Here We Go Around In Circles–

July 6, 2010 at 5:33 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
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Almost as soon as I started at Pizzarama, I had to take some time off.  I hurt my knee.  How?  I don’t know.  What happened?  That’s the same question, so here’s the same answer:  I don’t know.  But it’s better now.  I’ll…be back.  I hope. 

Most jobs come my way through networking.  I don’t mean intarweb networking, I mean good ol’ fashioned knowing somebody.  If you network via a social networking site, I guess you are really hyper-networking.
My first jobs farming were of course because I knew someone.  My first job at Majik Market wasn’t so much because I knew someone, but my aunt knew they were hiring and sent me up there; I guess that counts.
My job at the warehouse I got because my dad worked there.  Now, my first job at Domino’s I got on my own, and my second job at Domino’s I got on my own because I had experience from my first one.  My brief stint at Steak n Shake happened because I knew someone.  And my job at Papa John’s (both times) I got because I knew someone.
The job at Scooter’s and the bank were both because I knew someone, and the third job at Domino’s as well as Angelina’s and Imo’s were from contacts that I had.  The Three Jakes I got on my own–and we know how well that turned out.  And this job at Pizzarama was through someone I know as well:  The Dude.
I was desperate to work, and he hooked a brother up.  His boss was hiring.  I interviewed, and it was a bit dicey–until he heard about all my experience at Domino’s.  He was a bit shocked, because it wasn’t on the application.  Well, I said, there wasn’t room…
Still, he really wanted someone who could work Sunday night.  I balked at this, and we were at an impasse.  He said he still had to interview a few more people.
I drove home thinking *shit-shit-shit.*  Before I even got to the highway, I called the manager back at the store.  I said, “Look, I’d rather work than not work.  And I can always use the money.  So I’ll work on Sunday.  Just keep that in mind.  I’ll do that.  I don’t want to turn something down just because it’s not perfect.  We can’t always have our way.”  He said okay.
A few days later he called me, and told me I had the job.  All I had to do was sell a little piece of my soul.

But the work is fine.  It’s pizza; it’s what I know.  I’ve gradually gotten to know a few people, and they seem pretty cool.  Alec is the manager–although, by this writing, I think he is gone, moved to another store.  The assistant, Rob, got promoted, and now it’s his store.  The Dude is a driver, some guy named Nick trained me (because I’ve never done this before), and there are a few others.  There are two older men, one Bulgarian, and neither of which I know the names of.  There’s a chick whose name I don’t know and a few other guys.  One of them is named John.  I’m pretty sure that’s not the chick.
Then there are some inside people, most of whom I don’t know.  One skinny young dude, and a girl named Amanda who has threatened to move to California.  Good luck with that, sister.
The routine is all too familiar.  I come in, I clock in.  I put a cartop on the car.  I get a bank.  I look at the prep list to see what I have, and get started on it, and finish it between deliveries.
The delivery area is St Charles, a predominately white area that ranges from middle-class to upper-middle, and lots of fucking traffic.  It seems that no matter where you are, you want to be someplace else, and then come back.
I have a street guide around here somewhere–dammit, I swear I’m going to find it and put it in the car.  Not that I really need it, but it’s nice to have, especially to save me the embarrassment.  So far I’ve been kicking it old school.  I mean *really* old school:  I look at the map before I leave and remember where I’m going.
Pizzarama is a giant in the industry.  I’m using an alias, and I hope you don’t figure it out because I’m sure they have rules about this.  Whatever–a boy’s gotta write, right?
But Pizzarama has a reputation as being a bit impersonal…and I don’t think they give a shit.  Okay.  We’ll do it your way.  They do have a pretty good structure/system in place, even though some of it seemed odd to me at first.
First of all, at every other place I’ve delivered, you take deliveries and collect the money, and turn it in at the end of the night.  Here, after every delivery, you cash out for that run.  Every time.  Also, the drivers don’t pick their own runs or check themselves out on deliveries.  Ever.  That and the cashing out is always done by a manager.  Doesn’t that slow them down?
Well, yeah.  But they aren’t overly concerned with speed.  I mean, it’s restaurant, so when it’s busy they work fast.  But not at the expense of making mistakes or being sloppy.  The toppings on every pizza are weighed and measured.  If one person has 10 pizzas to make, then she just hunkers down and makes them.  The manager rolls around doing his thing with the cash and other stuff, and then at some point he may amble over to the makeline.   But we give a realistic delivery time.  If we get busy, we up it.
At all the other places I’ve worked, I’ve done something on the production end.  Made pizzas, made sammiches, worked the grill–the whole nine yards, and some change.  I’d like to learn how they make pizzas here, just because it’s a passion of mind.
But so far all I’ve done is cut some pizzas, and put them in boxes.  It’ll come around.

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