Jake Expectations

January 6, 2010 at 3:11 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | 2 Comments
  Already I’m regretting it, but I said I would give The Three Jakes until the end of January to Show Me The Money
  The more I work here I see it confirmed that delivery is not really a priority for them.  I also talked to Todd the other day, and he had worked here in the past.  He confirmed this as well.
  My first night–opening day!–I took four deliveries, and made 10 bucks in tips.  Outstanding.  The next night was New Year’s Eve, and in the course of four hours, I took three deliveries.  Nine bucks in tips.  Just…incredible.  Friday night I worked at Imo’s and made a total of 118 bucks, which comes out to 21 bones per hour.  My bestest night ever at Imo’s.  I’m not quitting that job yet.
  Saturday was Three Jakes.  I took five or six deliveries in the course of about 6 hours, and made, I think, 18 bones, or clams, or whatever it is you call them.  Monday I worked again, making…shit.  What did I make Monday?  Four bucks?  Six?  whatever.  Last night I took one goddamn fucking damn bullshit fucking ass dickhead delivery–for a buck fiddy.
  I don’t think I’ve ever felt more "tested" by God on a job.  I mean really.  What is the purpose of this bullshit in my life?
  I am technically designated as a driver here at The Three Jakes (where we care more about your sammich before 10am than you care all day.)  What this means is that while the others–the ‘in-shop’ peepul–make 8.50 per hour for the highly desirable skill of putting meat and condiments in the middle of a piece of bread and folding it over, I make the current minimum wage of 7.25 because of all the deliveries I make and all the tips I earn from them.
  In between the breathless excitement of all the deliveries I make, I get to do everything in the store that everyone else does.  This isn’t so bad and I expect this, but Christ–one delivery?!  The night could not have dragged on longer than it did.
  Of course, I enjoy most of the people.  First of all they’re new to me, and it is a diverse group.  I described the manager already, and he hasn’t changed from that description.  Many of these others are young.  Oh, so young.  Two young girls–oh, they are pretty little things–just started working on my shifts.  They are both kinda blonde, tiny, skinny things, and pretty.  And young.  One of the brothers working said he was 23.  Carrie said she was 21.  And then these girls said they were 18.  I just said, "Jesus Christ."  They look like they’re 12.  I felt my bones start to fossilize.
  I don’t even know if they have individual names or if they just share one.  Too, too many people to keep straight.  I told one guy that I can’t learn his name today because I already learned someone else’s.  Tell me tomorrow.
  Carrie, by the way, is a firecracker.  She’s an example of everything wrong with this place, too.  It just sucks you in, if you let it.  She knows everything there is to know about making a sammich.  That’s just…terrific.
  She’s bubbly and smart, and sexy in a clean-cut alternative hipster chick kinda way.  She’s 21, and married.  She’s been married for two years, since she was 19.  Seriously, is she nuts?  Who does that shit nowadays?  I said to her, "So…this is your starter marriage?"
  She laughed, understanding.  "Oh, I hope not."
  We all "hope not," sweetheart.  But it is what it is.  I’ll bet all the tips I made tonight ($1.56) that you’ll be on your second marriage before you’re thirty.  She’s sassy, and tries to pull off that disaffected youth thing, but she’s too perky for that.  The ironic detachment thing?  I know, right?  (That comes out of her mouth on a regular basis.)  Leave the ironic detachment to the experts at being bitter, jaded, and resentful.  That…would be me.
  Of course we were having a good time, and she made it a fun workplace.  At one point she came around the corner and said something, but her mouth was full.  She covered it and said, "Sorry."  Then she said, "I had a mouthful of bacon, if you must know."
  The standard line is, "So that’s what you sound like with your mouth full."  But there are other ways to push the edge of sexual harassment.  I didn’t see all those videos and take all those tests for nothing.  I went over to her and said (and you have to do this with the barest hint of a smile, and nothing more, and then leave it.  It’s all about subtlety)–I said, "Carrie, it’s none of my business what you have in your mouth."
  She thought that was funny.  She then responded, with a raised eyebrow, "Not unless I make it your business."  So basically she was–well, you *know* what she was implying.
  I swear I don’t get it.  Or maybe I do.  It’s one of two things:  Either I am just irresistibly sexy to these women and they want me; or–
  I’m a sad, fat old man who is mildly amusing, and in their view basically harmless and ineffective.  Yay.  Bitches. 
  I enjoyed working with her, but it’s just temporary.  She’s going to go back to her regular store once our management schedule is straightened out.  Speaking of schedule–
  Brian the manager posted the schedule.  Something in print, impressive.  It’s about 40 lines on one page, using about about a 6-point font.  Fuck me, I couldn’t–I had to get on my knees on the floor (because it was put down low on the wall for short people) and get up close to it and take off my glasses to read it.  What the shit kind of shit is that?
  This is final, of course–subject to someone else’s approval.  He scheduled me for all the days I said I was available, and one extra, to boot.  He put me on Sunday.
  Now you KNOW I don’t work Sunday.  For the most part I’ve avoided it all together, even when I was a manager.  But now–I have a day job, and with these part time jobs, I want to have one day off of all of them.  I picked Sunday.  I need off Sunday.  But also, I work Wednesday and Friday at Imo’s–those were the days Brad gave me.  So I’m scheduled for Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  Yes, their fucking week starts on a Wednesday.  I don’t give a shit, there’s no logical reason for that whatsoever.  Whatever reason you have for it is bullshit.  Shut the fuck up and get a goddamn calendar.
  I don’t like this job near enough to do this.  Also, I’m scheduled from 5p to 9p on these days, so that is only 20 hours.  Except it’s not 20 hours.  It’s more like 27 or 28, because the guy that comes in after me (yeah, someone actually comes in and works, in theory, from 9pm to 2am, or 9p to 4a) can’t actually get there until almost 11pm.  But the schedule can’t say Bryan, 5p to 11pm and then Steve, 11pm 4am.  Why?  Well, it just can’t.  The schedule is structured.  Were you looking for a logical reason?
  Like so many things here, there are reasons why but they aren’t even remotely logical.
  One tiny thing is this check off list of duties and crap.  On the surface, it seems like a good idea.  It gives little jobs to do every day, and track all the prep and cash and so forth.  Wow, what great organization.
  But then also, there’s the spot where someone goes back and checks the night before.  Good, right?  Well, you (whoever is doing this) is REQUIRED to find at least three things wrong.
  What if there aren’t three things wrong?  What if it’s a brand new store and everything is neat and clean and perfect and not busy enough yet to get trashed and slow enough that all these people looking for something to do get every little job done simply from boredom and overkill?  Then what??  Find something anyway.  Is this supposed to foster an atmosphere of dedication and hard work?
  Speaking of hard work, most of the day people were leaving when I arrived.  There is one young stallion whom the others already deemed as weird.  I had chatted forgettably with him once.  I saw him work, though.  He attacked the floor with the broom with vigor, and jumped on the line to make a sammich like they were giving away blow jobs.
  He’s hard working and energetic, and I’m sure he thinks he’s going places.  I was once like him.  I just want to grab him and say Stop, look at me.  Look into my eyes.  "What am I looking at?"  Your future, son.  Your future.
  Eventually they’ll break him.  He’ll stay, but he’ll be broken, and he’ll follow company guidelines like they are gospel without ever questioning the logic.
  For instance, the guidelines state that only managers can "do" bread and only managers can slice.  The reasons for this are liability and so forth, blah blah blah. 
  However, most places that have this type of operation simply have training, certification, and follow-up in place, and safety procedures.  But no–here, only managers can do these things so they have to fit them into their already hectic and unreasonably long day.
  So what happens in the real world, the world you and I live in?
  In the real world, people other than the manager does these things.  Now, here is the process for bread.  Explain please, to me, what part of this sounds like it MUST be done by a "manager"–you know, some one who is entrusted to be reliable.  At bare minimum, not a dumb-ass.

  Pull the boxes of frozen dough out of the freezer and arrange the pieces on a tray to thaw.  Put them in the "thaw box"  (It might have another name.  Don’t know, don’t care.)  There are a few technical things you have to do here, like count to twelve, and cover the shit in wax paper.
  After it thaws, change up the twelve pieces so there are only six per tray, separated by some distance, lined up more or less straight, and stretched all the way from top to bottom.  Throw these in the "proof box."  Again, don’t know, don’t care.  Set the timer for a specific amount of time (I wasn’t paying attention) and remove when the timer goes off.
  Then put the proofed loaves in the oven and set the timer.  When it goes off, remove them.  Place the tray in a rack to cool.
  After it’s cool, loosen and separate the rolls from the tray and each other, and line them up, this time 9 per tray.  I think.  Now it’s ready to use.

  The only thing I might imagine a manager HAS to do is put the bread in the oven and take it out.  That way, they are the ones that risk getting burned.  I’ve been in this ridiculous place for a week and I’ve been told "Don’t do that–only managers do bread."  And I have also done every step in the process at one time or another.
  Slicing is a different story.  In addition to running the slicer–which can be dangerous if you’re stupid or have loose skin with no nerve endings–you also have to be able to read a digital scale.  Reading never was mentioned as a job requirement, so that is best left to managers.  However, I have seen one long-time non-manager employee slicing.  No matter how I say "good for him" it still sounds sarcastic.
  In addition to these attractions at the carnival, we also get to do various cleaning and prepping and standing around.  The movie "The Hours" is actually about this place.  After I had done every little thing I could think of to do, I was standing there, leaning, and looking pretty.  Carrie said, "So, how’s it going?  Making good tips?"  Either vapid or sarcastic, I didn’t care.  "Oh…you’ve only had the one delivery.  Bummer, right?"
  "Carrie, let me explain my angst."  A customer had just received his sammich, and was still in earshot as he got his drink.  Carrie stopped and turned to me, as though I had her attention.  I continued.  "Imagine that you are a high-priced call girl–" her eyes got wide "–and you are very good at what you do.  You move to a new town that is all men and set up shop.  You are expecting to make a lot of money.  Then you find out that all the men are eunuchs."
  One of the young girls overheard this part and said, "What’s a eunuch?"
  I ignored her, and continued with Carrie.  "That’s exactly what I have here.  I was lured in with the promise of money, and I’m getting nothing so far.  And make no mistake about it:  I am…a high-priced call girl.  The best."


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  1. I have always thought that about you.;)

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