A Slice of Domino’s Pizza Introspection

One writer imagines the typical weekend experience of a Domino’s delivery driver.

by Audrey O'Brien | 2/23/22 2:15am

dominos
by Sophie Bailey / The Dartmouth

When students put down their backpacks and pick up their pong paddles to brush off the stress and grueling week’s work, Domino’s delivery drivers put on their hats, strap in their seatbelts and head out for the night. And because it's Dartmouth, it’s always a long night.

When the clock strikes 10:00 p.m. in Hanover, New Hampshire, restaurants close their kitchens, lock their doors and shut down for the night, leaving hungry and destitute Dartmouth students with few options for freshly made late-night snacks. There is, however, one exception: Domino’s Pizza. This accommodating delivery service, which delivers its delectable pizza until 3:15 a.m., is vital to the success of an on-night.

Domino’s can be seen almost anywhere you go on campus at any time of the night on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Of course, Domino’s is popular throughout the entire week, but these three nights, which are considered “on-nights,” put Domino’s delivery drivers to work. Pizza serves as a great counterpart to a pregame or a late night munch. I’ve seen it in the hands of brothers posted up at their frat’s front door and drooled as the scent of pepperoni pizza taunted me when I walked past. I’ve also seen it sitting outside a dorm because an unfortunate student fell asleep before they had a chance to indulge (don’t worry, another Dartmouth student passerby is usually kind enough to ensure this pizza doesn’t go to waste). I’ve also esconsed myself in a circle of my friends and eaten a delicious pizza of my own as we reminisced on the happenings of our night.

However, do us Dartmouth students take this amazing pizza and delivery service for granted? Have we even considered the toll it takes on drivers who scramble around campus to ensure that every student gets their share of deliciousness? I mean, Dartmouth students are dependent on Domino’s and its drivers to satisfy our late (or mid) night cravings. I can only imagine the stress of a driver who manages the duty of delivering the only freshly cooked meal late into the night. 

Delivering pizzas is a big responsibility that takes dedication and willpower. I’m not sure I could handle the smell of pizza permeating my car without succumbing to the urge of taking a bite. Perhaps distracting myself with music would be a successful diversion. But what music would best serve the mood? Do I listen to low-beat, sad music to complement my dejected mood arising from the fact that I can only deliver the pizza and not indulge? Or do I listen to upbeat music to harmonize with the frats’ EDM, rap or pop music that I briefly hear when bringing the pizza to the door? What if I just sit in silence listening to the laughter and squeals of freezing students gamboling from one frat to the next? The possibilities are endless and so is the night, so it’s essential to make the time spent in my car enjoyable and entertaining.

The art of delivering pizzas may not be the most difficult process, but it is no simple feat. Drivers have countless pizzas to deliver all across campus. I know I would want to be quick to get from one destination to the next, but it takes patience and prudence to safely deliver a pizza in perfect Domino’s condition. Therefore, drivers can’t take sharp turns or else the pizzas will slide around in the back seat, so they must be careful and capable drivers. This is one aspect that I believe I could succeed in (I’d like to think that’s not just optimistic bias). On the other hand, the monotonous practice of constantly getting into and out of my car to deliver the pizza to its hungry proprietor is one aspect that I am unsure I could maintain. This arduous process takes diligence and bravery, for deliverers must overcome any obstacles that the weather may pose. Rain, snow, sleet or ice, Domino’s drivers persevere. Personally, when I see rain or snow I want to cuddle up in my bed and eat a pizza of my own, not get in my car and deliver pizzas elsewhere. Yet, Domino’s drivers selflessly attend to the needs of hungry students.

Because they accept orders until 3:15 a.m., Domino’s drivers endure late into the night. They watch the sunset from the driver’s seat of their cars and finish their late night deliveries just a few hours short of the sunrise. Who is there to keep drivers company? Drivers’ only interactions include those at the Domino’s building receiving the pizzas from the kitchen and the short handoffs of pizza to students at their dorms. When it gets late into the night, these interactions become intermittent and drivers may have to just set pizzas outside of dorms. Students may have fallen asleep, phones may be dead or they might just be running behind. However, simply setting the pizza outside a dorm runs the risk of it falling into the wrong hands. As a driver, I would be nervous to just leave the warm pizza out in the cold, but that is just part of the job. If I’ve called the student and waited at the door, then I’ve done all that I can. The remaining pizza that I have yet to distribute still sits in my car waiting to be delivered and devoured by hungry students. 

As a Domino’s driver, Dartmouth students are relying on me, so there is no time for deliberation. I can only rely on the morality of Dartmouth students to ensure the pizza sitting outside a dorm is rightfully eaten by its patron. However, by falling asleep, students relinquish their pizza to those who stayed out later into the night (and probably overstayed their welcome in a frat). As seen on Librex (RIP) the following morning, there is lots of discord regarding Domino’s pizzas that were left outside a dorm. Some posts consist of anonymous inheritors of pizza thanking a sleeping student for the free pizza, while others admonish the thieving student who beat them to their prize. Whether or not the pizza fell into the right hands, Domino’s pizzas are guaranteed to satisfy lucky, hungry students. 

Domino’s brings students together. Students gather around the blue and red painted box and relish in the deliciousness of the pizza while sharing stories and having conversations. The pheromones of a Domino's Pizza facilitates conversation and connection between students, and without the aid of hard-working Domino’s delivery drivers, this would not be possible. Dartmouth students are indebted to Domino’s drivers, and not many students consider the work of drivers behind the scenes. It’s time we consider the contributions of Domino’s employees, a backbone of Dartmouth’s social scene. I think I speak on behalf of all Dartmouth students when I say: thank you Domino’s. 

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