Osama, You No-Tipping Whore
Feb 25, 2002
Recently, and apparently because of this recession, the nincompoopity of
the Bush administration, and my love for the American musical, I've had to
find a new job. What job, you ask, could this college-educated man with decent acting
and writing skills find? You guessed it: a pizza delivery driver.
Now, for reasons of corporate and national security, I cannot use the
store's real name, so I'll refer to it by a pseudonym: Pizza Smut. So, I got a job at Pizza Smut, working nights, running red lights, and
virtually running my mini-van into the ground. Oh, the joys of working food
service in small-town Mississippi! What follows is a general account of
events and wacky shenanigans that occur during a regular 5-10 shift:
4:55 p.m.: I arrive at work. No other night-shift employees have arrived,
since it's seems to be some kind of unwritten rule that you shouldn't show
up until 10 minutes after you're supposed to be at work.
5:05 p.m.: Four deliveries are ready to go all at the same time. Where's
the other driver? That's the kicker. There is no other driver. Because
this is a weeknight, our manager decides it couldn't possibly be busy enough
to warrant the $18 needed to pay another driver for three hours work. He
almost always overlooks our nation's ever-growing addiction to greasy,
5:45 p.m.: After making four deliveries in record time, our hero (me)
returns to the store with a pocketful of change from the
GuyWhoAlwaysPaysWithFuckingQuarters. Now, there are six deliveries up, most
of which are at 45 minutes after the time the customer called (Pizza Smut
policy ordains that deliveries should leave the store within 20 minutes of
the customer's call).
6:12 p.m.: Our hero is lost in the boonies. Mississippi has apparently
never heard of city planning. Every street has a name; few have numbers.
Most houses have no numbers on them. There is no grid. The map is nothing
more than a random spray of sub-divisions laid down without rhyme nor
reason, named Cotton Patch, Quail Grove, Tara Estates, and other nauseating
rustic, rural appellations.
6:22 p.m.: Our hero finds a gas station and a pay phone. The customer is
mystified that he couldn't find the apartment. The customer is sure "off of
Molly Bar on Old Highway 7" should have been "plenty good" directions, and
this driver must be "special." This driver bites his tongue and refrains
from telling the customer he's a complete ignoramus and might as well be
living on Mars, his dwelling was so easy to locate.
6:50 p.m.: Our hero returns to the store, finding most deliveries at an
hour. Upon checking the computer, he finds there are several deliveries
entered that he has no slips for. He contemplates suicide first, then
mass-murder. Maybe he should just quit. He decides he'd rather not go to
the Mississippi State Penitentiary, and he really needs some cash. He grabs
four more deliveries and sprints out the door.
7:02 p.m.: A man, living in abject squalor, gives our hero a hard time,
because it's been a whole 45 minutes since he's placed his order. Our hero
thinks he should be so lucky. It could've been 90 minutes. The man
reluctantly pays and asks for his 75 cents in change. Our hero looks at him
as if he's joking, then explains he doesn't carry loose change. The man
doesn't seem to hear him. The man proceeds to scrape together 25 cents from
his couch cushions and asks for a dollar back. Our hero gives himself a
note to wash his hands at least three times after handling sticky change.
7:32 p.m.: Our hero returns to the store. He is asked by the servers to
please answer the phone, which is ringing on all five lines. Our hero
giggles, mutters something incoherently, grabs four more deliveries, and
8:05 p.m.: Our hero returns again, after making four deliveries on campus,
without any tips. College students have a general consensus that since they
are poor, this allows them to be cheap as well.
8:05 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.: Reread events above. They repeat themselves nearly
word for word.
10:00 p.m. - midnight: Our hero is stuck doing "prep work," which means the
day crew is too damn lazy to get their shit ready. He races about the
store, wondering if there is such a thing as a health code in Mississippi,
since a dark-brown crud occupies every corner and crack of this restaurant.
He finally leaves, dazed, confused, and thoroughly irritated.
This is just a sample of the torture of which I undergo. Not that you
care. You all have cushy jobs, where you sit on your asses all day sipping
half-caff lattes with twists of lemon. All I've got to say to you is, "Can
you get me a job there?"
I guess I should blame the whole mess on Osama Bin Laden. Why not?
This "war on terrorism" has seemed to freeze the economy. Nobody wants to
spend their money. Huge corporations like Enron and K-Mart are folding.
Maybe I should go into Stealth Bomber manufacturing or war bonds. You know,
go where the money is. I just want Osama to know that if I ever have to
deliver a pizza to his cave, he better give me damn good directions, or it's
going to be late. Really late. And I expect a tip.