Pizza Pervs

I was 16 years old, very naive, but extremely motivated and excited to get my first job. It was at a national pizza chain, but the store was new and everything seemed clean. People were mostly hired by word of mouth, so it was me, my three friends who were boys, the cool hiring manager, an assistant manager, approximately five 30-ish guys who all knew each other from high school and some other random girls. As a female, I was to answer phones, with occasional pizza making. Being located in a relatively affluent suburb of a major metropolitan suburb, the complaints were something else. Everything from yelling at me to make their pizza free because 30 minutes had passed (that had never been policy for said chain), yelling at me because their daughter was diabetic and had needed that pizza stat, to yelling at me because someone left a flyer on their door and it was against their exclusive neighborhood’s policy to do so. Yes, yell at a 16-year-old minimum wage employee because you had to pick up a piece of paper that she had nothing to do with.

As bad as the customers could be, what far outshined them in crappiness were the employees. Those 30-somethings? Turns out most of them liked younger girls, including my 16 year old self. I was hit on, told very gross stories (“I like it when my girl gets all sweaty during sex, so we just glide against another”) and mildly groped. I didn’t really worry about it, since one of my friends was usually working with me, though in hindsight I wonder how much I could have collected from a sexual harassment lawsuit (like I said, my first job, pretty naive). The cool manager was moved along to open other stores and the assistant manager took over. His wife and children decided to hangout in the front to keep him company. Cut to me wrangling toddlers away from 350 degree ovens. Every night until he quit (his job ended when one of the delivery drivers became enraged and threw a motorcycle helmet at the crowded pizza prep line. Delivery guy was arrested and I think ended up in a mental hospital for bipolar disorder).

The obese, always sweaty and acne-ridden new manager was on a power trip. I had been working there for six months, always showed up on time and only missed days when I was legitimately sick, but I was constantly yelled at by him for nothing in particular. All of my original friends had quit at this point, but loyalty pays off eventually, right? On a typically slow night I was getting slammed by phone call after phone call and at some point we were 10 pizzas in. Since I couldn’t find my fellow 16-year-old co-worker, I made the executive decision to go ahead and make the pizzas that were over time. The phone rang, but I was so busy I didn’t answer it. Five minutes later, my manager stormed out of the office, neck-vein bulging angry (as usual), to chew me out about not answering the call. Then my female co-worker sheepishly comes out of the manager’s office. Turns out she (a 16-year-old) was giving our thirty-something manager a blow job.

I wish I could say I stormed out, but I have too good a work ethic and just quit at the end of the day. Thankfully, every job since then has been exponentially better than the last.

Comments (13)

Frau BlucherJune 14th, 2010 at 11:31 am

ewww, giving the guy a blow job! these guys were obviously pervs who knew that these naive teenagers wouldn’t do anything.
As for the clients. One thing I’ve noticed about affluent clients is that they complain the most, not so much because they’re spoiled, but because they simply have too much spare time and too much spare money. The worst are the women who’ve never had a job!

AndrewJune 14th, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Sounds like basically every job I ever had as a teenager. It’s amazing how much we’ll put up with when we are naive. Even if we know something is wrong we still don’t confront it.

MaryJune 15th, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Ummm, I never gave any managers a bj lol!

mystic_eyeJune 15th, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Umm when I was 16 I already knew enough to call the Labour board if I was denied my legally required break.

TMSJune 16th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

You showed more restraint than I would have, even at 16! My dad taught me the importance of a good work ethic, but he also taught me not to take shit from anyone and stand up for myself if I felt I was being treated unfairly. When I read that all your friends quit, I knew if it was me, I would have gone with them. And then for the last straw, again I wouldn’t have bothered to finish my shift. I would have walked out right then and there, if I even lasted that long.

MeshellJune 17th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I love this blog because it allows people to provide the “Well, if I were in that situation, I would have blah blih blah’ed” commentary. Because we are all able to transport our social conditioning, upbringing, parental guidance, etc with us when we go live someone else’s life.

AdrianoJune 20th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

“As a female, I was to answer phones”
“yell at a 16-year-old minimum wage employee because you had to pick up a piece of paper that she had nothing to do with.”
Sorry, I understand everything else, but this was your job. You were assigned to answer the phones, and one of the things you had to deal with were complaints. Who should the customers have called otherwise? It’s one thing if they treated you without respect, certainly.

It gets on my nerve when people who are paid specifically to provide a face get all ‘why are you complaining to me, I’m just an employee?’ I’m complaining at you because you are the face of the company.

DrakJune 22nd, 2010 at 10:37 am

Adriano- In those kind of situations though, ask to speak with management. Don’t take it out on the low level people. They are just doing what they’re told. If you have a complaint go to the source of the orders being made.

AdrianoJune 26th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

@Drak: You’re right, in the cases when management is actually available (In Argentina, it’s far more common to be told that they can’t escalate the call).

A recent real life example: in a recent flight, the arrival airport was changed to another, with less than 24 hours notice, and I was a little bit peeved. I would be arriving late at night, 150 km away from my original destination. The check-in attendant could have
a) received my complaints and nod, thinking “Why’s he yelling to me?”
b) received my complaints and divert me to management
c) received my complaints, apologize for the inconvenience, and make it up to me and the other passengers.
My wife and I had to complain while receiving response a) with rolling eyes and all, as in ‘Why does this guy complain, when we can’t do a thing) before they deigned to do something about our problem (ask for a van to take us from the new arrival airport to the original ) . This sort of response is all too common in my experience.

EatsKeysAugust 1st, 2010 at 2:32 pm

“…but loyalty pays off eventually, right?”

Maybe in personal matters, sometimes. But in business? Never. Not ever.

DisgustedOctober 21st, 2010 at 5:57 pm

—> I was hit on, told very gross stories (“I like it when my girl gets all sweaty during sex, so we just glide against another”) and mildly groped.

Disgusting. Your manager is real pervert. I wonder if all fast food restaurant managers are assholes, dickheads, and losers in one package.

JessieFebruary 10th, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I AM 16, but at rhis i would eith be suing his ass or kicking it myself, that is what my daddy taught me. Self defense from groping by toads

Larz BlackmanApril 11th, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Now I’m going to become a pizza chain manager.

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