The Dude* has found gainful employment, at DP Dough. The hours are absolute shit and the pay is damn crap but it’s easy work and the people there are frickin’ awesome, I mean, the coolest group of people I’ve ever worked with. DP Dough, for those not in ‘the know’, is a fast-food, cal-zone chain that brands itself as ‘the alternative to pizza’. They got all kinds of cal-zones, whatever you want in it, come by, I’ll make you one or four.
DP Dough has the late night thing going on. The big rush, when a shit-ton of cal-zones are ordered, events just around two a.m. when the bars close. DP Dough is only a block or two from my apartment, which is great, but that also means it’s right near campus and it’s clientele will mostly be drunk college kids and that to serve all of these drunk college kids we have to stay open until four a.m. each morning. Ok, only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; during the week we shut the doors at three. We get some interesting characters in at those times: the girl who puked on the floor, the kid who painted on the menu sign as it was being hung on the wall, the drunk drivers that get pulled over and subsequently arrested across the street, and the always frustrating attempts to understand what people on the phone are saying. ‘Can you repeat that number again, sir? No, dude you’re giving me too many numbers.’ ‘Okay, 487232.’
I work 9-close Wednesday through Saturday so I’m working on changing my sleep all around. I figure I can write in the afternoons and evenings before I have work. Then when I get back it’s shower and right to bed where I’ll read for a bit before dozing off. I always have to read before falling asleep, unless I’m really drunk, because for whatever frustrating reason that’s the time of night when my mind goes on over-drive and every possible thought concerning my life needs to be reanalyzed. But this is one of the things about working at DP Dough that’s quite good: it leaves me plenty of time to write. I’m off Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and the rest of the week I write when I’m not folding dough. I told my manager I needed at least twenty hours a week because anything else, with the shit pay of $7.70, wouldn’t pay bills.* He gave me 26 hours a week and when I did the math I’ll be making $700 a month, which after bills gives me about $350 and I’m going to strive to save, kind of have to. But the fact that the pay and hours suck so hard is all the more motivation to keep writing.
Everyone there is cool as shit (hopefully after a few weeks I don’t recant). The new owners, or partial owners, I don’t how it works, are just real laid back and easy going. It’s a husband and wife, late twenties at the oldest. The wife’s real sweet and the husband’s a funny guy, real easy to work with. He was telling me last night about how he spent a season on a commercial fisher in Alaska, and this all something I’ll definitely keep in mind, he told me all you have to do is walk along the docks and just be like ‘Hey, you need an extra deck hand?’ And you’ve got yourself solid pay for four months. He even did it with a full beard and dreads. Everyone else is real cool, helpful, easy to get along with, they all drink, smoke pot, everyone there smokes cigarettes, and they all kid around, tell crazy stories and what not while the dough’s flipping and filling with cheese and such.
I’m going to like it there. I won’t love it, I can’t, but I’m going to keep on writing, save up as I can, and get out of Columbus when it’s right.
*I swear I won’t start calling myself ‘The Dude’, I was only having fun.
*Minimum wage. I wanted to say how I don’t like Federal minimum wages. One of the guys I worked with used to live in Glendale, right outside Los Angeles and he said he was mainly friends with foreigners because everyone else was a pretentious asshole (I’ve heard this before). One good friend was recently in from Albania, a veterinarian is what he was, his wife owning her own practice. He came here and got a job painting. ‘Why don’t you go work for your wife?’ the guy I work with asked him. ‘Why would I? They give me eight dollars an hour to paint!’ From this I find, what I believe to be, a logical conclusion: drop the federal minimum wage and have the states lower their’s as well. Want to bring back manufacturing? Want the population to keep growing? Get the word around the world that you can make $6 an hour painting, or hammering, or doing whatever in a factory. The point being, there are millions of people like this recent Albanian immigrant. Entice manufacturing to come back this way by offering them ‘cheaper’ labor. And don’t give me all that bullshit about ‘well, you can’t raise a family on $6 an hour, they won’t be able to buy medicine, or a nice car,’ no shit, that’s why they come to America, to work their asses off so their children can have those things. Ever wonder why this is the first generation to not enjoy higher standards of living than their parents?