Yesterday the Northeast Beat reported that a Pizzaman had been shot on Central Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis.
It seems this dude was out delivering some hot and fresh when a stray bullet hit him in the arm. He managed to call 911, was taken by ambulance to HCMC and was released the next morning.
Whew, I'm glad to hear that he survived.
However, this news is disconcerting, to say the least. It's bad enough to have to worry about someone robbing your ass and/or shooting you on the street, but now the worry of taking a random bullet while driving? Fuck me.
To add insult to injury, some douchebag commented on mnspeak that the wounded driver was probably "too high to notice".
Too high to notice? Fuck you, man. Fuck. You.
Oh yeah, Ha-Ha motherfucker, that's really funny. Remind me to send you a note commenting on your Momma's dried-up twat when she dies.
Shit like that is one of the reasons that I have a problem with customers and the general public overall when it comes to my profession. Pizzamen are a joke, a punchline. We have an unwarranted reputation as being stoners, reckless drivers and losers. This is something I've never understood. Sure, some Pizzamen smoke the cheeba, but I've known a lot of people in various professions that smoke that shit 24/7. Dentists, accountants, members of the city council, the school board, I've seen all of these cats puff on the Sweet Leaf, so don't be singling out the Pizzamen of the world as stoners.
We're just like anyone else out there, we've got kids, mortgages, car payments. We're doing the same shit as you, working to make ends meet. Unfortunately, we're pegged as losers.
A few weeks ago I was at a party with some friends when I was introduced to some hotshot in the newspaper biz. My friend asked me how the Pizza gig was treating me. I responded that I was currently being fucked over management, The newspaper hotshot started laughing.
"Oh, you're being fucked over by management? Ha-Ha-Ha"
This dude thought this was incredibly funny.
But why? Is it funny when he gets screwed by management? (he totally is, by the way) No, it isn't. But since I'm just some lowly, dirtball pizza delivery dude, it isn't as important, I guess. Somehow, the fact that he makes much more money, has health insurance and a nice benefits package makes his predicament much more important and mine is marginalized.
This really pissed me off. I mean, I'm out there working just like this dude. I'm trying to make a living, trying to pay the bills.
Yet, this guy laughed in my face, just because I'm a Pizzaman and not some big-wig with a "real" job.
I'd be willing to bet if this guy got fired, he'd walk away with a nice severance package and health benefits for a year, but if (or perhaps when) I get axed I'd just be shit out of luck.
Plus, the chances of that dude being shot, robbed and/or assaulted on the job is significantly lower than mine.
I just don't understand why people think this way. Other people working in the food service industry aren't pegged in this manner. Nobody goes around saying Servers are huge stoners or Bartenders are total losers. Yet, the stigma of Pizzamen somehow survives.
You'd think news like that Pizzaman being shot would make people think differently, make them realize that we're out there taking huge risks just so they don't have to get off their asses to get some pizza.
We're trying not to get shot, trying not to get in an accident, trying not to be robbed, trying to survive traffic (just like the "norms", who continually bitch about their short 30 minute commute. Fuck man, I fight traffic all the time, every day) just so we can make a living.
But still people think that being a Pizzaman is a joke.
I delivered a pie the other night to a woman who thought it would be funny if she brought up the specter of Toua Xiong, the Pizzaman that was killed on the North side last Summer. The dirtbag that killed Xiong had just been sentenced and this customer decided it would be hilarious if she mentioned this subject.
She greeted me by laughing and saying "I won't kill you! I won't kill you!". I was taken aback, for I didn't know what the fuck she was talking about at first.
"Wh-What?" I stammered.
"I said 'I won't kill you'". she said with another laugh.
"Um... Oh, OK" I replied, remembering the headline from that morning's Strib.
"Well, OBVIOUSLY you don't read the paper. I'm talking about the guy that got shot..." she started.
"Yeah, I know. Toua Xiong, the Pizzaman that was killed on the North side. They sentenced the killer yesterday. I know all about it. What makes you think I don't read the paper?" I said, starting to get pissed.
"Well, I thought it would be funny if I--"
I cut her off.
"Well, I don't think it's funny when people get killed. Especially if they're doing the same job as me"
"It's not funny?"
"No, it's not." I said "Not at all. That'll be $20.35"
She handed over the money.
"Well, I just thought..." she tried.
"Well you thought wrong. That poor kid died in the street like a dog. He was just doing his job"
I turned and left.
I counted out my tip. $2.50.
That's not enough for me to be putting up with shit like that.
And I'm not sure if this whole gig is worth putting up with insensitive fucks like that and/or getting a 9mm hole in my body.
I'd like to wish the wounded Pizzaman a speedy recovery.
Roll on, Brother.