Let Me Tell Y’all What It’s Like–

January 19, 2008 at 1:02 AM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
. . .Bein’ male, middle-class, and white–

  At the very least, I suppose:  I can say that my new job delivering pizza for Domino’s Pizza gives me credibility. . .
  Because this blog is called "Riding In Cars With Pizza," but many of you reading may not dip into the archives to see my stories about my time spent riding in cars with pizza so you may think that "Riding In Cars With Pizza" is just a clever name, not something I have actually done.  But I have done it.  I have ridden in several cars with many thousands of pizzas.  I’ve done it all.
  The looming apocalypse on the horizon has forced me to get yet another second job, aka my third job.  In terms of importance and priority, it definitely comes in last.
  Last night was my first night there. 
  Smell is a big memory stimulator.  A flood of memories came back to me as I entered.  Home is the place where, no matter how disfunctional everyone is, they’ll welcome you back as one of their own, because misery loves company.  I was home.
  Let’s take a tour of the store.  Dina–Deena?–is the manager.  Early to mid 30s (or a not-well aged late 20s), thin, brown hair.  Probably cute, but definitely not flaunting it at work.  She’s a bit laid back.  The whole operation makes me feel like I’m in Arkansas.  She has three young daughters who look to be between 6 and 10.  They are in the back playing and staying out of the way.  I would not have been shocked to find chickens roosting in the back, or a goat up front eating hay.  A store in general takes it’s cues and personality from the manager, and what I learned from the store tells me much about Dina.  It’s like snooping through her medicine cabinet and peeking in her underwear drawer.  I’m a helluva amateur psychologist.
  This store services one of the more affluent neighborhoods in the St Louis area:  Chesterfield, Town and Country, Ladue.  These are rich neighborhoods.  And then there is this shitty hole-in-the-wall Domino’s Pizza.  I was awestruck by the dichotomy.  We are…the bastard son of available services.
  I met a few drivers.  Mike, for one.  He seems like a lifer.  He has the grizzled, road-weary attitude of one who has seen all manner of excess in living–large houses, fancy cars, trophy wives–and is unimpressed with your two dollar tip, you cheapskate.  I came back from a run, and the MIT (Manager in Training) Chris was on the phone.  There were pies coming out and orders to make.  I jumped on the oven, took care of it, and then started making pizzas, to Chris’ surprise.
  I told him if we got busy I could help.  I didn’t let on to Mike, because he might have thought his job was in jepoardy (Dude, the last thing I want is your job), but I told Chris I had done this before.  I didn’t tell him how much I had done it.  (Because no matter how you say it, it comes out snarky–or maybe it’s just me.  "What were you doing in 1986?"  "I was in third grade."  "I was doing this.")
  But then Mike comes in from a run, takes over the oven.  He testily remarks that "We" need to keep the cut table clean and organized.  Whatever, dude.  First of all, you’re neither a supervisor nor my wife.  Secondly, you weren’t in here and I had other shit to do.  Lastly, If you’ve every experienced a real rush, you’d know you clean up afterwards, not during.  Get over yourself.
  I said, "We had alot going on, Mom."  Actually I didn’t, but that was my tone.  I did tell him what happened–which, from the state of things, it was obvious.  If I had had another few minutes–but I didn’t.  I did important things instead.  Maybe it was his attempt to express dominion over me, as the driver with seniority. 
  Now THAT would be funny.  But I’m sure he’ll warm up to me, because everyone likes me.
  The other driver, a chap named "Myron" of all things–started about the same time I got hired.  He’s in real estate.  Came in wearing a suit, and changed into his uniform.  He seems like a nice guy, but completely out of his element here.
  Okay.  So this is a pretty slow store.  Or slow right now–it’s should pick up.  Chris said Dina doesn’t bonus, which means the store doesn’t profit (or profit enough to pass all the hurdles required to give the manager a bone), and I’m sure it’s a joy to be here for salary and nothing else.  I know, I’ve done it a few times.
  Much of the business we do have is carryout–these rich fucks will come in and pick up their pizza.  I imagine if I started teabagging all the carryouts, there would be fewer of them.  Logically that would lead to more deliveries.  Right?  So I’m there for about 3 1/2 hours, and take six runs.  ~~sigh~~
  Here’s the breakdown.  The first one was to the neighborhood right behind us.  By the way, I received no "training," just, "Your run’s up."  So–big houses, rich people.  Three bucks.
  The next one was the same.  The guy remarked how impressed he was that I got their so quickly.  A buck and half.  I did get a view of his,wife, and she was cute.  I wanted to ask her what it was like being married to a small-dicked asshole while I teabagged her.  I didn’t do that, but they are on the list.
  Next run, a unique individual like the others, three bucks. After that, an apartment.  Odd.  I thought this town was too expensive for apartments.  I asked Mike if we had a map of the complex.  He said no.  I think he didn’t want to help me.  He’s on the list too.
  I get to the complex and turn in.  The numbers are above the door, and the light is no where near there.  I squint and see the sequence, and continue driving.  I get to the end, and it’s 13420 (or something like that).  I need 13412.  I call on my handy-dandy cell phone.  This part is better–the last time I delivered, I didn’t have this.  She tells me where it is, right around the back.  Oh.  I get out and go.  Cute young chick–early 20s.
  Oh, shit.  The order says it’s a charge, and I don’t have the receipt.  I said, "Well, unless you really NEED a copy, I don’t have to come back, unless the manager says I have to.  Is that okay?"  Sure.  But no tip, and no mention of adding one.  Fuck.  I get back and tell Chris, so we look it up.  It was denied.  That makes me feel better–it  means I didn’t lose it.  He calls the customer, and they try another card before they decide to pay with a check; guess who gets to go back. 
  At least I know where to go.  I get there, and she hands me a check which I am sure is going to bounce.  16 bucks for 14.44 tab.  That’s 1.56.  It’s funny how good you become at math when you work for tips.  She is now on the list.
  When I come back from that is when we are busy and the aforementioned crap happens.  I end up with a double out of that, my first.  The first one is going to a hotel by the highway.  According to the map–
  Mike was no help, oddly enough.  I end up calling the customer, and he’s from out of town, so he has no idea where he is.  I have him give me the hotel phone number and I call them.  They give me direction which are confusing and complicated. . .this is where my experience kicks in, and I find it with no trouble.  It’s a very swanky Mariot, and I park right at the front door.  Hazards and a cartop are like an all-access pass.  Fifth floor, three bucks.  Then I have to find my way to the other run.
  By the way, this is just from looking at the map back at the store; I don’t have anything with me.  All from memory.  I find the house easily, and a teenager in a 758 thousand dollar house gives a twenty for a 15 dollar pizza, keep the change.  I curse the affluent but take his money.
  I get back to the store and the "rush" is over.  Me and Chris chat, as I check out, and then I ask if I can borrow a pizza.  It’s a pretty loose operation, I figure I’m good.  I just don’t want to take advantage too much.
  Yet.
  I’m leaving, and Mike comes back with a couple of fountain sodas.  He explains that the Mobil station next door gives us free sodas–just be in uniform.  Hey.  Cool.  I stop there on my way out.
  Ashley is the  sweet girl working there.  I introduce myself, and we chat while I get a soda.  Either she is genuinely interested in what I have to say, or she is supremely bored and looking for any entertainment.  I’m guessing it’s number 2.
  I explained myself, my life, and my current situation as briefly as I can.  She says, "Well, you know–I used to work at Imo’s (pizza) a while back.  I’m sure I’ll end up working there again.  It’s a cycle."
 
  Uh. . .The Circle of Life?

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