bark their heads off. Clancey (an 85 lb labradoodle puppy) gallops to the door as though he could run through it, and usually bangs into the glass storm door with so much energy that anyone who was foolish enough to actually ring the bell gets a bit of a shock. Murphy (a 14-year old husky mutt) is too old for all that excitement, so she just bellows nonstop. Not to be outdone, all four of our children usually explode at the sound of the doorbell as well, PIZZA! PIZZA! they scream and dance with so much excitement, you’d think the pizza guy was Superman. Usually, I whip out a pre-written check with a tip of around $3 included, and the driver is gone in a flash to deliver someone elses dinner and collect his tip. Not this time. This time, I had $30 in cash on me, a $10 and a $20 bill. This time, the total charge was $21.50 something. This time, I handed the driver cash and said to him, please give me back $5. We had a mini-standoff. He looked at me and said “Whuh?” And so I replied, as I held 3 pies and a shopping bag with 2-liters of soda dangled from my arm, “My change, please give me back $5.” He actually grunted with a sort of snarl on his face as he dig into his pocket for smaller bills. I frantically calculated again in my head that I was giving him enough – he was getting about $3.50 in tip… that seems ok. Or am I being cheap? He handed over the $5 and went on his grumpy way… but I have not forgotten about this whole thing. What is the appropriate amount to tip a pizza delivery person? Did he actually think he could keep the change – which amounts to about 8.50? I was shocked that this guy was actually being rude, and also felt bad because it must not be a high-paying job… I know how the restaurant business works, and I think I am an ok tipper (20%). I don’t know if delivering a pizza is the same as actually waiting tables, but isn’t 3.50 on $21.50 acceptable?

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