It’s A Fine Line

August 15, 2008 at 1:39 AM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
  It’s a fine line…

  …Between being incredibly stupid and certifiably insane.

  One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.  For example, squatting and grunting and expecting a monkey to fly out of my ass…and yet all I continue to do is fart.
  In the same context,  I have a history of going back to Domino’s Pizza, and then back into management.  I continue to expect rational upper management and humane treatment, and logical operations.
  And I yet I continue to get shit on.
  It’s what I get, I suppose, for trying to hedge.  Trying to come up with the least painful way of making more money, and balancing that with the least risk and change, I opted to become a part time assistant manager at Domino’s Pizza.  MIT, a manager-in-training.
  But the goal of an MIT is to eventually become a manager.  Is that what I wanted?  Christ, no!  I was more of an MIR, a manager-in-retirement.  I talk with Dina, the manager.  The store has a manager and one assistant.  Generally it should have two assistants, and we end up borrowing from other stores.  We pay overtime to them as well as overtime to our own people.  I could work two, maybe three nights per week in store.  But–I need to make at least (insert dollar amount here).  I’d like more, but this is my minimum.  Any less, and I will be forced to look elsewhere.
  This based on a complex formula taking into account how much I can work, what I need to make per week, and my pride.  I have twenty-plus years experience in this business, most of it in this company.  My knowledge, experience, and training had better be worth something.  It for damn sure better be.
  She agrees, and we have a deal in the works.  She takes the offer to Tom, our Supervisor (DM for those of you in the field).  Initially he balks–because that’s his job–but eventually he agrees to the deal.  That was last week.  So, starting this week, I would be "promoted."
  My first day was Wednesday–last night.
  By the way, my normal daily schedule has been this:  I get up around 6am (ish).  Work the bank from 7a to 3p.  If I work at Domino’s (or when I worked at Scooters) I would go home, take a quick nap–about an hour, hour-twenty–and then head off to the next job.  Work however later there (10pm, 1am, or 4 am) and then come home.  Except for the 4am, those others were during the week when I would have to get up again the next day at 6ish.
  But I would show up at the night job at 5 or 530.  You know, whatever.  Yet another sad case of me doing whatever I want.  But the nap is important, and part of my routine. And during a long day, it’s the difference between making it and…not.
  Now, though, as a new improved assistant, I get to show up at 4p.  So, I leave my day job, drive straight to Domino’s (or close to it) and park, and take a shorter, more uncomfortable half hour nap in the car.  Then I go in.  I change clothes, and the first thing Stan asks me is, can I take a delivery?  Well, I’m driving the Mercedes because I wasn’t expecting to drive.  But Mike, the driver, has a flat.  I take the run while he gets it fixed at the service station next door.
  Afterwards, Stan wants to have a conversation with me.  It seems that Tom is having buyer’s remorse regarding our deal.  He feels that for the paltry sum he’s willing to pay me, I should be working more hours.  Be more "invested."  He wants thirty hours or more.
  I raise my voice slightly.  "Does he know I already have a day job?  Or he doesn’t care?"
  "A little of both."  Meaning, if it’s not about Domino’s and what I could do for him, he’s not interested.  As it is, three shifts–three closes–is going to come out to 27.5 to 30 hours.  I’m not working any more.  In fact, I’m having doubts about these hours as it stands.
  But I get to work.  And one of the things I get to do, on my first day as an assistant manager, is help train the other new assistant.  This is his third day in civilization, and has never seen a pizza before in his life.  Or a computer, either, apparently.  The phone rang and he mentioned something about witchcraft.
  And we’re about to be visited by the ghost of corporate past.  I learn that the suits will be paying a visit this evening, so everyone is jumping through hoops, seeking the unattainable perfection that Domino’s can never be.  Stan is trying to brief me on knowledge that he feels I should ask.  "If they ask you what the shelf life of this is, you say–"
  "Dude, if they ask me anything, I’m going to tell them I’m new.  And that I don’t speak English.  And I’ll tell them in Spanish."
  He stared at me, blinking in disbelief.  "I’ve done this before.  I know how to bullshit."
  And they arrived, and we were a bit busy.  I handled carryouts and the oven, and Dina was on the line with the FNG.  A customer walks in, and I immediately start to make my way over to greet her–and one of the ass clowns in a suit yells out, "Carry out!" because that’s what you do when someone comes in, to make sure everyone knows.  But everyone DID know.  As I passed him, I smiled at the guy and then as I turned away from him but before I faced the customer I rolled my eyes.  It’s all about timing.
  However, I’m not important to the suits.  They breeze through, talk amongst themselves.  They make professional idle chit chat with the occasional employee, and then leave as though they were the cavalry that rode in to save the town, and now their job is done, and they gallop off to make vague generalizations elsewhere.
  Since we are safe–because they saved us–Dina leaves.  It’s about 730, and the rest of the night is mine.  It turns from a bad dream into a nightmare.  I go to check out Mike.  The FNG Johnny is getting busy up front, and is having trouble handling it.  That he handled it at all is a bit of a miracle.  I get Mike checked out, but I owe him money because like a dumbass he made a cash drop instead of putting it in his box.  Now he gets to wait for the safe to open. 
  I go up to the front, set the safe (I think), and then make pizzas, sandwiches, and whatever the hell else people order.  It starts to calm down, and I let Johnny go.  I’d rather do it myself.  He can answer the phones, barely–but he won’t unless you specifically tell him to, every time.  He’s like a poorly trained dog.  I try to open the safe when the timer goes off, and as it turns out, I don’t exactly know how.  I may not even have set the timer at all.  Or did I?  Mike was hovering, jittery–because he always is–waiting for me to open it.  He finally says, I’ll come back.  I owe him 90 bucks, so I imagine I’ll see him again.
  So I let Johnny go, and as I kneel down to reset the safe, I see something on a monitor that reminds me of something Johnny said…that we didn’t take care of.  While I’m checking Mike out, he come back to the office and says that on this one order, her forgot to get her address.  I said, "Call them back.  Ask for it."  I guess you have to be really new for that to not be obvious.  He comes back a few minutes later–"I tried twice, it was busy."
  "Give it a few, and then try again.  I’ll be up in a few minutes."
  I finish with Mike and get there, and I am immediately confronted by a small disaster.  It may well have been half a dozen forest fires, trying desperately to spread and grow and overtake the old growth trees.  We get caught up and I get Johnny out of there, and then I call Dina to get specific instructions for the safe. 
  I’m taking car of business, you know–doing my thing.  Fifteen minutes later I get up by the safe and get ready to open it.  And I see an order on the screen.  Half an hour old and not sent through.  I quickly reconstruct the events, and decide I need to call them.  This is the one Johnny took and didn’t get an address on, so it was never made.  Meanwhile, Mike is dancing like he’s going to piss his pants because I’m about to miss the safe again.  And I do.  But I take care of the order that Johnny never got ahold of to find their address.  I reset the safe, and Mike says he shall return.  By now it’s 830, and most of the madness is over.

  So…the rest of the night is slow and easy, like a retarded cheerleader.  By the way, if using "retarded" offends you, fuck off.  Offended more?  Good.  Steve and I have the chance to bond.  We hug, braid each others hair, and talk about clothes. 
  Except the non-gay version.  We talk shit, reminisce about past jobs, and fart.  Good times.  He had managed at Taco Bell, and had gotten screwed over–of course.  He and his brother (Mike, the other driver from earlier) opened a nightclub, and were quite successful, but had problems with a large university that was right next door. A large Catholic university with lots of pull locally.  They ended up selling. 
  Now he does pretty well for himself.  He and his brother once again have another venture going–used cars.  Nothing personal, but I would NOT buy a used car from either one of these fuckers.  No matter how trustworthy and honest they actually ARE, the perception is–they seem to be shifty bastards.  But nice boys.
  I make it through the closing procedure okay, I guess.  I walk about 12:20, and I’m home by 1a.  A little downtime–I eat some wings I brought home while watching drivel on the tube, then go to bed.  And read for about fifteen minutes.  Can’t help it.  About 130ish, 145.  And I have to be up at 6, but its going to be 645 and running a little late…
  What I want–all I want–is to make extra money without losing so much sleep.  My final analysis is not in yet, but the preliminary is this:  I don’t think this is going to work.  And I’m not putting up with any bullshit.  I can make this shitty money anywhere.  I think I would, now that I think about it, rather work more nights for shorter hours than fewer nights for longer hours.  I need to sleep, too.
  By the time Friday rolls around, I expect to be fried.

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