Not With A Bang, But With A Wimper

March 21, 2010 at 1:35 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | 1 Comment
  Wanna hear something funny?  It’s entirely likely–I’d say 90% probable–that I was fired from The Three Jakes Saturday night.
  I haven’t told Detroit yet.  Part of the reason is because she’s in pain from her shoulder surgery right now and has her own stuff to deal with, and I don’t want to add to it.  And part of it is because since she’s in pain, she’s kind of a bitch right now.  I’m trying to take care of her, but she makes it hard.  
  Of course it’s mostly my fault.  I have a Y chromosome and any nurturing I might have been capable of is eroded by that.  And then one of the things that made me fall in love her–her unpredictable nature and complexity that makes her hard to read–also makes her difficult to take care of.  She pushes me away instead of asking for help, she bitches about things I can’t fix, and then complains because I’m not there to help her.  I don’t know what to do for her, or how, or what can make it better.  She snaps at me and makes accusational facial expressions.
  Ever take in a wounded wild animal, like a duck or rhinoceros?   You try to help them, and they just bite you.  But I’m not going to give up on her.  If I learned one thing at The Three Jakes, it’s how to hold my tongue, shut up, and do my job.  I’m not blaming her, and I’m not going to.  I’m just going to keep trying, even though I know I’m bad at it.
  Speaking of being bad at it–I was talking about The Three Jakes.  We just got a new assistant because Jessica got promoted.  Enter Mike.  I worked with him for a couple of days, and then he’s gone.  He got promoted as well.  Where is our next fresh meat coming from?
  Von came back.  If you recall, he is the Christian ex-con young black guy I gave a ride to a few times.  He was at another store running shifts, and now he’s our actual assistant.  "Promoted."  I feel for these people, really I do.  I’ve been there and done, and I can see that they have it worse than I did.
  Von is cool, and smarter than he looks.  I mean that in a good way.  He looks like a thug, because he’s an ex-thug.  But he is dedicated to being a better person and doing right, including doing a good job at his job.  He still has some of his personality left, however, and I fear that The Three Jakes will suck it out of him.  I predict that he’ll stay and take it, but not because he’s dedicated, but because he feels he has no where else to go.  Like Richard Gere in the rain on the roof doing sit ups in "An Officer and a Gentleman."
  Maybe he has the right idea.  Not about the job, but about himself.  Maybe I should dedicate myself to becoming a better person.  
  But it’s a lot of work.  God help me, it is.
  Saturday night I was delivering.  I took a big delivery out our area to a hotel.  It took a while, so when I got back I had three waiting for me, and they were getting old.  Von said, "Take this one first, they already called once."
  I did go there first.  It was a place called…you know what?  What the hell–I’ll name it.  It’s little restaurant/bar place called "The Chocolate Bar."  From my understanding, I guess they serve deserts and so forth, and the appropriate alcohol to go with them.  It’s a hip and trendy place on a hip and trendy street next to a hip and trendy coffee shop, all in a hip and trendy neighborhood.  I swear the place is so hip and full of itself that I’m going to need hip replacement surgery to go in there again.
  Of course the delivery is for employees, and normally they tip well.  This time, because it took SO long (40 minutes, and The Three Jakes really wants 20 minute deliveries) that on a 12.96 total the guy gave me thirteen bucks.
  As I’m walking back to the car, I have a little tirade to myself.  "Cheap fucking bastard.  I’m not doing this for my goddamn health.  Four cents, asshole?  Really?  Four cents.  Fucking bullshit."
  The next delivery was to the guy–as soon as I saw his flat, I remembered–the effeminate gay black dude that apologized for not giving me tip.  This time he met me outside.  The total was 12.09, and he gave me 12.50.  I just turned away as he did, not saying thank you.  To myself I said, "Pffft," and walked back to the car.  The last run was to a great little bar that orders often and tips well, and they gave be almost 8 bucks.
  I get back and there is another run.  Von didn’t have time to talk to me, but he shook his head and said, "Bryan, Bryan, Bryan."  Hmmm.  Guess I’m in trouble.
  And I was.  The guy from the Choc Bar called and complained.  He said he heard me bitching about not getting a tip.  I wonder if he made it up, just guessing.  Did he come *outside*?  How did he know?  I wasn’t talking loud–and I was walking across the street to my car when I said it.
  It was a private conversation, between me and myself.
  Von, following orders, either called Brian the manager or Brian called to check up on him and he told him; I don’t know and don’t really care.  Von is doing his job and I don’t blame him.  Brian said I had to be written up.  Fine.
  It took until the end of the shift to get it all together.  Von had to find the paperwork, talk a few more times to Brian to find out what to put on it, and so forth.  By the time the end of the shift came, I saw the paper.  The line filled out for "Consequences:" said "Termination."
  Von acted a bit confused.  He didn’t realize it would come to this, and the way Brian explained it in manager-weasel-wordese, it sounded vague.  But there it was.  I signed it.  I noticed there was no line for me to put any comments.  What I say doesn’t matter.  I violated the "contract" I had signed when I was hired–something about "always having a bright and shiny attitude and goofy smile on my face."
  But the way Von put it, he thought there was some wiggle room.  I don’t believe there is.  But I’m going to call Monday to talk to Brian.
  I’m not going to beg for my job back.  I’m just going to ask, to make sure that I am.  I don’t want to not come in when it could have been my second chance.  I just want to know–there are no allowances for someone having a bad day?  Ever?  You can get fired for having one bad day?  I know they wanted to get rid of me.  That hurts my feelings a little.  They think I’m not fast, or as fast as I could be or should be.  I’m much faster in the store, making sammiches.  I drive faster than I normally do and definitely faster than I should.  But I’m not going to be reckless or crazy or 20-year-old fast.
  And, let’s face it:  my body doesn’t move as fast as a 20 year old.  But I’m pretty fast for a fat old white guy.  I walk fast and I don’t waste time, and my experience gets me where I need to go pretty quickly.  The only thing that slows me down is stairs.
  On one hand, I wonder if I could parlay this into some kind of age discrimination suit, because I am the oldest one there.
  On the other hand, maybe I got my wish.
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1 Comment »

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  1. You are better off without them.


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