Long story short, I left my position as a manager in a small non-profit. Short story short – I quit. I feel better, but as the old saying goes, it is easier to find a job when you have a job. Needless to say, I had nothing lined up and to top it off I quit the week before Christmas. Yep, that is what I did.
Now with all that, I did talk to my wife prior to doing this. She was on board with my choice. I don’t think thrilled would begin to describe her, but she was on board. So, with my best friend behind me, I told my boss that I couldn’t do this any longer, handed her my keys and P card and walked out the door.
Fast forward to today and what I did in Albuquerque. The answer to that is that at 1 a.m. this morning I was driving home from my closing shift at Domino’s Pizza. Certainly not quite what I had imagined for myself 8 weeks post unemployment, but this is not my whoa as me piece, nor is it asking for pity. This is what I’ve learned delivering pizzas.
- The pizza business is a freaking business. The person who owns all the domino’s is very rich. Do I have data to back that up…nope? It is just a guess. I’m guessing that I’m right
- Every cost is controlled. The end game is to reduce cost and maximize profits. Duh, of course it is. It is a billion-dollar industry the pizza business. I happen to work for the one that just knocked Pizza Hut (actually has “pizza” in the name in favor of one that is named after a game that 80-year-old men play in the park on nice days) out of number one. The company is 6 or 7 on the list of fast food joints in terms of market share. It is a big business. I guess I really had no idea until I went to work for them.
- The folks that work there work hard. They work. They may not save lives or patrol the streets, but they take pride in their work. They may have fun doing it, but when it comes down to it, they take value in what they do. Now with all that said, you will have the fuck ups that make it hard for everyone. I am talking to you drunk Domino’s delivery guy. People hear that crap and it reflects poorly on the rest of us just trying to earn a paycheck.
- I have not worked this hard in my life. My knee hurts from hopping up the curb. My fingers have hangnails from folding all the boxes My car will forever smell like pizza. I know what you are going to say. Booo whoooo. I get it. There are those that will read this and say no shit sherlock, that’s what it is like for me every day…. I guess I’m just trying to say I am starting to understand that there is no way on this planet that someone making minimum wage can make a living. At least not without another job, god forbid if you have no spousal support or are a single parent. I don’t have any answers either.
- People that I work with are genuinely nice. They correct you when you mess up and it is not belittling, I do not feel less than, it is a nice environment to be in. Maybe it has been my fault for working in some messed up places. See I told you that this was therapy for me.
- I am tired, heck I close tonight and the idea of working till one in the morning washing dishes…heck I’m not looking forward to it. But, I meet some neat people delivering pizzas. I clock out at the end of the night with money in my pocket and I really don’t have to think about the next day. The next day will be the same as today. Deliver pizzas, it will get crazy at dinner time, fold boxes, sweep and do dishes.
Did you know that the wage of a pizza guy goes down to 5.25 when they are on the road? It’s the idea that the tips from the folks you are delivering to will make up they difference. The big idea that you “can” make up to $20 an hour delivering pizza. Let me tell you. If you are making 20 bucks an hour delivering pizzas, you are working your ass off and my hat off to you. So, this job as taught me more about the value of a dollar than any other job I have ever had. When I was young, I just didn’t give a crap. I worked, I got money, I bought things. Now with the family being on 99% my wife’s income I realize that a dollar is a lot more than just a dollar. And that shit is expensive. Groceries are expensive. Entertainment is too. So are kids, kids’ hobbies, rent/mortgage, water, gas, cell phones, cable, internet, all the things that go along with the internet (Hulu, Netflix etc.). Our friends invited us to go out to one of those escape room things. It is $28 per person to do this. 28 dollars a person…we declined. 56 dollars right now is a lot of money and you know that it is not just 56 dollars. There may or may not be food, there may or may not be drinks. Babysitter, gas money…. the list goes on. My point again is that the world is expensive and those that don’t agree either have the money already or are in debt up past their eyeballs or are somehow robbing peter to pay Paul but are one car repair away from being homeless.
I delivered a pizza to a kid at an apartment complex. He opened the door of his one bedroom and the smell of pot wafted through the air. I’m sure he has chronic pain. He was playing on a game system listening to music. I just saw the kid again today…he bagged my groceries. My question is not if he is in chronic pain, but how they heck does he do it? My guess, he works his ass off and he is in debt up past his eyeballs. I guess my takeaway on all of this is that if you have a life where money is not an issue – excellent! My wife and I are currently on baby step 2 of Dave’s plan and will be where you are within the next 5 years. Yes, I know that sounds like a long time, but no matter what, I will be 5 years older and I would like to be debt free at that time. For those of you that money is an issue. Stop living like it isn’t. I know I have. My underemployment and my journey to find a career is taking much longer than I thought. Made me realize that I may think that I’m hot shit, but in reality, I’m just another guy. Most of us are just another guy, that is where I say make the change. Recognize your pizza delivery guy. Know that the person at the cash register or bagging your groceries is a person and that for their shift they are going to work their ass off, or they just might lose their jobs. Because if they do, there is someone like me who is unemployed that needs a job, any job, to help his family out and will work his ass off. So, to all you pizza delivery folks and everyone else making minimum wage or less, thank you.
I also went to the post office today…so till next time, that’s what I did in Albuquerque today.