I Am The Walrus

August 28, 2008 at 10:07 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | 1 Comment
  I was most of the way through creating some exceptionally brilliant prose when the power flashed briefly, and it disappeared.  So, you’ll just have to take my word for it.  I rebooted and began again–and the power went off again.  This time for about half an hour or more.
  The simplest things make people happy.  No power=no work=happiness.  I said I would send out an email and let everyone know there was no power.  Hahaha.  Everything is funnier when there’s no power.  Then we heard word that there was no power across the street at the main building either, and a transformer blew.  Then we heard that there were people trapped in the elevator. 
  Traditionally you might think that’s a bummer, but my thought–which I said out loud–was, "That would be a great place for a web-cam!"  We contemplated how long we would have to stay before calling it a day–I was ready to go home.  Then the power came back on, and there was a collective slumping of shoulders.  Everyone silently went back to work.
  Except–we still have no network connectivity.  All the programs we use and all the data we access are on network servers.  As we speak, tehy are working to resolve these issues.  E’en now, I contemplate going home early, as there is nothing I can do.

  So back to the task at hand.  Let me try to recreate the original.  Oh, I’m going to hit "save" first.

  Like Lenin said…Follow the money.

  In the 2 1/2 weeks since I’ve become an assistant manager, I’ve gotten into a routine.  That makes it easier.  The first week was hard, it was an adjustment.  Besides the work and the amount of hours and the stress and the crap, it was also three days in a row (W-Th-F) of working my day job then going in at night.  By Friday, I was pretty much spent.
  But since then, I’ve been working the night job M-W-F, which is easier, and gives me a break in between my short nights.  I can work essentially 70 hours per week and still have off Saturday or Sunday.  I was a little excited to be going in last night, because this week I was going to get my first paycheck as an assistant with more hours and a theoretically higher pay rate.  It would soon be time to see if the fruits of my labor would thrill my loins.
  So I waltzes in, and Stan is working.  He said, "Don’t clock in yet; I need to fix something."  Well, that’s always good.  I go change and come out, and we have to make about 20 pizzas pretty quick for a big order.  Then Stan is on the phone and on the computer trying to straighten out the receipt for that order, because it’s an accounts receivable deal.  Then he’s done, and he finishes up the other thing, and then he says, "Okay, I clocked you in and changed your time."
  "So, what was the deal?"
  He motioned me into the tiny office and closed the door.  I can’t quote him directly, because he runs on and I don’t have that kind of patience.  The gist of if is, The franchise pwner feels more strongly than the supervisor felt about my salary:  I was making too much.  Obviously, they have no idea as to the quality of my work, or how much I *really, really care* about the company.  But only full-time assistants are worthy of the paltry sum I sought.  He feels someone should have "both feet in or both feet out."  I wasn’t going to do the hokey pokey with him, however. 
  So my fate–my punishment for not fully committing to them–was that my pay should be fiddy cents less.  Stan said before I could react, that Dina’s solution to this was to simply pad my time the appropriate amount to make up for this.  I grabbed the calculator.  I worked about 28 per week.  Times 50 cents, that’s 14 bucks.  That’s about an hour and a half, give or take.
  It’s not so much about the money as it is about the principle of the thing.  But the principle of the thing is the money, and what I am worth.  I have a bottom line to meet.  As long as I hit that…At that point, I just felt resigned to it.  At least, at this rate, they won’t expect as much from me and I don’t have to go to any meetings.  Honestly, I’d still like to talk to one of these suits in person, but of course there are buffers and barriers between myself and someone of their station.  It’s just as well; I feel whatever I said would fall on deaf ears whilst I beat the crap out of them.  I have a rich fantasy life.

  Having launched this shift in a happy, happy mood, I now got to deal with the customer.  We have these regulars that come in, named Bob.  I don’t know their real names, and I don’t care.  I call each one of them Bob.  They’re fucking old and deaf anyway.  There’s about four to six of these assholes, these fucking old guys that won’t call and order for delivery.  And they won’t call and order for a pickup.  They want to come in and then order, and then wait.
  So this one Bob comes in, and I take his order.  He’s a sarcastic fucker.  "Are you going to get it right this time?" he asks.  What is that shit supposed to mean?  "Did I get it wrong last time?"  He shrugs it off, doesn’t answer.  Dickhead.  But here’s what the crusty fucker orders.  A large thin.  Half with no sauce.  On the half with no sauce, mushrooms and black olive.  On the the other half, pepperoni,  Onion and *light* bacon on the whole thing.  That’s the order, but that’s not the way he orders it.  Perhaps because he is confused, he orders it with something less than clarity.
  So I’m making his stupid pie, and as I begin to load it in the oven, he’s standing there, at the counter, watching.  He said, "Where’s the pepperoni?"  Oh.  Well, shit.  No problem.  As I turn back to the makeline to add pepperoni to it, there is an exchange between Stan and the old fuck.  I didn’t hear it, which is probably a good thing because I could have easily killed the fucking old guy.
  And in a situation like that, I don’t think the charge of "murder" is necessarily appropriate.  I mean, it should be pro-rated.  He’s got to be 80, or close to it.  He’s going to die soon anyway.  I’d say a fine of, say fifty bucks, similar to that of parking in a handicapped spot.  Which, ironically, would free up a parking spot if I killed him.  But it would totally be worth fifty bucks to hear his brittle bones snapping when I drop-kick his ass.
  Stan gently suggests to me that I just remake the whole pizza.  This much more logical than just adding pepperoni to half of this one.  I realize my headache is from my eyes constantly rolling in my head.  I remake the pizza.  The old fuck stands there and watches.  To make sure.  And then he sits down when I load it. 
  You know how much I hate being watched when I make food.  I know I made a mistake, but it was because he was watching me in the first place.  If he would have just sat down, I would have made it right.  I know I would have.  I don’t need a fucking backseat goddamn driver on the makeline.  And I don’t need a fossilized condescending fuckhead shaking his head at my incompetence when it was his overly judgmental ass that caused this in the first place.  I’m sure the pizza is for him and his wife, and that’s too bad.  For her sake I’d hope that she was dead and free from that overbearing control freak asshole.  She’s probably just alive because he won’t let her die.  Bastard.
  Oh, I’m bitter?  You think?
  Shortly after that, we slow down, and I check Myron out.  I’m going to stand by my original assessment of him, going by my gut reaction to his subliminal aura:  I think he’s a pedophile.  Definitely a pervert of some kind.  He has hair, but other than that he reminds me of Uncle Fester, from the Adams Family.  Seriously. 
  So, I’m checking him out, and his total comes to 18.22.  I give him 18.  He’s counting in his head and on his fingers, because he thinks it should be more.  I clear the ten-key and go over it again, using approximations, because I want to make sure we’re in the right ballpark.  Same thing.  18.60.
  He says, "Well, it should be 19, so just give me 19."
  I honestly have a bewildered look on my face.  "No.  Your total is 18.  You get 18."
  He tried this rounding shit before.  A week ago his total came out to 21.40.  He pulled out a pocketful of change, and gave me a dime.  He said, "That’s how it works, right?  At fifty cents you round up."
  "Not if you have a pocketful of change I don’t.  Give me fifty cents, or you get nothing."  What a penny-ante cheapskate skinflint tightwad bullshit artist.  He huffed and gave me the change, and I gave him a dollar.
  Now, he said, "But it’s 18.60."
  "Myron, you didn’t see what I did.  I rounded, just because I wanted to make sure we were in the right ballpark, because you thought you were short.  Your total is 18–18.22.  I’m not going to cheat you out of a dollar.  But if you don’t believe me and make me count it again, I will charge you dollar.  Your choice."
  I’ve seen his type before.  They push and push for every little nickel, looking for an opening to see what they can get away with.  It’s always only about them.
  I don’t like him.

  Much later, and we’re dead.  Me and Kirby closing.
  I try to read.  Kirby will not shut up and will not go away and will not leave me alone for two goddamn seconds.  Fuck.  I like him, though.  He won’t sit still.  He’s shorter than I am, stocky, a few years younger.  Grey hair.  What’s up with that?  I think grey makes you look older than bald does.  I hope.
  I met his new wife, newly pregnant.  She’s nice.  I got to feel her belly, and she felt mine.
  Kirby brought in some bourbon to spike our Cokes with.  We sat outback, and had a cigar.  We talked about our respective karate kareers.  He and his brother and his dad had all taken it, in the past.  All blackbelts.  Maybe they were, maybe they weren’t.  But they looked as out of shape as I was, so who’s to say?
  We also talked about college and all the sex we had when we were younger.  And then…Kirby said something, told me a story.  I can’t tell you what it is, but honestly–between that and what I know about his brother–is it just those two, or are all men like that?  I don’t think I’m like that.  I mean, I talk shit, but I just couldn’t do that.  Are we like that?
  No orders for over an hour, and the place is clean.  Just waiting on the clock to finish the deposits and run the reports.  Four minutes till close–
  –The phone rings.
  Yeah, one call does it all.  One phone call changes everything.  Instead of leaving at 1207, I left at almost 1a.  Get home about 130, in bed by 2a, because I still need some time to wind down.  Time to play B sides.  Time ain’t on my side.  But doing this, putting up with the bullshit, and not bitching (I mean, not there.  After the fact–here–doesn’t count.) and taking orders right before close without complaint is worth more than they think it is.  I’m not getting rich here.  Not even close. 
  Since the only thing they respect is money, that is the gauge whereby I measure whether or not they respect me.  So far, it ain’t much.


1 Comment »

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  1. OMG, I laughed my ass off! You are so talented, as I have told you before. I can understand you wanting to kill bob 🙂

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