Saturday, December 8, 2012

Episode II: Pizza Hut

My first job was at Pizza Hut. Most of my time before and after school was taken up by band, so up until my senior year of high school, I really didn't even try to get a job. I got tired of never having any money, and my older brother had returned from his mission and kind of sat me down and gave me a talk about being responsible or something like that. I don't really remember.

I got an interview at Pizza Hut. The manager was some dude in his late twenties, with a New Kids On The Block haircut, who had achieved the dream of all Pocatellans. He made manager at Pizza hut, and he drove a red Mitsubishi Eclipse. I think he had an earring too. Nothing says "I have arrived" like an earring.

On the advice of my Dad, I think, I made some stuff up about how Pizza Hut was an awesome company and I just wanted to be part of it, and so they hired me. I too was on the way to achieving greatness in the form of a reasonably priced sports coupe and a Donnie Wahlbergesque look.

They threw me into making pizza after about 10 minutes of explanation. All of the ingredients were in the walk-in fridge in case I ran out of stuff. There was a guide, about the length of a small airplane hangar, above the cook area that had all the information about how to make everything.  I think I was supposed to get everything prepped and in the oven within a minute. It took me at least 3 minutes just to find the right spot on the board to look at. I don't know what took me so long. There was only about a billion or so variables to consider on each order. Pizza or bread sticks? Pan crust, thin crust, or hand tossed? Is it one of eight specialties or was it a custom order? Was it off the regular menu so that it gets the normal amount of ingredients, or was it a special so that you had to skimp on the meat and cheese as to not give the customer what they actually wanted? It took me another 5 minutes or so just to interpret the giant, almighty recipe card while Donnie stood there laughing at me.

I love the philosophy of fast food. Make everything exactly the way we tell you, being careful not to use any more ingredients than you absolutely have to, and do it right now or you're fired. Oh, and do it for $4.25 an hour. What could be easier than that?

I'm pretty sure I got every pizza wrong that first week. I could feel that red Mitsubishi Eclipse slipping away with every predictable screw up. And when you know you can't make it at Pizza Hut, your only other option is probably the military. The military, which had years earlier been eliminated as an option on account of my flat feet and disposition to crumble and die when yelled at.

I asked for Wednesday nights off for band practice. They didn't schedule me for three weeks and then scheduled me for a Wednesday night. I got the picture. Oh well. It just wasn't my thing. At least it only took a month to get the whole thing over with.


  1. I really don't remember the talk about being responsible or something.