I'm a pretty inconsistent worker, as the Bipolar code wills; it's easy for me to get all Fatal Attraction obsessed over an idea, only to curb it shortly after, denying the whole thing that never happened, so let's drop it. Because of my "reliability," I've maintained several relatively illustrious---to softheaded aliens, certainly---employments; some of which include: quirky and beloved telemarketer, internet hussy, and nude dancing parlor shot wench; all befitting my mother's hopes and dreams, naturally. However, one job---not job really, "calling" shines brightest over all my many accomplishments: fast-food delivery driving.
It's true, nothing beats the fast, sexy, glamorous life of khaki pants, and working for tips in a college town. So, with great enthuse and recognition literally bubbling out of every orifice (it's pretty unpleasant), I feel obligated to set some facts straight:
1) nothing has brought me greater pleasure than catering to the whims of entitled collegiate hooch hounds,
2) I'm hardly being sardonic, well… maybe.
At any rate, here are some lighthearted stories (or deceptive laments) to divulge our vices!
GLUTTONY (We're Perpetually Drunk*)
Menial laborers are masters of "overindulgence" and "selfishness;" it's expected; $7.25/hr and jagaloonish half-assery trade evenly. However, cabin fever is a worry, because let's face it, sooner or later that iPhone's gonna die, and suddenly the salami slicer looks all too friendly. But needn't you worry: questionable dealings saves us.
Every day a majority of your friendly, sandwich-smelling worker ants are respectively "sauced" and/or "lit." As customarily as flowers sprout and leaves fall, drivers carelessly crush your parcels, at the foot of passenger seats, to make room for CD cases and filling, yet another bowl. Upon delivery, customers graciously contribute to our recklessness, pushing grass and moonshine for our trouble. One of my favorite memories involved an online order. The "additional information" section said "bring a mustache." The boy returned late, wearing Sharpie over his lip, an actual sombrero, and a video of him keg-standing in a festive poncho.
GREED (We Reserve the Right to Rob Your Ass)
Greed is earnestly appropriate when describing credit…card…theft. Alright, this sounds pretty bad, but what's a little "robbery" among friends? All that needs to be said is that delivery drivers are a simple people, living mainly off the land and meager wages, suffering unreasonable taxation: on Steam game sales, on rent, on the value of our efforts. So when an unprovoked jackhole belittles us over the phone, continues upon delivery, and leaves us tip-less, revenge is sweet, and reasonably priced. Sure, we took reparations; it's a victimless crime when everything's hush-hush.
WRATH (Parking Legality is a Debatable Concept)
Handicapped spaces. Front lawns (complete with sacrificial ornaments). High-traffic corporate campus walkways. Actual sidewalks. Potential cars manageably crumpled, and small children absolutely so. All were victim to my (and everyone else's) vicious anger and learned impatience.
As a hive mind, our crew suffered this consistent blinding pain, of which controlled all rationale. Our compulsion to "Hulk Out" was strong, and provoked by mere parking spaces. It sounds a bit ridiculous, but in two months employment, I'd racked up $200 in tickets. Vengeance would be mine. Survival, doubly so. We'd park all over our delivery territory in discouraged spots, hoping our confidence would divert the attentions of policing observers.
PRIDE (Our Safety is a Privilege)
I find it comical when food chains advertise, "You're part of the family." How I see it, the Donnor Party or Yakuza, offer more believable warmth and togetherness (at least a more interesting Christmas mailer). I digress, when envisioning family, managers always end up deprecating all over my holiday cheer (and fruitcake). Why, you might ask? Because higher-ups get casual dress, and this inspires fat heads and complexes. Unwelcomely, bloated egos get prideful, and pridefulness leads to refusing to acknowledge their staffed paupers.
As common in most trivial jobs, safety is more of a suggestion, like traffic signs in Indochina. Unless a crew member is set (reasonably) aflame, hacks off an arm, or is imprisoned in carbonite (for two consecutive weeks), managers don't seem to give a damn about our welfare.
One memory of note involves a parking garage. I'm not positive on why maintenance ignored our cries, but for the duration of my working the gig, the entire staff was subjected to tolerable electrocution. I figure there was a short in the opener box's wiring. Either way, the uppers ignored it; in turn, drivers hesitantly clocked out, victims to classical conditioning. I was a smart cookie, however, the smartest of all pastries. I took to keeping a steady supply of chopsticks; behind my ear, in my cupholder; I was shock free while the others sulked.
ENVY (We Provide Burglary Training)
There are some perks to playing humble sandwich fetcher. You get to listen for radio contest codes, polite customers give you pizza and candy (why wouldn't you take free candy from strangers?), and additionally, you're granted access to restricted areas. I used to think how groovy of a job this would be for burglars. Just work one day, keep the hat, accessorize with a decoy bag, and go off to terrorize the world. Simple as Jell-o shots. Now, it's this jealousy towards others, the desire for nice things strangers may or may not own, this is what makes us "envious."
SLOTH (We're Wasteful as Sin)
"Wasteful, lazy, gods rejecting," inconsiderate windbag: upper management. If anyone is "sloth," it's him, what with character and physical likeness. Two instances stuck with me most:
Cleaning: When cleaning, we were required to use these flimsy paper towels; ones coincidentally adjacent to boxes of reusable rags. He belittled me for pressuring said rags; I guess they were sentimental or decorative.
Bread: Every night, wasted bread was bagged and trashed. I offered to run the nightly haul to a nearby soup kitchen; my manager threatened firing me over unwritten "policy." It was my fault for asking; he probably had a legit reason. My guess, either 1) the bread was innately haunted, or 2) the dumpster (a likely guise), housed an alter towards man's forgotten gods.
LUST (You're Fun but We Hate Most of You)
After a certain point, customers aren't unique, they're just emotions: wants and needs. Ordering delivery grants instant gratification, and these people "lust" over convenience and carbs (also self importance).
Why Inebriates Are Awesome
There's no better feeling than having an unprompted fan club. True, they're more blitzed than 1940s Poland, but they're still singing your praises. This driver-customer relationship is very give-and-take, and you'll notice parallels to stripping for cash. However, in this instance, you satisfy their needs by waxing their wallets, and rubbing their hungry bellies, both while leaving your jacket on.
One night, I'd been off shift, so I missed an astonishing event. From what I was told, 2:00 am struck, and out spat a wobbly herd from an adjacent nightclub. A young girl, hungry and cold, wandered into my former branch. Unaware of her toplessness, she ordered confidently. In earnest, she attempted to pay… in Trident gum. Politely the cashier informed her that gum wasn't legal tender; she became very hostile. She then spent the next half hour, slumped over a stool, crying into her cell phone, drunkenly complaining to a friend about inhospitality.
Why Inebriates Suck
It was a common hassle, urging strangers to quit pestering for free food. Not only did we not carry extra on our trips, but also… just, no. Once, this college boy, drunk and/or passionately infuriated by inhospitality, invoked his inner gazelle, followed alongside my moving car, and hurled himself onto the hood. I don't know what this should have accomplished; "Good job, ten points for being a fast idiot, here's a complimentary platter."
My shop faced a college football stadium. On game days, the streets flooded, making delivery nearly impossible. On one run, infuriated by everything, I invoked the right of YOLO, went reverse down a one-way, and found an empty space (aka someone's lawn). The orderees spotted me and hobbled towards. Drunk friend #1 rifled through her pockets, looking for cash. Drunk friend #2 wandered off, quietly retrieving a comically large tree branch, from a freshly cut bundle. #1 kept frisking, and #2 returned, rubbing her and repeatedly whispering, "spellz-spellz" and "I'm wizard." Tree boy (#2) turned to me, screams "HARRY POTTER," thrusts the branch through my window, cutting up the ceiling. #1 and me lock eyes for minutes, Tree boy smiling gaily. #1 eventually emptied her pockets, threw all contents through my window and ran away.
The delivery world is a self-serving place, and with more menial of positions, all we can do is feign responsibility and pride. Luckily, among the soul sucking, moments of fun arise, but overall, only a sociologist could appreciate the whole of it. Every facet of humanness is found here: every quirk and every capability to love, to hate, to blame, to help. Vices are readily exposed here, more honestly than you'd admit to online questionnaires.