By Tom Waters
Don't forget the infamous Part II!!! Infamous, I say!
Ninety five percent of the people I work with smoke pot daily. It's the nature of the business, I guess. I smoked my own weight worth in my teens, so I've had my fill and a few beers do the job these days. One of the managers (I won't say which), who looks like the straightest of the bunch told me that he won't get out of bed in the morning unless he's firing up a fat bowl. I figured going into the position that a few coworkers might partake of some cannabis from time to time (for medicinal reasons, of course), but almost everyone there smokes their gills out. Two of the drivers I work with do it on the job, too, which I think is funny. Back when I was a hippie, some ten years ago, all I wanted to do after a joint was listen to a John Lennon album and take a nap. To this day, whenever I listen to Plastic Ono Band I get sleepy. But I can't imagine these kids toking out and then kicking in the afterburners getting an order out. Each to their own.
The individuals that make up the staff are varied but strange in a way I haven't seen grouped so heavily before in a job setting. I'm used to being the token weird guy at any company I work for, and at Mazias, everybody's weird. Rob (one of the owners) is the level headed marketing genius. He's the p.r. man who puts signed celebrity photos up on the walls, goes to the charity functions and the town circle jerks, and he started the company web site. Tony, the other owner, is the work mule who started the business. He's constantly making the pies, scrubbing the dishes, and doing whatever it takes to expedite orders and keep the place running like a well oiled machine.
Jason (one of the managers) is the psychotic figurehead who goes off on the gold brickers. Every job needs a ball busting tyrant to keep things in line, so I don't dislike him for filling a needed archetype. Plus I stay out of his way and do my job. My little brother (who coincidentally got fired by Jason) is disgusted with my corporate mentality. I empathize for the bad guy whenever we watch movies and my reasoning always falls under "he's just doing his job." Darth Vader built a space station to blow up planets? He was just doing his job. Bugsy Siegel beats a man to death in order to reduce loss prevention? He was just doing his job. Jason is very good at what he does, and, well, he's just doing his job.
Bryan is the wild card of the managing clique. You can tell the managers at Mazias from their blue t shirts. The grunts wear white shirts. Bryan makes unsettlingly astute homosexual jokes about him and myself while I'm there. He pinches my nipples with tongs and slaps my ass on occasion. It's a bit scary at times, but I make my share of lewd, off color remarks, too. Big surprise, right?
Aaron (one of the cooks) is a gambling maniac. Aside from betting the ponies, he manages to place bets on games taking place on the television out in the dining room, bets on every sporting event (legal and illegal) from here to Zimbabwe, and takes a turn at many a game of chance.
On Monday nights a group of us set up a black jack table after work. A lot of the guys are real high stakes rollers. Hell, on Mondays, there's constant gambling. Monday is Gamblers Anonymous night. Craps, black jack, twosies, roulette, cockfighting; it all takes place in the back. We keep the roosters in the freezer on the other nights of the week. These guys are maniacs, betting entire paychecks, their girlfriends, and staking human organs in order to stay in the game. I get ribbed on because I only play two dollars and walk away after that's gone. When Aaron plays he gets a wet sheen of excited sweat on his forehead and displays symptoms that would make one think he was hopped up on a pound of cocaine. It's a pure gambling rush. He rocks to and fro, darts his eyes wildly from person to person, and rubs his nose waiting for the next hit on the rotation. They're very good, and that's why I never play for more than two bucks.
The other Erin is the resident belladonna, and she knows it. She's a striking blonde with deep blue eyes and a body that could stop the planetary alignment if she wished it. Obviously she was one of the first girls I offended there when I began my employment. After two shifts, she told me that she hoped "I got some incurable disease and died". It took a week or two to get over that. But now we're pals. I continue to make lewd and inappropriate remarks and she volleys them back without missing a beat. Working with a platoon of young men has made her very sharp insult and catcall-wise. It's made all the girls sharp, for that matter. Stacy (one of the sub makers) goes on ass slapping sprees. Ass slapping seems to be a recurring theme in this piece, doesn't it? The sexual harassment board would call in a SWAT team if they ever spent a day back in the kitchen. If they spent an hour in the back, they'd deploy tear gas.
Matt, one of the other drivers, is my pal. He's been working at Mazias for so long that he could be their company mascot. He's tall, a bit full figured, and he always has a beatific, yet dopey grin on his face. We work together on Mondays, and I really look forward to them. He's a bright guy who goes to school and hasn't really wished for much more out of a job (until he graduates) than the flexibility, the easy money, and the complacency that the job offers.
A lot of the employees are in content little ruts. I don't plan on staying there for too long, but it's a fun ride while it lasts. The money practically falls into your lap, you drive most of the time, and everyone gets along with everyone else. One person is in a psychotically bad mood for each shift, but that's life. Plus the food is fantastic. After a hard day at my other job, I can come over to Mazias and within one or two hours, I'm in a great mood again. I love the job, and it's been so long since I've worked somewhere where I was actually proactively nostalgic about leaving. There will always be a cubby hole in my heart (as well as the rest of the Waters' boys) reserved for Mazias Pizzeria. Along with a ten speed bicycle bell somewhere under my wheel well.
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