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Pizza Delivery Tip #2

Avoid road rage by hitting it head on.

Along with the many hours of repetitive experience driving to and from the restaurant comes a familiarity with every detail of virtually every possible scenario of the placement of other vehicles on the road and their variable speed of travel. In other words, you become what others may decide is an "aggressive driver", but really you're just a calculating and controlled master of driving efficiency. These calculations may lead you to make driving maneuvers that others find unfair, dangerous, or at the least, impolite.

When I left the restaurant and was turning right (east) out of the parking lot it wasn't uncommon for there to be no one coming. The grassy area between the store and the road left ample room to see if any cars were coming while approaching the road and if none were seen there was no need to come to a full and complete stop before entering the street. After all, it's a parking lot and no stop signs are present to require such a meaningless usage of the brakes.

On one such occasion, I pulled out without stopping and watched a small Mazda pickup start to leave Sonic's parking lot and then abruptly stop upon seeing me coming. As you can see from the satellite image on the right Sonic is located just east of Pizza Hut and by my pulling out without stopping, the driver of the Mazda chose to feel like I had cheated him by pulling out as if it had not been my turn to do so. He began to tailgate me even though I was doing almost five over the limit, so I decided to teach him a lesson. No, I didn't brake check him. That's not safe and it can get people hurt. I slowed to about 10 miles per hour and let him stew for about a minute. Then, I made my turn and took off back to a normal pace.

My turn was to a back roads shortcut to a neighborhood that is only reached otherwise by a slight double-backing of street choices. Few people took the back roads even though it was slightly faster and always less busy. I popped out on McCracken Road about 150 yards ahead of the Mazda who was apparently going the same direction.

I suspect that the driver of the Mazda, after having gone a different route than me, must have started to get the "shoulda" regrets. You know? "I shoulda told that guy..." or "I shoulda taught that guy a lesson by..." Remorse had set in and maybe even some embarrassment received from his friend in the passenger seat, but when my car entered the road in front of him for the second time he wasn't going to let this good fortune pass him by without acting on it. He closed the substantial distance in a matter of seconds and was back to riding my bumper and even more aggressively this time obviously expecting some sort of confrontation. I payed him no mind and continued making my turns toward the customer's house.

I found my destination and after pulling in the driveway the truck stopped across the street. I couldn't let a drama play out in front of the customer so I decided to just deal with these guys first. I remembered my friend, Dustin's, advice about being the first to make a move and therefore controlling the situation so I went for it. I walked fast and purposefully over to the truck and calmly but with some force asked, "You guys have some sort of problem?"

The driver looked like he was debating on whether or not to get out but I made it to his door first and with both hands on the open window frame, I put my face down near his and told him he needed to quit his tailgating, start his truck back up, and leave. While saying this, I smelled the beer on their breath. They appeared to be a couple of construction workers and from what I gathered had probably been drinking most of the day on the job site. The driver started to say something about me not stopping, but I cut him off with, "You better not be here when I come back." With that, I went back to the car and started getting the pizza bag without actually bringing it out of the car. They left.

This situation could have gone much different. So, I, in no way, am advising anyone to use this method. However, it turned out to be great advice to me for the particular confrontation that I had.

In conclusion, realize that efficient, calculated driving can bring about some unwanted rage from time to time. Not everybody appreciates your skill. Maybe, if I had just simply waved an apologetic hand, the entire scenario might have been diffused from the start? In all likelihood, yes.

1 comments:

Glad I could be of assistance. Oh and here is another tip for delivering pizzas don't leave the ticket laying in the front seat of your convertable so that it flys out while driving down the road and you have no idea where to take the pizza.

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