(Put On Your) Sailing Shoes

July 6, 2008 at 11:04 AM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
   At first, I heard my friend The Dude had a job at some pizza place.  Good for him; I was a bit worried.  A week later he was fired.  That’s–that’s a bummer, dude.  Why?  Who knows, really, what reasons lurk in the hearts of men…
  Then I talk to him a few weeks later, and he has another job.  It seems that Blond Sean, our former co-worker, had put in an application at a little restaurant, and based on whom he had worked for previously, they hired him.  Who he had worked for previously was my Scott, the owner of Scooter’s, and these people all go way back.  Ex-Domino’s Pizza, and so forth.
  As I sit here and write this, the question occurs to me that maybe I, too, should have opened a restaurant?
  Nah.  Who wants to work in a restaurant all their life?  Not me.
  Based on a good recommendation, Sean gets the job.  He happens to be talking to The Dude–helping him with a computer issue–and mentions it.  Says they could use a driver.  Bam, The Dude gets a job.  Blond Sean also hires STP–Sean The Philosopher–another alum from Scooter’s.  Blond Sean is essentially hired and promoted to General Manager, and is going to make STP an assistant manager.
  STP’s personality is at best difficult, but the normal setting is volatile.  After a few days he quits and storms out over a disagreement about the philosophy of tardiness.  He stands by his principles.  In the meantime, I had been looking for some extra hours and wasn’t necessarily thrilled with the prospect of delivering more.  The price of gas plus using the truck instead of Nigel took a deeper bite into my man-sac than I was comfortable with.
  I took a meeting with BS, and got a job.  As I said, I wanted some hours during the week, and I wanted to keep my weekends free.  I’ve worked weekends for twenty mother-fucking years, I think it’s time I had a break.  BS said coolio.  I did agree to come in on Saturday night–last night–to learn and train and get the idea before I started.

  The place is called Angelina’s Pizza.  It’s named after one of the bosses, neither of whom I have yet to meet.  So, yeah, we have pizza.  And frozen custard.  Served, I believe, in separate dishes.  The menu is actually pizza, pasta, sammiches, and some appetizers, and then a whole range of frozen shit.  The whole range of frozen shit I don’t know anything about and maybe never will; that’s the front of the house.  I’m in the back of the house, in the kitchen.  We have some dine-in, some outdoor seating, a drive-thru, and of course, we deliver.
  I walk in the door, and announce my arrival with the standard greeting:  "So I jump ship in Hong Kong, and hitch-hike my way across Tibet…"  The only people working are BS, his wife Jen, and The Dude.  Arriving soon are players to be named later.
  I take to the pizzas like a duck takes to insurance–no problem.  Sandwiches and the deep fryer–again, no problem.  But we get to do something new–or new to me–sautee.  I like it.  I like having a familiar base (pizza) and something new to learn and hopefully master.  It’ll keep it from being boring.  The Dude seems genuinely happy to see me, despite our heated political argument just the night before.  It’s good to be here.
  I learn the ropes as I go, but am mostly making pizzas.  BS says this is a typical night business-wise, but more pizza than normal.  I said, "Well, it’s because they know I’m here now."  And I have no problem handling the pizza business.  Jen starts in right away giving me shit as soon as I walked in the door. She’s teasing me, flirting with me.  It’s embarrassing the way she just threw herself at me, the way girls do who want to have a threesome with me and their husband.  Look, it happens all the time.
  But she was giving me shit about making pizzas–trying to babysit me.  I explained to her how cute it was that she thought she could show me how to make a pizza.  It’s like trying to teach Ernhardt how to drive.  Later she fawns over how good my pies look, and wants me to make her one.  I won over another fan.
  Some chick named Tara was supposed to be there at five, but she didn’t show up until after 5:30.  Then Jim shows up.  Jim is a guy that BS just recently fired because although Angelina’s has some pretty relaxed policies on some things, a few things they can’t tolerate are tardiness and using heroin in the bathrooms.  Jim shows up to talk to Tara…his fiance.  Well.  Tara summarily resigns and walks out, obviously pressured into doing so by her well-intentioned and forward thinking future husband and current addict.
  Jen’s happy because she "gets" to stay longer.  But BS is now really happy to have me there.  He left me alone in the kitchen for a while to fuck up and learn from my mistakes and fix a few things that I eventually got right–while he handled the soap opera in the front.  So this is a pretty small operation.  Not alot of people working here.  Karl and Johnnie are the two drivers.  BS and his wif, one other chick that hasn’t quit yet, and me.  The owners are rarely around.  BS said he’s going to hire a couple more people.  He’s GM and the power is likely to go to his head if it hasn’t already.  But that’s fine. I sure as shit don’t want it; I have a job.  It’s a laid-back, casual atmosphere here.  We seem to have purged the trouble-makers.  It should be smooth sailing from here on out.  Right?  And if not, I can always jump ship.  But I’ll ride this until we crash on the rocks.

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