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Day 6: The People I Work With

The most thrilling part about working as a pizza delivery driver – aside from getting cold, hard cash in your hand at the end of every day – is getting to know so many different people. I refer to them by what they are to protect their identities. Each individual has a rich personality, not to mention a good sense of humor. I am sure one could not find this level of character and diversity in most white-collar jobs.

Take Shiftmanager #1 from last night. She is latinoamericana. Husband and kids. Zacatecas native. She was surprised to learn I speak Spanish, so we joke around de vez en cuando. I was cashing out at a computer when she plopped an open box of food on the counter. What follows happened in Spanish in its entirety.

“Tony, do you like this stuff?”

“Of course I do.”

“Want one?”

“No thanks.”

“Why not? Too spicy?” These were the peppered variety of the food.

“I love spicy foods, but I just had a pizza.”

I finished counting and switched places with her so she could close my till. As I moved, the smell of the food hit me. It wasn’t a realization. It was a hit. A blow to the nostrils. Might as well have started to smell smoke.

“Phew, those are spicy. They spice up the old nostrils.” I said.

She mumbled something through a mouthful of the food.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Is it too spicy because you’re not Mexican?”

She laughed. I laughed. See what I mean? The Mexican comment was funny. And not just because it was racist.

I've learned something through employment. Most of the time it’s not about your job, it’s about who you work with. Pizza work is dirty, fast-paced, slippery, delicious-smelling, intense work. Tension can run high and irritability can tend to spike. But, because of the nature of the relationships that exist in this particular restaurant, I see more people carrying on like a family would.

You know. Family member “A” gripes about family member “B” to “C”. “C” talks it over with Mom. Mom talks it over with “B”. “B” confronts “A”. “A” leaves and doesn’t call for a while. Dad is somewhere outside (because he knows better.) Then you have dinner in a week and things are cool.

More than one coworker has said they have left the team only to come back later. It’s a fluid, living place with people coming in and out all the time. And that’s not just a restaurant pun.

I love this stuff. The dynamic is so cool to watch. Customers sometimes ask me how I’m doing when I deliver their food and the atmosphere helps me say with honesty, “I’m happy to be delivering pizzas today!”




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