Today I worked for a fellow driver, my first day shift at a Johnny’s Pizza House in like fifteen years. It was a slow day, but since LSU is playing Alabama tonight, we picked up quite a good bit once five o’clock hit.
Still, I feel accomplished. I worked ten hours, I rode with my sweetie, I ran 1.09 miles, and I painted. Now it’s time to shower and eat dinner.
Here’s Ambient Charisma, acrylic on 8×10 canvas, done with a palette knife.
I have a bad bobo on my finger and it hurts but I’m here because I love you.
Also because I put earplugs in because they block out the cold cruel world and calm me down and make me feel better.
I had the worst customer tonight. He was a jerk on the phone, he gave the wrong hotel room number, and then he wouldn’t answer his phone when I found out he gave the wrong room number. I know it was his fault because I was standing next to the girl who took his order, and she verified the number he said twice.
Anyway, he didn’t answer, and he didn’t give his last name so the front desk couldn’t help me. So I headed back to the store.
And when I was on my way back to the store, my manager called me because he called the store back. He threw a fit with her because she said sorry we’re closed after her greeting. Like, dude, we are closed. And you would be eating already if you weren’t so high. And then he argued about his room number, but she finally got it.
So I went back to the right room. Dude was gonna be in some serious shit if he had the number wrong again.
It was right.
Anyway, dude had a chair pulled up to his open hotel door. His butt was planted so firmly in that chair that he didn’t get up to take his drink, he didn’t get up to throw a fit about the drink he ordered, he didn’t get up to take his pizza, and he didn’t get up to sign his first name only on his credit card receipt.
And by the time I got back to the store, about four minutes, he’d already called and griped enough that my manager refunded his money.
I can’t stand people like that. Plus he was stoned! He should have been much more chill.
He wore a palm tree print button up shirt, and I’ve never before in my life seen a man who could rock a pith helmet as well as this man could, were he wearing one. Even without a monocle and large mustache.
If Vanilla Ice shaved his head and grew his eyebrows out I think I just met him.
He asked if I had change, I said yes sir, I have change. He said, no, I mean a lot of change like for $100. I gave him change for his $100, and he insisted that I check it somehow in the dark to verify its authenticity. I held it up to the streetlight and saw that it had a metallic strip in it so I thanked him. He must have forgotten that I have his phone number and address should something be wrong with his money.
And this guy. Jeez, this guy. I knocked on the door of his hotel room, waited, and knocked again. I heard nothing, so I called him to verify his room number. Yeah, that’s my room, but I’m not there. I didn’t know you’d be here so fast. So he left, apparently. And I am currently standing outside of this downtown hotel at ten o’clock on a Friday night waiting for him. He was quoted 45 minutes to an hour, and it’s now been 45 minutes on the dot, since I’ve been writing this post while I wait. Maybe this is him. It was him. He eyeballed me as he drove past, parked very far away, and then slowly moseyed back to the front door, where he complained that I was too fast.
And the lady who said let me just make sure there’s no onions before you leave like I was going to pick them off for her if there were.
Seriously though, I’m having a heck of a time back delivering pizzas. I love it.
Anyway. I should totes keep doing character sketches but with pizza customers. I could include their orders. What do you think?
Last night was my second night at my new job. I showed up knowing that I was the only closing driver, but what no one had told me was that I was the only driver from five until close.
So I started off easy, but then it got a little busier. I took a single run, then a double, then a triple, then another triple with another triple waiting to be cooked.
When I pulled up at my eighth delivery, I got out and started to trot up to the front door. I heard someone calling, but they weren’t near enough for me to make out what they were saying. I looked around, and I didn’t see anyone. I ignored it, because jeez, I’m in a good sized neighborhood around dinnertime. There’s all kinds of hollering going on.
I hopped up the steps and knocked on the door, and I heard it again. It sounded like they were possibly talking to me; I heard a woman’s voice calling ma’am, ma’am. My customer hadn’t answered the door yet, so I turned in a circle, scanning up and down the street.
Half a block away and across the street, nearly hidden behind a blossoming tree, I finally caught a glimpse of someone in a dress, outside with a dog. Help me. Was she struggling with the dog? I couldn’t see very well, since the tree was in the way. She started walking, slowly.
I watched the girl stagger out into the street, and I could see that she was splashed with red stains. She was holding her left arm out in front of her body, and there was a large dark stain near her wrist. It felt like I was watching the scene unfold on a screen before me; I mean, who hurts themselves inside and then comes outside for help? Phones are inside. She wasn’t running; she wasn’t acting at all like a person had hurt her. She wasn’t afraid of someone catching up to her and doing worse to her.
None of this was making sense.
My customer, an old woman walking with a cane, opened her door as the girl began calling again. Ma’am. I asked if she had her phone with her, as I had left mine in my car. I said it looked like the girl was covered in blood, and that I thought calling 911 would be a good idea. My customer shuffled out onto her porch and peered around the corner.
“No, I didn’t bring my phone with me to the door but–” Her eyes widened when she saw the girl. “I’ll get it.”
I was still standing there, holding the pizza like an asshole.
The girl was coming closer, the dog with her. She paused every few steps to call the dog back to her. When the girl was on the sidewalk next door, the dog broke away and ran up to me, on the porch, and tried to get into my customer’s house. She shooed it away with her cane, and I blocked it from the doorway while she talked to the emergency services dispatcher.
The girl was now in front of the house, pacing back and forth, talking more, shifting her complaints in rotation. It hurts. I can’t feel my hand. Please, my dogs are killing each other. I’m moving. It hurts. My dogs.
My customer and I encouraged her to sit down right where she was, as she was beginning to sway. Another neighbor from across the street came outside and I reassured her that my customer was on the phone with 911. The girl was begging someone to call her dad, and the neighbor ran to get her phone and call the girl’s father.
I opened my trunk to see if I had any towels, old shirts, anything to apply pressure to her wounds. I found a small dishtowel, but I estimated that it was large enough.
I was finally able to get a good enough look at the girl; she was definitely in shock. She’d been bitten quite badly on her left forearm, at least twice, but the bleeding on one had stopped long enough to have dried, and the other was oozing slowly. Her palms were both the dark maroon of dry blood and gray and white bits of fur were plastered to them. Her dress was bloody and furry. She was crying again that her dogs were killing each other inside her house and would someone please go stop them.
Obviously none of us were willing to go deal with those dogs, seeing what they’d done to her.
My customer was still on her porch, leaning on her cane, hollering advice, trying to calm the girl down, and pointing out that she’d ordered a Dr Pepper with her pizza. I’d forgotten her Dr Pepper in my car, so I brought it to her. She put it inside the door and slowly made her way down the sidewalk.
I stepped back out into the street to see if anyone was coming yet. A police officer had just turned onto the street, so I waved to let him know where we were. I told the girl that he was coming. When he pulled up and got out, her dog ran straight up to him, and I felt a moment of panic when he reached for his gun.
The girl screamed no, the dog turned to run back to her, and the cop relaxed. The neighbor took the girl’s dog and dragged it back towards her own home, to keep it out of the way.
Sirens sounded nearby, so I looked back up the street and the fire truck was turning our way. They slowed at a corner a couple blocks up, checking for addresses, so I waved to them as well.
The cop asked what happened, and she told him that her dogs were fighting. The fire truck pulled up and the EMTs rushed to surround her. The cop took a step back so I grabbed the opportunity and asked him if I needed to stay, because I was at work. He took in my hat and shirt and nametag, furrowed his brow, and asked, “You’re at work?”
I told him yes, that I was delivering here, and pointed at the house. I continued my synopsis: while I was at the door, this girl came out bleeding, and I asked my customer to call you since my phone was in my car, but you’re all here now, and well, I actually have another delivery in my car that I’ll need to call the store about if I need to stay.
Since I hadn’t made the 911 call, he agreed that there was no need for me to stay. He wrote down my name, birth date, and phone number and thanked me.
I hope the girl is okay.
At my next stop, my customer made a joke that they hoped I hadn’t gotten in an accident with their pizza; they’d heard the sirens. Yeah, ha-ha. Good one.