A Brand New Day

January 24, 2008 at 6:57 AM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
  This Domino’s I started working at last week just got new computers.  Yesterday.  Deja vu all over again for me; not only have I been through these transitions before, but I have worked with both the previous system and the new system before.
  I feel like I need the dramatic music in the background as I explain to them once again.. .

  The secret lab was in disarray.  Tiny explosions accented the chaos, and small electrical fires filled the room with smoke.  The survivors slowly rose, coughing and wondering at their fate.  They looked about–Dr Evil Pizza had escaped once more. 
  An unnamed underling–the kind who wears a red uniform so you know they are dispensable–noticed a display on twisted and wrecked terminal.  Large red numbers.  Counting down.  The ominous font left no doubt that when the numbers reached 00:00.00, they would all die.  Right now, the numbers were at 00:20.15.  Twenty seconds left.
  A man emerged from the smoke and confusion walking confidently with a billowing cape.  He strode directly towards the terminal.  But in slow motion.  Would he make it in time?
  The tension mounted in the survivors, and some could take it no more.  "Hurry up, you asshole!"
  The unknown confident know-it-all asshole arrived at the terminal just as it said 00:03.96.  He hit F10, then Q, then E, and the screen changed, and he logged off.  The countdown stopped.  Collectively, the survivors let out a sigh of relief.  The leading lady-type looked up at him, deep into his eyes and said, "You saved us!  How did you know what to do?"
  The unknown man said, "I’ve done this before–" and he turned quickly on his heel, because that creates the best billowing cape effect.  In a moment, he was gone.
  "Who was that masked man?"  One of them asked.
  The woman answered, "That was no masked man.  That was an asshole who used to work here."

  The company computer guy was there, as well as the supervisor, Earl.  Earl was the one who got me the job.  There was some tension between Earl and Dina, the manager.  They had a conversation, it got loud, and then they were almost yelling at each other.  A carryout (customer) walks in, and they persist–not professional.  I walk up to the customer, loud and happy and blocking the view of those two, and clumsily take care of him.  (Yeah, I know this computer system, but it’s been four years.)
  Their conflict is over another store.  This other store needs drivers, and every store is directed to send over one driver per week to cover a shift.  Dina hasn’t been.  There are issues over it–not my problem, but I’m sure at one point it will be.  (This is foreshadowing; let’s just see what happens.)
  I take my first run.  It’s twelve pizzas, going to a Jewish school.  This is a rich neighborhood; of course there’s a Jewish school.  Lots of little Jewish princesses and miniature Seinfelds all over the place.  But the teacher that I gave the pizzas to was a hot Jewish babe. 
  It was an uneventful night.  The problem with this place is, we have too many drivers scheduled.  In 4 1/2 hours, I took six runs.  I mean, come on.  Even in an area this size, I can take three runs an hour easily.  After I know the area better. The tips were decent, even my last run.
  My last run was to the first black person I’ve seen in this area.  Like I said, this is a wealthy area.  There are houses I haven’t been to that are worth millions–mostly we deliver to the houses that worth worth half a million.
  So, this is the cheapest pizza I’ve seen, too.  Seven-fifty.  Must be a coupon.  I get to the house, finally.  I had trouble finding it, because there’s no porch light on.  I don’t see any lights, but it looks like a TV is on.  You know, I could have went ahead up to the door, but I’m not going to play around anymore, plus I have a cell phone.  In front of the house, I call the customer.  Imagine the customer sounding like a constipated, out-of-breath Fat Albert.
  Me (your cordial host):  Hello, this is Bryan from Domino’s Pizza.
  Fat Albert: (long, breathy pause)  Yeah.
  Me:  I think I might be in front of your house, but I’m not sure.  There’s no porch light or any lights on.  I don’t want to knock on someone’s door and wake somebody up late at night by going to the wrong house, so I was wondering if you could turn your light on, so I know I’m at the right house?
  FA: (a much longer breathy pause)  Huh?
  Me:  Can you please turn your porch light on.
  FA:  (a short breathy pause) Aight.
  A full two minutes go by, and I’m beginning to wonder if I am indeed at the right house.  Finally, the porch light goes on.  I get to the door and the guy is shaped like a barrel, and breathing heavily.  I gently remind him that when one orders a pizza it’s a good idea for one to turn on one’s porch light as a courtesy for the driver.  Dickhead.
  But for the 7.50 pizza he not only gave me a ten, but an additional dollar as well.  Not bad.
  I just want to know what it is about some people (and it’s mostly black people but not strictly so) that they have all the lights off in the house.  What the fuck is that?  I know "if you’re not in the room, turn the light off.  Fine.  I can live with that. . ..barely.  What about the room that you are actually IN?  Why are you sitting in the dark in that room?  And it’s not an occasional thing, it’s an all-the-time thing.  It just seems like you’re trying to hide something.  Or hide from something.
  But not only that:  say I’m in the living room, and the kitchen light is off, in my peripheral vision there is a whole section that is dark, and it really bugs me.  I like the light.  It’s a personal preference, and my preference is to have light.  Okay, honey? 
  I also keep the water running when I brush my teeth.  Maybe I shouldn’t.  Try and stop me.

  Earlier in the evening, I had another opportunity to practice my customer service skilz.  I answered the phone.  I can’t reproduce much of that conversation. . .most of it was "Huh?  Excuse me?  I’m sorry?  I can hardly hear you?"  The gist of it was, they wanted to order a pizza and pick it up.  At once I could hear them, and again I couldn’t.  I realized I was talking to at least 2, maybe 3 teenage or preteen girls.  They wanted a large pizza "With all the toppings," and they were going to come pick it up.
  I just know, okay?  Like I said, it’s hard to convey the entire conversation, but I heard enough to know.  After trying to be reasonable with them ("Look, I need to speak to just one person, and every one else needs to get off the phone") I finally said, "Maybe you need to call a different pizza place, one that’s full of suckers.  I’m not buying it, okay?  Did you want to try again, or just call someone more gullible?  Because we’re aren’t going to make a pizza for you." 
  They hung up.

  Amazingly, after 20+ years of doing this, I have pretty much seen everything.  And yet–I feel pretty certain I have more yet to experience.


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