The late-night travails of a deliveryman

Kevin R. Clark

Villanova students love to party all night, but it’s no joyride for those who cater to our need for nourishment once the events of the night slow and we crave a late night snack.

Enter the late night delivery driver.

The job seems pretty easy, driving around listening to music and dropping off food. I had the opportunity to trail one such infamous savior who supplies us with greasy sustenance late at night, and I entered a world so surprising that I am now paralyzed from my right elbow down. Greg T. is a three-year veteran delivery technician employed by one of our local campus eateries. He works the turbulent Wednesday night shift, one of the most competitive nights of the week. Like many drivers crazy enough to tread in these waters, he has some interesting quirks. Referring to himself in the third person as “GT$ (pronounced GT Money),” he says, “I been in the game for years; it’s made me an animal.”

One needs a wild side to deal with the intense competition among drivers at any of the local delivery spots, Greg says. Some might compare it to the cutthroat atmosphere of an investment bank or top financial institution. “You gotta get that paper, dog,” Greg stresses, referring to the best tips and the quickest routes.

Anyone can bring a bag up to the quad and drop it off in room 41, but trekking around the void that is Cabrini College or Eastern University looking for an invisible dorm can be like navigating the Bermuda Triangle. This is where the men are separated from the boys, and Greg thrives on this challenge.

“You get a rookie in there and he might get lost for hours on one delivery,” Greg says. An occurrence like this leaves the back door open for a shark like Greg to make his killing. The best he has ever done is $198 in one night. Usually the average driver makes between $100 and $150 in a seven-hour shift.

Greg attributes his success to his knowledge of the Main Line and his demonic driving skills. Pushing an intimidating 1994 Sentra, he admits having to force a few old ladies to the side of the road and to making a few dangerous passes, but only in the name of getting that order of cheese fries to its patron at the optimal level of heat and sogginess.

(We all have shared the experience of the triumphs and tragedies of delivery. Nothing warms my soul more than a promptly-delivered superchicken cheestesteak with onions, bacon and mayo, but on the other hand I almost starved to death one night waiting on an order of General Tso’s that ended up being lukewarm and nauseating.)

This is why we need more men like Greg in a world of acne-faced pizza delivery boys. These heroes are not just carrying around food! They are filling a role in our capitalist society by satisfying the demands of lazy college students who desperately need a late night snack after a strenuous night of drinking. Take this into consideration next time you get asked how much you want to tip your driver, and maybe throw an extra dollar on the tab for his or her dedication.