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What can I do?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by CradleRobber, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. CradleRobber

    CradleRobber Active Member

    I learned tonight that my section's part-time hours are being scaled way back. I guess my editor has been going over every week in an attempt to make it more worth my while to work there.

    This is NOT another "how do I get out of the business/I'm sick of this shit" thread. I love what I do and have long accepted the financial woes that will forever accompany that love.

    But right now, I'm driving my car into the ground to commute to work, which is costing me money in repairs and maintenance. There's an unpaid commute of one hour to and from work, and that gas comes out of pocket, too. So to work a six-hour shift, it's really eight hours, subtract gas costs from an already below-average wage and things start to get ugly.

    Like I said, in the long run, I expect to work hard and not make much money. But right now, especially since insurance is Angola!ing me on the burglary, I'm trying to figure out what job I can work for a while to make more money and work more hours. I've never done anything else in seven years of work. No grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters, ice cream shops. Just journalism.

    I sent an application to the U.S. Postal Service for seasonal employment in November and never heard anything back, which was discouraging. I know the people skills I've developed in this business are valuable in just about any field, even lowly food service.

    I know sarcasm is bound to ensue, but I'm really in need of some serious answers. What other jobs can I work, while still freelancing a few times a month on the side, until I find the right sportswriting gig again?
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Pizza delivery is pretty flexible and can put some extra cash in your pocket -- and free food! in your mouth -- but if your car's not reliable you might have trouble.
  3. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    CR, what ever happened with that car break-in, by the way?
  4. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    My brother was making more delivering pizza three nights a week than what I made at my first newspaper job.
  5. CradleRobber

    CradleRobber Active Member

    It's reliable, I'm looking for a way to avoid driving 500 miles every week for a little while. How does pizza delivery work? You are paid minimum wage by the restaurant and you make tips on deliveries? How does gas work?
  6. CradleRobber

    CradleRobber Active Member

    It's just... not a good situation yet. Every little thing that could go wrong regarding the insurance claim process has, so far.
  7. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    Sorry to hear that. Insurance shit can be a pain at times, no question.

    Do you at least have something to listen to now on the drives?
  8. CradleRobber

    CradleRobber Active Member

    Until I get an insurance check, I've become one of those poor fucks who drives down the Interstate with iPod headphones in both ears. Well, I obey all laws, so one ear.
  9. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    I know the feeling. Although I rode around with a boom box like the one Radio Raheem did in Do The Right Thing on my passenger seat. I went through plenty of D batteries that winter, I tell ya.
  10. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member


    Can't remember exactly how much I made as base, but it was at least minimum wage. You get a check once a week for the hours you worked, with taxes taken out.

    I worked at Papa John's. IIRC, it was like this:

    You have your own little locker/safe at the store. They give you like $20 in change money to start. After you finish a run, you bring back the receipt and your tip and/or credit-card slip and put it in your locker. (You don't want to be carrying around a lot of cash, for obvious reasons.)

    At the end of the night, you gather all the receipts, all the tips and all the CC slips from your locker, and they count it all up. You cash out with the difference, after the sales receipts and $20 change is taken out.

    Gas money: At Papa John's, there was a "delivery surcharge" on each bill. It was $0.75 per order. That's your gas money. It's NOT part of the tip. (Repeat, for ignorant customers who like to stiff the drivers because they see a "delivery charge": that's NOT a tip.)

    Yes, the company is making customers pay a little extra to get around paying for gas money. ... Still, don't stiff your driver. It's not his fault, OK? Sheesh. ::)

    Anyway, that gas money also gets included in the difference at the end of the night. They subtract it from the sales receipts. So you cash out with an extra $0.75 for each run you made. It's decent if you're in an urban area like I was. If you live in a spread-out delivery area and/or you have a gas guzzler, you might not break even. (Hell, it often works out better than the $0.35/mile that many newspapers pay.) You get $0.75 whether you make a 5-mile delivery or a 500-foot delivery.

    If you're good, and it's a busy shift, you can make double and triple runs (one run, but delivering to three different houses). That doubles or triples your tips on the same run, which is great.

    It's an easy job to do, but not always easy to do well. If you can do it well, you can really rake in some good cash on the side. I'd recommend it.
  11. pallister

    pallister Guest

    Buy cheaper clothes.
  12. CradleRobber

    CradleRobber Active Member

    Thanks for the info, BW. Very helpful, especially since I noticed the nearby RoundTable recently put up a banner for delivery drivers.

    Right now, I'm trying to narrow it down to which three states where I want to fight fires this season. I said I was going to last summer, and then got lazy on the early application deadlines and just generally pussed out. Since I can't find a good reason not to do it this year, I'm at least going to apply and see where it goes. Unfortunately, California Department of Forestry stops accepting applications the last week of January, while many states just opened the process. Joining a Hotshots crew in Alaska might be a really good way to stay in good shape, and they pull bank, especially when they're working 16-hour days, 7 days a week at 1.5 time while fires are burning.
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