I wake up late Monday morning; it is 9:30am. I wonder why my alarm clock did not go off? With no time to shower or eat breakfast, I hurry around the house gathering my work uniform and tossing my hair up. Hmm, I hate it when I am running late; it always puts me in a foul mood. Besides, I am not particularly happy about the long day I have in front of me. Preparing for inspections are not my favorite job duties. There is an exceptionally large list and today I only have one driver to help in-between deliveries. If only I was completely in charge of the store, things would be handled quite differently. First of all, I truly believe that many of these items on the checklist should be completed on a routine basis. For instance, mopping the walk-in. Wouldn’t that be a health violation to not mop a walk-in at least once per week?
When I arrive at work, my mood hasn’t changed much. Even though I am in a poor mood this morning, I still cheerfully greet the driver, Larry. After unlocking the doors, I stop to think a moment about what happened yesterday with the break-in and police investigating. I was really lucky that the robber came after I had left for the day. I have heard of burglars locking workers in the walk-in where there is no cell phone reception. A shiver runs down the entire length of my spine just thinking about how lucky I was. I wonder if Bob will have a new safe delivered today (but I doubt that, he probably will drag his feet). Hopefully the cash register has change available.
After I had set out all of the containers of food on the ice line, I went straight to the office. There is still another thirty minutes before we open. Not looking forward to the inspection list, I decide to work on the following week’s schedule. I create the weekly schedule for everyone but Scott and myself. For the most part, the schedule is the same every week, I just need to change the hours and work around a few request offs. After I completed the schedule, I reluctantly picked up the dreaded inspection guideline.
Again, many of these should be done on a regular basis for health code reasons. Well, no sense in sulking over this list, time to divide and complete. Before I can begin dividing the items between Larry and me, the phone rings.
Answering the phone, I say “Thank you for calling “Pizza Mia, this is Amanda, how may I help you?” I feel like a receptionist sometimes when I answer the phone. The local school has requested 20 pizzas, 10 1 -toppings, and 10 specialties to be delivered at 12:30pm. Looking at the clock, I only have an hour to make the pizzas and provide driving time for Larry.
Making twenty pizzas by yourself is time consuming. Larry is fairly new and does not know how to make pizzas. I grab the dough and start slapping out twenty large pizzas. After the dough comes the sauce and cheese. After topping the pizzas, I slide them into the oven which runs each pizza on a conveyor belt. At the other end of the oven, Larry is ready to catch the pizzas and cut them. The person catching the pizza has to be quick. Bob took off the guard shortly after I started because some workers were moving too slowly at the pizza cutting table. When this happens, the pizza gets backed up in the oven and some burn. It is quite frustrating now if the person at the pizza cutting table works too slow because the pizzas just splat on the ground need cleaned up, and then re-made. It doesn’t take long for someone to realize they need to move quicker at this station now.
Before I am finished making the twenty pizzas, the phone rings again. It is Bob asking if I need some change brought to the store. Oh, shit; I forgot to check the cash register. I was thinking about that when I walked in the door, but already forgot. Quickly, I reach over to the cash register (luckily the phone reaches) to check. It’s still empty. I inform Bob that I need him to bring some change and politely ask permission to hang up so I can finish the School’s pizza order.
Larry asks, “what was that about?”
Since Larry was not on the shift, I am not sure if Bob wants him to know about what happened. “I am not sure, Bob is coming by though.”
“Oh, ok.” Larry responded. I can tell he seems nervous about Bob coming by. This tends to happen with new people until they hear about the rumors through the grape vine. Then after hearing the rumors, it seems like people begin to relax some, almost like some respect for the owner has been lost.
After the pizzas are finished, I decide to knock off some quick items on the list before Bob arrives. He has at least a thirty minute drive that is if he is coming from his home. I begin with checking the exit signs and Dusting the front lobby, including the red light fixtures hanging over the front counter. One exit sign is burnt out, so I called Bob to ask him if he could bring a replacement bulb on his way in.
The phone rings again, this time it is Lindsay. “Amanda, I was just in a car accident.” What a shock!
“Lindsay, are you ok? What happened?”
“I am fine, but my car is not. I was backing out of the parking lot at work and hit another car.”
“Is the other driver ok? What happened with your car?”
“The other driver is fine and I have some large scratches on my back bumper now.”
“Oh, I am sorry to hear that. I will take a look at it tonight; maybe we can buff it out. Right now though, I really cannot talk, I have a lot to do. Can we talk about this after school tonight?”
“Sure thing, Amanda it is no problem. I will let you go, see you after you get home from school.”
Can anything else go wrong today? Another thing added to the “to do” list. She really needs to be more careful! Lindsay is probably hung over from the bar last night.
Bob arrives about fifteen minutes later and hands me the change for the cash register. Also, to my surprise, he changes the burnt out Exit sign himself. I am glad he didn’t ask me to change it as I really do not like ladders. Well heights at least, even on a short distance up the ladder.
“Amanda, I can see you have been working on the inspection list. Did Scott finish the inspection checklist schedule?”
Shit, I do not want to tell on my boss, but then again, I am not going to lie to my boss’ boss. “Bob, Scott left the inspection list up to me to complete.”
“Do you know what you are doing? Are you confident we will pass?”
Fuck, I knew he was going to ask that question. Did he really have to ask that? My suspicions are now confirmed, Scott must have took full credit for the last inspection that we received a five star (which is the max). “Yes, of course I know what I am doing and I am confident we will pass.” I really want to call Scott now and ask him why he didn’t give me credit for the last inspection but I refrain. No need to stir up shit over the past. At least now I will have the chance to prove to Bob what I can do and Scott will not be able to take the credit this time.
“Everything is looking really good so far. Be sure you take the boxes out of the front counter and wipe down the shelf.”
“No problem, Bob, it is on the list of things to do. Do you know when the inspector is coming? “
“The inspector will come sometime next week, unannounced.”
“I will be ready, no need to worry.” I wish I could bring myself to tell you that it was me that got the five stars last time, but I just can’t do it. I respect my boss; even after all of the extra job duties (that are listed as his job description) were added. My stomach at that moment growled loudly and I could feel my cheeks flush rosy red.
“Get you something to eat on the house and keep up the good work! I need to go visit the other store, it seems your roommate got into an accident with one of our customers.” With that comment Bob leaves.
Oh no, I hope he is not going to fire or suspend Lindsay. We have not encountered a driver that had an accident before on the job. Well I take that back, let’s say this is the first “collision” accident we have come across. Last winter, we had a bad snow storm. I was managing that night and we had two drivers. Both drivers called me within 15 minutes apart saying they slid off the road. One was walking back because his car was stuck on SR138 (which is the same road as Pizza Mia). The other driver was stuck in an apartment complex about 20 minutes away. He ran off the road and was unable to drive back so at that point, I did not have a delivery driver and I had to close the store so I could go pick-up the drivers. What was worse about the whole situation was that I had asked Bob about two hours prior to close delivery for the night due to the road conditions. He said absolutely not and that we were to keep delivery open. I decided on my own to close sections of our delivery that had roads deemed as too dangerous for the delivery drivers (ie: large hills, sharp curves, huge ditches, and cliffs). Our delivery area definitely has a lot of dangerous roads, even without snow. After picking up the drivers that night, I called Bob once more and stood my ground. The roads were too dangerous and it is not worth risking people’s lives to deliver a pizza. I informed him that I do not have any delivery drivers and if he wanted to keep delivery open I would need his help. Of course Bob did not want to deliver that night (he owns a truck). So he said I could close the restaurant early.
After that night, we were more careful to close roads as soon as they became bad. Bob still doesn’t let us close delivery for bad snow storms, but at least he allows us to cut out the dangerous roads. People who want delivery on those dangerous roads are not happy, but they definitely understand.
The phone rings, and my whole body jolts back to reality. Larry grabs the phone and this time it is Scott. “Amanda, Scott would like to talk to you.”
Shit, here we go, Bob must have told him about our conversation earlier. “Afternoon, Scott, how are you doing?”
“I’m good. Why did you tell Bob that you are handling the inspection process? I just had my ass reamed by Bob.”
“Well, my boss’ boss asked me a question and I felt like I couldn’t lie to him.”
“Amanda, you know I delegated the task to you but I do not want Bob knowing that.”
“Well, I am sorry, I didn’t know. And besides, I really do not want to lie to Bob. Why didn’t you tell him that it was me that got the five stars the last time?” Before I could stop, it was already out. That is not like me to not think through my words!
There was a long pause and then a sigh. “Amanda, I have been under a lot of stress at my other job. As my assistant, I expect you to help me with some responsibilities. You did great for the last inspection and I told you that before. Let’s leave it at that, no need to let Bob know who actually got the five stars. We are a team. Listen, I am going to be late coming in tonight. I need you to stay until seven.”
“Scott, I can’t. My class starts at 6pm and I need to leave by 5 at the latest.” I am not skipping class for some Pizza company.
“I really do not have a choice in this matter, Amanda. I will be in late. If you cannot cover me, can you find a shift leader who can?”
“Sure, I will check with them to see who can cover our gap in shifts. Anything else?”
“No, that’s everything. Thanks for your help!”
After we hang up, another thought enters my mind. What a day! I guess he is delegating his responsibility to cover his shift start time as well. After checking with all of our shift leaders, no one can cover the gap in time tonight. Hmm, I guess if I want to keep my job I have to skip the first hour and half of class. I really do not want to walk in late. That will be so embarrassing. Guess I better call my teacher to notify him in advance of my planned tardy for tonight.
We picked up shortly afterwards and before I knew the time had slipped to 7:30 and no Scott. I treaded off to the office to call him. He is meddling with my future now with his tardiness.
“I know I am late, Amanda, and I am sorry. I had a really important meeting for my other job. I am on my way now and will be there in thirty minutes.”
“Scott, by the time I get to school, there will only be an hour and a half remaining. College is really important to me, just like your other job is to you. I can’t be skipping class like this if I expect to pass and graduate. Your other job may be your future and I will do everything I can to help you. Please respect my future as well. I have worked hard to get where I am now and there is no way I am going to let ANYONE mess that up for me.”
“I know Amanda, and this is the first time I have asked you to cover. I will be there shortly.”
Hmm, seems like he only cares about his future. This is so frustrating. I do not think I am going to go for the last hour. This teacher normally lets class out early anyways. I will just have to call him tomorrow to explain what a prick my boss can be.
When Scott arrived, I grabbed my stuff and left without even saying “hi”. That is not like me, but he took advantage of me tonight. I am not going to skip school again for him or anyone else. I pay too much for my classes. I do not want to be slinging pizzas the rest of my life and I definitely do not want to have to work two jobs after college to make ends meet.
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