So Zippy the Monkey Boy is now Zippy the Delivery Boy. He finally listened to his mom and me and went out and got a job. He’s a delivery boy for a local Chinese restaurant.
Actually, for all that we worry about him driving around out there on the city streets at night, in a hurry to get where he needs to go, this is a pretty good fit to his skill sets. He’s gregarious, likes to talk to new people, and is willing to smile a lot. One of his major shortcomings is an unwillingness to tolerate stupidity (in others) silently.
I figured that would be a major problem for him in that he’d certainly have customers who would have forgotten they’d ordered food, didn’t have the money or way to pay, that sort of thing. And he wouldn’t deal well with it. Turns out, it’s been a good thing for him as he’s learned ways to deal. It was either that or not get a tip and he loves the tips.
No, the major problem with this job actually comes from a difference in our definitions of reasonable safety. Zippy the Delivery Boy, being a 17-year-old, is convinced of his own immortality and his own invulnerability. Even then, though, he wants to take what he considers to be reasonable precautions. He wants to carry around a really big knife (read machete) in the car under his seat to protect himself and to make sure he can out-threaten anyone who tries to rob him.
A concern for safety is a good thing, especially for a young dude on delivery runs. However, I’d rather he be unarmed and more than willing to hand over the money. See, my concern is that he’ll be confronted and will then pull the knife to which the robber will respond by pulling a gun. Escalation isn’t just to get upstairs, you know. The way I see it, no amount of money is worth Zippy the Delivery Boy’s life. I’d rather he just give it all up and live to drive another day.
He doesn’t see it that way. He’s convinced he can’t be hurt and the merest sight of his dangerous and vicious self wielding a large knife will be enough to set any reprobate back on the straight and narrow.
For now, he’s willing to give my idea a try. And I’m willing to just sneakily search the car before each shift instead of doing it right in front of him. I like to think of it as trust, but verify.
Now if only he’ll listen to me about speeding.