How much money is worth a gun to the head?

In another thread on the main forum, this was posted:

I’ve often heard this - or some variance of it - “I’m not getting paid enough to take those risks” sort of thing.

And I understand.

My question is - at what “pay scheme” should people be more than willing to take those risks? How does someone determine that $8/hr is not enough to risk getting shot, but $12 is enough to risk getting shot?

Is it a matter of money, or a matter of safety? I’m trying to understand how the two things have anything to do with each other.


Okay, I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty sure that that comment quoted above was in reference to the comment I made about how people should not be delivering pizzas to support their family. And if anything, this just further proves that someone with a family should not be “putting their neck on the line” by delivering pizzas. But really it doesn’t because you’re more likely to get hurt in a car accident delivering the pizza (still astronomically low odds) than you are to be bothered by a thief at gun point.

I really don’t think their is a pay scheme that could make it “worth it”. Where X amount of dollars per hour cancels out the “risk” of delivering this pizza. When I think of a dangerous job I think of coal miners, military personnel, peace officers, oil rig workers etc. Not pizza delivery boy. I can’t see a delivery guy ever making as much a year as those professions above.

Funny you should mention anyone supporting a family on delivery. The pay scheme is so out of whack where I live I make more money delivering pizzas part-time than the average Joe working full-time in most cases. And also funny is the fact that your username is gBOMB as I live in the town where the pizza driver was blown up by a collar-bomb. Look it up on the internet under collar bomb pizza driver Erie, PA or cane gun pizza driver or Marjorie Deihl-Armstrong if you want. How’s that for not being compensated enough. Deliver a pizza and get collar bombed.

Yep, I saw an hour long TV special on the collar bomb incident a few years back. I could definitely see how in some hard hit towns pizza delivery could be a decent income in that town. But you still will not be able to provide well for a family off of it alone. Also, wasn’t it actually the pizza drivers ‘friends’ that put the collar around his neck. Certainly a lot of questions about that case still. At the very least it seems he was in with the wrong crowd. I guess all pizza drivers should be payed $12 an hour now plus tips? Or is it $15 an hour plus tips? What is the compensation rate for a job that has a high risk of having your head blown off?

That’s exactly my question.

It seems to me illogical to say that pizza delivery drivers are not paid enough to take the risks they take unless you are also able to say that being paid $XX is worth taking those same risks.

I can’t imagine anyone saying that being paid $10/hr is worth taking that risk, but $9.75 isn’t. $0.25 doesn’t seem like much incentive to take a bullet to the chest.

How much money is worth a gun to the head?
by Registered Guest » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:42 am

If there is only one round in the revolver 5 million
If there is 2 rounds 10 million
More than 2 rounds, not enough money in the world because the odds are no longer in my favor. I may be a gambler, but I still want the odds in my favor!

. . . . yet those making the complaints most often still put that car-topper on each shift anmd taxi pizzas for $$$

The point of my original message quoted to begin this thread was to indicate that in no way, shape, or form should drivers be paid sub-minimum wages. Oops I mentioned the dreaded “sub-min” topic. Therefore, expect this thread to be closed real soon. Some people just refuse to hear it.

PPG - Since I started this thread, I don’t believe I can take it off-topic, so let’s continue.

The above quote is from one of the closed threads - and goes to the point of this thread.

And he is my question - you say you feel like you are risking your life for $5/hour. I understand that. But what exactly is it that causes that risk to your life? Is it the fact that you are making $5/hour - or is it just the job you are doing - and if you were making $20/hour you would still feel like you were risking your life - but for $20/hour?

Thus my question in this thread. If you are going to use the “I’m not making enough to risk my life” logic - which is fine - tell me, how much do you need to make in order to be okay with risking your life?

Mr. Guest,

You are missing the logic behind the problem. Many different people in many different professions risks their lives on a daily basis. Essentially, no amount of money is worth a life. Everyone knows that on an almost daily basis, a delivery driver is robbed. This is despite safely precautions. I have already discussed what I feel drivers need in compensation. So, let me pose a question as it relates to this topic:

What do owners/managers feel is a fair base wage knowing the threat of robbery is always out there? Would you do it or have you done it for the same wage if it came down to delivery or no job?

  1. please share your source for the “driver is robbed almost every day” assertion. I want to look at the geographic differences and such like that. I also want to look at there information about volume of deliveries per incident. that is all useful information to me in negotiatying my insurance coverage and costs . . . . I never can find a good, supportable source for this kind of information. Just things like “everyone knows”. I have had one and only one incident in 6+ years in business. The driver said she knew she should not have gone to the door . . . and we took several big steps to highten safety for drivers. Still, want to see where these robberies occur every day. Unless this is just off the top of your head stuff for effect in a debate.

  2. My wife does the job for no wage. And before you ask . . . my senior cook makes more money right now than we do. I think a fair wage is whatever is required in the given marketplace to attract the quality of employees desired. In our market, slightly below minimum wage is sufficient to attract some better than decent employees. Successful businesses find out how to pay just what is required for the resources needed for their business to operate. Then, invest resources in the best assets . . . do what is needed to retain the best achievers for your business. Free market economy makes “fair wages” a competitive commodity based on demand and quality of employee. I have worked many jobs for minimum wage (even back when it was less than $5) and eventually didn’t like that arrangement. So, I found a different line of work and made myself more attractive to better paying employers.

One element we ask our drivers/smployees to consider is the measures we take to improve safety and reduce their risk. We use our database to track empty houses and customers who move (when we get that info), we drive the town periodically and note empty houses and for sale signs for our database, we actively engage our customers so that we know as many of the regulars as possible so that we can flag odd addresses or names that do not match our data, we maintain a relationship with our police force so that they respond to us and our inquiries right away, we provide/loan a cell phone to a driver who doesn’t have one, we have a relationship with local mechanic who will work on vehicles for barter . . . so when an emplyee needs oil change, they can get it for like 1/3 retail cost by reimbursing food costs. All this is what we, as owners, do with our time and resources to protect our emplyees and customers. No added cost to the driver.

Let’s start here. Over the past six years, each shop in town has been robbed at least once. Our shop has been robbed twice and unfortunately, it was the same driver both times (not me). That averages to one robbery per year in just this town. That would mean that if there were only 352 similar towns, on average a driver per day would be robbed. This, plus information regarding robberies on another website that I frequent, would seem to justify this claim. I have been delivering off and on for 13 years and have never been robbed. I honestly feel lucky to be able to make that claim. Do I have a graph or pie chart for you? Sorry, I do not. I personally feel that 1/day may be an understatment, since we do not see everything reported in the news What owner would want the news to report “Robber makes off with $234 in pizza money?” No one, and I repeat no one, outside of the business should know how much money is in the till or how much a driver may have on him at any given time.

Realistically, your wife does not count. I am glad that she helps the business by not taking a wage, but aside from her, what other kind of driver would you attract by offering no wage? I guess fair market is what it is. If you can attract a mindless group of apes that can drive a car and will work for sub-minimum then so be it. People have stated that someone should not try to make a living for a family delivering pizzas. Well, in my estmation, it is not a job then. If one cannot make a “living wage” punching a time clock, there is no point in doing the work.

Anything done to increase safety is a plus in my book. However, that will not stop the average thug with a gun to set up a driver or randomly shoot/rob someone. Assessing areas of high crime and flagging them, as well as other safety measures may limit the ability of a would-be robber and may even lower the number of robberies, but nothing will stop them altogether.

I don’t think I’m missing the logics. IMO, if you are going to use the risk element to demonstrate that you are not being paid enough “$5/hr is not worth risking my life over” - then you need to be able to provide a figure where it would be worth risking you life - otherwise, why make that argument? I would be unsolvable. If you simply say “$5/hr is not enough” - then I get it. Throwing in the “risking life” part seems to be just for dramatic effect - because I know that you are not going to say “$20/hr is worth risking my life over”.

Now, you ask “What do owners/managers feel is a fair base wage knowing the threat of robbery is always out there?” - well, I can’t answer that question because I don’t base my opinion on a fair wage using the threat of robbery as a guide or even a consideration. If I did, well, I’d be in the same illogical loop - because I’m not going to say that “$20/hr is a fair wage for you to risk getting shot in the head”.

Right now I pay $1.10 under MW and use tip credit. I believe that is fair. There are plenty of pizza places around that need drivers, and I have never had someone leave because they were not making enough money.

Neither can you stop the same criminals that want more than the $25 the driver might have and hits the store instead for the larger cash hit. There are risks no matter what line of work you are in and no matter where you work. I truely like the idiots that rob the payday loan offices…that do not have any cash onsite… they issue checks for the loans they give. The point is no matter how safe or how many precautions we try to implement… the criminal always has the upperhand. Sorry to have to admit it but unless you’re making pizzas behind seven layers of lexan poly and have reinforced steel doors to keep you in… any operation with cash on hand is an easy target. The best you can do is use your head. If a situation looks, seems, or feels just wrong… it is not worth the cost of a pizza. So how much is a gun to the head worth… that is a rediculous question to even ask. There is no logical or acceptable answer. :!:

And let me guess…you have a “fair” delivery charge and a “fair” mileage plan as well? Since some board members have pointed out that I am sending my message to the wrong crowd, let me tell YOU sir:

Tip credit wages for delivery drivers is asinine, unacceptable, and definitely not “fair”. Each hour that your driver works, you are taking $1.10 of his/her tip money. I.e., if you were paying minimum wage, the tip would be in his/her pocket, not yours.

Disclaimer: If someone (anyone, not just Mr. Guest) can prove me wrong, I will LEAVE. Period.

Wow. And just when I was thinking you were one of the few that might be able to have a reasonable discussion.

This isn’t about YOU. I do appreciate and respect your opinion - but please remember it is just that - your opinion. I have a different opinion. We can all have an opinion on what is “fair” or what is “asinine” - because there is no specific definition.

However, “unacceptable” or acceptable has a definition if you look at it from a legal point of view. And you are very wrong that tip-credit for delivery drivers is unacceptable.

Even you know that it is acceptable. You might not like it, you may think it should be unacceptable, but please - you know it is currently acceptable.

How it would be possible to prove that your opinions are wrong, I don’t know. Why does it have to be about proving someone wrong or right and leaving? Can’t you express you opinion in a reasonable debate?

You are referring to tip credit law. I am not. Legally, it is acceptable in 42 states. Morally, it is wrong in all 50. It is also legal to have rat hairs in food, but that doesn’t make it right. Both are asinine. Telling a customer it is legal for them to pay your drivers will go over slightly better than telling them it is legal to have rat hair in food, but neither will be seen in a positive light.

My friend, IN YOUR OPINION it is morally wrong, correct? IN MY OPINION it is not morally wrong. It really is that simple.

Customers already “pay” other employees as you say, so I don’t think they would really care - they don’t seem to care about paying the wages of other service people - like waiters. Why would they suddenly care about paying the wages of drivers?