Where No Man Has Gone Before

December 29, 2009 at 7:00 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
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  Last night was the orientation for the new job.

I had to study this piece of paper, this menu with seven of their sammiches on it.  Those of us told to show up for the orientation had to memorize the name, number and ingredients for a little quiz.  No problem.
So I now understand that Matt is the DM-district manager; he ran the orientation.  We brought in our papers, filled out tax forms, and went over paperwork.  He said it would be best to just bring in copies of our docs, so I did.  Driver’s license and birth certificate for the I-9 form to indicate I am legal and eligible to work in this country.  With such stringent provisions like this in place, I don’t understand how there can be so many illegals working in this country.  I mean, I have paperwork!
Earlier in the day I called the Domino’s office that I had worked for recently (remember that?) and a very nice lady helped me out after I poured some sugar on her.  She looked up my file and found my Hep A shot proof and faxed it to me.  For about ten years now, if you work with food in St Louis county you have to have a Hep A immunization.  I got mine back in 2003.  It’s come in pretty handy over the years, though, I must say–It certainly has been a time-saver now that I don’t have to wash my hands any more.
Then, of course, since I’m going to be a driver, I brought a copy of my car insurance.
Matt handed out hats and shirts for free, except we are going to get 13.60 deducted from our check for them.  He went over the rules and the specifications as we signed and initialed shit.  And they have all of these *rules.*
No sexual harassment in the workplace.  Geez.  It’s standard, I know, but just once I’d like to find that one magical place–
It made me wonder if they have this type of thing in brothels and strip clubs.
And then we went over some of the other stuff I can’t talk about.  It’s a *secret*.  Well, it’s confidential.  One of the first things I signed was a non-compete agreement.  I can’t work for another sammich shop while I work for these guys, or give away any trade secrets or talk about any of the special processes involved in the highly technical field of sammich-making.  I also can’t come and work there, steal all of their secrets, and then open up my own sammich shop.  Good thing they have that rule, because I was gonna.
When I got home last night I was hungry, and I asked Detroit to make me a sammich.  She said, “Make it yourself.”
“I can’t,” I said.  “I signed a non-compete with Jimmy John’s.  I can’t make a sammich anymore.”
She didn’t buy that.
There had been about 8 of us in that orientation.  I expected more, but I guess they have been hiring and training people for several months in anticipation of this store opening.  I still wasn’t exactly sure where it was.  Soulard is a neighborhood in South St Louis, in the actual city.  It wasn’t too far from where I was right then, so I decided I should try to find it.  It was after five, and it was dark already.  Of course.
When I left I went east and came to Grand.  I remembered this.  Kind of.  I turned right, intending to take this to the highway and go east.  But there was only one ramp, and it was to get on the west-bound.  Shit.  Okay, I’ll drive down, change lanes, turn left, follow it down, and find another way on.
Ten minutes later I had no idea where I was.
All the streets downtown are squared off, so it should be easy.  But since they all look alike (I’m not being a racist here–they just do) I had nothing to distinguish one from another.  Since it was dark I couldn’t see where the sun had set, and I couldn’t see the Arch, either, so I had no frame of reference.  Where the hell am I?  Plus, it was around 5pm, so I was at best an obstacle for everyone else in traffic who knew where the hell they were going and didn’t need a goddamn tourist (me) in their way.
I got out my phone and saw that I had missed a text from Detroit.  “Where da Hell you at?” it said.  Wow.  I was impressed.  We are so in tune with each other.  How did she know I was lost?  I called her and had her guide me out using the intarwebs.
Of course, I went the wrong way first.  I headed south on 55–which is always a good idea when you live north of the city–and ended up on 44 without changing lanes.  Shit.  I got off the highway, turned around, and got back on going the other way.  East on 44.  Or, in the same lane, North on 55.  But these all meet at the riverfront and disperse again.  I stayed in the left lane and a sign said “This Way To The Egress,” or, more accurately it said 70 West, which is exactly what I wanted.  I could find my way home.  This would make a tremendous family movie with dogs and kangaroos.
Back in my neighborhood, I bought a map book of the city and county.  I’m going to need it.  This area is new to me, and it’s going to be an adventure.  But there’s no reason it has to be any more than a PG-13 adventure.  Update, bitches:  I went out there today after work and it was still light out. And I found my way.  And I found the store.  It was actually very close to were I had been last night before I gave up and called myself lost.

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