Friday, September 21, 2007

Plateau Pizza

The fans are whirring already, but only quietly. The oven isn't on yet. I put down the chairs off the tables so people can sit in them to eat, as they most likely will today. The radio plays classic rock, but it's background noise now. Darek pokes his head around the corner. "Oh, Dum-dum is here!" I put on my apron, punch my timecode in, and so my day begins. I'll cut tomatoes, I'll chop mushrooms, I'll peel onions, and I'll slice ham. Once that is done, people start ordering. I'll make jokes with Darek about funny customers, stupid customers, and good customers. Drew will pull some crazy idea out of his head. Alex will panic and twist my nipples. Chris will fire me. Nicolai will do some insane-o hand/facial movements. Kyle will Jumpstyle. Kat will stand around and talk to us. Jurek will tell me some story from his week, and describe some new girl he met. Tamara will talk on her cell phone. Eva will lecture me. Pepiczek will make boxes. Darek will cry that I'm going to make him have a heart attack. This is my job. I drive around delivering pizzas, alone in my car, and making lots of money in tips. I'll meet some cool people, I'll talk with my regulars, pet their dogs, and be on my way. But in the end, I always look forward to being in the store. I can't wait to tell the guys about some crazy person who tried to molest me, or something else from the great beyond of westwood plateau. I can't wait for the guys to be making faces at me again, and to have us all laughing at our jokes. Losing the game, inventing funky pizzas, eating ingredients. It all comes down to the family I have in the restaurant. When the rush dies down, Darek and I will often be the only ones closing. We'll talk about his upgrades he wants to make with the place, about my future as an actor, and about how we're all doing. He'll probably complain during the day, but at the end of it, we always leave happy and content. It's after that rush, after the madness, when we slowly close down and have time to breathe, that it's okay to go home. I feel so fortunate to have such a great job. A second family that has to come in, has to make pizza, but that loves to be a part of it. I think, under the surface, we're all happy to be a part of something that's so close to a family.