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Day 12: A Shave and a Hairclip

 

Friday’s are my pizza-Mondays. That makes it kind of nice. There’s no feeling that I’m overwhelmed. There are rest periods. I get at least two evenings off in a row every week.

I got home from job #1 at 5:20. I made sure to bring in my acrylic 4”x6” receipt clipboard.

My wife was busy being amazing. The baby was busy being adorable. My older daughters were outside playing. I chatted with Amazewife for a little while then went and got ready for work.

A few minutes went by. My uniform was on. My non-slip shoes were tied tight. I was tasked with bringing in the princesses from their outdoor kingdom for dinner: homemade, much healthier pizza. My soon-to-be four year old came in first.

“Hey dad! Where’s your hairclip?”

I had anticipated this important question. Eva had gifted me an Anna/Elsa Frozen princess hairclip a couple of days previous. It is bright purple. It sparkles. It went straight to my hair that fateful night. I blinged it for about an hour before putting it on the computer desk. The girls found it the next day. They ordered me to put it on my pizza receipt clipboard.

“Dad? I said, where’s your hairclip?” Eva asked, less than a second after asking me the first time.

“It’s on the metal part of my clipboard for work.”

Eva smiled and squawked. Then she turned around and penguin-danced into the kitchen singing the song of her people. I took that as approval. I felt good about it. Tonight, I would represent my princesses. They were excited to have a piece of themselves follow Daddy to work. I was excited to oblige. I had already decided that if any story would be told of this Friday, it would be one of customer laughs and the ability to relate about this year’s animated masterpiece.

After dinner, I headed in to work. Manager #1 was ready with two orders.

“You’ll take 75 and 81,” she said.

“79 and 81. Got it!” I repeated. I grabbed 79 and 81 and headed to my car. As is customary, I put the receipt for 79 in my princess-bling clipboard. I wrote thank you by the tip line. I drew a smiley. The clipboard was in the bag and I was ready. I plugged the address into my phone.

There was a knock on my window. It was Manager #1.

“I think you grabbed the wrong one!” she said.

My blood went cold. “79 and 81, right?” I asked, Kermit-flailing.

“75!”

I handed her the 79 bag and she ran in with it. “I’ll be right back with 75!” she said with a smile. She’s always chipper!

75 came back in a flash. I complemented her on the catch. Out of habit I checked the receipt. I face-palmed. No credit card clipboard!

I ran into the store. The door chimed. I grease-slid through the second door into the back-of-house.

“I don’t have the credit card re-“

I was cut short by another driver, a large kind man that I enjoy working with, holding my clipboard up. The purple sparkles twinkled in the fluorescent lighting. One eyebrow was arched on his face. He said not a word.

“Perfect! Thanks, coworker!” I said, taking the clipboard and hitting the road.

I was moving, but I was not steady. My confidence was shaken. I kept seeing the coworker’s facial expression over and over in my mind. Maybe the clip was too much. I moved it to my phone charge cord. That would be ok. It was in the car.

“But no!” another voice in my mind cried. “You are to represent them before the world, not before your air freshener and the sunflower seed casings!”

I parked the car. The clip had moved back to the clipboard. I opened my door, then closed it again. I pulled off the hairclip and placed it on the seat.

Moments later, I was handing deliciousness to Customer #1. First, I handed him my clipboard. He stood there for a moment.

“Do you have a pen by any chance?”

I checked my shirt. I checked my pockets. I checked the pizza bag. The customer went in to his apartment and used his own pen. I felt so embarrassed. I knew what had happened: the last removal of the Princesses from my board had dislodged the pen.

I thanked him and apologized again. The hairclip was back on the clipboard the second it was within reach. I vowed never to back down on my commitment to girlish headwear again.

The sun was setting just behind Central High School as I was dropping off my second delivery. It was less than a block away. The rays of the setting sun set the clouds above the school on fire. I grabbed a picture.

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I was ready for that customer. I had the receipt, pen, clipboard and hairclip ready.

“Here you are, sir. Don’t mind the hairclip, that’s one of the joys of having three daughters,” I said with a smile. He assured me that it was fine and gave an above-average tip.

Just about everyone gave me an above-average tip that night. Maybe it was the KC game. I went to multiple hotels. (Doubletree twice. Here is a picture from the glass elevator.)

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Maybe it was the nice weather. Maybe it was something unrelated. I like to think it was the hairclip.

I came in from what I thought was my last delivery to find one last drive to make. The call had come in one minute before close. I loaded up and headed out.

The front of our store has two doors. One is always locked after a certain hour. I forgot. I rested my hand against the door and gave it a good heave, expecting cold night air for the last time. I got shooting pain up my right arm instead.

“Ouch!” I thought as I switched doors. The pain went away for the rest of the evening. I was able to work without issue.

This morning I woke up and my hand fell off. I found it somewhere on the floor under my bed. The brace came out of the closet and held it on till I got some ibuprofen in me. I made the phone call. No pizzas for me today. I saw in my mind’s eye no work on Monday either if I tried to push it too hard. Can’t afford that. We’re getting out of debt.

It was a painful end to an amazing night. Going to heal up and hit the road!

ROE INTENSE

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