Ain’t That Tough Enough?

September 23, 2008 at 10:14 PM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
  Things…are tough all over.

  It’s easy to blame "the Economy."  Blame the government, blame George Bush, blame somebody, blame everybody–
  Everybody but yourself.
  The fact is, things are the way they are.  So you can wish for things to be different, or you can adapt.  Maybe the economy is bad–but maybe your decisions are making the local economy (ie, *YOUR* economy) worse.  If wishes were pizzas, beggars would eat. When I hear other people’s stories, it sometimes makes me feel better…

  My sister–bless her heart–has spent nine of the past 12 months unemployed.  Only because she’s unemployable.  It’s not her fault; she’s obstinate and ridiculously stupid with no knowledge of how the world around her actually works.  Her house is paid for, but she has other bills.  I feel that eventually I’m going to have to perform some sort of bailout to save the family homestead.  She did just get a job recently–we’ll see how long that shit lasts.  The only reason I don’t feel good about this is because I know I’m going to end up getting involved.  Retard.
  My friend Serena and her boyfriend Mark have problems.  He switched jobs only to be let go from the new job because they wanted to live in the 1970s and he wanted to bring them…at least into the 90s.  He’s looking for work, but has a standing offer to return to his previous employer.  Meanwhile, Serena’s had expensive car problems that are compounded by a lack of knowledge about how to work the system.  Briefly, her car wouldn’t pass the required emissions inspection, but they didn’t tell her and she didn’t ask about a waiver.  Her check engine light was still on even after all the work, and they said it wouldn’t pass because of it, but they could turn it off but said they couldn’t.  Even Auto Zone can reset one and turn it off.  She’s been screwed by these mechanics that she keeps going back to.  Idiot.
  I talked to to the Dude recently.  He’s working, but his brother isn’t.  Karl brings in a few hundred bucks a week–not much.  His brother is supposed to be the bread winner.  However, since his accident almost a year ago, he hasn’t worked.  He’s waiting for an insurance settlement or worker’s compensation or something.  Pennies from heaven, maybe.  Meanwhile, he won’t accept a job for 35k a year because he’s worth (and needs) 50k per year.  I would think 35k per year is a raise from 0 per year, but I’m not a math major.
  Plus, after you’ve been fired from or quit every other job in your field in this market, it limits your choices because you can’t go back to some of these places.  Your only hope is for new restaurants to open up.  Karl is holding up his end, but he is just a border; what happens when his "landlord"–his brother–loses the house?  Shithead.  I mean the brother.
  My friend Kim is on the high-dollar end of things, which to me is scarier.  She has to make a certain amount of money to pay bills–alot of it is debt from the past–and pay for her kids in Private school.  I can see why she makes the sacrifice for them, and that’s good, I suppose.  But she takes risks and chances that I never could.  Her husband Scott closed the restaurant, and now he’s working a variety of odd jobs while trying to get a new career going.  In what, you ask?  Well, dude, we just don’t know yet.  That’s why he’s still trying to get it going.  Of course, he has to find it first.  I hesitate to call them any names, but they are dorks.  A trail of bad decisions follows them like bread crumbs.
  And here I am, firmly entrenched in the middle.  I work two jobs to get by.  I came home on Wednesday intending to pay the internet bill–because it had been shut off–and had to pay the water bill because it had been shut off also.  Do I know, at all, what I am doing?  This happens to me all the time, by the way.  Am I a grown up?  What’s my age again?
  Twenty years as an "adult."  More than that.  I see old people, and the wisdom that they have–and realize that most of it is trial and error, and learning from their own mistakes.  I should be a genius, then.  I thought that when I reached forty, I would have my shit together.  Maybe I did, for a while.  As I get closer to fifty–good God!  Fifty!–I still feel like a child.  In an old body.  Maybe when I’m fifty, I’ll know what the hell I’m doing?
  On the one hand, I have a very organized system to handle this (bills, finances, et cetera).  On the other hand–I can’t find my system.  Or my ass, with both hands.  I keep working on it, and eventually I’ll get it.  I think I need to pay bills *first*.  Is that how you’re supposed to do it?  Hello?  Any grown ups out there?  A little help?

  Speaking of "I work two jobs," I have a funny story.
  So, I’m working at Domino’s.  Now I run shifts, a bona fide part time assistant manager, with all of the responsibility (of which there is very little), and none of the perks–because there aren’t any.  I make pizzas, talk to customers, and count money at the end of the night.  I should count food…but, fuck it.  Or butt-fuck it.  As previously mentioned, they aren’t paying me to do a good job, they’re paying me to be here.  I count the cheese and fake the rest of the food count with the computer.
  But the money you can’t fake.  You have to count that.  No sweat.
  Recently, our money count has been a little funny.  Not "funny, ha-ha."  More like, "funny, and you’re fired."  That hasn’t happened yet, but I can see that something is going to happen.  About three weeks ago, I was 35 dollars short one night.  I just went with it, and the paperwork showed the shortage.  Two weeks ago, I was again short on Monday, and then Wednesday I was short 50 bucks.  In addition to the 50 bucks, a driver was short–he said he would pay it back the next day, and he did–40 bucks.  Remember, that’s not apart of the 50.  That night, someone else closed, and the store was 15 bucks over.  So–some of my 50 short came back.  Right?  Friday night I was again short 30 some-odd dollars.
  Last Monday I was short 30 bucks again.  Wednesday, I worked with Stan, who worked dayshift that day.  He said, "Oh, btw, short the till 30 bucks.  It was short last night (again?) and it wasn’t me."  He was adamant it wasn’t him; he watches the money, locks the draw, and secures access. 
  So if it wasn’t him (and it wasn’t me), who was it?  Stan suspects a couple of different drivers.  That’s not how I see it.  What do the shortages have in common?
  Dina, the manager, working dayshift.
  Dina, who is a divorced mother of three, working on salary and not making a bonus.
  Dina, who just had her house foreclosed on.
  Dina, who just found a new place and had to put a security deposit down on it.
  I know that Dina knows I’m not "new."  I’ve been around for a while, been around Domino’s forever.  What she may not know is that as a manager, I have fired dozens of people for stealing.  I find it, I figure it out, I get rid of people.  I do this all the time.  I did when we were on paper, before computers.  It was harder then.  I did it with crappy computers.  And this system makes it easy–it clears up all the false leads, and directs you right to the problem.
  The problem is, however, this started happening shortly after I became a manager.  I need to cover my ass.  I need to get Stan on board, or I need to pre- emptively call the supervisor.  It’s Dina’s store, and it’s her money, and I don’t want to screw her over.  She’s got three young daughters, for crying out loud, and obviously not getting by.
  But I’ll be goddamned if I’m gonna take a fall for her, and let her screw me over.  She couldn’t suck my dick enough for that.
  The problem is, we only count the money at the end of the night.  We don’t count it during the day when the managers switch shifts.  We should–but you only need to do that when you don’t trust someone.  And we are just one big happy family. 
  Here are my options:
  Go in tonight, and tell her I want to count the money before I take over, because I keep showing up short.
  Wait till she leaves, and count the money.  But then I have no witness.
  Call the supervisor, and/or call Stan.

  I am in a position of trust in my day job, at the bank.  I don’t need to get accused and fired for stealing from this job.  It would reflect poorly.  What to do?  What to do?

AND SO…   
  I show up to work and Stan is there, not Dina.  I did discuss with him my theory, and how I did come to it.  And the experience I have in this topic.  He agreed, while hedging.  I get that.  We count the money though, so we can check it and so he can show me how you do it with this computer system.  Oddly enough, there is a template for a shift change and it is NOT installed on these systems.  So whom do they have to blame for cash mismanagement?  Every place I’ve ever worked that dealt with cash had a system for changing shifts.  Hell, at Steak n Shake we had a till of $1000.00.  Three-200 dollar drawers plus 400 in the safe.  We dealt in all cash and only cash–this was before plastic–and we counted all the money several times a day.  So there’s no reason–there’s no fucking reason–
  We count the cash, and it appears to be about 5 bucks short.  Odd.  But not a big deal.  And now I know.  At the end of the night I do the cash out, and I’m 16 dollars over.  That’s right, OVER. 
  Curiouser and curiouser…
  These things combined with one other thing lead me to hold out another possibility:  The computer is buggy.  A few weeks ago, the office dialed in and updated our prices and coupons for us.  Immediately, it started charging an extra $4.50 if you got a thin crust pizza.  I’m just not sure if that’s a good marketing strategy.  But that and a few other things make me feel that I could be wrong–it could all be computer error.
  It’s just odd that the shortages happen to me on days when Dina opens…


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