The Tides Have Turned

So I went to my job interview today. It was for an indeterminate position at a karate school: either receptionist or teacher, depending on who they decided on. They currently have a receptionist, but everyone floats there, and everyone must take lessons.

How cool is that?

Also they want someone able to get a CDL within the next few months. To drive their bus. It’s like every time I look for a job, I end up kicking myself for not agreeing to drive the bus for the blood center and letting them pay for my training and CDL ten years ago.

Also, it’s not a real karate teacher they need, more like a babysitter to do karate-themed stuff with the three to five year olds, so I’m apparently qualified enough for that, having been a Sunday school teacher once upon forever ago.

I interviewed with three instructors, and we got on really well, and it sounds like a lot of fun and a completely new experience, which is exactly what I’m looking for. Fingers crossed!

And next week I have two more interviews.

One at Torrid, and I’m perfectly cool working there, but that’s third on my list.

Then tonight I got a call from Johnny’s Pizza, just not the one I can practically hit with a rock from our back porch. It is, however, one in a part of town that I delivered in for years and years, with no new development since I worked there, so just a day or two and I’d be completely refreshed on the delivery area. Interview there Monday, and I’m sure I’ll be offered a job, maybe even a can you start now, depending on how shorthanded they are.

Buuut will I hear back from the karate school before I hear back from Johnny’s? Because with the karate schedule I wouldn’t be able to do both; it overlaps from lunch to dinner.

Oh, decisions, decisions. I think I’ll just put it out of my head, because there’s no sense counting my chickens before they hatch.

It’s just funny that I hear nothing for three weeks, and then I have three callbacks within two days at places I’ve only just put in applications.

This picture is completely unrelated, but I like it.

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Writing’s on the Cartop Sign

I’ve written about superstition. 

Writing superstition.
Trying to conceive superstition.
Vehicular superstition.
Weather superstition.

I thought I’d written about pizza delivery superstition, but it would seem that I have not.

So I will. 

See, there’s a big difference between the facts of pizza delivery and the superstition of pizza delivery, although many of them are easily conflated. 

It’s a fact that American pizza drivers depend on tips–just ask the IRS. The government wants its cut of those tips as well, so you’d better claim some, or face an audit. 

It’s superstition that a dollar is a fair tip. While drivers must be compensated for mileage, the amount paid by most, if not all, pizza chains doesn’t even cover half of the drivers’ operating costs. It’s not just gas; it’s tires and oil changes and wiper blades and maybe even a window every now and then. 

What’s that? Everyone who drives has to purchase those things? You’re right, that’s true, but how often do you buy tires? If you’re not buying one or two a month, it doesn’t really compare. And oil changes every three months? When I was delivering, I was overdue after three weeks.

It’s superstition that the company provides a cell phone or GPS. That’s far too much money that could be lining the owners’ pockets instead. 

It’s superstition (now) that if you don’t get your pizza in less than thirty minutes it’s free. It’s a fact that if a driver is in an accident they’re trained to first remove their cartop sign so no one knows a professional was involved. 

The biggest superstition that plagues poor pizza delivery drivers, however, is that they can do anything at all at the door if you check your pizza and it’s wrong. Pizza drivers do not have an oven in their car. They do not have spare pizzas. If it’s wrong, the one and only thing they can do is the same thing you can do: call and complain. So don’t hold them up. Just check it inside and make that phone call yourself. The pizza drivers will appreciate that. They’ll appreciate it more if you tip them for a second trip with the correct order, but they’ll still appreciate not having to stand around while you try to open and close the pizza boxes while inexperiencedly juggling them. 

Anyway. 

How about some driver facts and superstitions?

  • Lucky cartop signs are a thing. I have witnessed physical fights break out over who gets which sign. 
  • If the first run of the shift tips well, it’ll be a bad night for tips. If the first run stiffs you, you’re gonna make a killing. 
  • Lucky socks are also a thing. 
  • Female pizza drivers make more tips than male pizza drivers. 
  • Obviously-pregnant pizza drivers make more tips than anyone. 
  • If you tip well, good pizza drivers remember you. They will go out of their way to make sure you get your order first. 

Tues Truthiness at TBP


Working for The Man

Today’s Daily Prompt:

If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?

I would. I need the time out of the house to do something for me, and if it’s ‘only’ for me, I’ll never get around to it. If I have a job to go to, I will.

Are we assuming that I’ve won the lottery or something and am set for life? Then I’d open a bakery. I’d hire someone to run it so I could do the fun stuff, like bake. Someone who gives a crap about running a business.

Or are we assuming that all my bills are paid, not that I have spare millions? Then I’d deliver pizzas. Because that is the most fun job ever. For reals.

But just a couple days a week, so I’d have plenty of time to write and sew and stuff.


Being a Shut-In, or How Big is Home?

Until Jjiraffe commented on this post, I never considered myself a shut-in. If questioned on that point, I would have thought about it, but I still would probably not have come up with that term. I would have rationalized my behavior with something like ‘I’m confining my world because bad things have happened to me, and the more control I have over my interactions, the less likely things beyond my control will affect me.’ That’s probably not healthy at all, is it? Okay, no ‘probably’ about it. But when did I start confining my world? What did I used to be like?

When I moved out ‘for real,’ I got a job delivering pizza because my BFF was the assistant manager.

Let me tell you a little something about pizza delivery. It is one of the best jobs ever. Hands down. I was 21 years old and I got paid to ride around in my car all night listening to the radio. Plus I got free pizza. I’m pretty sure the only thing that could have made it better for me at that point in my life was free drinks. But that’s not the point of this story.

The point of this story is that I learned the delivery area like the back of my hand. Better than the back of my hand, although I have made a point of studying the back of my hand so as not to feel like a hypocrite when using that phrase. You may have lived in the same town all your life, but you do not know your town like any pizza driver worth their salt. And while this knowledge made my routing more efficient, thus earning me more runs and more tips, the best part was that it made my home larger.

You know how you can wander to the kitchen in the dark in the middle of the night to get a drink of water without walking into anything? Doesn’t it make you feel safe to be so sure of your surroundings? Don’t you feel warm and cozy and secure? I do. I love that feeling. There’s also that tinge of elitist when you see someone else stub a toe or bark a shin on something you already knew was looming to attack.

I hate being somewhere unfamiliar. I want to be at home, where everything is familiar, where everything has its place, where if I’m looking for the crackers, I know they’re on the second shelf in the pantry, all the way to the right. So you can imagine how good it felt when my home wasn’t measured in square feet but square miles. It felt amazing. Even when I moved up into management, I still routed the drivers, I still delivered on occasion, so it was still home.

Then I quit. And I went to be a mobile phlebotomist at the blood center. And that was even better! Not only did I still get to use my hugely accurate mental map of home, but I was able to expand it by hundreds of square miles! I had my small home on the donor coach, and I had my big home of northwest Louisiana. It was during this time that I was diagnosed with PCOS.

Then I quit. And I eventually went back to pizza. And that was okay, because although my home was smaller, it was more familiar. Things were okay. Really.

And then they weren’t anymore. Things stopped being okay, and they kept getting worse. I couldn’t even take solace in my home anymore, because pizza delivery was part of the reason things got so bad. My work ethic was a shambles, and my marriage was a wreck. My husband was ‘working late’ every night because I was so crazy, and I was being shuffled from store to store because I was so miserable, no one wanted me. It got so hard going to work every day and not being able to look my coworkers in the eye because I was tired of seeing them feel sorry for me. I stopped going to friends’ houses. I stopped going to karaoke. I stopped everything except going to work.

Then I quit. And I went to work for the census for a few months. And that’s where my world started shrinking even more. I was a field supervisor, so I met with my crew once a day to collect their paperwork, then I went home to check it and complete their payroll. Then I would take it all to my supervisor. And that was it. I was out of the house less than ten hours a week, period. When the census job ended, I filed for unemployment while I looked for another job. And I found out that when you burn the bridges to your fall-back job, it can be pretty hard to find meaningful work. But that was okay, because I didn’t want to leave the house anyway.

My husband had started his job delivering Chinese food by then, so sometimes I would ride around with him because it was a pretty informal working environment. But it wasn’t the same. My world had shrunk to the house and the car. Some days it was only the bedroom and the bathroom. I was a stay-at-home-infertile (thanks Rachel @ eggsinarow).

I did actually get a job not long after I started receiving unemployment, but it was 2-3 hours a week, if that, and at a children’s clothing store, no less. Yes, some days I couldn’t do it, even for only two hours, and even only in the stockroom, where I was free to cry all I wanted. I stopped working there after about nine months when my friend, the store manager, quit. I don’t think the new manager even knew to put me on the schedule anyway.

I was a stay-at-home-infertile-extreme-couponer for a while, not like in the show, but I did pretty well if I do say so myself. I definitely saved more than I made working at the clothing store. That at least gave me something to focus on besides not ovulating.

Now things are different. I’m still only working part-time, delivering papers one day a week. I still don’t go hang out with anyone. I still don’t really go anywhere besides the grocery store and Goodwill. I love me some thrift stores. But I am reaching out to the world again. My world isn’t made up of streets and houses anymore, it’s ethernet and fiber optic. Even though I can’t see any of you, I’m not just sitting here by myself every day. Even though it looks like I’m alone, I’m not. And that’s what’s really important.