I had been working as a delivery driver for a while when one of the restaurant managers left for another job. The assistant manager was immediately promoted and the restaurant’s owner began searching for someone to fill the newly vacated position.
I had watched the management team working tirelessly to keep the machine running. I saw how they came in before sunrise to get the establishment ready and stayed late into the night only to drag themselves out of bed and repeat the process a few hours later. There was even one time where the assistant manager had decided to spend the night in the restaurant because it was easier than driving home.
Why would anyone subject themselves to such abuse? I had asked myself the question a number of times and thought that maybe the answer was salary based but neither the assistant or the manager seemed to be living in the lap of luxury, not even comfortably most of the time. So it must have been some form of consensual madness that had taken them and now the restaurant’s owner was attempting to tempt me into the insanity.
I wanted nothing to do with it and I let him know it immediately. “But just give me a moment before you say no.” I listened to his words, his reasons why I should leave the open road and lock myself away inside a box for 50, 60 or 70 hours per week. I should have listened to my first instinct but his talk of making me a General Manager in charge of overseeing the operations of not only one but all of his restaurants with a starting salary of $50,000 per year gave me reason to pause.
“Of course you have to go through a training period” he added, “but after that, you will receive a significant bump in pay.”
I should have held my ground. I should have remembered how exhausted the management team was. And that one half of that team had just left to hopefully find a better life elsewhere. Still I thought about my status as a delivery driver with the plastic name tag pinned to my red shirt like a member of the away team on Star Trek that was predestined to die. As much as I enjoyed getting paid to drive fast in my Rx-7, I knew that it was never meant to be a lifelong career choice, at least not one that I would settle for and the consensual insanity overtook my reasoning. God help me; I accepted that Devil’s offer.