Shuffle Off

October 2, 2009 at 9:01 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
I’m not sure if its good or bad, but my blog right here that you hold in your hot little hands was number 7 on Google for "Moral Responsibility for 30-minute pizza delivery."  I don’t want to show up that high on any search that includes the word "Moral."

  With any luck, I’ll be getting fired from Domino’s soon.
  But probably not soon enough.

  Today, by the way, is the 23 anniversary of when I started working at Domino’s the first time.  Back in nineteen and eight-six–ah, I remember it well.
  I had just been hired by the manager the previous week, and when I showed up on my first day, the smell of pizza mixed with the crisp fall air has created a lasting memory for me.  And although I don’t like these toppings on *my* pizza, the smell of green peppers and black olives cooked is such a distinct flavor that it brings to mind all the memories of the past at Domino’s.
  I showed up on my first day, nervous and excited, and ready to work.
  "Can I help you?"
  "Yeah, I’m supposed to start today."
  "Start what?"
  "Start work.  I was just hired."
  "When?  By who?"
  This isn’t going well.  "Uh…last week.  By the manager, I guess."
  "What did he look like?"
  "He had a hat, a red and white shirt, and a mustache."
  "We all look like that."
  "I know."
  As it turns out, the guy who was manager the previous week was now manager at another store.  Luckily for me, the new manager here decided to keep me.  His name was Tom.  I’d like to give a shout-out to my brother Tom!  Thanks for giving a guy a chance!  I’d also like to thank the Academy–

  I’m right now coming off of three days in a row at Domino’s, in addition to my day job.  Since Tuesday morning until now (Friday at 5pm), I’ve:
  slept 18 hours, including naps (2+4+1+4+2+5)
  and worked 53 hours (7.5+7.5+6.5+7+7.5+8+9.5)

  It was a normal night, or it started out that way.  Stan was dayshift through dinner.  Usually he sticks around way too long, but for some reason, he bolted out of there about 7pm, as quick as he could for some reason. 
  Oh, I know the reason.
  The details aren’t important.  Someone ordered a special with cheesebread, but wanted cinnastix with it instead.  It only rang up as cheesebread, so Stan told Paro (or Belgium driver) "Make these cinnastix."
  Okay.
  But he didn’t he made them breadstix.  The end of the world, I know.
  This customer apparently knows this is tricky, because they checked it at the door.  Paro brought it back, said we needed cinnastix.  Here’s where it gets painful.
  Paro is hard to understand at times, and has difficulty understanding us.  However, this was a simple mistake, much simpler than the ones Stan makes minute by minute.  Stan berated Paro continuously for several minutes over this.  We also had a customer in the store.  Stan didn’t want to listen to what Paro said, just kept talking over him.  And told him at least 8 times to make this new bread coming out a cinnastick.  "Just make sure you make it a cinnastick."  Over and over and over. 
  Stan continued to harp on it, and wouldn’t let it go.  The final time he said, "Just make sure you make it a cinnastick," I turned to him from my spot on the line.
  I was alone, making the pizzas while Stan flailed out of control at the cut table, continuing to chastise Paro over this transgression.  He said it again, and I turned to him.  "Stan, please stop saying that.  We get the idea.  Quit talking to him like he’s a child.  It’s uncalled for."
  So now he turns on me.  I’m not treating him like a child, *he’s* treating *me* like a child.  I won’t be talked to like that.  You need to stay out of this.  I think I know how to handle this.  I know when I’m over the line.
  I turned back around to make pizzas, but mouthed the words, "No, you really, really don’t."
  Stan continued to mutter to himself.  Finally, Paro left with the bread and his order.  Stan clamped his mouth shut, stocked a few things up on the makeline, and before I knew it, left.  Of course, he had to get a ride from Mike.  Mike asked me, while waiting for Stan, "What’s his deal?"
  I gave him the you-know-how-Stan-is eye-roll, and then said, "Just remember that whatever he tells you in the car is bullshit."  Because Stan always twists the story around to not be his fault, because it never is.  And it’s not his fault what happened to the bread–but the way he over-reacted his completely his fault.
  What I hope for the most is that Stan says something to me about expecting an apology from me.  I’m not going to apologize to him.  For two reasons:
  First, I did nothing wrong.  That in itself is not reason enough to not apologize, as anyone who has ever been in a relationship knows.  But I’m not sleeping with him, so call that reason 1.5.
  Second, he owes me an apology from a year ago.  Remember the thing with my brother’s pig roast last year, and I stopped by Domino’s to get some wings?  It was something I had been planning for a long time.  But when I get there, Stan is thoroughly upset because of his own incompetence (showing up late, not getting a time order made in time, getting busy and getting behind, and forgetting to make stuff) that he doesn’t want me in the way to make my wings and won’t let me help him get the shit made.  He was stubborn about it.  I yelled at him, and stormed out.
  Later, I apologized for yelling at him.  He thanked me.  What he did not do was apologize himself.  Maybe he did feel regret, but the words "I’m sorry" did not pass his lips.  It’s a thing with him, he can never admit fault.  And so, I will not either, and the words shall not pass my lips.

  But that’s not why I might get fired.

  We got our big corporate inspection last night, the equivalent of a random drug test with a surprise prostrate exam thrown in for free.  It comes twice a year, like a threesome with Santa and the Easter Bunny, and it is also full of surprises.
  It was after 10 pm.  Hell, I figured after 8pm, the chances of seeing anyone were astronomical.  Well, I should buy a lottery ticket, because about 1030, some guy in uniform comes in and stands at the counter, and it’s not Mike.  Fuck.   I can see him through the glass.  I took the two beer cans from the desk and sat them below the desk on a tub of uniforms, and shoved it back, then went up to greet him.  Oh, shit.  it’s the Guy.  You know, *the Guy*.
  We shake hands, and I wonder if he can smell beer on my breath.  He goes in the office and wants me to do something on the computer, and then make a pizza that he can test.  I quickly pick up a few things on the desk, and get rid of my little foil ashtray.  I put on my had and picked up my phone and went to the front, trying to call Mike, who was on a run.  No answer.
  I made a pizza.
  Oh, wait.  Before I did all that, while Tom (that’s the guy, not the same as our supervisor) was in the office printing up our service report, I quickly went into the walkin…and grabbed the half dozen cans of beer that were out in plain site in a dough tray and slid them between the wheels under a stack of dough.  The call was safe at the plate, and I got up and dusted my knees off.
  Then I made the pizza.
  Mike comes back with no hat on either.  I’m not wearing an apron, but the chance of me needing it are pretty low.  Tom, meanwhile, does a walk-through of the back and the walkin, checking expiration dates and so forth.  He wants to check the money in Mike’s pocket, because he’s supposed to have less than 20 dollars.
  Mike has three hundred on him.
  I had my back turned, making the pizza.  I heard Tom say, "Twenty-nine dollars.  What kind of tip did you get on that last run?"  Mike managed to pull out a separate stack of cash, but he still got busted.  Still 29 is better than 300.  Mike came to me for change, then, which I gave him.  As I gave it to him, I dropped practically all the cash in the drawer, because it’s supposed to be less than 75 dollars.  Tom goes back to the office, and then comes out and wants to see what’s in the drawer.
  He follows Mike out to his car to check his cartop, and when he did that I grabbed the beer cans that were hidden in the office and moved them to the trash in the back, and put them in the bottom.
  This little dance went on for an hour or more.  Luckily I had stalled on breaking down the line, otherwise we would have been busted on that as well.  Why?  Corporate guidelines state that it can’t be broken down until close.  I’ve got a lot of experience with bullshit, so I recognize it when I see it.  And that’s bullshit.  I cleaned up around him as well as I could, but I couldn’t get to the safe and I couldn’t count the food.  Fuck me.
  He asks me to make a pizza so can watch.  He likes to watch.  (hahaha)  A thin crust PC, pepperoni and extra cheese.  Sounds to me like there is some sort of catch, and so I go to it, wary of what I am doing.  I grab a shell, screen it, sauce it, and approach the cheese.  Aaahh.  The old Extra Cheese Gambit.
  I hate to break it to you, kids, but if you order extra cheese on a pizza, what it means is you get a little more cheese on top.  And if you have a topping like pepperoni, you get a lot less on the bottom.  But with a corporate guy watching me here, of course I’m going to make it right.  First, a little provel, then fill in with the mozzarella, then throw down the pepperoni, then some cheese on the top.  sprinkle some oregano on it, and pop it in the oven.  Perfect!
  I didn’t do it right.
  You see, since he didn’t specifically *ask* for provel, I should have only made it with the mozz.  Corporate guidelines.  It’s always a good idea to argue with a cop, or with the guy who is grading you.  I said, "St Louis is a thin crust market.  We put provel on every thin, unless they ask us NOT to.  Only one person does that."
  His argument amounted to fascism to me.  "Corporate guidelines state it differently.  They trump." 
  I relented, a bit, but I then tried a new tack.  "What we are doing is *Exceeding* the customer’s expectations."
  He studied and researched the topic, and grabbed a menu.  The difference is technical and shouldn’t matter to any of you because it barely matters to me and I was in the middle of it.  I was arguing a case that I didn’t give a shit about except the fact that I didn’t want to be wrong, and even that desire was losing its appeal.
  Finally, he’s wrapping it up.  We passed, but with a 3-star.  It’s no 5-star.  It’s no 4-star.  But it’s also no FAIL.  The things he got us on was stuff like uniforms (no hats, no apron), expired product (damn short shelf life on some of this stuff), Mike and too much money (if he only knew), and he said there was evidence of smoking in the store.  That one, right there, is the reason I might get fired, because they (the franchise I work for, not Corporate) said that’s the rule.  We’ll see.
  Other things were our service times, which we can only do so much about.  The store was clean enough and the pizzas looked good.  Oh, but I made the thin crust wrong, so that was a few points.  After he left I called Adam the new manager, and he bitched, not at me but about them coming in after ten pm.  I thought it was shit as well, and seems like a tactic that is pitting the corporation versus the franchisees.  There are some other things going on as well, but I see this as a subtle thing.  They have offered some prize money to stores that get a five star, and even more to stores that get a perfect score.  Therefore it is in their best interest to make sure no stores score perfect, and very few get a five.  That’s why we got our inspection so late, to throw us off our game intentionally.  As a consequence, instead of getting out at 1207, I left about 115 am.  And this was my third day in a row at Domino’s, working on very little sleep.  Bullshit, just bullshit.
  I wonder how many points we would have lost if he had found the beer?

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