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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 about eating it. Now I have to know where it came from and why.

Monday night, I noticed a pattern. The food appears with greater frequency when managers are off duty. If a mistake is made in production, that food is always open to anyone. But mistakes seem to happen a lot. Fishy.

Again, Monday the pattern really hit home. I was assisting with the cooking of a particular batch of two items. There was a single ticket to fill. I asked a couple people what order the other batch was for. Someone stated they were Coworker’s.

The same thing happened later, but with a pizza.

A coworker pulled me aside a bit later.

“Any time you want some food, just ask. You work very hard and deserve it. Just don’t bite the hand that feeds you by telling Cap’n or anything…” he said.

That first sentence was kind of endearing. Just ask! How nice. The second one made me very nervous. I deserve it? Who decides that? And the third sentence? Yikes. Gross. Oh man, how uncomfortable!

I thanked my coworker. That’s it. Didn’t say anything else. I pushed my dish bin to the back and kept washing.

I felt like someone had just told me Santa Claus is fake. I even felt a bit betrayed.

When I go to work there at night, I relax. It is mechanical work. There is a written way to do everything. I can work very hard and sit back and watch the stories unfold. But this? I thought about the pieces of food that I’d sampled from that back desk just a bit ago. I felt like an accomplice.

Part of me wants to say something. I feel like I should tell them about my disappointment. I won’t snitch, but I want to set the expectation that I will not participate. Nor would I lie if asked in a direct manner by a boss whether people are stealing food.

But wait, here comes the fear. How would they react? Just thinking about talking brings up so many unknowns.

In my mind, the worst possibility is violence. I wouldn’t put that bloody option past some of these cats. The mid-range negative response at least might be exclusion.  But that really stinks.

What am I saying? Why do I even have to try and judge how people would respond in the first place? This is so lame.

Funny. Here I am again, at the crossroads of the tough lesson oft repeated.

I’m trying to paint my experiences with these wonderful people in the best light I can. The disappointment with this one is intense. Why can’t I just get out of debt? Why must people complicate what would otherwise be simple labor?

Share your thoughts. Help me out. And I hope this helps you, whoever you are.

Yours truly, trying to stay…



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