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My First Job: From Pizza Delivery Boy to CEO

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鲜花(279) 鸡蛋(4)
ljmtidilgw 发表于 2013-11-6 13:35:05 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
It’s a miracle I survived my first job.

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In 1972, at the age of 16, I finally got that most coveted of possessions for a teenage boy growing up in the 'burbs: my driver’s license. Seeking to monetize my newfound status (and impress girls), I got my first job as a pizza delivery boy at a local pizzeria, the Italian Village. At the time I had no way to know my odds of surviving were slim. Years later, probably after watching a piece on 60 Minutes, I found out just how volatile the combination of a Ford Pinto station wagon with a propane tank in the back was. But of course, as a 16-year-old anxious to make some bucks, safety was the last thing on my mind.Settling into my job, I found that the faster I drove, the more money flowed my way in the form of tips, the lifeblood of pizza delivery.
Because the newest owners of the Italian Village were recently arrived Italian immigrants who spoke very little English, I found myself taking orders and then rushing to make the deliveries. In this way, my "need for speed" was an essential part of my job because after I took orders, I had to fly at warp speed to be able to make some real dough (pun intended).

Lest you think that the job was carefree and fun, as I sped around delivering pizzas left and right, I had my share of fender benders from sliding around on icy streets. And a few times, the police pulled me over for driving too quickly and insisted on hand delivering me back to the pizzeria.

My customers were none the wiser about these details. In fact, because I was also captain of the high school tennis team, and reported to work in my tennis whites straight from practice, I had a certain calling card for my deliveries. In the fairly affluent suburb where I grew up, I found that showing up in my tennis uniform resulted in extra conversation and increased tips from customers who were also tennis enthusiasts.

Today, because of early stakeholders like me, that pizza shop is a well-known restaurant in the town where I grew up. A few years ago, when my high school age daughter Allie was dating a boy from my old neighborhood, I drove her up to see him and she said she was hungry. I told her we had to stop by the old pizza place where I used to work to see if my old boss Frankie was around. Returning to my first job after 30 years was like coming back as a conquering hero. And to my daughter’s delight, they would not let me pay for the pizza slices we ordered.

Looking back, I see that my modus operandus from pizza delivery boy to CEO has remained unchanged and can be summarized in three simple rules:

1) Don’t just do what you’re told. No, I’m not recommending insubordination here. Rather, I’m suggesting that employees of all levels take initiative and step up to the plate. At my first job, this translated into me answering the phones at the pizza shop and placing orders in addition to delivering pizzas. Currently, as CEO of Ovation Travel Group, out-of-the-box thinking has resulted in my travel management company cornering law and finance markets and expanding into leisure travel with a new travel venture on its way. Rather than maintaining the status quo, we expanded where we saw opportunities to do so and it’s paying off.

2) Dress the part. When I first started delivering pizzas, I reported to work straight from tennis practice. Since there was no uniform for the job, I wore my tennis clothes on my deliveries. After a short time, I found that by accidentally positioning myself as a student athlete, I had gotten an "in" with my customers, some of whom were former athletes or had children on sports teams. These like-minded customers appreciated my effort and it scored me some nice sized tips. The same is true today. I wear a suit to business meetings because it makes me an equal in a professional setting, and I mention my former law career, so that prospects get a sense that I truly understand their business.

3) Become vested in your workplace. By taking an interest in your workplace, and seeing the larger picture of how your job affects the bottom line, you can motivate yourself to achieve greatness. In the case of my first job, I strongly believe that my vested interest in the pizza shop, along with my willingness to pitch in where there were holes in responsibilities, helped grow the business into the successful restaurant that it is today. Now, I pride myself in being a CEO that comes into the office every day, answers the phone, and has a firm handle on how my business is running. I genuinely care about my employees, and in turn, they make it their goal to help Ovation Travel Group be the best it can be.

Photo: Paul Metselaar

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鲜花(82) 鸡蛋(0)
zspkd 发表于 2013-11-7 09:07:30 | 显示全部楼层
南美反美斗士查韦斯?还是足球先生马拉多纳?
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Pgain 发表于 2013-11-7 09:12:32 | 显示全部楼层
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SkyLeon 发表于 2013-11-7 20:52:58 | 显示全部楼层
Paul Metselaar
Chairman & CEO at Ovation Travel Group
应该是意大利裔
鲜花(64) 鸡蛋(0)
leewenbo 发表于 2013-11-9 11:03:26 | 显示全部楼层
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mastercard 发表于 2018-12-12 15:29:41 | 显示全部楼层
回答了那么多,没有加分了,郁闷。。 支持东南西北人
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flyingegg 发表于 2020-7-24 16:23:45 | 显示全部楼层
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