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Showing posts from November, 2014

Day 37: November Numbers

Happy Thanksgiving, folks!Here are the numbers for November:Tips+Miles/Hr. is the amount of money above and beyond my hourly wage. It represents the amount I bring home in cash every night. Overall I netted $44.54 less in November than I did in October, with gains in all other areas. I saw a 15% ($1.19) increase in my average Tips+Miles/Hr. take-home. My highest Tips+Miles/Hr. saw a 65% ($7.18) increase on November 15th. My lowest also came up by 37% ($1.31). My research indicates that my net loss is more due to days off.My most notable days off were Friday, 11/21 and Saturday 11/22.On 11/21, I surprised Amazewife by singing All of Me by John Legend to her at a talent show in front of millions, if not billions… Poor sound, but don’t worry. Not missing much. On 11/22 when her and I attended the Golden Gophers game. It was fun! If I had worked those two days and made the average amount of tips, we would have netted ~$154 more than October. Both of those experiences and quality time away f…

Day 36: DANGER

My wife explained that I often miss the kids’ small moments. They seep through on occasion. I was upstairs looking for a book to read when I noticed a few signs. I had my wife snap a picture while I was at work yesterday. Top right reads, “STOP: Vampire Cats and Mean Princesses.”The lower one is a stenciled cat and the word DANGER. All in good fun, right? How cute. Shows ownership. Shows imagination.Let’s focus in on one of those, though.Let me point out the significance of this sign. Ruth has chemical label indicators memorized, specifically CAUTION, WARNING and DANGER. She knows – in a general sense – what each level means. She understands that DANGER is the one that will kill you.Let that add some cute, wary intensity to your opinion of these signs. Man alive, I love these babies. These are two very good reasons why I’m going to work in ten minutes. I will work to get out of debt, to teach these babies. It’s worth delivering tons of pizzas.ROE INTENSE

Day 35: Hilton Falls

I was on the tail end of my night. One of my last deliveries was to the Centurylink Hilton. In front of the main entrance is a circular, curbed obelisk light thing. I parked on the North end to the side of a shuttle. See below. ‘X’ marks the spot. I turned off the car, pocketed the keys and started my Maneuver. The Maneuver involves leaving my car backwards to better facilitate the extrication of the pizza bag. It’s pretty snazzy. I can do it quite well. I think and feel like an 18 year old every time. Except this time.I misjudged how close I was to that obelisk thing.My right heel hit the curb. I lost my balance. I felt the shock absorb into my knees as I tumbled to the pavers. I dropped the food on my way down. First thought, “Oh no! The deliciousness has fallen!”Second thought, “That went better than expected!”Since we humans think at speeds faster than light, all this transpired before my fingertips bounced with the force of the impact. I recovered as quick as possible and checked…

Day 34: Assumptions

It was dark already when I hit the source of tonight’s blog entry. I was halfway through my night. I handed the address of the next delivery to the lady who lives in my phone. I checked the checkered flag on her map marking where I was headed. Something looked funny. Then I saw why. I deliver to quite a few hotels. One in Omaha is shifty to me. Well, several in Omaha are shifty to me. This one shifts the most in my book. Even the lady in my phone has me go around the back to deliver pizzas. I tell her every time that there is no door back there. She never listens to me. I pulled up and parked. (Parking at hotels make me feel fabulous. Best parking in the place. I’m on a mission and it’s expected; pizzas are valet-parking important. But I digress.)I hopped out and moved through the automatic doors. The smell of continental breakfast and chlorine hit me in the face. Every delivery to this hotel has been different. The people are often awkward and rushed. They spend little to no time at …

Head games: a guest entry by Amazewife

It was a sunny fall day and Ruth and I were meandering around the back yard. The grass was growing long. The slender blades were poking above the beds of weeds in our vast lawn. “I need to mow the lawn,” I remarked.“Mom, do you even know HOW to mow the lawn?” Ruth answered.She sounded more like a teenager than a 6-year-old. “Yes, I can mow the lawn!” I said on the defensive.Apparently, it had been a while.We have had a lot of those moments over the last couple of months, although not always so vocal. Mostly, it’s just a voice in my head. “Meredith, do you even know HOW to keep the house clean and get the laundry done and take care of the yard and do the budget and the shopping and cooking and violin class and girl scouts and PTA and get the kids to bed without Tony’s help?” “Are you SURE you can keep yourself occupied at night without getting too lonely?”“Can you ACTUALLY stay connected with your husband when you only see him for an hour or two most days?”“Is this REALLY all worth it?…

Day 32 & 33: Pant-alone-tees

The store entry bell chimed as I stepped into the back of the house. There was Cap’n. She had a $5 bill in her hand. She had ol’ Abe pinched just below his nostrils. I knew because he was facing me. She waved the bill forward and backward in my direction to get my attention. It took me a second. That bill was hot pink. “Wow!” I said. “It’s hot pink!”“Yeah,” she said. She smirked. “Coworker has red pantalonetees.”Pant-alone-tees? Why would his pants matter? ‘You mean pantalones,I thought. Then I realized: he had washed the dollar in a pocket. It was hilarious. But I didn’t laugh. I was in bullet time. The humor rushed me. The urge to correct collided with the humor. I was trying to put my money away, so that was distracting. I didn’t have a chance to laugh out loud. I’m glad, too. I kept thinking, ‘What a funny mispronunciation. That sounds a lot like-‘Coworker was fast. He rushed to correct her.“Pantalonetees sounds too much like panties! Pant-alonays! Pant-alonays!” (Like “mayonnai…

Day 31 & 32: Up and Down

What a wild ride this is turning out to be.When I took the pizza job, my path seemed very clear: Go to work during the day. Go home. Eat dinner. If it’s pizza night, go deliver. If not, hang with girls. Go to sleep. Repeat. Sounds monotonous when I read it to myself. I’m ok with monotony. Monotony is good. Monotony in a worthy task is productive and wholesome. It drowns out the world. It invites focus. Well let’s all hold our breath, count to three and take a giant poop all over that notion. Monotony. Pah, humbug. You can relate. Some people deal with the highs by celebrating with low behavior. Some deal with the lows by getting high. You can imagine which one of those two groups does so with pizza in the mix. The weather was cold Friday night. I had my beanie and a zip-up on. Pies in hand, I pulled up to an apartment building. The address called for the next building over. But, as it happens, the next building over looked like an abandoned Church. The next building after that was a b…

Day 29 and 30: Invitation to a Secret Combination

What do you do when someone asks you to participate in a lie?I deliver this fabulous little thing called Pizza. If you haven’t heard of it, get some. Quick. It’s quite the experience.For the other 97.86% of the western world that has had some, pizza is a food phenomenon. It inundates society. It breathes greasy life into economies, schools, fundraisers, the unemployed and drunk people. Much like the government.Speaking of government, pizza production, like government, is a hotbed for the growth of clusters of conspiring individuals. In no way do I mean to insinuate that my own coworkers or those in other pizza restaurants conspire to murder, or worse, to control the private sector. Their conspiracies are much less serious. But it is still a sad lack of integrity.While I’m grease-sliding around looking for dishes to clean, food will materialize on a desk in the back. It is not uncommon. It is always delicious. Or at least, it was. Now it leaves a funny taste in my mouth when I think ab…

Day 28: Career Woman

There is a woman at my restaurant. Great is her power. Strong is her authority. You should see her work. She is straightforward. She’s fast. She’s smart. She’s patient. She’s brutal, if need be. That’s right: she’s Cap’n Pizza. She heads up the old ship Dough-Zion. She’s good at everything. She runs that ship real tight. Super tight. Any problem – be it a people problem, supply problem, cleanliness problem or math problem – sticks out to her. She isn’t pretentious about resolution. She isn’t overbearing. She just corrects and moves on.Some nights ago, I filled the yellow mop bucket with hot water. Steam billowed out as I hit the top of the wave wall. I twisted the cap off a bottle of degreaser. I poured in the typical amount. Splish splosh went the mop. I twisted it in the strainer and pressed down. I pull the lever to strain it, then repeated the other way. The mop came out and the floor grease battle began. Things were starting to sparkle. The aroma of cleanliness started to replace…

Day 27: Who Takes Care of Me for Real

I have now been delivering pizzas for 6 weeks. Only 46 more weeks to go!Vomit. Shudder. Groan. Whine. Complain. That’s how I felt earlier in the week. Three shifts wasted. Toast. They were lame sauce. I brought home less than I needed to or expected after each one. Ugh.I don’t want to give the wrong impression. I love this job. I wouldn’t trade my current pizza fun for anything… except a part-time job with the exact same shifts that pays twice as much (~$30/hour). Also, I would want it to be as much fun or funner. I SAID IT. I SAID FUNNER.But would that ever happen?Even if it did, I’d have to change the subtitle of my blog to something less pizza centered. Plus, I wouldn’t get to find out with this flavor of clarity who takes care of me for real.Take one of my flavorful regulars as an example. They live in a squat little house in a line of squat little houses by the zoo. I have fond memories of the first delivery here.  The delivery was for a woman, but a man had answered the door. He…

Day 26: What’s in a name?

Above should be “what’s in a title,” but that’s not near cliché enough.I was on a delivery. All three valves in my five cylinder Taurus roared with ferocity as I hit 30 mph on Martha. I felt my phone buzz in my cup holder. “Turn right, and then you will reach your destination on…” said the navigator lady. Navigator lady lives in my phone. Just then, she didn’t care that I’d received a message. She never cares. All she cares about is telling me where I need to turn. She wants to tell me several times. Everything else is less important. I finished the delivery. I got back in my car. I remembered, and checked the message. Waves of encouragement flowed over me. Amazewife’s words, bathed in light orange, warmed my heart. They made me feel all tingly and fuzzy inside.Here I was: delivering a delicious round piece of hydrogenated vegetable oil and flour, navigating the thick jungle of Omaha. I felt exhausted. I had been running from the Cheetah called Discovery, the Lion called Fannie Mae. I…

Day 25: Halloween

Nebraska is an interesting state. We celebrate normal holidays. Then we add Husker games. Halloween night 2014 was my first holiday experience outside of the usual football extravaganza.I came into the store at 6:15. I was early. Good thing, too. The MOD (Manager On Duty) clocked me in as soon as she saw me and got me rolling on my first delivery. I got the deliciousness in my car and went through the checklist.Pizza: Check. Correct pizza: Check check. Clipboard: Check again. Princess hairpin on clipboard: All sparkles. Child detecting radar system: Ready to rock.That last piece of equipment comes standard issue to new dads. They insert it somewhere behind your right ear while passed out on the couch at the hospital between diaper changes.Good thing, too. The kids were thick in the first delivery’s neighborhood. Cars were packed into every square foot of parking available. Minivans circled each block like buzzards. Kids were flying from house to house. Cold parents waited on the sidew…