A Personal Record Of Disappointment

December 19, 2009 at 10:29 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
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  Monday is going to be the 22nd anniversary of when I got robbed.  To relive that special moment for yourself, go back and read “Twenty-two Bucks, Two Large Pizzas, and my Innocence.” April, 2006.  I just re-read it myself, it’s good stuff.  Funny and melancholy.  Full of foreshadowing and irony, too, when you consider that I am still doing this shit.
(The date is wrong, by the way.  In that I had December 18th.  It’s actually the 21st.  In another fit of irony, the calendar is the same this year as it was then.)
I worked last night.  I don’t want to talk about it.  It was a Friday night, and I was one of just three drivers.  And the light rain was turning into a light snow.  My first thought was *Oh, boy–I might make some money.*  Then, of course, I realized where I was.  It started off slow but steady.After I returned from my fourth run, however, I came into the store to find complete pandemonium.  Now this is more like it.
I end up taking the eight of the first ten or twelve deliveries on the screen.  That might be a personal record.  I checked to see how many were ready, first.  I was waiting on a couple.  Okay.  I check to see what drinks and other crap I need.  Okay.  I start getting that stuff together, and write down the addresses on a post it.  I grab a bag and start bagging, from the bottom up.
Heroin addict Brian comes in, and he is freaking out in a low key kind of way.  Not because he can’t handle it–he’s been doing this for about twelve or fifteen years.  He just knows that shit can happen, so this a preemptive freak out.  He starts looking at my stuff, checking what I’m taking, and trying to make sure I have everything.
“Okay.  Wow.  Man, this is bad.  Okay.  You need some drinks on this one–”
“Got it,” I say, pointing.
“And you need your salad here–”
“Dude,” I said, pointing.
“Uhm…It looks like you’re waiting on Oak Parkway, so we–”
“Brian.”  I’m trying to get his attention while he runs around behind me, checking everything I’ve done.
“I just want to–”
“Brian, I got it.”
He just looks at me.  “I know you think I’m new, but I’m not.  This is not my first rodeo.”
He still wants to help.  “Dude,” I ask him,” how long have you been doing this?”
He puffs up his tiny little body and says, “Fourteen years.”  Or something–I didn’t really pay attention.
“Terrific,” I say.  I finished bagging my pizzas in reverse order for delivery.  I had my sodas and salads in the car, and I had checked the row for credit card slips.  I had my route already.  The post-it was a reminder, but I didn’t expect to use it.
I pick up the shit and head for the door, and he holds it open for me.  As I walk out I say, “Come and talk to me when you’ve been doing it for 23 years.”

I knew where I was going, but that 8-stop was still a cluster fuck.  They didn’t know they were going to be that busy, so the customers were not told it was going to be an hour and a half.  Even though the street names won’t mean anything to you, bear with me.
1st run
I roll down Parker to Bellefontaine, trying see an address.  Bellefontaine is a main drag, so that one is going to be hard.  I finally see a twelve thousand block number.  Ugh.  I make a U-turn.  My Bellefontaine address is in lower eleven grand, so that is going to get pushed back to fourth or fifth.
2nd run
Up the other way, Columbus was an easy find.  The kid hands me three bucks.  I said, “The total is 32.41–” or in that range.  The mom comes to the door.  She had paid by credit card.  There was no slip.  I had checked.  And besides, the copy would have been stapled to the box.
I tried call the store.  Busy.  Busy again. “It was probably not printed up.  If there’s a problem someone may call you.”
3rd run
The next three are close to each other.  I get to Elenore, and she had called the store because it took so long, and now was going to call again that I was there.  *Good luck* I thought.  But she got through.
I talked to Brad, the boss.  He said, “Give it to them for 8 bucks.”  I told him about Columbus.  He said he’d look into it.  The chick gave me a ten.  Cool.
4th run
I get to Prigge, and no one answers the door.  I ring, knock, and wait.  Then I call them, leave a message.  No answer.  I leave.  My next one is two blocks away, so if they call, I can come back.   And this was the one actual one I had a credit card slip for.
5th run
At Walker, as I knock on the door, a guy comes from the house across the street.  He had actually ordered it, I guess using the lady’s address and phone number.  I didn’t give shit about why–he paid the full amount in cash.  He gave me a twenty for a 19.43 total.  The math is left as an exercise for the student.
6th run
I bolted back out to Bellefontaine and hit the apartment, Prima Vera.  They complained to me about how long it took, but they didn’t call the store, so they paid full price.  Sucks to be them.  I got about 17 cents from that, so it kind of sucked all around.
1st run again
I get to the address on Bellefontaine, and they said I needed to call the store.  Goody.  The total was about 22 bucks, Brad told me to tell them ten.  Then he said, “No, make it eight.”  I think that was code for me to tell them ten and he would write down eight.  I told them eight because I am more honest than I am smart.
The lady said, “Where’s the credit card slip?”  Shit, another one.  My theory is that they were so busy that all the lines were busy and the card machine couldn’t dial out.  Her husband said, “Okay, we need to call the store, because that’s twenty five bucks,” or something like that.  I was standing in their garage, and they turned away, ignoring me.  I stood there for about 15 seconds, then I just left.  By the time I backed out of the driveway, the garage door was closed.
7th run
These shitty apartments used to be called Sierra Vista and they used to be nice 20 years ago.  Now they are crap, and they are called Oak Parkway.  Marbella I found easily, but I had to call.  Their 37 dollar total became 18.  The dude was happy and handed me a twenty.  The girl there was the cutest I had seen in a while, by the way.
8th run
Marjorca, or some shit like that.  The map of the complex was hard to read, and I’m having trouble seeing in the dark, and most apartment complex streets don’t have signs.  I called her.  She gave me directions.  Hers was the last one I was waiting on back at the store, so it was the newest order, even after all of that.  Forty seven dollars she paid.
Of course, the total was 46 and some change.

All of that crap took almost an hour.  I get to the door and have to wait while we go through the “Whoizit” ritual, and wait while we call, and wait while they get money, and crap like that.  I get back to the store, and I get six more.
So at the end of the night, I had more deliveries than I had ever taken there, and less in tips.  By my math, about seventeen in tips.  And one of those had been a five dollar tip.  Seventeen bucks on eighteen runs.  The math is left as an exercise for the student.
But the disgust is mine, and mine alone.

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